The Australian branch of the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) is celebrating its 15th anniversary this month with EY-sponsored member events in Sydney and Melbourne, bringing together many of the leading figures in Australia’s growing hedge fund sector.
In 2001, when AIMA expanded its network to Australia, it represented around 30 local-based corporate members, while the sector as a whole managed only approximately AUD5 billion (USD3.7 billion) in assets, according to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Today, AIMA Australia has around 90 corporate members, and the industry manages around AUD100 billion (USD74.6 billion) in assets, according to ASIC.
Much of this growth has come during the course of the last five years, at a time when the Australian Treasury drafted and then passed the Investment Manager Regime (IMR), a tax law that has levelled the playing field between Australia and other investment management centres globally. Assets managed by Australia-based single-manager hedge funds jumped from around AUD40 billion in 2012 to around AUD84 billion (USD29.9 billion-USD62.7 billion) in September 2014, according to the most recent data from ASIC.
Jack Inglis (pictured), CEO of AIMA, says: “AIMA Australia was one of the first international branches that AIMA set up back in 2001, and I am delighted that it is celebrating its 15th anniversary. The growth we have seen both in our membership in Australia and in the sector at large is a testament to the outstanding talent that exists in the country, to the excellent relationships that the industry has built up with regulators and investors over the years, and to the far-sighted approach taken by many of Australia’s superannuation funds, among the largest allocators to hedge funds anywhere in the world.”
Paul Chadwick, AIMA Australia Chairman, adds: “The hedge fund industry has created many skilled jobs in Australia, and has provided positive risk-adjusted returns, diversification benefits and robust downside protection to superannuation funds and other institutional investors. Increased transparency has helped to attract new capital and reassure regulators about the sector’s activities. Moreover, at a time of strong growth, we are seeing many more foreign firms set up offices here, thanks at least in part to the Investment Manager Regime. All this points to a very healthy next 15 years for the sector.”