More Hedge Funds Closed Than Opened in '17 as Returns Lagged

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(Bloomberg) -- More hedge funds closed than opened in 2017 amid lackluster performance. Yet it wasn’t all bad news for the industry.

A total of 784 funds were liquidated while 735 launched, according to data from Hedge Fund Research Friday. Liquidations, however, declined 25 percent last year compared with 2016 as the industry collected more assets.

In the fourth quarter, launches exceeded liquidations for the second straight quarter. An estimated 190 funds were started in the final quarter of 2017, up from 176 in the third quarter.

Even as the number of closures fell, many prominent managers shut funds. John Burbank’s Passport Capital announced plans in December to shutter one of its funds after losses. John Griffin and Neil Chriss were also among those who threw in the towel.

While the average management fee for funds launched in 2017 was 1.34 percent, a slight increase from the year before, the average incentive fee declined to 16.97 percent, a drop of more than 40 basis points from 2016 launches.

Hedge funds on average returned 6.7 percent on an asset-weighted basis last year, well below the performance of the S&P 500 Index.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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