The Absolute Hedge annual review picked out Odey UK Absolute Return fund as a standout performer, up 37.3% over the year, and CCP Quantitative Ucits (Cantab) managed by Matrix, which grew 14.7%.
Long/short equity funds were the top performing sector for Ucits funds last year. Kepler’s AH Long Short Equity Index advanced 6.2%, with over 80% of managers in the strategy delivering positive results for investors. Managed Futures were without a doubt the biggest disappointment of 2012 losing 7.8%.
Single-manager listed hedge funds grew by an estimated 8.2% on a NAV basis, though listed fund of hedge funds were only able to gain an estimated 2% on an NAV basis as the sector continued to shrink.
Assets under management in the Ucits sector grew by £14.5bn last year to hit £70bn, while investors continue to favour large, well diversified asset management firms over smaller more boutique hedge fund groups.
Kepler speculated that this may be due to the lower fees the larger firms charge, but believes the security a brand offers has hitherto been important for investors in this emerging universe. However, with risk appetite now returning to global markets, 2013 might mark a turnaround in this trend.