Hedge Funds & Datastream

A short time ago I was asked about databases that have information on Hedge Funds (HF). HF are investment vehicles that use pooled funds to use investment strategies that generate high returns. Some of these funds are very aggressive and have a bad reputation. HF are not regulated in the same way as Mutual Funds which also use pooled funds to invest and generate returns. Mutual Funds (MF) are much more regulated and can be sold to the general Public. More information is available in text books and Investopedia & Wikipedia.

I know of only two databases that have information specifically on individual HF type organizations: Datastream and the CRSP Mutual Funds database. In both cases it possible to search on individual HF companies by name or code(s). In the case of Datastream HF and MF can be found in the Data Category Unit Trusts. Through the Criteria Search option (at the top left corner of the Navigator screen) you can find them:

The search options are limited but the most important options are name searches, and Market searches. In addition to this you can also do a quick search on the keyword “Hedge Fund” and this will also offer a filter option (on the left side of the screen) for Unit Trusts.

Another interesting option are the Constituent lists of Hedge Funds. These lists provide an easy way to get some country lists.

If you have a list of Lipper codes (ID codes) you can also upload a list of these in Datastream using the Excel option “Create list from range“. Lipper codes are created by Lipper, Inc. This company (nowadays) is a subsidiary of Thomson Reuters and provides provides mutual and hedge fund data.

LPID – Lipper Identification Code (= Lipper PermID)
Definition: Unique fund identifier code that Lipper assigns to each Share Class. The identifier code is form of 8 numeric’s which Datastream prefix with ‘LP’. Example LP40004324

When you have created your own selection of HF companies (using Market lists or manually) you can do a Static search to find out more about the type of HF and Focus:

Examples of available Datastream Data Types are:

ATYPE – Asset Type
The Lipper Asset Type item describes the primary asset of the fund, for example; Bond, Commodity, Equity, Mixed Asset, Money Market, Real Estate etc. As a general rule a fund will be placed according to its primary investment objective as stated by the promoter and given by the fund documents.

GFOCUS – Geographical Focus
The Lipper Geographical Focus item describes the primary countries or regions where the fund invests. As a general rule a fund must hold at least 50% of its assets in a country/region to be assigned the relevant attribute.

LGC – Lipper Global Classification
The Lipper Global Classification is a granular description of the fund investment strategy, built out from the Asset Type and Geographical Focus items to create homogeneous groups of funds with comparable investment objectives.

N.B.: More Background information on Lipper and the Classification Methodology are available on Wikipedia and the Lipper website.