The best of the Canadian hedge fund industry were recognized for their performance at the seventh annual Canadian Hedge Fund Awards in Toronto on Tuesday.

The event, hosted by Alternative IQ, introduced a new award category this year – Best Overall Canadian Hedge Fund. Taking home the inaugural award was Blair Franklin Global Credit Fund, managed by Toronto-based Gluskin Sheff & Associates Inc., for the best combined 10-year return and Sharpe ratio, which examines the performance of an investment by adjusting for its risk.

In total 17 awards were presented in six categories, five of which were for a fund’s performance while the sixth recognizes service providers in Canada’s hedge fund industry. Performance (as of June 30) was awarded on a best one-, five-year performance and five-year Sharpe ratio basis.

Equity focused funds

In the equity-focused category, Front Street Canadian Energy Resource Fund from Toronto-based Front Street Capital took first place for the best one-year return.
Taking top marks for the best five-year return was King and Victoria RSP, which is managed by Equilibrium Capital Management Inc. in Toronto.

PH&N Absolute Return Fund, managed by Phillips Hager & North (PH&N) Investment Management, a unit of Toronto-based RBC Global Asset Management Inc., took first prize for best five-year Sharpe ratio in the category.

Global macro/ managed futures /multiple strategy funds

The DKAM Capital Ideas fund from Donville Kent Asset Management Inc. in Toronto swept the global macro/managed futures/multi-strategy category taking first prize in all three performance categories, best one-year return, best five-year return and best five-year Sharpe ratio.

Market neutral funds

Taking first prize for best one-year return in the market neutral category was the CC&L Market Neutral fund managed Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. in Vancouver. Toronto-based Picton Mahoney Asset Management’s Picton Mahoney Market Neutral Equity fund took top marks in both the five-year return and five-year Sharpe ratio categories.

Credit focused funds

In the credit focused category, Stornoway Recovery fund, from Toronto-based Stornoway Portfolio Management Inc., was awarded with the best one-year and five-year returns. Blair Franklin Global Credit fund took home first prize for the best five-year Sharpe ratio.

Service providers

Four service providers were also recognized during the event for their work with the hedge fund industry. Toronto-based CommonWealth Fund Services Ltd. was named Best Canadian Hedge Fund Administrator. The Toronto-based Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) Prime Services Group took the award for Best Canadian Prime Broker. Toronto-based Borden Ladner Gervais LLP was given this year’s award for Best Canadian Law Firm, and KPMG LLP was named Best Canadian Accounting Firm was KPMG LLP.

In addition to acknowledging the individual achievements of specific hedge funds the awards are also a celebration of how far the industry has come since the annual event started in 2008.

“You see where the hedge fund industry has gone from then to now,” says Peter Hayes a partner and national director, alternative investments, with KPMG LLP in Toronto and master of ceremonies for the awards. “The resilience of it, the strength of it — globally, but I’d say especially in Canada over that period — that’s really a testament to the investment thesis that many or most hedge funds follow.”