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The valuation of hedge funds' equity positions


  • Cici, Gjergji
  • Kempf, Alexander
  • Pütz, Alexander


We provide evidence on the valuation of equity positions by hedge fund advisors. Reported valuations deviate from standard valuations based on closing prices from CRSP for roughly seven percent of the positions. These deviations are economically significant for about 25 percent of the hedge fund advisors. Advisors with more pronounced valuation deviations show a stronger discontinuity in their reported returns around zero, manage a higher fraction of potentially fraudulent funds, show smoother reported returns, self-report to commercial databases, and are domiciled in offshore locations. Additional tests suggest that the documented equity valuation deviations respond to past performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Cici, Gjergji & Kempf, Alexander & Pütz, Alexander, 2011. "The valuation of hedge funds' equity positions," CFR Working Papers 10-15 [rev.], University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfrwps:1015r

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Getmansky, Mila & Lo, Andrew W. & Makarov, Igor, 2004. "An econometric model of serial correlation and illiquidity in hedge fund returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 529-609, December.
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    3. Bollen, Nicolas P. B. & Pool, Veronika K., 2008. "Conditional Return Smoothing in the Hedge Fund Industry," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(02), pages 267-298, June.
    4. Vikas Agarwal, 2004. "Risks and Portfolio Decisions Involving Hedge Funds," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(1), pages 63-98.
    5. Gavin Cassar & Joseph Gerakos, 2011. "Hedge Funds: Pricing Controls and the Smoothing of Self-reported Returns," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(5), pages 1698-1734.
    6. Pastor, Lubos & Stambaugh, Robert F., 2003. "Liquidity Risk and Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 642-685, June.
    7. Vikas Agarwal & Naveen D. Daniel & Narayan Y. Naik, 2011. "Do Hedge Funds Manage Their Reported Returns?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(10), pages 3281-3320.
    8. Adam L. Aiken & Christopher P. Clifford & Jesse Ellis, 2013. "Out of the Dark: Hedge Fund Reporting Biases and Commercial Databases," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 26(1), pages 208-243.
    9. Amihud, Yakov, 2002. "Illiquidity and stock returns: cross-section and time-series effects," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 31-56, January.
    10. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
    11. Nicolas P.B. Bollen & Veronika K. Pool, 2009. "Do Hedge Fund Managers Misreport Returns? Evidence from the Pooled Distribution," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(5), pages 2257-2288, October.
    12. Carl Ackermann & Richard McEnally & David Ravenscraft, 1999. "The Performance of Hedge Funds: Risk, Return, and Incentives," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 833-874, June.
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    More about this item


    hedge funds; fair value; return smoothing; valuation manipulation; fraud;

    JEL classification:

    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation


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