AIMA event to hear about the future of the alternative investment industry in APAC

By Michael Bugel, Managing Director, Co-Head of APAC, and Kher Sheng Lee, Managing Director, Co-Head of APAC and Deputy Global Head of Government Affairs , AIMA

Published: 26 February 2018

On 1st March, before an audience of several hundred investment managers, service provider companies and institutional investors, speakers at the fourth AIMA APAC Annual Forum will discuss the steps that the alternative investment industry is taking to ensure future growth and prosperity for the Asia-Pacific economy. It will be a timely series of discussions, coming only a few weeks after spikes in market volatility raised questions about the future direction of equity and bond markets, and amid rapid technological change that is driving demand for knowledge about cryptocurrencies, cyber security and artificial intelligence – all of which feature on our agenda.

The AIMA APAC Annual Forum is a big event for Asia, but it has also become a firm fixture in the global alternative investment industry calendar. Reflecting its heightened status today, the Forum on 1st March will feature some very successful and innovative firms from across Asia and around the world. AIMA’s global CEO, Jack Inglis, will deliver the opening remarks, while our Global Chair, Simon Lorne of Millennium Management, will give the opening keynote speech. Other investment firms represented on the speaking roster include BFAM Partners, BlackRock, Kenetic Capital, Lansdowne Partners, LIM Group, Man Group, Marshall Wace, PAG, Petrel Capital, Point72, Oasis, ShoreVest Capital, Sycamore Capital, Tybourne Capital, and Worldquant.

The programme will have something for everyone. Our panel discussions will cover timely subjects such as activism, setting up in China, crisis management, regulatory developments, paying for research, and of course all things tech.

We are particularly looking forward to a panel that Jack will moderate about the future of the industry. The backdrop to this discussion is a major report that AIMA will publish in the next few weeks, based on a series of conversations we have undertaken with some of the most influential and important industry figures across APAC and around the world. Those interviews also touched on matters related to diversity in the industry’s workforce.  Never has this been a more important topic, so it is very gratifying to have so many women speaking at the Forum. We want to thank all our speakers for agreeing to join us in Hong Kong on 1st March and share their unique perspectives. 

The success of this annual event also reflects AIMA’s greater profile in the region today. Hong Kong has long been a key market for AIMA, and it is of course strategically important that we have a major presence both in HK and Shanghai. Our activities in Singapore, Japan and Australia go from strength to strength.  AIMA membership in APAC grew by about 12% last year. There are now around 600 corporate members across the region.

We hosted over 100 events in APAC last year with more than 5,000 attendees. There were record attendances for our big annual conferences in Singapore, Australia and Japan, while the 2017 running of the AIMA APAC Annual Forum drew about 450 people, making it one of AIMA’s largest ever conferences globally, not only in Asia.

The industry also enjoyed a good year. Over $150bn in investor capital is now managed from Asia – an increase of 16% since the end of 2016. Asia-focused funds, many of them managed in the region, returned about 19% on average. That’s well ahead of the global average for hedge funds of about 11%. The excellent track record of Asian hedge funds and the quality of the investment opportunity set in the region is generating renewed optimism and a sense that 2018 could see many more new entrants to the sector.

But while performance last year was strong, the number of new management firms starting up across Asia-Pacific was at its lowest level for a number of years. AIMA will continue to engage closely and constructively with regulators and policymakers across the region. We want smart regulation that protects investors and mitigates against systemic risk. But we also want to find solutions to ensure that barriers to entry are not too high for potential start-ups. The foundations are stronger than ever, and we will continue to play a constructive and positive role in identifying opportunities for future growth.

*The AIMA APAC Annual Forum will be held at the JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong, One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong, on Thursday, 1st March 2018. Click here to register.