Assets under management of hedge funds worldwide 1997-2020

Assets under management of hedge funds worldwide 1997-2020

Assets under management of hedge funds worldwide

The hedge fund industry boomed in the 1990s, and value of assets managed by hedge funds worldwide grew steadily until 2007. The value fell markedly the following year because of the financial crisis and did not recover until 2013. In 2020, the value reached over 3.8 trillion U.S. dollars, and the largest share of the assets are managed by hedge fund managers in the United States.

What is a hedge fund?
Hedge funds are a special type of investment instrument. The main goal of hedge funds is to achieve absolute return, but unlike in case of typical investment funds, they use unconventional methods to gain above average rate of return. The management techniques used by hedge funds can be for example long/short equity, market neutral or relative value arbitrage.

Alternative data usage among hedge fund managers
The use of alternative data among hedge fund managers is becoming more popular. Traditional institution’s datasets and company filings are being replaced by data such as app data, credit card data, and geolocations. Alternative data was mainly used as a research tool to help better improve investment decisions in 2020.

Assets under management of hedge funds worldwide 1997-2020
Value of assets managed by hedge funds worldwide from 1997 to 2020 (in billion U.S. dollars)
1997118.23
1998143.1
1999188.9
2000263.5
2001370.3
2002455.41
2003781.39
20041,185.73
20051,319.13
20061,695.83
20072,295.46
20081,449.76
20091,367.39
20101,402.73
20111,408.39
20121,481.92
20131,883.75
20142,024.83
20152,219.24
20162,367.48
20172,905.67
20182,878.1
20193,194.01
20203,826.3

Assets in Investment Funds

The statistic shows the managed assets in investment funds worldwide in 2019, by region. In the Americas, the managed fund assets amounted to 28.64 trillion U.S. dollars that year.

Assets managed by investment funds globally 2019, by region
Managed assets in investment funds worldwide in 2019, by region (in billion U.S. dollars)
Americas28.64
Europe18.81
Asia Pacific7.26
Africa0.18

Value of Hedge Fund Asset Flows

Value of hedge fund asset flows worldwide from 2015 to 2019, by hedge fund strategy

Hedge funds using “macro” fund management strategies lost more than 9.5 billion U.S. dollars in assets in 2019. “Credit strategy” hedge funds observed the largest money inflow in that year with 7.1 billion U.S. dollars.

Value of hedge fund asset flows 2015-2019, by strategy
Value of hedge fund asset flows worldwide from 2015 to 2019, by hedge fund strategy (in billion U.S. dollars)
Credit StrategiesNiche StrategiesMulti-StrategyEvent Driven StrategiesCTAsMacro StrategiesRelative Value StrategiesEquity StrategiesTotal Industry
20154.21.327.5-1.824.6-25.8-18.860.371.4
2016-28.2-0.8-22.5-2.925.2-5.9-24.7-50.3-109.8
2017-4.73.818.610.325.219-4.1-23.844.4
201813.8137.46.4-14.2-16.2-20.4-23.7-33.9
20197.1-4.7-31-31.4-11.3-9.5-4.7-18-97.2

Value of Hedge Fund Asset Flows

The American firm Bridgewater Associates was the largest hedge fund firm in the world as of June 2020. The firm managed assets worth almost 99 billion U.S. dollars that year. It is no surprise that the leading hedge fund firm is headquartered in the United States, as the country has the largest hedge fund industry in the world.

Hedge funds are alternative investments with freer rules than for example mutual funds, as they require less regulation from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Hedge fund managers therefore use a broad range of investment strategies which are typically not available to the traditional mutual fund manager. Some typical strategies are equity strategies, credit strategies, and macro strategies, just to name a few.

The development of hedge funds

The hedge fund industry dates to the late 1940s, when the first hedge fund strategy was created, but boomed in the 1990s. The value of assets under management of hedge funds worldwide grew markedly since the 1990s, from around 188 billion U.S. dollars in 1996, to over 3.8 trillion U.S. dollars in 2020.

Aum of the best performing hedge fund firms globally 2020
Assets under management of the largest hedge fund firms worldwide in June 2020 (in billion U.S. dollars)
Bridgewater Associates98.92
Renaissance Technologies70
Man Group62.3
Millennium Management43.91
Elliott Management42
BlackRock39.91
Two Sigma Investments/Advisers38.84
Citadel34.34
D.E. Shaw Group34.26
AQR Capital Management32.1
Davidson Kempner Capital Management31.85
Farallon Capital Management30
Baupost Group29.1
Marshall Wace27.8
Canyon Capital22.8
Wellington Alternative Investments21
Viking Global Investors19.95
Property Secured Investments2.25

Assets under management of hedge funds worldwide 1997-2020