Aberdeen Asset Management has launched the Aberdeen Alternative Strategies Fund (AASF) offering access to a portfolio of alternative strategies intended to provide diversifying returns against traditional asset classes.
The Fund’s launch establishes Aberdeen as one of the world’s largest multi-manager liquid alternatives managers.
The Fund offers investors access to high quality alternative investment talent in a more liquid and regulated vehicle. It is designed to provide returns that are not dependent on the direction of traditional asset markets, thereby providing positive diversification and improved risk-adjusted returns in a multi-asset portfolio. This style of investment is becoming more popular among investors concerned about the current levels of equity and fixed income markets and the potential for more correlation between asset classes in the future. The Fund was seeded by Aberdeen PLC and has attracted significant early investment from existing Aberdeen clients.
The launch is part of Aberdeen’s wider strategy for the diversification and growth of its Solutions business and comes following the announced acquisitions of Arden Asset Management LLC and Flag Capital Management. Aberdeen’s alternatives platform will have total assets under management of over USD30 billion following completion of both transactions. A recent PWC report predicted alternative assets would nearly double to USD15.3 trillion by 2020.
Historically the most compelling opportunities in alternative investments were only available through less liquid, lightly regulated, offshore investment vehicles that are inaccessible to many investors. But funds such as AASF will provide investors with daily liquidity through a UCITS regulated investment structure, making it far more accessible to a wider range of investors.
The Aberdeen hedge funds team has constructed the portfolio with a select pool of high quality alternative investment managers to run dedicated mandates within the fund. This allows the team increased control and transparency over the assets, leading to more granular risk analysis and investor liquidity. The team has a 17-year track record of researching and investing in hedge fund and liquid alternative strategies for clients. The 18-strong team is led by Russell Barlow who reports directly to Global Head of Alternatives Andrew McCaffery.
McCaffery (pictured) says: “Alternative investment strategies are becoming increasingly central to client portfolios and moving into the mainstream.This is why we have seen such strong demand for this fund. Many investors are constrained by complexity, liquidity, transparency and regulation. It is this kind of investor that will look to solutions like the Aberdeen Alternative Strategies Fund to help diversify their portfolios.”