The results can be viewed below or a PDF version of the report can be downloaded here: GAIM 2016 Survey Results
In March 2016, EisnerAmper had the opportunity to participate in the annual GAIM Ops Cayman conference, one of the hedge fund industry’s leading operations and compliance events.
This year’s gathering brought together close to 500 operations, due diligence and compliance experts from the alternative investment industry. C-level personnel and fund managers made up the largest percentage of the attendees.
Over the course of the conference, the audience was polled on a variety of topics. The following report details those results.
As you review the responses, we want to offer our own insight to provide a more complete and in-depth look at the findings:
The Evolving Business Model for Hedge Funds
Fifty-five percent of respondents indicated the commingled hedge fund is not an endangered species.
While the commingled fund may not become extinct any time soon, the 2×20 pricing structure is long gone for equity based strategies. The 1.5×20 fee structure has grown in popularity due to pressure from the institutional investment community resulting from underperformance in recent years.
We anticipate that you will find hurdle rates incorporated into the incentive fee structure, wherein a manager must outperform a stated rate of return (e.g., 10-year bond) before the incentive can be taken.
Institutional Investor Perspective
More than 75% of respondents would consider increasing or beginning pursuing opportunities through liquid alternative products.
Liquid alternative mutual funds took off like wildfire from 2012-2014 as the number of new funds grew and AUM ballooned. However, for investors looking to gain access to certain strategies, the daily liquidity requirements for a liquid alternative mutual fund often prohibit certain securities and asset classes being included in the fund. These strategies are only accessible in a traditional commingled hedge fund structure.
More than half of the respondents felt it was important to meet personnel beyond the senior management team during operational due diligence (“ODD”) visits.
Post-Madoff, the role of ODD has grown dramatically. Whether investors are assigning the responsibility internally or outsource it to an ODD firm, managers must make sure their firms are of institutional quality from the front-middle-back office, legal/compliance, and infrastructure perspectives to win allocations.
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