The dichotomy of appealing to a wider population of investors and satisfying the demands of clients that want bespoke products is just part of the challenge for hedge fund managers and was discussed at length on Day One of GAIM Ops Cayman, which is taking place this week at the Ritz-Carlton in Grand Cayman.
Ingrid Pierce, global managing partner of international law firm Walkers, headquartered in Cayman, said these days it’s hard for funds to stand out without something new to sell, while investors are looking for increased levels of customization.
“Larger managers have the luxury of the right infrastructure to provide investors with the more bespoke products they desire and while many mid-sized managers do try to accommodate investors, it’s a real challenge to be all things to all people,” Pierce said.
Technology is the other big issue on her clients’ minds, not just to enhance their offering but also changes to their business and that of their vendors. Plus keeping pace with demands from investors and what can be done in house or will be outsourced.
“Clients also need to be able to keep up date with new policies and procedures introduced by regulatory bodies which has been increasing on a global scale and in the US in particular,” she said. “It’s stressful for compliance and ODD teams. They can’t afford to drop the ball.”
Despite the multitude of challenges, the industry mood, and that of the conference is upbeat, Pierce said. “It’s an exciting time for the industry. There is lots of movement right now with increased M&A activity and consolidation of businesses. Start-ups are also developing their own skills and niche areas. We are seeing a lot of people coming to the industry from the technology sector. Trading crypto might not have appealed to the industry before, but it is now attracting capital and the underlying technology is super interesting so I see a real intersection of these two worlds.”
GAIMOps Cayman, Hedge Funds, Investment, Cayman Islands