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Why Do Hedge Funds Avoid Disclosure? Evidence from Confidential 13F Filings

  • George O. Aragon (a1), Michael Hertzel (a1) and Zhen Shi (a2)

Abstract

We study a sample of Form 13F filings where fund advisors seek confidential treatment for some or all of their 13(f)-reportable positions. Consistent with the hypothesis that managers seek confidentiality to protect proprietary information, we find that confidential positions earn positive and significant abnormal returns over the post-filing confidential period. We also find that managers are more likely to seek confidential treatment of illiquid positions that are more susceptible to front-running. Overall, our analysis highlights important benefits of reduced disclosure that are relevant to the current policy debate on hedge fund transparency.

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