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Hedge funds ignore social media finds MHP 2011 Survey

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Martin Forrest
Opalesque Industry Update - In a survey of 77 hedge fund managers globally, each with at least US$ 1.0 bn in assets under management, the MHP Survey 2011 has found that hedge fund managers are ignoring social media. 8% are still without a corporate website, let alone a Twitter feed or a Facebook wall.

The survey found that only 1% of the 77 hedge fund managers are active on Twitter, 3% have their own channel on YouTube and none have a wall on Facebook. However, 23% have an active presence on LinkedIn.

Martin Forrest, director, asset management and author of the MHP Survey 2011 says: “The findings did not surprise us. Historically, hedge fund managers have deliberately kept a low profile and managed their reputations accordingly. They are also concerned about the regulatory implications of social media. As such, adoption of social media is extremely low.

“In the short term, this is not an issue as social media at an institutional level in the asset management industry is in its infancy and very much in ‘broadcasting’ rather than the more interactive mode for which it was intended.

“However, social media is an emerging communications channel for hedge fund stakeholders, particularly current and future employees and clients as well as journalists in financial services media, in their work and personal lives. They are already tweeting and on Facebook, reading news on IPads rather than hardcopy newspapers, communicating and consuming information digitally.

“Many hedge fund managers have a presence on LinkedIn through their current and former employees. For example, social media is a primary communication channel for high-level technology experts sought by quant funds.

“Hedge fund managers should start using social media more actively as additional channels through which to communicate and build lasting relationships with their stakeholders and to develop the reputation of their firms. Taking control of their content, by becoming the best provider of it, is important.” “Hedge fund managers should also look at social media initiatives in the wider asset management community for inspiration.”

MHP Survey Findings – Summary - by type of social media including graphs Out of 77 hedge fund managers surveyed, only MAN Investments has an active twitter feed (@ManViewpoint). It is using Twitter to tweet about a whole range of issues including broad economic/investment views, corporate announcements, marketing events and press coverage. 4% of managers are sitting on the Twitter fence. They have secured their corporate name as a Twitter account to protect their brand/intellectual property (IP) but have not been active and not tweeted.

79% of hedge fund managers surveyed have a presence on LinkedIn with 23% of the 77 surveyed taking active control of their brands on LinkedIn. It is the most used form of social media. The level of LinkedIn employees and followers tends to have a strong correlation with the size and reputation. In our survey, the three managers with the most number of employees LinkedIn are: Citadel Investment Group – 1107 employees; MAN Investments – 911; Bridgewater Associates – 856. The three managers with the highest number of followers are: Citadel Investment Group – 3473 followers; Bridgewater Associates – 2606; MAN Investments – 2118.

Two hedge fund managers (3% of those surveyed) have their own YouTube channel. Man Investments (Australia) is using it to show short films that it has produced on a range of topics including broad economic/investment views and marketing events. The Bridgewater Associates channel shows footage of an executive making a speech at an industry event. The 19% that have a ‘presence through broadcasters’ are those whose executives have interviewed on TV stations.

Facebook is the least used form of social media. No hedge fund manager surveyed has an active Facebook page including a ‘wall.’ 66% have a passive presence whilst 34% have no presence at all.Source

Press release


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