Hedge funds are cutting trading costs amid a decline in volumes and muted performance for the $2.1 trillion industry, a survey found.
Forty-four percent of hedge funds polled by Greenwich Associates said they will spend less on their trading desks than in 2011, according to a statement released by the Stamford, Connecticut-based company today. About 40 percent of hedge funds said their trading budgets would be unchanged this year, while 17 percent plan an increase, the survey found.
Hedge funds fell 4.4 percent on average in 2011, making it the industry’s second-worst year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The firms, which bet on rising and falling asset prices, have gained 3.6 percent through September of 2012, putting them on pace to trail the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index for the second straight year. Hedge funds cutting jobs include Louis Bacon’s Moore Capital Management LLC, three people with knowledge of the matter said last month.
Greenwich Associates surveyed 232 traders at asset-management firms, corporate treasuries, pensions, endowments, banks, insurers and hedge funds in April, according to the statement.
Hedge funds reported they are being more aggressive than other financial companies in reducing costs as just 20 percent of all firms said they would cut trading expenses this year. About 50 percent of survey respondents said they would spend the same amount in 2012 on trading and 30 percent plan to increase budgets, according to Greenwich Associates.
Hedge funds are planning cost cuts at a time when traders leave banks due to decreased risk-taking by lenders and smaller bonuses. Banks that have capped cash bonuses include Barclays Plc, Deutsche Bank AG and Morgan Stanley.
Moore, which manages $15 billion, cut as many as 15 investment jobs as it restructured one of its equity teams, said the people, who declined to be identified because the information is private. The New York-based firm had 208 employees involved in investment-advisory roles, including research, according to a March regulatory filing.