EY 2017 Global Hedge Fund and Investor Survey

This survey has highlighted the inroads that technology has been making, and will continue to make, at hedge funds. By no means is this an indication that people are not important and don’t have critical roles to play throughout a fund’s organization. However, roles and responsibilities are shifting. Across the front, middle and back office, individuals are spending less time performing routine tasks and are being redeployed to analytical and other strategic assignments. The amount of data available to front office analysts is exponentially larger than in years past. Analysing investment theses requires an awareness and ability to interpret this data, as well as to contemplate how others, including computers, may be doing the same. Middle and back office team members need to understand their technology solutions to be able to identify and investigate non-routine transactions, errors or reporting irregularities as well as to be able to more comprehensively analyse financial performance to add value to strategic business decisions. These individuals can be more focused on delivering “operational alpha” rather than checking every single transaction. These developments have changed the type of talent that hedge fund managers require, as well as how they retain these individuals despite significant competition from hedge funds and other industries.