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Credit Suisse Releases Mid-Year Survey of Hedge Fund Investor Sentiment

New York, August 7, 2018 – Credit Suisse today released its Mid-Year Survey of Hedge Fund Investor Sentiment, entitled "Back In The Saddle", which polled over 275 institutional investors globally representing $1.04 trillion in hedge fund investments. Participants were surveyed on a number of topics, including key industry trends and forecasts, as well as strategy preferences and allocation plans for the second half of the year.

** For a copy of the complete survey, please click here.

Key highlights from the 2018 Credit Suisse Mid-Year Survey of Hedge Fund Investor Sentiment:

  • Investor Appetite for Hedge Funds Remains Strong Hedge Funds witnessed the largest positive swing in net demand among the different asset classes we surveyed and are on par as the top investment strategy of allocators going into the second half of the year.
  • Momentum of Non-Traditional Products Investors continue to show increasing preference for employing alternative investment vehicles in addition to commingled accounts. Most favored structures include Separately Managed Accounts/Funds of One, Co-Investments, Private Credit, and Longer Lock products.
  • Focus on Fund Expenses Allocators indicated more attention should be given to pass through fees. Approximately 25% of investors moved certain fund expenses to the manager over the past two years.
  • Quantifying Alignment of Interests Fees & Terms (76%) and Fund Expenses (51%) are the topics investors are most focused on. With the ongoing dialogue between investors and managers now including more emphasis on pass through fees, quantifying the total cost of running a hedge fund and supporting it with benchmarking could help create an optimal alignment of interests.

Joseph Gasparro, who leads Strategic Advisory and Content for Credit Suisse Capital Services, said:

"Investors continue to have increased appetite for hedge funds driven by a variety of factors, including more aligned fees and terms as well as the broader use of customized solutions and non-traditional vehicles, especially Managed Accounts and Co-Investments."

Jaynita Sodhi, Co-Head of U.S. Credit Suisse Capital Services, commented:

"We saw a large upswing in demand for Discretionary Macro among investors surveyed, as volatility returned to the markets. As we witnessed going into 2018, equities remain top of mind for allocators. Also notable is the inclusion of ESG as a top strategy preference."

Other findings from the Survey:

  • Strategy Preferences Discretionary Macro had the largest positive demand swing from year-end 2017 and was specified by investors as the most preferred strategy for the second half of 2018. Equities also remain in favor (5 of the top 10 strategies) with interest for a variety of approaches, including Equity Long/Short Healthcare and both Fundamental & Quantitative Market Neutral.
  • Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) ESG made its top 10 strategy preference debut as allocator interest grows. 25% of investors currently have an allocation to the strategy.
  • Regional Focus The broader Asia-Pacific region and emerging markets are again most in demand. Although sentiment has decreased since the start of the year given the emergence of trade tensions,investors look at these regions as a longer-term opportunity. North America witnessed the largest positive demand swing as the U.S. economy and stock market continue their upward momentum in 2018.

About the Respondents

The survey covered institutional investors on a global basis, including pension funds, endowments, foundations, consultants, private banks, family offices, and funds of hedge funds. 57% of responses came from the Americas, while 31% were from EMEA-based investors and 12% were from APAC.