- Overview: Choppy waters ahead?
- Emerging markets: Special situations fund
- Roundtable: The emerging markets prize
- Regulation: Lessons from America
- Fund setup: Setting up home
- Performance: Reporting for duty
- Fund choice: Collective power
- Risk services: A high-wire act
ALTERNATIVES GET GROWN-UP
IN MANY WAYS this has been the year when alternative investments have finally had to grow up. Increasingly, alternatives are becoming part of the mainstream asset management industry, and this means theyÃÂ¢Ã¢?Â¬Ã¢?Â¢ve had to smarten up their act. Like Italian policemen, they may still look cool, but they realise they have a job to do, and that some boring filling-in of forms may be required.
This growing up has taken many forms. In some cases the impetus has come from within the industry, and in some from outside.
WeÃÂ¢Ã¢?Â¬Ã¢?Â¢ve seen hedge fund firms and private equity firms joining the traditional corporate ranks of the asset management industry. Some have taken offers from mainstream managers and been incorporated into larger entities. Others have simply reached sufficient size through organic growth that they now count as major industry players.
Meanwhile, outside pressure has come from regulators and investors alike. Here in Europe, thereÃÂ¢Ã¢?Â¬Ã¢?Â¢s MiFID to think about, while in the US the SECÃÂ¢Ã¢?Â¬Ã¢?Â¢s decision to require hedge fund managers to be registered investment advisers has had a dramatic impact.
Pressure has also come from investors. The increased allocation by institutions in Europe to hedge funds, private equity, real estate, emerging markets and other alternative investments is well documented. It has taken alternative investments into a new sphere where transparency and customer service are key considerations.
This special annual supplement on alternative investments charts latest developments in the dynamic and fast-changing alternative segment of the asset management business. A key focus this year is emerging markets,, which are discussed at length in the Raiffeisen Roundtable.
YesterdayÃÂ¢Ã¢?Â¬Ã¢?Â¢s emerging market is, of course, tomorrowÃÂ¢Ã¢?Â¬Ã¢?Â¢s developed market. A similar dynamic is at play in the alternative investment industry at the moment. Alternatives are becoming so grown-up, and such a key part of both institutional and private-client investment strategies, it seems that pretty soon they will be indistinguishable from the rest of the industry.
Ã?ÃÂ© Fiona Rintoul fe July 2006
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