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Alternative Market Briefing

Other Voices: The future of funds of funds

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

This article was authored by Bryan Goh, First Avenue Partners LLP, London.

We begin in the past: In the financial market collapse of 2008, one area of particular decline has been the fund of funds industry. Many fund of funds run to a greater or lesser degree, an asset liability mismatch. That is, they provide better liquidity terms than they receive from the hedge funds they invest in. The reasons for the existence of funds of funds include:

1. Aggregation of capital to provide access to hedge funds. Most hedge funds accept minimum subscriptions of 1 million USD. For the smaller sized investor, this is too much to construct a diversified portfolio.

2. Aggregation of investors for hedge fund managers. Funds of funds also serve an intermediary function for hedge funds who would otherwise incur investor acquisition costs of their own. Fund of funds incur costs of acquisition of investor capital.

3. Risk management. Investing in hedge funds involves analyzing complex risk profiles and aggregating them into a portfolio in such a way as to optimize the return to risk characteristics.

4. Manager sourcing and due diligence. As hedge fund investing is all about identifying skill and talent, as it is widely held in the investor community that the majority of hedge funds are of poor quality, there are high search costs. These search costs involve analysis of complex strategies, identif......................

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