Rival bodies vie for European hedge fund investors

While the hedge fund space may have contracted in the past three years, manager representation at an association level in Europe is set to increase with the launch of a US-based rival group to the London-based Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA).The Hedge Fund Association (HFA), formed in the US in 1995, has appointed a European regional director, Louise Verrill, (pictured) of the European bankruptcy and corporate restructuring division of international law firm Brown Rudnick.

The firm is a supporter of the HFA in the US, including sponsorship of the HFA ‘thought leadership council’. The first London event is on October 5 at the Brown Rudnick offices. It will focus on distressed investing.

Both HFA and AIMA lay claim to being international organisations representing both managers and investors. However, outside their bases, AIMA, which started in 1990, has offices in Canada, the Caymans, Japan and Australia, while for HFA, the London office will be its first outside of the US.

HFA has a broader church of membership and associate membership than AIMA among investors, particularly family offices and high net worth individuals. Increasingly, both organisations are courting pension fund executives to attend their events as the institutional market represents a growing proportion of total investments in hedge funds and other alternatives.

HFA president and founder, David Friedland, who is the president of Magnum US Investments, said this week that Europe was one of the most dynamic regions in the alternative investment community and it was vital that the HFA had a strong presence there.