Investors are more confident about the ability of hedge funds to outperform other types of investments than they were five years ago, according to the 11th annual Global Hedge Fund and Investor Survey published by Ernst & Young (EY). Conversely, hedge fund managers face significant barriers to entry and competition from specialty managers. The 2017 survey explores – among other things – fund managers’ strategic priorities; investor allocation plans; offering of non-traditional products; evolution of hedge funds’ front-office and investment functions, including separate accounts, customized fund terms, alternative fee structures and use of big data; and key industry risks. This first article in a two-part series summarizes the survey’s findings in these areas. The second article
will detail the survey’s results with respect to issues affecting operational efficiency, along with the challenges of attracting, developing and retaining talent, and will offer key takeaways for fund managers revealed by the survey. For coverage of EY’s 2016 survey, see “Industry Risks; Customized and Non-Traditional Products; Investor Allocation Preferences; Fees; and Hedge Fund Growth Priorities
” (Dec. 1, 2016); and “Marketing Strategies, Talent Management, Prime Brokerage and Operational Matters
” (Dec. 8, 2016).