AIMA CEO Message - AIMA Journal, November 2021

By Jack Inglis, CEO

Published: 30 November 2021

In my previous foreword for this journal, I noted that change in the alternative investment industry was not only necessary but inevitable. The final AIMA Journal of 2021 enhances this point further and offers a guide on how to navigate this period of evolution, including managing external factors such as regulation and post-COVID central bank tapering through to adapting your operating model to thrive in the modern environment.

Firms must be “elastic”, embrace innovative technology, and fully leverage the maturing ecosystem of service providers where they offer superior solutions for any business function, including the front office, contributors argue. At the same time, conversations around improving company culture and supporting employee wellness remain a live issue in many firms.

Elsewhere, hedge funds are facing growing demands from investors for a greater diversity of products, including bespoke offerings, and investment strategies that conform to their new ESG policies.

Digital assets and access to private markets are among the most popular areas of exploration for hedge funds today and contributors provide insights on the execution and compliance challenges these markets bring, as well as outlining the opportunities.

However, contributors also advise hedge funds to avoid overburdening themselves with the operational complexities that these new strategies and tailored products present on their quest to meet the exposure requirements of their investors. Naturally, ESG is a prominent theme throughout this edition, and contributors unpack the complexities of the market and its developing rules frameworks. Readers will also find out why they should beware of jellyfish, as well as swans and elephants, as they navigate the ESG landscape. The other evergreen challenge of regulation is addressed in the round.

The Cayman Islands gets a double-billing, and the UK is also highlighted among more general concerns around compliance. Finally, readers are encouraged to make full use of the new Articles Library on the AIMA website, which allows users to revisit individual articles from all previous editions. The library includes the functionality to filter by topic, region, country, or year and will hopefully prove to be a valuable resource.