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ML Capital – Best UCITS Liquid Alternatives Platform

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ML Capital, one of Ireland's leading management company groups, has grown to exceed USD3.2 billion of AUM over the last 12 months. Its growth trajectory has enabled ML Capital to evolve from being just a leading UCITS platform operator to become a fund solutions provider, servicing both managers and investors alike. 

As Cyril Delamare (pictured), CEO of ML Capital explains, the firm offers two distribution services to investment managers, to best service clients. 

The first of those services is active distribution. This, says Delamare, involves the active promotion of funds and managers on the MontLake UCITS platform to an extensive and ever expanding network of investors across Europe, the needs for which are continuously evolving.

"The second service is passive distribution, very often overlooked by managers and traditional management companies but a vital component of a successful distribution strategy to ensure fund managers are effectively positioned in the marketplace. This service is offered to all fund manager partners and focuses on market accessibility and visibility, ranging from the regulatory requirements of passporting to specific investors needs such as tax reporting, platform access and much more.

Depending on the needs of fund managers, ML Capital offers active distribution support to a select number of managers, which are assessed by the ML Capital team to determine whether the fund meets the demands of their clientele. 

Some managers, says Delamare, don't want active distribution support, "they just want structuring expertise and passive distribution services because they already have their own sales team, distributors, etc. Other managers, however, will come to us to provide the full suite of distribution services, both active and passive". 

Kenneth Sim, Head of Sales for ML Capital, oversees the global sales team. "The solutions that we develop are always with the investors' needs in mind. We listen to our clients to find out exactly what it is they require from an investment objective and then we find underlying managers and products to meet those objectives. 

"We try to anticipate what investors' appetite will be that we may not yet be accommodating on our platform, or which the broader investment universe does not yet accommodate," says Sim.

What sets ML Capital apart is their focus on bringing to market talented fund managers with proven expertise in running their strategies inside established well-known brands or in specialist boutiques globally. Hence offering an alternative to more mainstream investment products. 

"Our clients are asking us to provide them with investments that offer a good level of diversification and to do so in a manner that won't suppress their wider portfolio in a bull market environment; low cost, highly efficient strategies that are able to capture market trends. An illustration of this would be medium to long-term trend following CTAs, which have played a key role in clients' portfolios, as is evidenced by the recent growth in UCITS managed futures AUM.

"Alternative credit strategies have also been popular with our clients, given their current heavy exposure to the traditional fixed income sector, they are looking for ways to diversify," explains Sim.

ML Capital also takes a rigorous approach, with respect to operational due diligence. This gives investors' confidence as they know that each manager is highly credible. 

On winning this year's award, Delamare concludes: "We are delighted to have been awarded such an accolade. Winning this award for the second time will certainly drive us to continue on our upward trend and cement our positioning within the market space as the leading UCITS platform provider and fund structure."

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