Leading Australian Hedge Fund Names Earl Reginald Stevenson It's Senior Managing Partner

Alcovertis has named former Silicon Valley visionary and software developer, Earl Reginald Stevenson as its Senior Managing Partner heading up its Australian operations.

Alcovertis has named former Silicon Valley visionary and software developer, Earl Reginald Stevenson as its Senior Managing Partner heading up its Australian operations.

Alcovertis is a privately hedge fund conglomerate based in Australia with commercial interests in Europe, the Middle East, Canada and Australia. Since its inceptionAlcovertis has established a successful presence in both the funds management and private equity markets and has won industry awards in both categories. It owns and manages significant businesses globally, it also measures its success through contributing to positive and lasting change in the wider community.

Although the term 'hedge fund' has arguably meant a less-than-perfect experience for many northern hemisphere investors since the onset of the global financial crisis (GFC), in Australia, the investor experience has been remarkably positive - not only in quantitative terms of performance and risk, but also in qualitative aspects such as accessibility, liquidity and fees.

This is particularly so in the case of equity-based funds.

According to independent data from research firm Australian Fund Monitors (AFM), (covers more than 300 Australian absolute return and hedge funds), its AFM Equity Fund Index - which tracks 199 Australian-offered funds - out-performed the S&P/ASX 200 Accumulation Index over the period January 2003 to November 2013, with a return of 12.08% per annum as compared to 10.24% per annum respectively.

The universe of funds covered by the AFM Equity Fund Index covers a range of strategies, including market-neutral, long-only, income, long/short, buy/write, even-driven and 130/30.

In conclusion, strong performance, achieved with less risk, cannot go unnoticed, and absolute return funds are fielding much more interest than ever before. According to data from research house Rainmaker Information, the Australian hedge fund sector now manages about $37 billion of the Australian superannuation pool, compared to $20 billion just prior to the GFC. While that still only represents less than 3% of total assets, we are looking more at the growth rate than the total quantum of funds. There is significant room to grow. It is also note-worthy in this regard that the 'apex predator' of the Australian funds management industry, the $82 billion Future Fund (the Australian government's quasi-sovereign wealth fund), is a big investor in what it calls 'skill-based strategies,' across a variety of asset classes, using a combination of fund-of-funds and direct hedge fund investments. The Future Fund, established in 2006, is the biggest user of hedge funds in Australia, although it recently lowered its alternatives allocation from 16.3% to 15.3%, according to its March 2013 quarterly fund update. Having such an influential investor so committed to hedge funds cannot help but increase awareness of the sector.

So while hedge funds might not be suitable for everyone - and their structures, strategies and risks certainly require additional research and understanding on the part of the investor - the reality is that the best funds provide outstanding performance with significantly lower volatility than traditional managed funds. There is possibly not an investor in Australia who is not at least interested in that proposition.