The hedge fund industry has undergone significant change since the beginning of the financial crisis, resulting in the need to grow operational infrastructure and increase transparency, says a report by KPMG, and the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA).

Prior to the crisis, the primary source of capital came from non-institutional investors such as high-net worth individuals and family businesses; however institutional investors are now the leading allocators to hedge funds. This change means hedge funds have had to adapt to the new source of capital, and the demands associated with institutional investors — namely the need for a more robust operational infrastructure and thorough terms of due diligence.

“The increased due diligence demands of institutional investors are certainly being felt by Canadian managers,” said Peter Hayes, partner, national director, alternative investments, KPMG. “That being said, the Canadian hedge fund market has always been heavily regulated and Canadian managers are well-positioned to meet the increased scrutiny from investors, regulators and others that many in the global hedge fund space are only just starting to experience.”

The report is based on a survey and in-depth interviews of 150 hedge fund management firms globally with more than US$500 billion in assets under management.

The report found that:

  • institutional investors now represent a clear majority of all assets under management with 57% of assets under management in this category
  • 84% of all respondents in the survey indicated that they had increased transparency to investors since 2008;
  • the amount of time managers say they have spent handling due diligence inquiries from investors has doubled since 2008;
  • hedge fund managers have significantly increased headcount to respond to regulatory compliance requirements (98% of respondents), and investor demand for transparency and due diligence;
  • new money injected into the hedge fund industry since 2008 has come primarily from North America, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, while allocations from the European Union have held steady, and those from Switzerland have declined.

The new report is the second of a two-part series by KPMG and AIMA on the state of the global hedge fund industry. The first report looked at hedge fund industry performance, risk and volatility.