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Roundtable: Breaking models and innovation: investors demand pan-alternatives view

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Since the financial crisis, investment risks have been completely transformed. Correlations have changed altogether, and many asset managers experience the break down of most of their macro models. Fund managers and investors globally struggle with the interventionist environment. At the same time, some say the world has rarely been more predictable than it is now with the politicians and regulators setting the destination.

Hedge funds respond well to these challenges and do it through innovation. Through their expertise in areas like arbitrage, execution and risk, investor groups from the private wealth and high net worth communities can access benefits and strategies that were previously only available in the institutional space.

Funds of hedge funds have also innovated over the last five years, for example by running much more concentrated portfolios and offering specialized products, whether it be macro, fixed income, emerging managers, emerging market products, or by building a UCITS platform. Some funds of funds have full in-house trading capabilities and offer not only heightened transparency but they also actively manage risk at the FoF level through managing the strategy exposures or implementing thematic views. Investors who previously went directly to hedge funds are now starting to realize that they don’t have the resource to maintain the monitoring and active management they require. They are starting to look at using fund of fund managers and fund of hedge funds products again. This is also because they want real diversification benefits, which they may not really get by just allocating to large brand name hedge funds.

Investors want a pan-alternatives approach

A new trend within institutional investors is the move towards pan-alternatives portfolios. Those investors are not just talking about hedge funds or about private equity, but want to apply a much broader view and blend both liquid and illiquid types of exposures. Combinations of real assets, private equity and hedge funds are viewed as all part of a continuum for an overall alternatives exposure within portfolios.

The Opalesque 2013 U.K. Roundtable, sponsored by FFastFill, Eurex and Taussig Capital, took place in London on May 14th with:

  1. Dr. Ana Cukic Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer, Armstrong Investment Managers
  2. Andrew McCaffery- Global Head of Hedge Funds, Aberdeen Asset Management
  3. Hamish Purdue, President, FFastFill
  4. Joe Taussig, Founder, Taussig Capital 
  5. Nicolai Borcher Hansen, Partner, Fund Manager, Aros Capital Partners
  6. Martin Armitage-Smith, Portfolio Manager, Visible Earth
  7. Pierre Crama, Principal, Signet Capital Management
  8. Renaud Huck, Head of UK Institutional Investor Relations, Eurex 
  9. Scott Gibb, Partner & Fund Manager, Cube Capital
The group also discussed:
  • Opportunities: U.S. financials, Asia, Africa, global macro and emerging market debt. Are Basel III and Solvency II among the greatest opportunities of our lifetime?
  • Will the “futurization” of the financial markets result in more safety and activity? How to deal the big elephant in the room called EMIR?
  • How much can you rely on standard risk management solutions provided by firms like Albourne with OPERA or RiskMetrics? What other approaches are available?
  • Multi Strat Re: A low cost approach for hedge fund managers to tap assets from private equity, mutual funds, retail investors, financial institutions, pension funds, ERISA plans, and endowments. While they wouldn't invest in a hedge fund, many will invest in a reinsurance company, which has its assets managed by a hedge fund manager.
  • To what extent have UCITS become a new home for most hedge funds?

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The Opalesque Roundtable Series offers unparalleled intelligence on the most important global hedge fund jurisdictions and their players. The Roundtable Series is a free publication from Opalesque and is continually updated. Please scroll down to view the full selection of our Roundtables - covering the globe!

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