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SBAI launches new programme for small and emerging fund managers

Wednesday, April 07, 2021
Opalesque Industry Update, for New Managers - The SBAI has launched a new programme for small and emerging managers - SPARK. The programme features prominent alternative investment industry leaders, in candid conversations, providing insight and tools to help small managers thrive.

The programme includes dedicated events with institutional investors discussing expectations and providing key takeaways for small and emerging managers to be successful in meeting the expectations of institutional investors.

Mario Therrien, Chairman of the SBAI and Head of Investment Funds and External Management at CDPQ said: "I am very excited about SPARK which will provide unique resources for small and emerging asset managers to generate operational alpha. Access to industry leaders responsible for accelerating and launching generations of "next generation" asset managers through the SBAI community is unparalleled. The programme embraces the mission of the SBAI which is to collectively improve investor outcomes and help managers thrive."

Kirk Sims, Head of the Emerging Manager Program at Teacher Retirement System of Texas said: "It's important that small and emerging managers have a vision for their future - where they will be in five years' time. SPARK can provide these managers with the resources and insight they need to ensure this plan for their business is in place."

The SPARK Programme is built on the foundations of the SBAI which are the Alternative Investment Standards, developed over time through extensive consultation with both asset managers and institutional investors. The dedicated SPARK webpage offers managers transparency tools and best practice guidance.

The SPARK launch event was held on 30th March and attracted registration from over 100 asset managers and allocators. Panellists from Albourne Partners, RockCreek, Teacher Retirement System of Texas and Whitebox Advisors LLC discussed the expectations on small and emerging managers and provided guidance for success including the need for transparency at every step of the process, having a plan for scalability and planning in advance for due diligence meetings.

Robert Sachs, Managing Director, Business Development at Whitebox Advisors LLC said: "There are challenges for newer entrants to the market, but the SBAI community is a great place to address those challenges by being part of the discussions and using the existing resources in place for guidance on best practices that have been designed in conjunction with allocators. Being part of the SBAI Working Groups is a real opportunity to be at the forefront of discussions in areas important to allocators such as Responsible Investment."

About the Standards Board for Alternative Investments (SBAI)

Established in 2008, the SBAI is an active alliance of alternative investment managers and investors dedicated to advancing responsible practices, partnership, and knowledge. At the core of the SBAI is an active community committed to knowledge sharing, informed dialog, and innovation. Together our network of allocators and managers create real world solutions to tomorrow's industry challenges. We set clear standards and actively promote responsible practice to normalise quality and fairness. The SBAI and the Alternative Investment Standards are supported by more than 140 alternative investment managers with over $1 trillion in alternative assets under management and by more than 90 major institutional investors, including sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, endowments, foundations, and fund of funds, overseeing $4 trillion in assets. More information about the SBAI can be found at

Press release

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