Best North American Hedge Fund Research Provider – Preqin

Preqin was established 13 years ago, over which time it has evolved to become the pre-eminent data and research provider for the alternative asset management industry. Since day one, Preqin's objective has always been to shine a light on what has, historically, been an opaque industry. 

"We are the go-to people for anyone wanting information on alternative assets because of the timeliness, accuracy and breadth of data we provide," comments Amy Bensted (pictured), Head of Hedge Fund Products at Preqin. 

With respect to hedge funds, Preqin looks closely at institutional investor activity, as well as fund manager performance, and has built out an impressive data infrastructure over the last decade. Forging relationships with both investors and managers has been key to this. 

"We have a large research team of around 150 people globally. We have teams that interview institutional investors about their portfolios, as well as teams that focus on building relationships with fund managers to find out how their investments are doing and what new launches they have planned. We're always on the front line, delivering value through the products and services we provide in the form of unique and first-hand data," says Bensted. 

Preqin has offices in New York, San Francisco, London and Singapore. Its online databases, premium publications, research reports and newsletters (such as the monthly Hedge Fund Spotlight series), and benchmark indices are utilised on a daily basis by more than 24,000 industry professionals across nearly 100 countries. 

Preqin has research and client relations teams in North America, Europe and Asia, enabling it to understand exactly how the most important hedge fund markets are evolving on a local basis. "The US is where most of the institutional money is coming from; it's where the majority of fund managers are based. In the last couple of years we've seen the rise of liquid alternative mutual funds and have responded to that trend by building out our data capabilities," says Bensted. 

"One of our key objectives is to shine a light on the industry and to be a thought leader through our engagement with the entire alternative assets community. We make sure that every corner of the business, from client services to research to marketing, technology and product management, is pulling in the same direction."

Of particular value are Preqin's research reports. They are, says Bensted, a key differentiator by providing a true 360-degree view. "We don't just track investor sentiment and fund performance; we also look at fund managers, new launches; we speak with service providers on market trends and developments. These reports provide a really in-depth view of the alternative assets market," notes Bensted.

Indices are another important tool. Preqin has created hundreds of different benchmarks over time that clients can access and drill down to see the funds in those benchmarks and derive real value out of the data. It is, says Bensted, about giving clients the opportunity to compare their fund, or portfolio of funds, to a peer group of funds. 

"We are always adding new benchmarks. It's about cutting up the data we work hard to collect into useful chunks to help industry participants better assess the dynamics in specific areas of the hedge fund market," adds Bensted

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