Hedge fund industry assets more than doubled to $2.85 trillion in the six-year period since the global financial crisis with about 88% of the growth attributable to investment performance, said a new report released Thursday from Barclays’ prime services capital solutions division.
Analysis of year-end hedge fund assets in each of the years between 2008 and 2014 concluded that of total growth of $1.443 trillion during the period, $1.273 trillion was from investment returns with the balance coming from net inflows, said Barclays’ 2015 global industry trends report, “What Lies Beneath.”
Geographically, the majority of worldwide hedge fund assets — about 63% — were from North American investors, followed by investors in Europe, 23%; Asia-Pacific region, 7%; Middle East, 5%; and other regions, 2%.
Institutional investors, specifically corporate and public pension funds, endowments and foundations, held 65% of the $1.76 trillion invested in hedge funds by North American investors.
Middle Eastern pension and sovereign wealth funds accounted for 67% of the $135 billion invested in hedge funds from that region, while pension funds domiciled in Asia-Pacific held 44% of the $195 billion of hedge fund investments from that part of the world.
European pension funds held just 26% of the $650 billion invested in hedge funds from that region, Barclays’ report stated.
Barclays surveyed 450 investors with aggregate overall assets of about $6 trillion in the fourth quarter. Net asset inflows, performance and other numerical data were collected from other sources to compile the industry report.