More than half of hedge fund managers, 55%, said in a survey they're concerned remote working could have a negative impact on the firm's culture and diminish opportunities for team building.
The results of the survey of 144 firms conducted worldwide in July and August were presented in a joint report from the Alternative Investment Management Association and KPMG International released Thursday.
Almost every hedge fund executive interviewed for the survey said they were worried about the impact a decentralized work environment was having on their investment culture.
Also, a little more than one-quarter (26%) said they're worried that the lack of in-person social interaction may have led to mental health issues among their employees.
"The value of culture, collaboration and face-to-face interaction cannot be understated, not just for the overall success of the organization, but also for the well-being and mental health of employees," said an unidentified executive from a large hedge fund firm in the report.
KPMG's Joseph Fisher, a senior partner, said he's confident the hedge fund industry will prevail over issues raised by remote working conditions.
"Ultimately, hedge funds will find the right balance of a more decentralized environment with the necessary face-to-face interaction in the office. The ability to collaborate will unquestionably be a prime consideration as firms continue to adapt to the new reality," Mr. Fisher said in a news release accompanying the survey report.
And while traditional money managers are reducing their workforces in response to the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, 57% of hedge fund managers said they have made strategic hires since February or intend to do so.
About 27% of the firms said their best source for finding new talent will be from hedge funds in the same strategy sector that are closing.
One-quarter of firms said being able to offer flexibility on where, when and how long employees work each day also will be an incentive for new people to join their firm.
The report can be found on the KPMG website.