The post-financial crisis world has been very, very good for Silver Point Capital.
After slogging through the illiquid atmosphere that pervaded the investing world when the real estate market collapsed, the firm, piloted by Edward Mule and Robert O'Shea, has risen to the top of the hedge fund world with stellar returns since its low-point in 2009.
Silver Point was the top-ranked hedge fund in 2013, according to rankings released Tuesday by Institutional Investor magazine, which gave the firm one of only eight "A" grades that it handed out. (See the full report here.)
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"Silver Point's first-place finish illustrates that for a firm to rate highly with investors, it needs to do more than just perform well," the magazine said.
Also getting "A" grades were Dan Loeb's Third Point; Boston-based Adage Capital Management; Paul Singer's Elliott Management; Citadel; Perry Capital; Davidson Kempner and CQS.
Rounding out the top 10 were Fortress Investment Group and Pine River Capital Management.
At the bottom of the rankings, which included 47 funds that received a "statistically significant" number of responses in the Institutional Investor survey, Bill Ackman's Pershing Square joined Bain and Cerberus.
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"Perhaps investors are not happy that (Pershing)—which generally runs a very concentrated portfolio—has stuck with its very large high-profile negative bet on Herbalife or maintained its support for retailer J.C. Penney Co. for as long as it did," the magazine said.
Respondents were asked to rank the companies according to eight criteria: alpha generation, risk management, alignment of interests; transparency, infrastructure, independent oversight, liquidity terms and investment relations.
A consistent theme through the survey indeed was that investors seek more than performance: They want a fund that is open about its strategies and activities and has investors' interest at heart.
—By CNBC's Jeff Cox. Follow him on Twitter @JeffCoxCNBCcom.