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ABN AMRO AIF Event 2019

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The eighth edition of ABN AMRO Clearing’s Amsterdam Investor Forum had picked its moment well. Held on 19 and 20 March, it seemed appropriate that 10 days before the UK was officially set to leave the European Union, prevailing market uncertainty and what the direction of travel could be for global financial markets in 2019 helped to create the ideal backdrop against which to debate the key issues facing alternative fund managers. 

In her opening address, Delphine Amzallag, Global Head of Prime Services at ABN AMRO, said that looking back to 2018, after multiple years of steady growth, “it was clearly a tumultuous year for investors, particularly in Q4. 

“The year was punctuated by many game changing and conflicting events.

“Despite these headwinds, the good news is that investors have continued to stay loyal to the industry. Indeed, some managers and strategies managed to navigate the choppy waters successfully.

“From the perspective of many investors, the case for hedge funds is now stronger than ever. That’s because we are in the very late stages of a classic economic cycle. 

“Since the coordinated central bank stimulus of spring 2009, there have been enormous increases in asset valuations globally. Under such circumstances, it doesn’t make much sense to be passively long.”

There were some important themes covered at AIF 2019, which included: geopolitics and trade wars, ESG investing, oil dynamics, the role of ETFs, the future of data, and the Asia Pacific investment environment. 

These themes are summarised within the following pages of this report, providing a snapshot into how fund managers and other industry practitioners are thinking about trends and risks across the asset class mix.

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