Guide to Hedge Funds: What they are, what they do, their by Philip Coggan

By Philip Coggan

These days most folk have heard the time period 'hedge fund' yet few are transparent approximately what precisely a hedge fund is or what it does. This consultant goals to place them within the photo with the readability and full of life prose that The Economist is legendary for. It presents a succinct survey of the for all those that imagine they need to find out about hedge cash, yet don't. it's geared toward all those that may want or need to care for a hedge fund: inner most traders, trustees of a pension fund, administrators of a indexed corporation, attorneys and accountants who might be drawn to operating within the undefined. it's also geared toward those that fortunately criticise hedge cash with out relatively figuring out what they do.

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Man has gradually focused on its hedge fund activities, selling off its commodity side and, in 2007, spinning off its futures brokerage business. The group has increased its public profile via its sponsorship of the annual Man Booker Prize for fiction (it has recently added an international and an Asian prize to the stable). It has also reflected ex-chief executive Stanley Fink’s interest in climate change by sponsoring an international climate change award and Global Cool, an initiative aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 10 billion tons.

So, rather like gunslingers in the wild west, stat arb managers have to worry that there will always be someone faster than they are. There has been a kind of arms race to execute trades as quickly as possible, with trades now executed in a thousandth of a second. Some even site their computers as close as possible to the stock exchange to minimise the time it takes their orders to travel down the wires. Stat arb managers also need markets to be liquid. Higgins says: There is clear evidence that they need very deep pockets to invest in research and development and to develop computer power.

But hedge funds would be attracted by that final dollar. With the use of leverage that can be turned into an attractive annualised return. Takeover bids, like other auctions, are subject to the “winner’s curse” – the successful predator ends up paying too much. As a result, shares in the predator generally fall when a bid is announced, while those in the prey rise. So a simple merger arbitrage would be to go long of the shares in the prey and short of those of the predator. 8% a month (around 10% a year) over the period 1981–96.

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