Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hedge fund "convergence" is good for embattled industry

All About writes about "convergence" in the asset management industry.  Citing recent examples of Putnam launching an "absolute return" mutual fund and quant fund manager AQR starting its Diversified Arbitrage mutual fund, the story discusses how hedge funds are morphing into diversified financial institutions that are providing traditional asset management and investment banking services among other offerings not typically associated with the hedge fund business.

While this trend is good for hedge fund business, it is also good for the reputation of the industry.  The media don't appreciate the extent of the role hedge funds play in the global capital equation, particularly now, as commercial banks are severely constrained and the investment banking options reduced.  Why can't hedge funds and private equity firms be a driving force behind recapitalization of the banking industry and the broader economic recovery?  By stepping into the breach created by troubled banks, new institutions can be part of the solution -- and maybe, just maybe get credit for it.

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