Being overpaid is theft you can get away with. It would certainly be nice to be grossly overpaid for a change. According to Unigestion Holding SA, which invests $2 billion in hedge funds, nine out of ten hedge-fund managers are overpaid because management fees do not reflect falling interest rates. The fees, which still make up as much as 2 percent of a fund’s assets, represent a disproportionately high share of the total remuneration unrelated to performance, Nicolas Rousselet, head of hedge funds at Unigestion, told Bloomberg News in a phone interview on 11 Sep 2014.
According to a Deutsche Bank AG survey published in February 2013, the industry traditionally charges about 20 percent on performance and 2 percent on the total assets. The fees are coming down as investors paid an average 1.69 percent last year almost unchanged from 2012. Singaporean data provider, Eurekahedge Pte, said global hedge funds returned 8.6% in 2013 and 6.9% in 2012, compared with 10% to 21% in nine of the 11 years through 2010.
Based on Rousselet's comments, interest rates had been the basis to set the fees for fund managers. If fund managers can't do better than the going interest rates, investors had a risk free alternative. Conversely, fund managers should not be taking a haircut if interest rates are declining. Manager who can out perform the risk free interest rates should continue to be paid what they deserves.