Interesting piece on Politico.com today, with Managed Funds Association CEO Richard Baker talking about how the hedge fund industry can improve its public image. Citing the recession and tight financial regulations as damaging perception of the hedge fund market, Baker is encouraging industry insiders to reach out to the media and public, to dispel what he says are myths about the way advisers practice their business.
Baker points to a Domino's Pizza commercial that shows the company's CEO handing out free pizzas on Wall Street, but refusing its handout to a character dubbed Mr. Hedge Fund. Baker said "The sad fact for me was not the ad; the sad fact was that I know somewhere ... there is polling data that indicates talking bad about hedge funds helps sell pizza."
"We have an enormous job ahead of us in providing understanding about the industry that is based in the actual market role we play, as opposed to the perceptions that have been allowed to build,” he said in an interview. “It's much like a candidate in a race that's running against an aggressive opponent. If you let the other opponent define who you are, pretty soon that's who you are."