U.S. hedge fund managers such as Daniel Loeb at Third Point Management, Barry Rosenstein of Jana Partners and William Ackman of Pershing Square have become boldface names in the hedge fund sector in recent years.
Their funds are among the most prominent of some165 activist hedge funds in the world today, which collectively manage approximately $120 billion, according to a new paper by the Alternative Investment Management Association.
The larger hedge fund universe is currently awash in $3 trillion in assets and counting.
Activist hedge fund assets have increased six-fold in the last 10 years as these funds have bought shares in companies and sought to whip them into shape by improving corporate governance, changing strategy and improving capital efficiency.
Activist funds generated compound annualized returns of more than 50% from 2012 to 2014, AIMA reported.
The paper was produced in conjunction with the London law firm Simmons & Simmons.
It said two-thirds of activist hedge funds were located in the U.S., 15% in Europe and 14% in Asia.