Australia’s $43-billion hedge fund industry has survived the global financial crisis intact and has moved back into a “growth trajectory,” according to one of the judges at this year’s Hedge Fund of the Year Awards.

Matthew Jeremy, the managing director of Caravel Consulting Services, said the awards – led by overall winner, the BlackRock Australian Equity Market Neutral Fund – shows that the industry had learned from the losses of the last few years and had adopted “new processes to deal with challenging circumstances.”

“I think the industry has responded well to investor concerns on issues such as transparency, liquidity and governance, and is just now going from strength to strength,” said Jeremy.

“It’s been a hard couple of years for the industry and I think the awards show that things are coming back, and that is evidenced by the really good returns produced by the award winners.”


The best and the rest

Judges said that market-neutral and global-macro strategies dominated performance in a year that had been unforgiving to stock pickers.

Good sector calls “had separated the best from the rest,” judges said.

BlackRock’s Australian Equity Market Neutral Fund received double honours, winning the Hedge Fund of the Year and Best Market Neutral Fund awards. The wholesale fund delivered 22.49 per cent annualised returns gross of fees over two years to June 30.

Other winners across the 10 categories included the Optimal Australian Absolute Trust, which won the Best Long Short and Absolute Fund, and the GMO Systematic Global Macro Trust.

Several managers, Aurora, Optimal, GMO, Kapstream, Imperia, and Pengana, were backing up as winners from last year.

The annual Hedge Funds Rock awards event raised over $130,000 for the nominated charity, Cure Our Kids.

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