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Hedge funds earned US$1.5t for investors in last 10 years

[LONDON] Hedge funds earned US$1.5 trillion for their investors over the last ten years and more pension funds are increasing the amount of money they allocate to them, trade body Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) said on Wednesday.

The findings, based on data from industry tracker HFR, come as hedge funds face intense scrutiny following decisions by funds such as the California Public Employees' Retirement System and Netherlands' PFZW to pull out of them, citing high costs, complexity and poor performance.

"The global hedge fund industry has grown at approximately 10 per cent a year since the financial crisis, and much of this growth can be attributed to increased allocations from public and private pensions," AIMA Chief Executive Jack Inglis said.

"But at the same time, many trustees are asking questions about their existing or prospective hedge fund allocations," he said in a statement, launching a series of papers to help investors assess risks and benefits of hedge fund investing.

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The trade body said that one in every four dollars invested in the nearly US$3 trillion industry is sourced from public and private pension plans.

Hedge funds recorded net inflows worth US$76.4 billion last year, the highest since 2007. They earned investors US$140.3 billion in performance gains after fees in 2014, about 5 per cent of the assets they managed at the start of last year.