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Alternative risk premia in the form of bank-provided total return swaps provide effective, cheaper, and easier-to-access hedge fund returns.


Alternative risk premia (ARP) are designed to provide low-cost exposures to long–short risk premia often embedded in hedge fund returns. This article describes the performance of the ARP market in the form of bank-provided total return swaps, which are investable strategies that provide after-cost access to ARP. Over the 2010–20 period, many of these risk premia provided significantly positive returns. In addition, these ARP explain a high fraction of returns on hedge fund indexes, especially for quantitative strategies, along with traditional market factors. Finally, we find that ARP and market factors largely eat away hedge fund index returns.

About the Author(s)

Philippe Jorion

Philippe Jorion is a professor of finance at the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine.