Hedge fund openings in the first quarter totaled 158, surpassing 145 liquidations, according to Hedge Fund Research data. The number of openings represents a decline from about 190 in both the previous quarter and Q1 of 2017, and it is the lowest total since the last three months of 2016, HFR data show.
An HFM Insights survey of 113 hedge fund managers found 63% said they were charging clients for research priced separately from other services under the EU's revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. Many of those billing clients for the research costs said they do so because they are small businesses and had not budgeted for such expenses, Bill Muysken of Mercer noted.
Hedge funds' average management fees declined to 1.43% in the first quarter, reaching a record low, as their assets under management increased to $3.215 trillion, hitting a record high, Hedge Fund Research said. "Hedge fund positioning has shifted from the equity beta that dominated 2017 to more sophisticated, strategic exposures on complex and volatile themes," HFR President Kenneth Heinz said.
Hedge fund returns increased 0.32% in May, up for a second straight month after rising 0.78% in April, the Bloomberg Hedge Fund Database shows. From January through May, hedge funds had gains of 0.39%, compared with the S&P 500's gains of 2%.
An investigation by the UK Financial Conduct Authority will seek to address the asset management industry's concerns about the EU's revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and its Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products regulation. The FCA will examine MiFID II's effects on investment research and the PRIIPs regulation's effect on disclosure.
Sponsors of even well-funded defined-benefit pension plans can cut expenses by terminating their plans and transferring obligations to annuities, writes Joe Rankin, who leads the Plante Moran employee benefits consulting practice. "[W]ith interest rates rising, buying annuities now is cheaper than it has been in years," he writes.
AXA Equitable said in its first-quarter earnings report that its individual retirement arm, which sells annuities and similar retirement products, produced $360 million in operating earnings, up from $202 million in a same quarter a year ago. AXA Equitable was spun off by its former parent company, Paris-based AXA, in an initial public offering earlier this year.
Companies that leave pension liabilities on their balance sheets will find that option more expensive than moving them into annuities sold by insurance companies, according to a number of experts at the 2018 PLANSPONSOR National Conference. They offered tips for plan sponsors looking to de-risk, including not moving all your retirees at once and avoiding peak times of year for insurance companies in order to get the most competitive price.
Outdated and incomplete information on investments and fees provided by many 401(k) disclosures makes it impossible for advisors and individual investors to determine whether rolling 401(k) assets into another retirement account makes sense, according to a report from Morningstar. "[T]his lack of transparency hamstrings advisors trying to act in their clients' best interests, particularly when they try to serve less-well-off clients," the report says.
Carter Validus Mission Critical REIT has sold data centers in Hartland, Wis., and Alpharetta, Ga., for $21 million and $64 million, respectively. The Milwaukee Data Center spans nearly 60,000 square feet and has a total net book value of about $17.4 million, while the Alpharetta Data Center II covers about 165,000 square feet and has an total net book value of about $55.1 million.
- Page 1