Robotics. Big data. Artificial intelligence. Blockchain. Just five short years ago, and most would say even more recently, few would have uttered any of these words in the same breath as “hedge fund.” Whether viewed as innovation or evolution, the hedge fund industry has joined with the vast majority of the world in acknowledging the advent of, and the need to embrace, these business-altering technologies.
Technology-driven disruption is changing financial services organizations enterprise wide. Today, it’s not about having a digital strategy — it’s about defining your business strategy in a digital world. Disruptive innovation will touch every aspect of our lives. It is the future of business, and the world. The accelerated pace at which everything is changing means that the industry has to look at things differently and think in new ways. The industry must ask – how do we ensure we exist tomorrow? How do we streamline and automate our operations? How do we come up with new ideas and modernize our business model? The industry must become more agile, to anticipate and manage shifting investor demands, embrace convergence across asset classes and seize opportunities as they present themselves both within traditional financial services and beyond.
As you turn the pages of this, our 11th annual Global Hedge Fund and Investor Survey, ‘How will you embrace innovation to illuminate competitive advantages?’, we hope the observations help contribute to an ongoing and healthy dialogue that promotes the continued development and advancement of the global alternative fund industry. We would first like to express our gratitude to those managers and investors who provided viewpoints into the direction and development of this survey, as well as offer our thanks and appreciation to the more than 100 managers and 55 investors who gave their time and insight to provide such robust results. We believe that this combination of perspectives provides invaluable observations — both commonalities and differences — that continue to drive and shape our industry.