CEO blog: October Notes

By Jack Inglis, CEO, AIMA

Published: 13 October 2017

At an enjoyable dinner with a group of members last week it was asked that I highlight more often some of the key areas of interest in our work to help narrow down the large volume of information coming out from AIMA. I’ll be penning these every month and I welcome any input on the type of information you would like them to contain.

I’ve just read a news headline stating, “Hedge funds edge closer to ‘perfect’ 2017”. It is in sharp contrast to much of the media coverage in 2016 which was predicting a gloomy future for the industry. While perfection is perhaps an elusive state, the point being made is that every month this year has seen positive gains for hedge funds on average and you have to go back to 2003 since we last saw that.  Investor flows and intentions are positive so we have good reason for optimism as we head towards the end of the year.

Mind you it’s not as though managers don’t have other concerns on their hands. It is less than three months to go for firms to be compliant for MiFID II. AIMA has done a huge amount of work in helping people prepare for this. A lot of this is available via the MiFID section of our website (here). You can look at our checklist to verify what you have been implementing within your firms. More than that though, our team here is beginning to resemble a call centre as it deals with individual queries. I can promise that you don’t get the annoying voice recording of multiple options before you get to speak to someone who can help - so do give it a try.

We expect to be busy over the next few months helping members get to grips with our new modular Due Diligence Questionnaire for Investment Managers. It is 20 years since we first created it and this completely new version allows for considerable flexibility and ease of completion which we firmly believe will strengthen the exchange of information between manager and investor. Do get in touch with us if you require any help in adoption.

Over the past month we’ve hosted large conferences in Australia and Canada. What’s notable about these is the significant participation by institutional investors at these events. With around a third of attendees being allocators, these were good opportunities to hear from and meet them. It is no coincidence that we are seeing increased visitors to these forums from members not actually based in those countries. They are open to all and you should expect to see more such focused events from us in the future.

One of the most common questions we get at AIMA is “how are other people dealing with this?”, whether it be a new piece of regulation, a jurisdictional marketing opportunity or one of the many other issues where nobody wants to be an outlier.  At this time of year we often get asked if we can shed any light on compensation practices at managers. While we have not run our own research on this we are happy to alert our members to opportunities when we see them. Currently on our website is a link to an independent survey which grants you a free copy of the results if you complete it.

Finally, I always want to hear from members about what more we can do for you. Our governance process with the AIMA Council drives our strategy and how we channel our resources but is always enhanced by direction given by the wider membership. We will look to do a full membership survey in 2018 but in the meantime I welcome your feedback and suggestions. We want to be as good as you need us to be. Contact me at [email protected].