Funds News

Hedge funds run by women do well

BOSTON (Reuters) - Investors looking for better performing hedge funds may want to try putting their money into portfolios run by women or minorities, a new industry benchmark launched on Wednesday shows.

The HFRX Diversity Index tracks returns at firms owned and operated exclusively by women and minorities and shows these managers have long outpaced competitors around the world.

Since 2003, these managers have returned 11.26 percent annually net of fees, said Chicago-based hedge fund tracker Hedge Fund Research (HFR), which created the index.

Global hedge fund managers returned 7.76 percent during the same period, according to another one of the company’s benchmarks, the HFRX Global index.

HFR created the new benchmark at a time loosely regulated hedge funds are attracting billions of dollars in new assets every year from pension funds, endowments and wealthy individuals.

Together, the world’s estimated 9,000 hedge funds invest about $1.5 trillion (750 billion pounds), but only a fraction of these funds -- about 100 -- are owned and run by women and minorities.

“We responded to demand from large institutional investors like the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or Calpers,” Hedge Fund Research President Ken Heinz said.

Calpers invests $245 billion and was among the first pension funds to put money into hedge funds.

Heinz said his team reviewed funds such as Jane Siebels’ Green Cay Asset Management, Nancy Havens’ Havens Advisors, Tracy Maitland’s Advent Capital Management, Karen Finerman’s Metropolitan Capital Advisors and Jamie Zimmerman’s Litespeed Partners while creating the index.

The index will be rebalanced often and currently includes 15 hedge funds.