The Amsterdam Investor Forum 2014 – Wednesday 12 February 2014 – Organized by ABN AMRO Clearing (www.abnamroclearing.com)
ABN AMRO hosted and organized the third Amsterdam Investor Forum at the ABN AMRO’s head office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The event focused on the opportunities and challenges currently facing the alternative investment industry. It also provided a strategic meeting place for institutional investors and (alternative) investment managers. VBK+CO attended the event and enjoyed the high caliber of speakers and panelists.
Highlights of the Event:
Panel discussion I
Seed Investors: A short introduction….what are they looking for nowadays?
· Mr. Clayton Heijman (Director Privium Fund Management)
· Mr. Howard Kurz (CEO lf Lily Pond Capital)
· Mr. Stephane Enguehard) (Head Development–Funds of Hedge at Lyxor Asset Management)
· Mr. Philippe Paquet (Deputy CEO of NewAlpha Asset Management)
· Mr. Jeroen Tielman (CEO of IMQubator)
All panelists represented large firms which are active as seed investor in the Hedge Fund industry.
One panelist mentioned: ”Seed investors are more and more looking at uncorrelated strategies instead of fixed income strategies. Further portfolio diversification is the name of the game and another common theme is that large long only funds are looking for hedge opportunities.”
Panelists agreed on the fact that the average minimum asset size for single manager funds to be profitable and therefore sustainable, increased from 50M to 100M. This increase causes barriers for new funds to start.
A solution to lower these barriers can be co-seeding. Currently there are not many funds seeded by more than one seeder. All of the panelist agreed that co-seeding can be a solution. Co-seeding can vastly increase distribution if seeders are from different geographic areas. One panelist mentioned: “Co-seeding can only be successful if co-seeders are complementary.”
Panel discussion II
Fund of Hedge Fund – Alpha hunters or assets gathers: Strategies for growth?
· Ms. Niki Natarajan (Editor at Investhedge)
· Mr. Max von Bismarck (Partner and Chief Executive Officer – Europe of Skybridge Capital)
· Mr. Alexandre Col (Head of the Investment Fund department of Edmond de Rothschild)
· Mr. Christopher Fawcett (Senior Investment Officer at Permal)
· Mr. Antoine Prudent (Global Head of Business Development & Solutions, UBP Alternative Investments)
All panelists represented large firms that manage FoF’s.
It is clear that appetite for FoHF’s is increasing again. FoHF’s, that did not perform well did not make it; FoHF managers that were able to keep performance levels survived and their ability to perform in difficult circumstances set them apart As always, the main topic were the fees. The main focus is now on fees of the underlying Hedge funds. Although fees are under pressure, managers and fund that have been able to perform well and adjusted well to changing market and regulatory conditions can still charge reasonable fees. Difference in fees between excellent and good managers is currently small and all panelists agreed that the difference should be reflected in fees.
AIFMD is an opportunity for FoHF’s to sell hedge funds. Small to mid-size managers have access to the market with FoHF’s. The difference between hedge fund consultants and FoHF’s managers is not always clear to the investor. This can be a threat for the industry since consultants are not taking any performance responsibility contrary to the FoHF’s managers. Investors are not always aware of this difference.
ABN AMRO’s request to visitors of the event to make an entrance contribution to the charity A4C (www.A4C.nl), resulted in total contribution of EUR 12,500.