107+ Best Hedge Fund Statistics & Facts (2022)

Hedge funds are financial establishments that leverage pooled funds and adopt a mix of strategies to earn differentiated returns for their investors.

The following are the most important historical and current hedge fund statistics for those researching the markets or industry.

Key Statistics

  • The market size of the hedge fund industry was approximately $8.3 trillion in 2020, from around $5 trillion in 2016.15
  • 13.9% is the average gain seen by global hedge funds between January and November in 2021.2
  • US hedge funds attracted $44.3 billion worth of cash in 2021.2
  • $4,319 billion is the total assets under the management of hedge funds by the end of the third quarter of 2021.3
  • With an AuM of $218 billion, US-based Millennium Capital Partners were the largest hedge in the world in 2021.
  • With $105 billion of Assets under Management, Capula Investment Management will be the largest hedge fund in the UK in 2021.14
  • With an AuM of $31 billion, Geneva-based Pictet Alternative Investments is the largest hedge fund in the Rest of Europe.15
  • $103.1 billion is the size of the hedge fund market in the US, measured by revenue.9
  • The 20 top-performing hedge funds earned $63.5 billion for clients in 2020, a record level in the last ten years.10
  • There were 150 active crypto hedge funds collectively managing $1 billion of the asset base in 2019.
  • 20.3% of hedge fund employees were women in 2020.16
  • 48% of female-managed hedge funds beat the market low in March 2020 through August- Goldman Sachs.16
  • With a net worth of $24.4 billion, Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies is the most prosperous hedge-fund manager on the Forbes 400 list.17
  • Public Pension Funds contributed 29% of the hedge fund capital in the third quarter of 2021.3

The hedge fund industry has grown consistently and recorded impressive performance over the last few years. These are unique investment firms that aren’t as regulated as mutual funds or ETFs. Being open-ended, they are also different from Private Equity. The hedge funds have enjoyed a strong run over the past decade, and investors now consider them a means of diversification and superior returns.

According to alternative investment data and indices company BarclayHedge, the 5-year net annualized returns of the top 50 funds were 14.81%, slightly lower than the S&P 500’s 15.22%. Also, from the beginning of 2016 to 2020, the group’s annualized standard deviation was 11.17%, compared to the market’s 15.13%.19

The market crash in early 2020 showed the importance of hedging. Despite negative notions, actively managed funds performed well. The pandemic has brought in some changes in the investors’ preferences, and the trends will likely continue beyond 2021. From a largely long-short equity strategy, hedge funds gradually shift to fixed-income strategies or CTAs.20

I have curated a list of impressive statistics on the hedge fund market. These statistics also demonstrate the changing industry trends and investor preferences.

Market Statistics

According to the Office of Financial Research, the market size of the hedge fund industry was approximately $8 trillion in 2020 from around $5 trillion in 2016.15 We can attribute the success of hedge funds to their complex trading strategies, advanced risk management, and the leveraging of short-selling.

