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Italian hedge fund industry grows by EUR 2.3 billion in Q1 2004

Hedge fund assets under management in the Italian market reached a record level of EUR 8.5 billion as at the end of the first quarter of 2004, representing growth of 35% since 31 December 2003.

The Italian hedge fund industry had previously seen assets in hedge funds soar from EUR 2.2 billion in 2002 to EUR 6.2 billion by the end of last year, an increase of 180%.

These figures were revealed at the 4th Hedge Fund Conference in Milan last week by Raffaele Jerusalmi (See this week's Interview) Executive Director, Markets at Borsa Italiana.

Borsa Italiana Group, which has helped facilitate the rapid development of the hedge fund industry in Italy, hosted the one-day conference that featured some of the key players within the global hedge fund industry including Tanya Styblo Beber and Avi Tiomkin of Caxton Associates LLC, Glenn Dubin of Highbridge Capital Management and the legendary money manager Michael H.Steinhardt.

Three years after the launch of the first fund of fund authorised by Banca d'Italia, the growth of the hedge fund industry in Italy has been rapid, especially in the funds of hedge funds area.

Currently, 26 investment management companies are authorised by Banca d'Italia to manage speculative assets through a total 87 funds, of which 79 are funds of hedge funds and eight are single manager hedge funds. Single manager hedge funds in Italy manage assets amounting to EUR 347 million.*

Borsa Italiana has dedicated a team to hedge fund clients, among the most important players in its markets. The main aims of the team are to promote Italian-listed companies and to enhance the quality of the Italian markets.

The team has built up relationships with more than 100 US hedge funds (62 of which invest in Italy and seven of which count at least one Italian manager), over 90 in the UK (72 of which operate in Italy and 25 of which count at least one Italian manager), 20 in Switzerland (19 of which operate in Italy), eight in France (six of which operate in Italy) and a growing number in the rest of Europe.

*Source: Mondo Hedge

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