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The London-based Alternative Investment Management Association has launched an updated version of its Offshore Alternative Fund Directors' Guide, first published in June 2005, as the latest addition to the association's body of work to encourage sound practices and corporate governance in the hedge fund industry.

The guide also reflects the association's ongoing efforts to set standards for the global hedge fund industry. Aima's efforts now include initiatives in the areas of governance, hedge fund management, valuation, fund administration and business continuity.

The new guide appears at a time of increased scrutiny and debate surrounding the role of directors of offshore funds, particularly hedge funds, and it provides advice on the selection and appointment of directors of offshore funds aimed both at fund sponsors and individuals that are considering serving as directors.

The revised guide includes recommendations in key areas such as the independence of non-executive directors and conflicts of interest, as well as auditors' communications and representations to the board.

It explains the fundamental legal and tax implications that need be taken into consideration when directors are appointed to a fund, and sets out the basic tasks fund directors should carry out, as well as guidelines on issues such as liability insurance and taxation.

'This is a vital initiative for an evolving global industry,' says Aima deputy chief executive Andrew Baker. 'Hedge fund corporate governance is very much under the spotlight, so this guide is a timely addition to the toolkit and shows how Aima continues to lead the way for practitioners.

'Our aim is to provide as much clarity as possible in an ever more complex and demanding area, so that the industry can improve the knowledge of people performing this most important of roles. It is essential that we continue to acknowledge the desire of policymakers, regulators and investors to focus on the improvement of practices within the hedge fund industry.'

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