The findings are part of the bank's second annual survey of the investor base, and show that hedge funds continue to gain in size at the expense of traditional asset managers.
As the hedge fund market grows, investors are finding that diversified strategies are the most beneficial. The fastest growth is expected to come from funds of funds, which could grow by 41% in 2002.
The move towards diversification is backed up by data from the CSFB/Tremont hedge fund index, which shows that emerging market funds were the best performing sector in March. Emerging market hedge funds returned 3.9%, having posted a return of 2.9% the previous month.
Last year convertible arbitrage funds produced an impressive 15% profit, but the strategy is down 2.1% in 2002. The fluctuations show that hedge fund investors need to put money across a wide range of strategies to reduce the risk of poor performance.
But although the fund of funds sector is expected to grow, respondents to Goldman Sachs' survey said that fees for the sector would come under pressure. Some 33% of respondents expect a cut in fund of fund fees, compared with 15% for hedge funds.
Fund of fund investors also expect that their sources of capital will remain constant in 2002, with private investors providing the bulk of assets.
Despite the movement towards a higher diversification of strategies, long/short strategies remain the most popular, accounting for 40% of all assets. Convertible arbitrage and multi-strategy arbitrage each representing 10% of assets.
Goldman Sachs' findings contrast with those published last week by Hennessee Group, the US hedge fund advisory business. Hennessee said that merger arbitrage and convertible arbitrage constituted the largest share of assets in the industry, with both strategies comprising 16% of the market.