The Nordic Fund Selection Forum is an annual conference dedicated to institutional investors, fund selectors and fund analysts in the Nordic region. APFI had the opportunity to speak about the digital future of fund selection involving big data and social media as well as digital implications on due diligence.
APFI was mentioned in the Ignites article Fund selectors draft manager questionnaire.
A group of European fund selectors are working on a standardised due diligence questionnaire aimed at facilitating the manager selection process. The Association of Professional Fund Investors, a trade body representing fund selectors across Europe, is drafting the industry-standard template with the aim of publishing a white paper on the topic in the near future.
The project comes in response to calls from fund selectors for greater uniformity with regard to the initial information supplied to them by fund managers at the beginning of the selection process.
Mussie Kidane, the top fund selector at Swiss bank Pictet and one of the four founding members of the APFI, says that when fund selectors become interested in a fund, they send a request to the manager for some basic information.
“The [APFI’s] idea is to have a sort of industry standard [in terms of] the information that is disclosed, instead of having to ask all sorts of questions [to different fund managers].”
Jon Beckett, UK research lead at the APFI, adds that a standardised due diligence document exists in other sectors, such as the hedge fund and private equity industries.
In the Investment Europe Article: ‘Testing fund selector prisoners on game theory’ Jon Beckett discusses the risks of choosing active managers.
“On empirical evidence alone, sales flows are telling us that the consensus already believes traditional alpha is a ‘zero sum game’ but also that ‘SmartBETA’ and portable alpha – through absolute return funds – may have potential.
However, what if we are looking at the active-passive choice all wrong, what if we are looking in the wrong places?”
In the Investment Europe Article: ‘APFI responds to UK IA ‘cost and charges’ proposals’ the APFI UK research lead Jon Beckett is quoted: “We agree with some of the high level principles set down in the IA paper. However this question cannot only be considered in the UK context and we believe the interests of fund investors – globally – need to be protected as part of any consultation.”
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has released a discussion paper on share classes of Ucits. The contents, as described by ESMA: “In this discussion paper, ESMA sets out its views on what constitutes a share class, including how to distinguish share classes from compartments of Ucits. The paper goes on to provide possible approaches to the extent of differentiation between share classes that should be permitted.”
Click here to see the APFI response to questions posed by ESMA concerning this discussion paper.
In his CityWire Article: Supertanker funds: all aboard or time to jump ship? Jon ‘JB’ Beckett, APFI’s UK Research Lead, discusses two of APFIs major themes: due diligence and regulatory concerns. Specifically, JB provides insight on how ‘supertanker’ funds are adjusting to the changing waters caused by AIFMD and incoming Ucits regulations.
APFI was given the opportunity to speak at the Aberdeen Asset Management Fund Selector Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Roland Meerdter led the Best practice in fund selection workshop on the second day of the forum. Topics for discussion included:
- What is driving the increasing concentration of flows into a narrow group of funds?
- Are professional fund investors at risk of creating bubbles as fund selection methodologies at different firms are becoming increasingly homogeneous?
- Could scenario planning help to reduce those risks?
In the CityWire Article: ‘Selector association APFI announces general assembly’ Mussie Kidane talks with French fund selectors. Click here for a short video of Mussie speaking about the creation and goals of APFI.
One of his quotes:
‘You have to be organised and have a voice. For that voice to be heard, we have to have momentum and also an organisational structure that allows it. So I think the APFI is the right way to do it. Together we have tremendous buying power.’