Can Israel Become a Serious Hedge Fund Hub? Omnia CEO Steven Wagner Comments to HFM Week
Since 2011, the Israeli hedge fund industry has doubled in size, with more growth projected by experts, HFM Week recently reported. According to the publication, there are approximately 120 active hedge funds in Israel managing $4.1bn, up from 60 firms managing $2bn only six years ago when fund admin Tzur Management began its annual Survey of Israeli Hedge Funds.
Key factors in the emergence of the Israeli hedge fund industry include significant regulatory changes, financial reforms in Israeli capital markets and the ability of Israeli institutional investors to allocate money outside of shekel-denominated securities. Also driving the growth is the availability of talent, especially for quantitative strategies – an important factor as approximately a quarter of funds in Israel are quantitative compared to 16% in the U.S.
Steven Wagner, co-founder and CEO of Omnia Family Wealth and the chair of the investment committee of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, also commented to HFM Week and predicted an increase in international allocators taking Israel seriously.
“As the industry picks up and we get more due diligence ability on the managers and track records, we would absolutely have an interest in it,” said Wagner.
While growth in Israel’s hedge fund space shows no signs of slowing down, it does face its fair share of challenges. These include the country’s underdeveloped hedge fund ecosystem, a shortage of talent with generalist financial expertise, and a lack of an established alternatives history and any lengthy track record, according to other experts interviewed by the publication.
To learn more, please see the full HFM Week article here.