  • Hedge fund assets under management are likely to increase 19.6% to $ 4.28 trillion from 2020 to 2025, at a CAGR of 3.6%.1
  • $900 million in the total fund flow into hedge funds in the first three quarters of 2021.2
  • $97.2 billion was the total hedge fund outflow in 2019.2
  • $44.5 billion as the total hedge fund outflow in 2020.2
  • 13.9% is the average gain seen by global hedge funds between January and November in 2021.2
  • Macro Strategy funds saw a 7% return in the first eleven months of 2021.2
  • Macro Strategy funds saw more than 14% return in the first eleven months of 2021.2
  • $24.7 billion worth of cash flowed into multi-strategy funds between January and October 2021.2
  • $13.1 billion worth of cash poured into managed futures funds between January and October 2021.2
  • $2.95 billion and $2.34 billion worth of cash has flown into Europe and Asian funds, respectively, in 2021.2
  • $12.6 billion was the total outflow from the long/short equity funds in 2021.2
  • 7016 is the total number of hedge fund investors by the end of the third quarter of 2021.3
  • 7,673 is the total number of hedge fund managers by the end of the third quarter of 2021.3
  • 22,238 are the total hedge funds by the end of the third quarter of 2021.3
  • $4,319 billion is the total assets under the management of hedge funds by the end of the third quarter of 2021.3
  • The Asia Pacific has $174 billion worth of hedge fund assets under management by the end of the third quarter of 2021.3
  • $7.5 billion in the total fund flow into hedge funds during the third quarter of 2021.3
  • 0.21% is the return earned by hedge funds during the third quarter of 2021.3
  • Hedge Funds industry revenue is expected to rise 13.2% in 2021.5
  • 67% of global hedge fund investors during the third quarter of 2021 belong to North America.3
  • 18% of the global hedge fund investors during the third quarter of 2021 belong to Europe.3
  • 7% of the global hedge fund investors during the third quarter of 2021 belong to Asia.3
  • 2% of the global hedge fund investors during the third quarter of 2021 belong to Latin America & Caribbean.3
  • 3% of the global hedge fund investors during the third quarter of 2021 belong to Australasia.3
  • 1% of the global hedge fund investors during the third quarter of 2021 belong to Africa.3
  • 1% of the global hedge fund investors during the third quarter of 2021 belong to the Middle East.3
  • With an AuM of $218 billion, US-based Millennium Capital Partner is the most significant hedge in the world in 2021.6
  • With an AuM of $216,314 million, Hong Kong-based Value Partners Group Limited is the world’s second-largest hedge fund in 2021.6
  • With an AuM of $110,894 million, US-based Fortress Investment Group is the world’s third-largest hedge fund in 2021.6
  • With an AuM of $105,951 million, London-based Capula Investment Management is the world’s fifth-largest hedge fund in 2021.6
  • The last three years saw approximately $140 billion of overall outflows for hedge funds.7
  • $82 billion was withdrawn by investors from hedge funds till November 2019.7
  • Only 529 hedge funds were launched in 2019, compared to 1,169 in 2018.7
  • The number of active funds in the industry shrank to 16,256 as liquidations outpaced new funds.7
  • With an asset under management of $162.9 billion, the largest player in the hedge fund industry was Bridgewater Associates in 2019.7
  • 55% of the global institutional investors for hedge fund assets prefer Asia-Pacific suggested a survey by Credit Suisse Group AG.8
  • 2% of the international institutional investors for hedge fund assets prefer North America, suggested a study by Credit Suisse Group AG.8

U.S. Hedge Funds Statistics

  • $103.1 billion is the size of the hedge fund market in the US.9
  • 86,912 is the number of people employed by the hedge fund industry in the US in 2021.9
  • 13.2% is the expected growth in the US Hedge Funds Business Growth in 2021.9
  • 10.9% is the annualized Business Growth of US Hedge Funds between 2016–2021.9
  • There are 3,691 Hedge Funds businesses in the US as of 2021, an increase of 2.8% from 2020.9
  • The United States accounted for three-quarters of the Assets Under Management (AuM) in the global hedge fund industry in 2019.7
  • The US had 3,405 out of the 5,523 global institutional investors active in hedge funds in 2019.7
  • The US had 3,319 out of the 5,383 active global hedge fund managers in 2019.7
  • US hedge funds attracted $44.3 billion worth of cash in 2021.2
  • North America has $3,416 billion worth of hedge fund assets under management by the end of the third quarter of 2021.3
  • North America has $1,47 trillion worth of hedge fund assets under management by the end of November 2020.4

U.K. Hedge Fund Statistics

  • The top 50 hedge fund companies account for more than $430 billion in assets under management in the UK.14
  • With $105 billion of Assets under Management, Capula Investment Management was the topmost hedge fund in the UK in 2021.14
  • With $64 billion of Assets under Management, Man Group was the second-largest hedge fund in the UK in 2021.14
  • Europe has $694 billion worth of hedge fund assets under management by the end of the third quarter of 2021.3

Rest of World Hedge Fund Statistics

  • With an AuM of $31,715 million, Geneva-based Pictet Alternative Investments is the largest hedge fund in the Rest of Europe.15
  • With an AuM of $15,000 million, Copenhagen-based Danske Capital is the second-largest hedge fund in the Rest of Europe.15
  • With an AuM of $14,200 million, Stockholm-based Brummer and Partners is the third-largest hedge fund in the Rest of Europe.15
  • The rest of world will have $35 billion worth of hedge fund assets under management by the end of the third quarter of 2021.3
  • $4.86 billion was the total outflow from the emerging market funds in 2021.2

Hedge Fund Performance Statistics

  • The 20 top-performing hedge funds earned $63.5 billion for clients in 2020, a record level in the last ten years.10
  • According to Hedge Fund Research data, the average hedge fund returned 11.6% in 2020, lagging behind the S&P 500 index’s 16% gain.10
  • Chase Coleman’s Tiger Global earned $10.4 billion in 2020.10
  • Israel Englander’s Millennium earned $10.2 billion in 2020.10
  • Steve Mandel’s Lone Pine earned $9.1 billion in 2020.10
  • Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global Investors earned $7.0 billion in 2020.10
  • Ken Griffin’s Citadel earned $6.2 billion in 2020.10
  • Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates earned $46.5 billion in 2020.10

Hedge Fund Employee Statistics

The hedge fund industry has broader job categories like investing, trading, risk management, marketing, accounting, legal and compliance, and support and administration). Except for the last two, all the others are financial roles in a hedge fund.

