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Document Type

Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Degree Program

Management

Year Degree Awarded

Fall 2014

First Advisor

Bing Liang

Subject Categories

Finance and Financial Management | Portfolio and Security Analysis

Abstract

In Essay 1, we find that, on average, hedge funds decrease leverage prior to the beginning of the financial crisis, with leverage remaining below the pre-crisis levels. We also find that younger funds with lower current leverage and stricter fund governance are more likely to increase leverage following favorable performance; funds exposed to higher risk, higher management fee and higher current leverage tend to delever. Managers increase leverage in order to enhance future performance following superior returns only to be disappointed. We find mixed evidence on the performance difference between levered and unlevered funds, but levered funds do survive longer.

In essays 2, we find that the presence of the management companies in their investment region is the most important source of the risk-adjusted performance. The funds with a presence in their investment region outperform other funds by 4.2 % per year. On average, 18% of the emerging market hedge funds have delivered positive and statistically significant alpha. Funds producing significant alphas experience greater capital inflows than the remainder. Have-alpha funds that experience high investor inflows do not have higher probabilities of being classified as beta-only funds nor have worse risk-adjusted returns in the future.

In essay 3, we find that historical returns are routinely revised. About two-thirds of the hedge funds in our sample have revised their previously reported performance. On average, more than one-fifth of monthly returns were revised after being first reported. We find that positive revisions significantly outnumber negative revisions to returns of December. We also find an obvious decreasing time trend in both the number and proportion of return revisions, even after adjusting for performance report recency. We find a strong connection between return revisions and desirable fund characteristics such as strong fund governance at the overall fund level, the individual fund level, and the individual revision level. The revised funds outperform unrevised funds after revisions. Our findings suggest that correction may be a plausible explanation for the return revisions in hedge fund performance report. We have not found direct evidence that hedge fund managers manipulate returns.

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