eVestment: Hedge Funds Book 14th Straight Positive Month In December

Jan 11 2018 | 12:00am ET

Hedge funds booked their 14th consecutive monthly gain in December, according to data from eVestment, the first time since 1999 that the industry has notched positive aggregate returns in all twelve months of a calendar year.

Hedge funds returned an average of +0.94% in December to end 2017 up +8.83%, eVestment said. This follows the +5.7% returned in 2016 and the -0.71% delivered in 2015.

Other highlights from eVestment’s report:

  • More than 80% of the industry was positive in 2017, and over 60% of funds improved upon their 2016 results.
  • Emerging markets, led by India and China, produced the industry’s best returns. India-focused funds returned +35.01% for the year, compared to +4.53% in 2016 and +3.87% in 2015. China-focused hedge funds came in a close second for the year, returning +34.82% in 2017.
  • Africa-Middle-East-focused funds came in second from a regional perspective, returning +16.42% in 2017, while North-America-focused and developed-Europe focused funds both returned almost +8.4%.
  • Among primary strategies, Long/Short Equity funds were the big winners in 2017, returning +11.79% for the year. Other primary strategy standouts included Quantitative Directional Equity funds, which returned +9.29% for the year, and Event Driven-Activist funds, which returned +8.49% for the year. 
  • Macro hedge funds ended last year in a mixed fashion. The macro universe was the only primary strategy where the average loss outpaced the average gain (-9.58% vs. +8.99%), eVestment said. Nonetheless, nearly 70% of the macro universe was able to produce gains in 2017.

Acquired by NASDAQ last September, Atlanta-based eVestment was founded in 2000 by Jim Minnick, Matt Crisp and Heath Wilson. The company boasts one of the largest, most comprehensive global databases of traditional and alternative strategies and provides institutional investment data intelligence and analytic solutions to clients worldwide.

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