International Asset Management (‘IAM’) is the proud sponsor of the IAM Hedge Fund Research Programme of the Financial Markets Group. Within this programme the LSE team undertakes independent research into aspects of the hedge fund industry. It is hoped that the results of this research will give greater understanding about this growing area of financial innovation.This research paper gives a broad introduction to the hedge fund industry, the historical background to the evolution of hedge funds, the fund of funds industry and provides an explanation of some of the terminology used within this area.As an overview of the industry the document does not attempt to address the use of hedge funds within the broader context of portfolio management such as organisational risk or other areas of concern for the investor. This is a nontechnical paper and as such is intended for students or practitioners seeking a general introduction and reference tool. It is not a survey of the research literature and citations are kept to a minimum.
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