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U.S. Hedge Funds Dominate Global Industry: Preqin

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With $2.2 trillion in assets under management at the end of the first half, 72% of the global total of $3.1 trillion, hedge funds in the U.S. are by far the dominant player in the industry.

Alternatives data provider Preqin reported that the U.S. was home to 3,170 of the 5,092 institutional investors active in hedge funds, and 3,209 of the 5,377 active hedge fund managers the firm tracks on its database.

The U.S. hedge fund sector grew by $13 billion in the January-to-June period, despite global outflows, and by $138 billion since the start of 2015, according to Preqin’s report.

The outlook for U.S.-based hedge funds is upbeat. A recent Preqin survey of some 270 managers found that 26% had an increase in the proportion of the assets allocated by investors, while just 4% reported a decrease.

Preqin reported that every state in the country was home to at least one institutional investor actively investing in hedge funds. New York leads all states with 544 active institutional investors, followed by California with 341, Massachusetts with 206, Illinois with 183 and Pennsylvania with 154.

The 77 New Jersey-based investors have an average current allocation to the hedge fund industry of 18.8%, the highest of any state. New York investors allocate an average 17.1%.

(This week, a report by New York’s Department of Financial Services castigated the state’s Common Retirement Fund for the high fees and mediocre performance of its hedge fund investments.)

Only five states contain no hedge fund managers, according to Preqin: Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and West Virginia.

Again, New York leads with 1,177 managers, 37% of U.S. total—and 94% of these are based in New York City. Collectively, these firms manage $1.1 trillion, 36% of global industry assets under management.

Furthermore, New York represents 46% of U.S.-based funds rolled out since 2009 and since 2015, Preqin said.

In terms of performance, hedge funds based in Texas have generated three-year annualized performance of 9%, the highest of any of the 10 states with the most active industries. Virginia-based vehicles recorded returns of 8.1%.

Hedge funds in Illinois, Connecticut and Massachusetts have fared less well over the same period, with annualized returns of 2.5%, 2.8% and 2.9%. respectively.

Pennsylvania-based hedge funds charge the lowest average performance fee of the 10 most active states, 17.5%, while those in in Virginia charge the highest average fee, 20%.

Massachusetts-based vehicles charge the lowest mean management fee, 1.3%, while those located in Illinois have the highest fee of any state, 1.6%.

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