Female representation in hedge funds has increased over the period, and most of the investor relation roles are occupied by women. According to Prequin, since 2017, Asia-based hedge funds have had more female employees than North America or Europe.

  • 20.3% of hedge fund employees were women in 2020.16
  • 19.3% of hedge fund employees were women in February 2019.16
  • 18.6% of hedge fund employees were women in October 2017.16
  • Women held 31.5% of junior-level positions in hedge fund companies in 2020.16
  • Women occupied 23.7% of mid-level positions in hedge fund companies in 2020.16
  • Women occupied 12.2% of senior-level positions in hedge fund companies in 2020.16
  • 48% of female-managed hedge funds outperformed the market low in March 2020 through August- Goldman Sachs.16
  • 37% of male-managed hedge funds outperformed the market low in March 2020 through August– Goldman Sachs.16

Hedge Fund Manager Statistics

  • A hedge fund manager is solely responsible for handling the hedge fund’s everyday affairs, including raising capital and rebalancing investments periodically to maintain a specific risk/reward ratio.
  • Hedge fund managers usually earn pretty handsomely. They get paid a performance fee as an incentive, up to 20% of the fund’s profits, besides a 2% management fee. However, in some cases, fund managers accept 0% management and 30% performance instead of a traditional 2-20 fee structure.
  • Not all hedge fund managers earn equally, and the mentioned rate is a ballpark figure and varies across situations.
  • North America has 4,935 Hedge Fund managers.3
  • Europe has 1,382 Hedge Fund managers.3
  • The Asia Pacific has 992 Hedge Fund managers.3
  • The rest of the world has 360 Hedge Fund managers.3
  • With a net worth of $24.4 billion, Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies is the most prosperous hedge-fund manager on the Forbes 400 list.17
  • With a net worth of $20 billion, Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates is the second-richest hedge-fund manager on the Forbes 400 list.17

Hedge Funds Capital Statistics

Hedge funds are generally riskier than most other investments, and they require large amounts of money. This is why the prominent investors in hedge funds are institutional investors, who are professionals managing large amounts of money. Institutional investors provide 65% of the capital invested in hedge funds.

  • Public Pension Funds contributed 29% of the hedge fund capital in the third quarter of 2021.3
  • Private Pension Funds contributed 20% of the hedge fund capital in the third quarter of 2021.3
  • Endowment Plans contributed 11% of the hedge fund capital in the third quarter of 2021.3
  • Foundations contributed 9% of the hedge fund capital in the third quarter of 2021.3
  • 7% of the hedge fund capital is contributed by Asset Managers in the third quarter of 2021.3
  • Sovereign Wealth Fund contributes 6% of the hedge fund capital in the third quarter of 2021.3

Hedge Fund and Digital Assets

Hedge fund allocations to digital assets are on the rise. These assets include cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and DeFi technology. In some cases, it could also have Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). Jack Inglis, CEO of AIMA, said that diversification and exposure to a new value-driven asset could be the key reasons for investing in digital assets.11

  • Around 21% of hedge funds invest in digital assets with an average of 3% of their asset base.13
  • Approximately 25% of hedge fund managers are in late-stage planning to invest or looking to invest in digital assets.13
  • 82% of the respondents believe that the main obstacle to investing, regulatory uncertainty, is the greatest barrier.13
  • 64% of the respondents said they lack enough knowledge of digital assets.13
  • The total assets under the management of crypto hedge funds reached $6.6 billion by the end of October 2020.12
  • There were 150 active crypto hedge funds collectively managing $1 billion of the asset base in 2019. This excludes crypto index funds and crypto venture capital funds.13
  • Over 60% of the crypto hedge funds had an asset base of less than $10 million.13
  • Fewer than 10% of the crypto hedge funds managed over $50 million of assets.13
  • 54% of the Crypto Hedge Funds investors are high-net-worth individuals, while 30% are family offices.11
  • 92% of crypto hedge funds invested in Bitcoin in 2020.11
  • 67% of crypto hedge funds invested in Ethereum in 2020.11
  • 34% of crypto hedge funds invested in Litecoin in 2020.11
  • 34% of the crypto hedge funds will be domiciled in the Cayman Islands in 2020.11
  • 33% of the crypto hedge funds will be domiciled in the United States in 2020.11
  • 9% of the crypto hedge funds were domiciled in Gibraltar in 2020.11

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