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Alternative Market Briefing

The Curse of Adonis – Why good looking people shouldn't try to sell hedge funds

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva:

Prof. Dr. Bernd Ankenbrand, Professor of Constructivist Finance at Karlshochschule International University, Germany, has been researching perception and first impressions for a while. In 2011, he presented his findings on the signs by which investors think they can recognize successful hedge fund managers.

The factors that influence investment decisions, he said, are the usual suspects, namely performance, investment strategy, liquidity terms, fees, jurisdiction, reporting, types of structure, service providers. But the perception that the investor has of the hedge fund team is another important factor.

Quoting Machiavelli as saying (in The Prince), ''Men in general judge more from appearances than from reality,’’ Ankenbrand went on to say that first impressions are powerful and rich sources of information about other people.

Of course, whether these impressions are reliable or not is another matter.

Indeed, Ankenbrand noted, people tend to automatically infer personality from faces in as little as 0.1 second. So it seems first impressions could be almost as fast as light.


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