Locking in the Profits or Putting It All on Black? An Empirical Investigation into the Risk-Taking Behaviour of Hedge Fund Managers

41 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2009

See all articles by Andrew Clare

Andrew Clare

City University London - Sir John Cass Business School

Nick Motson

City University London - Sir John Cass Business School

Date Written: February 13, 2009

Abstract

In this paper we investigate the influence of two factors on the risk taking behaviour of hedge fund managers. The first factor is the past performance of the fund relative to the performance of each fund's peer. The second is the option-like features of the typical hedge fund manager's compensation structure. We aim to answer questions of the following kind: do those funds that find that their incentive option is out of the money increase risk or vice-versa? We then attempt to reconcile these results with the theoretical frameworks proposed. We believe these questions to be of critical importance given the recent performance of the hedge fund industry. Based upon their performance in 2008, it is clear that many hedge funds will find themselves considerably below their high water marks and with significantly less assets under management as we move into 2009. Our work here may help to throw some light on the likely response of hedge fund managers to this current crisis.

Keywords: hedge fund, risk, fees, high-water mark, portfolio choice

JEL Classification: G1, G2

Suggested Citation

Clare, Andrew D. and Motson, Nicholas E., Locking in the Profits or Putting It All on Black? An Empirical Investigation into the Risk-Taking Behaviour of Hedge Fund Managers (February 13, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1342266 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1342266

Andrew D. Clare

City University London - Sir John Cass Business School ( email )

106 Bunhill Row
London, EC1Y 8TZ
United Kingdom

Nicholas E. Motson (Contact Author)

City University London - Sir John Cass Business School ( email )

106 Bunhill Row
London, EC1Y 8TZ
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 20 7040 4074 (Phone)
+44 (0) 20 7040 8881 (Fax)

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