Party on: Linzi Stoppard from Fuse
The party atmosphere was definitely lacking in Monaco this year for Fund Forum. Numbers were down and the usual lavish entertainment had been credit crunched. Still, the organisers professed themselves pleased with the turnout, and with the numbers of chief execs who turned up to sit on panels or address the conference.
Some providers were still doing things in style, but they were mostly the asset servicing arms of the banks. I enjoyed an evening at a swanky hotel by the sea courtesy of BNY Mellon, including a performance by electric violin duo Fuse. It was just right for Monaco!
New Zealand has a small but perfectly formed hedge fund industry. With nearly 30 managers signed up to NZara, the New Zealand Absolute Return Association
, they can proudly point to two years of outperformance against global hedge funds, CTAs or equity markets.
It is possible they look good over the two years of their existence because the index is largely made up of global macro funds, which have done well in that time. Anthony Limbrick, chief executive of Pure Capital and guiding light of NZara, claims Kiwi hedge funds do well because you have to be good to survive so far from the centre of things. The challenge is worth meeting, however, because the lifestyle is so good, he says. For dedicated hedgies, the chance to run money while living in beautiful surroundings near home and family is very attractive.
The only question is, if it’s so lovely in New Zealand, why are there so many Kiwis in London?
Lord Turner warned hedge funds might become a target in Europe
Even the European Commission’s own experts think it is going too far with its proposals for regulating the hedge fund industry.
Jaques de Larosière, author of an influential report on financial supervision, told a seminar in London the Commission’s draft directive on alternative investment management went much further than he had recommended. The report came to the conclusion hedge funds were not a systemic issue, but the draft directive proposes regulating some aspects of alternative funds even more tightly than Ucits, the retail investment vehicle.
As leader of a ‘High Level Group’, one might expect M. de Larosière’s words to have some weight.
The seminar, hosted by Business for New Europe, also heard from Lord Turner, chairman of the UK’s Financial Services Authority, who warned hedge funds might become a “target” in Europe, and Lord Myners, the UK financial services secretary to the Treasury, who called the directive “flawed”.
The Alternative Investment Management Association welcomed these comments – as well it might!