Changes in the way that client relationships are managed, investment management brands are built and assets are raised and retained are reflected in a new guide for investor relations professionals by the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA).
The release of the AIMA Guide to Sound Practices for Investor Relations comes at a time of tremendous change in investor relations (IR) at alternative asset management firms globally.
Investors and fund managers are increasingly entering into partnerships with one another, founded on principles of increased transparency, customisation and co-investment. These trends have led to an evolution in the remit of IR teams.
The AIMA guide aims to identify a common set of sound practices that will help investment managers build a stable investor base, a key pillar of a sustainable hedge fund business.
Among the topics it addresses are the structure and responsibilities of the IR function, investor communications, marketing, fundraising, due diligence, subscriptions and redemptions.
The guide, which is available in full to AIMA members, is sponsored by PwC.
Jack Inglis (pictured), CEO of AIMA, says: “The role of the IR function has never been more critical, or its remit more extensive, than is the case today. As AIMA research has found, investors are increasingly calling for relationships with their external investment managers that may include greater knowledge sharing, customised solutions, co-investment opportunities, product seeding and/or equity investing. This is all occurring against a backdrop of regulatory change and heightened enforcement scrutiny on marketing compliance.”
Damian Regan, Director at PwC, commented: "The investor relations function is the face and voice of an investment manager and plays a critical role in building trusting relationships. The IR role has evolved a great deal over the past decade, institutionalising and maturing along with the hedge fund industry itself. The importance of the role has grown, bringing with it increased standards of professionalism and raised expectations around transparency.
Investor relations is not a one-size-fits-all function and savvy managers must ensure they review the guidelines alongside their unique business model, regulatory jurisdiction and investment strategies."