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Opalesque Roundtable Series - Pfäffikon 2012

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Welcome to Pfäffikon!

After our last Zurich Roundtable in 2010 we decided to focus on the “Greater Zurich” for our 2011 Roundtable, as indeed Zurich is surrounded by charming little towns which host quite a few hedge funds. The one we chose is thirty minutes away from Zurich and has views over the lake: it is called Pfäffikon, in canton Schwyz (see dedicated website: www.financevalley.ch) Pfäffikon, which is already the location to quite a few significant money managers such as Man Group, LGT, Horizon 21, 47 Degrees North, and Aeris Capital, has been actively seeking to attract more of them over the last few years. I saw quite a few office buildings and apartment blocks being built when I was there. You can read all about the advantages of being in this quiet Alpine location in our Roundtable report.

Here are some of the topics that were keenly discussed during the Roundtable:

  • How is the Swiss regulatory system reacting to developments on the European Union level - such as the future implementation of AIFMD and the revision of MiFID?
  • How are fund managers positioning themselves in the midst of the European sovereign debt crisis? How is the crisis impacting strategies? How is it affecting investors’ decisions?
  • What is the canton of Schwyz (SZ), and Pfäffikon in particular, doing to make itself as attractive as possible to the fund management community?
  • How is it taking advantage of tax uncertainties or higher taxes in other cantons? What is life like to work in Pfäffikon?
  • The mismatch between high liquidity and high performance; the problems of liquidity and illiquidity, including transaction and overhead cost, and lower performance as managers cannot allocate to best ideas (which may be illiquid). Why are investors pushed into liquid investments?
  • Insurance linked securities: why is the environment favourable for this upcoming asset class?
  • How will Solvency II create additional opportunities?
  • Why is this asset class attracting new entrants?
Our esteemed participants, namely:
  1. Walter Pfaff, Head of Asset Allocation & Research, LGT
  2. Georg Stucki, Partner, Kehrli & Zehnder Global Wealth Management
  3. Ronald P. Angst, Partner, Picard Angst Asset Management
  4. Dr. Tilman Keese, Co-Founder, Allmountain Capital
  5. Dirk Lohman, Chairman and Managing Partner, Secquaero Advisors
  6. Stefan Heieck, Co-Founder, Varus Capital Management
  7. Marcel Jouault, Pfäffikon Financial Center PFC
  8. Joe Taussig, Taussig Capital (sponsor)
  9. Sona Blessing, Opalesque Radio moderator
also talked about:
  • Start-ups: should they prioritize their focus on performance before seeking new money? And why investors may start migrating to them anyway?
  • How asset allocation has changed post-Madoff; the current lack of sticky money.
  • Why do some favour commodities going forward?
  • Which way do fund managers see currencies going (especially the Euro, USD and CHF)?
  • Regulators will not detect fraudsters. How do investors do it themselves?
  • Why is Switzerland a good enough place to run a CTA?
  • What drives fund managers towards launching UCITS funds? Do they all believe in this new structure?
The Roundtable took place in November 2011. We want to thank the 2011 Roundtable Series sponsors Taussig Capital and Custom House for their support, and the host of this Roundtable, Pfäffikon Financial Center.

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