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Alternative Market Briefing

2013 the best year for hedge fund performance in the last three - eVestment

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

The consistent narrative of hedge fund reporting over 2013 focused on how hedge fund performance was lagging the broad index. While true, new data from eVestment looking at aggregate performance for 2013 shows that the year was the best so far in the last three. Returns were driven all year long by equity strategies which ended the year with returns more than 2x higher than credit strategies and nearly 3x greater than funds with exposure across diversified markets.

Hedge funds rose an average of 1.2% in December and ended 2013 returning 9.2%, surpassing returns from 2012 and 2011 (7.4% and -3.1%, respectively) and just shy of 2010’s 10.5% gain.

In terms of individual strategies, activist strategies were the leading sub-strategy for the year followed closely by long/short equity and distressed funds. Activists returned 19.1% for the year and besting 2012’s 15.2% gain. The group still underperformed the S&P500 for the year. Long/short equity ended the year up 16.12%, over 2012's 9.20% gain. Distressed funds were up 14.03%.

Credit strategies were positive, but posted their 3rd worst year since 1998, primarily due to directional strategies underperforming in the second half of the year. Securitized credit strategies however continued to produce double-digit returns. Credit strategies posted 6.26% for the year lagging behind 2012's gain of 11.40%.

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