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Uncertainties reached record levels in 2018, making the job of active managers very difficult says Marlène Hassine Konqui

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Only 24% of active managers outperformed their benchmarks last year.

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 Uncertainties reached record level in 2018, making the job of active managers very difficult says Marlène Hassine Konqui
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Only 24% of active managers outperformed their benchmarks last year. Marlène Hassine Konqui, Lyxor Head of ETF Research, commented for Plus 24 Il Sole 24 Ore on the main findings of Lyxor’s annual study comparing the performance of active funds domiciled in Europe with that of their benchmarks.

“We looked in depth at how active managers performed across the market cycle. We show that active fund returns can be better during bear markets. Therefore what we are experiencing is more a chaotic market than a bear market”, she said.

The analysis looks at the performance of long short equity funds for the first time. On average, 35% of hedge funds outperformed their benchmark in 2018, above the average of 21% for the traditional equity equivalents in 2018.

“2018 was a bad year for hedge funds, having been penalized by the surge in volatility and equity market slump of Q4 in particular. The spike in rates caused by increased political concerns and the perceived risk of the US economy overheating also had an impact. They were forced to deleverage and missed the rotation from cyclicals into defensives”.

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