Age appears to be a greater factor in relative hedge fund performance than size, according to a report by eVestment.
The report, Impact of Size and Age on Hedge Fund Performance: 2003 – 2013, says the hedge fund industry is maturing and composition is evolving as institutional investors have become the dominant investor.
The percentage of large funds older than five years is at a peak and new funds are launching larger and growing more quickly. The representation of mid-sized funds under two years old has increased from between five per cent to six per cent pre-financial crisis, to nearly 20 per cent in 2013.
While small funds outperformed large funds during the analysis period, the largest portion of this came in specific time bands (2003 and 2008) and from the smallest AUM sub-segments, an indication that replicating these results in practice would have been difficult.
In the five years since the financial crisis, small funds outperformed their medium and large peers in only two years and trailed both on a cumulative basis.
Age appears to play a greater factor in relative performance than size. An index created of funds with less than two years of track record (rebalanced annually) outperformed mid-aged (two to five years) and tenured (over five years) funds in each year from 2003 through 2013.