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A Comprehensive Outlook on Hedge Funds in 2024

Feb 13, 2024

The landscape for hedge funds continues to evolve amidst a rapidly changing global economy. Last year brought both challenges and opportunities, setting the stage for what promises to be an intriguing year for the hedge fund industry in 2024.

Let’s examine some key trends, challenges, and potential strategies that may shape the hedge fund outlook for the upcoming year.

Trends Shaping the Hedge Fund Industry in 2024


The role of technology in finance has been expanding, and hedge funds are no exception. In 2024, we can expect an increased focus on utilizing artificial intelligence (“AI”), machine learning, and data analytics to gain a competitive edge. AI has been the buzz term for the last few years. This is the year where AI will go from excitement to practical application. Hedge funds are likely to invest heavily in technology to enhance their trading strategies, risk management, and operational efficiency.

Institutional players, whether managers or allocators, are increasingly establishing multi-manager portfolios or managed account platforms. This approach offers benefits for both sides:

For Managers

  • Access to Top-Tier Portfolio Managers: Setting up a separately managed account (“SMA”) platform allows managers to collaborate with top-tier portfolio managers who may prefer to remain independent rather than joining a specific firm.

For Allocators

  • Diversification and Consolidation: Investing in multiple managers under one umbrella fund enables allocators to diversify their investments while managing them centrally.
  • Pricing Power and Economies of Scale: Allocators can leverage their combined investment volume to negotiate better terms with trading and financing counterparties, leading to cost savings and improved efficiency in execution.

Overall, the trend toward building multi-manager portfolios or managed account platforms reflects a strategic approach to portfolio management, offering benefits such as access to top talent, diversification, and enhanced negotiation power.

Private Credit

The private credit market is experiencing growth and maturation, expanding into private investment in public markets and driving competitive pricing and innovative structuring. Despite challenges such as a potential bank crisis and defaults, investor and borrower customization are expected to fuel deals. Private credit, with a market size of $1.6 trillion, offers opportunities amid shifting allocations from fixed income to private debt by institutional investors like pensions, sovereigns, and insurers.

Questions linger about borrower quality, the deployment of dry powder into riskier companies, and potential fallout from defaults. Despite these concerns, private credit is poised for significant growth, with a focus on ESG and potential retail investor exposure, driven by shorter hold times, partnerships with insurance firms, and customized investment strategies. The market appears to be transitioning toward asset management and insurance firms, with investor consolidation into large SMAs becoming increasingly prevalent. Customization remains a dominant theme in fundraising efforts.

Cryptocurrency and Digital Assets

The cryptocurrency market continues to captivate the financial industry, and hedge funds are no exception. As the regulatory environment for digital assets becomes clearer, hedge funds are expected to explore opportunities in the crypto space, whether through direct investments or by integrating blockchain technology into their operations.

Private Markets

The private markets sector is anticipated to recover from a sluggish 2023 M&A year, despite challenges such as decreased fundraising and increased regulatory pressures. The landscape may resemble the entry point of 2009/10, offering potential for the 2024 vintages. Evolution in GP formation is expected, with organic formation becoming more challenging, leading to increased M&A and strategic investments, particularly in areas like wealth management and VC spinouts.

Return dispersion among managers will widen, necessitating more careful manager selection, while large LPs seek partnerships and structure variations with key managers. Corporate divestitures and public-to-private transitions are on the rise globally, driven by factors like antitrust laws and inflation pressures, with the potential for significant acquisitions and consolidation. Value creation, balance sheet strength, and experienced staff are crucial for turnarounds and divestitures.

Challenges and Considerations

Regulatory Compliance

Last year was very active for regulatory action, with regulators focusing on short selling and fund liquidity and transparency. The evolving regulatory landscapes across jurisdictions pose challenges for hedge funds. Compliance with changing regulations is crucial, and staying abreast of developments is paramount to ensure continued operations within legal frameworks.

As part of a regulatory overhaul, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission plans to designate hedge funds trading treasuries as “dealers,” potentially leading to increased scrutiny and compliance costs for many firms.

Volatility and Risk Management

The potential for increased market volatility in 2024 may pose challenges for hedge funds. Effective risk-management strategies will be crucial to protect investors' capital and navigate the uncertainties associated with rapidly changing market conditions.

Talent Acquisition and Retention

The industry's demand for skilled professionals, particularly those well-versed in technology and data analytics, is likely to intensify. Hedge funds will need to focus on talent acquisition and retention strategies to stay robust in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Strategies for Success

Adopting Agile Investment Strategies

Hedge funds that can quickly adapt to changing market conditions and integrate new information into their investment processes will likely outperform their peers. Flexibility and agility will be key attributes for success in 2024.

Diversification Across Asset Classes

Given the uncertainties in the global economy, diversification remains a fundamental strategy. Hedge funds may consider spreading their investments across different asset classes to mitigate risks and enhance portfolio resilience.

Embracing Sustainable Investing

Integrating ESG considerations into investment strategies not only aligns with growing investor preferences but also serves as a risk-mitigation tool. Hedge funds that proactively incorporate sustainability factors into their decision-making processes may find themselves better positioned in the long run.


The hedge fund outlook for 2024 is marked by a dynamic interplay of technological advancements, shifting investor preferences, and global economic uncertainties. Navigating this complex landscape will require a combination of innovative strategies, effective risk management, and adaptability to changing market conditions. As hedge funds continue to evolve, staying ahead of the curve will be essential for success in the coming year.

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