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It has long been accepted that risk management is a core competency for generating absolute returns within a hedge fund strategy. Historic performance levels supported the view that expertise in identifying, measuring and managing risk was proprietary. Prior to the downturn, superior performance enabled hedge fund managers to diffuse investor requests for greater transparency in risk management practices. Today, however, proprietary processes - once considered a competitive advantage - are viewed as potential sources of undue risk. Amidst profound investor regret, embarrassment and distrust, investors, regulators and directors are demanding formal and comprehensive approaches to governance and risk management that are open to independent third-party review and evaluation.
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