Hedge funds have recovered from the outflows which occurred during the global financial crisis, according to industry stalwart Kim Ivey, now an adviser to hedge fund managers and family offices.

Some are having a particularly good year now thanks to the extra volatility from the nervousness over China and the ramifications of Brexit.

Ivey, a founder of the annual Hedge Funds Rock & The Australian Hedge Fund Awards charity night, which is in its 15th year, and judging committee member of the Hedge Fund Awards, says trend-following strategies such as CTAs and managed futures have seen increased investor interest in the past few months, especially since Brexit.

But longer term, since 2008, it is “anything with a yield component” which has proved popular as investors become concerned with growing negative yields in traditional fixed interest markets.

“There is great diversity in the alternatives space,” Ivey says, “and as managers position themselves in changing market environments, there tends to be some cyclicality among strategy returns.”

There are 12 categories in the Hedge Fund Awards, including Best “Hedgie” video, which coincide with Hedge Funds Rock & The Australian Hedge Fund Awards at Sydney’s Ivy Ballroom on September 15, 2016. $100,000 from net sponsorships, ticket sales and donations is expected to be raised for the Red Kite charity, adding to about $4 million raised by the hedge fund industry since the first event in 2002.

Perennial challenges for Australian hedge fund managers include a propensity for big local super funds to look offshore to larger hedge fund managers for their exposures and, consequently, where to get the best traction in terms of meeting their intended fund flows.

Ivey says that family offices and high net worth investors were early supporters of the local industry in the 1990s, followed, gradually, by super funds and other institutional investors.

Later in the 1990s, super funds began investing in funds of hedge funds. Since the GFC, many fiduciary investors subsequently developed their due diligence efforts and internal teams to build customized alternative investment programs, augmenting their FoHF exposures with single-strategy funds or multi-strategy funds.

“There’s been good progress from the investor side understanding alternative managers and their strategies in the past 10 years,” Ivey says, “ but given the growing appeal of alternative investments, managers are still digesting the differing requirements of sovereign wealth, superannuation, offshore pension, HNW, family office and retail client bases.”

Super funds, in particular since the global financial crisis, are demanding their hedge funds be of “institutional grade” with respect to their business management and infrastructure.
“It’s not just with back office operations,” Ivey says. “If managers desire fiduciary institutions as clients, it is incumbent upon them to build quality client and consultant reporting mechanisms, automated trade reconciliations and collateral management systems, with dedicated operation, compliance and client service teams. This all takes time and money.”

Ivey says that “Investors are also interested in the sustainability of their alternative investment managers. Independent directors, board governance, strategic planning, and brand management….are all issues that managers should be prepared to discuss when in the due diligence phase with institutional investors.”

Alternative investment managers are becoming popular in the non-institutional market. Mathew Jeremy, another of the HFR judges says that “The Australian hedge fund industry has demonstrated flexibility and competiveness be responding to the demand for platform- friendly products from investors in the SMSF, adviser driven and pure retail space.”

Outside of the local investor base, “many successful Australian managers have also been able to attract Asian, European and North American investors which make up the nearly US$3 Trillion invested in alternative investment strategies”, Ivey says.

2016 Category finalists are:

Australian Hedge Fund of the Year:
(Winner to be announced on the Awards night)

Best Emerging Manager:
(Winner to be announced on the Awards night)

Best Fixed Income and Credit Fund:
Alexander Funds Management – Alexander Credit Opportunities Fund
Bluebay Asset Management LLP – The Bluebay Credit Alpha Long Short Fund
Equity Trustees – The Spectrum Strategic Income Fund

Best Global Macro / Futures Fund:
Man AHL Evolution Programme
ISAM Systematic Trend Fund
Commonwealth/Colonial First State Group – Aspect Diversified Futures-Class A

Best Long Short Equity Fund:
The Paragon Fund
The Macquarie Alpha Opportunities Fund
Regal Atlantic Absolute Return Fund
Best Market Neutral Fund.
The Macquarie European Alpha Fund
The Bennelong Long Short Equity Fund
Regal Tasman Market Neutral Fund

Best Multi Strategy Fund:
The CQS Directional Opportunities Fund
The Aurum Investor Fund
The Atrium Evolution Series Diversified Fund – AEF 9

Best Offshore Alternative Manager Operating in Australia:
AQR
Aspect Capital
Angelo Gordon & Co.

Hedge Funds Rock will also present an award to individuals in the below categories.

Best Investor Supporting Australian Managers:
A cross section of the Australian Hedge Fund industry were invited to nominate candidates for the best investor supporting local hedge funds.

Contribution to the Australian Hedge Fund Industry:
A cross-section of the Australian Hedge Fund industry were invited to nominate candidates for the best contributor to the Australian Hedge Fund industry.

Australian Hedge Fund of the Year:
(A winner decided by the judges will be announced on the Awards night)

The category finalists were selected upon by a combination of quantitative and qualitative factors agreed by the following panel of judges: Simon Ibbetson (Chair) from 358 Pty Ltd. , Matthew Jeremy from Caravel Consulting Services , Daniel Liptak from Arkaba Advisors, Angela Ashton from Evergreen Consultants, as well as Kim Ivey from Vertex Capital.

Media Contact:

Simrita Virk
Shed Media
svirk@shedmedia.com.au
M: 0434 531 172
D: 02 8226 2090

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