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Alternative Market Briefing

Specialist insurance firm finds that more hedge funds buy key man life insurance post financial crisis

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

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David Parker
Beverly Chandler, Opalesque London: Specialist hedge fund insurance group SKCG Group reports that institutional investors are pressurising hedge funds to buy key man life insurance to protect against the risk of a manager’s sudden demise.

The firm says that according to a recent survey in Institutional Investor magazine, more than $600 billion is currently managed by hedge funds whose founders will turn at least 60 in the next decade. "The retirement – or death – of star traders can wreak havoc on an asset management firm. "Billions of dollars worth of assets…are at stake," the publication states in its June, 2012 cover story on the dearth of succession plans at hedge funds".

"Hedge funds are unique. Their 'product’ is achieving positive returns and that product is often completely dependent on the intelligence and skill of one or more individuals within the firm," says David Parker, President of the Employee Benefits Division at White Plains, New York-based SKCG Group. "If a fund loses one of those individuals, the next step is often the dissolution of the company. Key man insurance can make the difference between an orderly wind down and a chaotic one," he adds.

According to their figures, SKCG estimates insurance companies wrote 10% more key man policies in 2011, compared to 2008. "It has become one more item on the institutional investors’ check list, a list that has been growing since the financial crisis ca......................

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