AIMA's end of year CEO letter
I am pleased to present our Global Review of the Year for 2021. It is with great satisfaction that I get to report that AIMA has continued to thrive despite the ongoing turbulence caused by the persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
2021 has been a year of progress as we found our way back to our offices and grappled with change on many fronts. Our membership globally continues to grow and become more diverse, to include more representation from private credit and digital assets. AIMA’s global teams have worked tirelessly over the past 12 months, delivering another record number of events, producing a raft of new industry guidance, publishing new thought-leadership as well as expanding our digital capabilities to support our advocacy and educational efforts.
The global events programme continues to be one of the key benefits which keeps our members connected and informed. Our flagship events, such as the Global Policy and Regulatory Forum and AIMA’s Global Investor Forum were once again produced digitally. We also debuted two new flagship conferences: Putting ESG into Practice and the AIMA Digital Assets Summit – recognising the increasing importance of ESG and digital assets. As with the majority of our events, we hope we can move them to in-person occasions when it is viable and safe to do so.
In total, AIMA hosted approximately 240 events with around 20,000 attendees. Virtual events are set to remain a part of the AIMA programme but, as we look to 2022, we plan to move back to in-person gatherings, where possible, with some already at the advanced planning stage.
To further strengthen our important engagement with the investor community, we launched the Global Investor Board which comprises senior leaders at global institutional investors (representing interests in public and private markets) which will provide oversight to AIMA’s investor outreach, further progress our sound practices work and education on the alternatives investment industry. For information relating to this board is due to be published shortly.
Our semi-annual Investor Intentions research series also continues to gain prominence and will continue in 2022, as will our regular calendar of investor-focused events.
2021 saw various regulatory requirements come into effect around EU Remuneration, SEC Marketing rules and the EU’s Cross-Broder Distribution of Funds Directive and Regulation and our Government and Regulatory Affairs (GRA) team engaged in the relevant consultations and provided the membership with guidance through these changes. Next year, our GRA team will focus on proposals from the European Commission to amend both MiFID II and short selling rules to ensure they remain fit for purpose. New AIFMD proposals will also be a significant area of focus for the team. In the US, we will be heavily engaged where the SEC has a full agenda on several issues that will impact members: short selling disclosures, market infrastructure, ESG and financial stability.
2021 was a year of implementation guidance with a particular focus on the emerging divergence between the EU and the UK post-Brexit. AIMA also produced guides on ESG and responsible investment. Our sound practices work concentrated on updates to the Fund Directors’ Guide, the Guide to Sound Practices for Cyber Security and the AITEC-AIMA DDQ for Vendor Technology and Cyber Security, as well as a new guide focused on customer due diligence.
For APAC, we published a Guide on the China Personal Information Protection Law, a Singapore AML Industry FAQ and a Singapore Over-the-Counter Derivatives Reporting Industry paper. Elsewhere, our Canada team updated the Risk Rating Guidelines for Hedge Funds, Alternative Mutual Funds and ETFs & Private Credit in Canada.
Next year, we will also produce a Digital Assets Industry Guide: Custody, Digital Assets Industry Guide: Trading and a Digital Assets DDQ.
Research and thought leadership
This year has seen further development of our digital output and the launch of ‘Holding Strong: Alternative Investments in a Volatile Market’, a news-style programme to raise awareness of alternative investments, which was co-produced with international broadcaster ITN. We also launched a new bi-weekly podcast, The Long-Short, which discusses the very latest insights on hedge funds and private credit.
The AIMA Hedge Fund Confidence Index has provided valuable insights into the health and prospects of the industry and will continue to be conducted in 2022, whilst the Investor Intentions series offers views and insights from the allocator universe. We have also seen a keen appetite to forge a diverse and inclusive industry and our papers on How to be an Ally and Gaining an edge: How hedge funds are navigating the new talent landscape, proved popular to members in addressing this aim.
On behalf of us all at AIMA, I would like to extend our sincere thanks to our members and sponsoring partners for their dedicated support and collaboration.
We are a mutual membership organisation and the input of individuals from our member firms in all our workstreams ensures that our output is the best that it can be. We work continuously to deliver value to our members.
Supporting you is our priority.
AIMA CEO, Jack Inglis, video message
In the spirit of AIMA's digital-first approach to information sharing, this year's CEO message is also available as a short video.
AIMA CEO, Jack Inglis, explains why the industry has "tremendous momentum" going into 2022 and how AIMA is well positioned to add value to its members in mitigating the myriad headwinds of the moment.
The Long-Short Podcast
The Long-Short is a new podcast by the Alternative Investment Management Association, focusing on the very latest insights on hedge funds and private credit.
Each bi-weekly episode will examine topical areas of interest from across the alternative investment universe with news, views and analysis delivered by AIMA’s global team, as well as a host of industry experts.
In the last episode of The Long-Short of 2021, AIMA CEO, Jack Inglis, looks back at a busy year for the association and the alternative investment industry, and sets out AIMA's stall for what to expect in 2022.
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This podcast is the sole property of the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA). This audio production and content are intended as indicative guidance only and are not to be taken or treated as a substitute for specific advice, whether legal advice or otherwise. AIMA permits use or sharing of the content in media or as an educational resource, provided always that proper attribution is made. The rights in the content and production, including copyright and database rights, belong to AIMA.