It is hard to work up much sympathy for newly-less-well-off hedge fund managers, given how rich the good times were. Nevertheless, they face continued pressure from redemptions, and (for most) high water mark provisions mean that they will probably get no or little in the way of upside fees (the 20 of the “2 and 20” formula) this year.
In the past, when that happened to hedge funds, they often imploded, as did Julian Robertson’s Tiger Funds, because the staff decamps to funds where the funds aren’t in a performance/fee hole and they stand to share in fat performance fees. But with the whole industry contracting, and many funds suffering fee pressure, mobility is not likely to be great.
From the Financial Times:
Hedge funds are suffering a New Year hangover of record proportions after an end-of-year rush to suspend or restrict withdrawals of money and the first of what is expected to be a wave of closures.
Hedge funds are facing a meagre year after their worst 12 months on record left most needing to make back hefty losses before they begin earning performance fees. More than 150 – including funds from some of the biggest names in the industry, such as Tudor Investment Corp, Citadel, Cerberus Capital and Highbridge Capital – have limited redemptions.
Prime brokers, which provide services to hedge funds, and managers predict continued selling pressure into the markets from suspended funds for months to come as they try to cash in hard-to-sell assets. Withdrawals are widely expected to continue to the end of the first quarter.