Three Essays on Hedge Funds: Performance Fees, Tail Risk and Performance Diversification

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Performance Fee, Tail Risk, Expected Shortfall, Portfolio Diversification

Hedge funds are favoured by pension funds, institutional investors, and high wealth investors for their flexible investment trading strategies and possible diversification benefits with existing portfolios. The following three research papers help us understand certain hedge fund characteristics by examining fund performance and by making comparisons to other types of investments. The first essay investigates the relationship between hedge fund performance fees and risk adjusted returns. The paper introduces an “effort” variable and reasons that the performance of hedge funds and the payoff of the performance fee contract are endogenously determined by the fund manager’s effort. The paper concludes that the performance fee contract aligns the interest of the fund manager and the investor, and creates a win-win risk sharing instead of a risk shifting situation. Empirically, we find that performance fees are positively associated with risk adjusted returns. The second essay examines the hedge fund tail risk in terms of the Value at Risk (VaR) and Expected Shortfall and compares these measures with those of mutual funds. It also studies the hedge fund tail risk dependence on the stock market index and VIX index as well as the phase-locking effect. The third essay studies the cross-sectional difference between hedge fund style indexes and industry portfolios. It also examines the diversification benefit of investing in a pool of hedge funds.

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Peter Klein
Business Administration: Faculty of Business Administration
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(Thesis) Ph.D.