Thu, Sep 18, 2014
A A A
Welcome Guest
Free Trial RSS
Get FREE trial access to our award winning publications
Asia Pacific Intelligence

Report finds that the Australian hedge fund industry is thriving

Monday, October 08, 2012

Australia's hedge fund industry has become the largest in Asia despite the nation's most significant investor, the Future Fund, allocating its entire A$14.5 billion alternatives portfolio to offshore managers.

Australia's 63 hedge fund management firms control at least A$42.8 billion (US$44.8 billion) in assets, according to a hedge fund industry report produced by David Chin of Sydney based BasisPoint Consulting.

In addition, there is another $2 billion in long/short strategies run by ‘boutique' managers who have opted not to be classified as a hedge fund in the report but instead are counted amongst the 102 (predominantly) long-only, benchmark unaware Australian managers holding A$165.6 billion in assets.

However, the local industry would be much larger if only they could win more mandates from Australian pension funds and the Future Fund, the nation's de-facto sovereign wealth fund (SWF), notes David Chin.

Australia's A$916 billion institutional pension fund industry allocates around 3.6% of their assets to hedge fund and fund-of-hedge-fund strategies, according to an AIMA/University of NSW study in 2010 on the top 100 superfunds. But of these allocations, just 20% went to local managers, while 78% were awarded to US hedge funds, according to the survey.

'It's a similar story with the Future Fund where its alternatives portfolio, worth 18.8% of the SWF's assets, is allocated entirely to 20 offshore managers, with each manager winning a mandate of A$725 million on average,' notes Chin. ‘The sheer size of these hedge fund allocations means only the larger global managers can be selected.'

Of particular interest to the international hedge fund community is that the Future Fund defines alternatives as ‘skill based absolute return strategies and other risk premia providing diversity of return streams.' and excludes private equity, infrastructure and real assets. This makes the Future Fund one of the region's largest hedge fund investors in dollar terms, and on par with the percentage allocations by the high profile Harvard and Yale university foundations in the US.

Chin says the saving grace for the local hedge fund industry is a combination of the country's sizeable high-net-worth investors, and support from offshore investors. These two categories of investors account for 42.2% of Australian hedge fund industry assets. Australian institutional investors (mostly pension funds) and wholesale (mostly financial planning firms) investors contribute 34.8% and 23% respectively, according to his study at www.basispoint.com.au

The Australian high-net-worth sector includes 478,000 Self Managed Super Funds (SMSF) which are effectively mini-pension funds run by wealthy investors who typically make their own asset allocation decisions. These SMSFs control $439 billion in total, (about a third of the nation's pension pool) or some $918,000 each on average.

The local hedge fund industry has also been boosted by 12 fund ‘incubators' or multi-affiliate firms who take equity stakes in managers and provide operational and marketing support. The top seven incubators support 60 hedge and boutique managers, making them an influential local force.

Chin is optimistic about the growth potential of the Australian hedge fund industry given this unique combination of a large high-net-worth investor base, powerful industry incubators and the Future Fund which is leading the institutional charge towards more hedge fund allocations…but hopefully in future to more local talent.

 
This article was published in Opalesque's Asia Pacific Intelligence our monthly research update on alternative investments in the Asia-Pacific region.
Asia Pacific Intelligence
Asia Pacific Intelligence
Asia Pacific Intelligence
Today's Exclusives Today's Other Voices More Exclusives
Previous Opalesque Exclusives                                  
More Other Voices
Previous Other Voices                                               
Access Alternative Market Briefing


  • Top Forwarded
  • Top Tracked
  • Top Searched
  1. SEC charges 19 investment firms and one trader for breach of Rule 105[more]

    Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) started a push to enhance the enforcement of Rule 105 of Regulation M last year to uncover hedge funds and private equity firms that have illegally participated in an offering of a stock after short selling it duri

  2. Fund managers, bullish on Europe, anticipate monetary policy separation of Fed and ECB[more]

    Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia: At least 202 fund managers with $556bn of assets under management said that while the European Central Bank (ECB) has eased its monetary policy that sent sentiments towards Europe to pick up, the Fed is expected to hike its rate in the spring of 2015. Investor

  3. Investors looking at other sources for hedge fund-like returns[more]

    Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia: Investors who are always on the lookout for higher gains are looking at alternative sources of income, particularly exchange-traded fund industry that generates hedge fund-like returns, according to

  4. News Briefs - Limited partners of investment managers may be subject to self-employment taxes, Just one week left until NYC's Rocktoberfest[more]

    Limited partners of investment managers may be subject to self-employment taxes On September 5, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued Chief Counsel Advice 201436049, concluding that members of an investment manager were subject to self-employment taxes with respect to their e

  5. Opalesque Exclusive: Old Hill Partners launches specialty finance fund[more]

    Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York: Asset-backed lending is starting to heat up again after a prolonged credit squeeze. The Financial Times reports that a record £18.9bn was borrowed from asset-based lenders in the three months to the end of June. Much of this lending is driven by advanc