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Horizons: Family Office & Investor Magazine

Q&A With PHF Capital's Peter Fletcher

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Opalesque: You are well known as a hedge fund investor and seeder. But you haven't been as positive on hedge funds lately, where do you see the industry headed?

PF: Hedge funds aren't an industry to me. I remember when it used to be a handful of people meeting up and working on ideas. The number of hedge funds has grown, surely, but they aren't as fun anymore. The alignment of interest with investors isn't there. No one had a problem paying 2/20 when the returns were there, but 2/20 for 7 percent is too much. I'm looking at alternatives to alternatives now. Globally, for example, family offices are doing more direct equity transactions among themselves, which I think is interesting.

Opalesque: As a consultant to family offices what are you working with them on? What are the key issues families are dealing with today?

PF: The biggest issue families face is transition and wealth preservation between generations. Families have a hard time moving from one generation to the next. That's why you see so many of them go to the third generation and then quit. People are different generation to generation and they have different goals. Preserving wealth for each generation is difficult.

Opalesque: How are family offices changing?

PF: More of them are developing a social vision and I think that's a positive sign. I've started working with foundations and families that are setting up foundations. There's a shift within the younger generations, they want to look at impact investing - they want to create positive outcomes. So, that's going to change how people think about their investments and what they d

Opalesque: Let's talk about investments. You're a thematic investor. What themes have your attention right now?

PF: Pandemics. If you start reading the reports on what's happening with the flu right now, or with superbugs - that can't be cured with antibiotics, there is a lot to think about there. The way we think about healthcare will have to change if we want to reckon with any of this.

I'm also looking at how we think about money. If you look at how technology is poised to change industry, it's innately deflationary. So we have to think about money differently in that context.

Another thing I'm looking at is cardboard.

Opalesque: Cardboard?

PF: Yes. If you look at how we're shopping now, it's all online. Everything comes in cardboard. So it's been interesting to learn more about who makes it, how it's used, there are opportunities there. Sometimes a theme can be big like pandemics, sometimes it's smaller like everything showing up at your house in a cardboard box.

B. McCann

 
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