A Changing Landscape
The investment industry has been going through some massive changes in recent years, mainly as a result of the financial crisis of 2008 and its after-shocks, but also because of technological advancements.
Perhaps the biggest changes – particularly for the alternative investment industry – have come in the form of regulatory changes such as the Dodd-Frank Act, which was the biggest reform to the investment industry since the Great Depression. This had huge implications for funds, affecting how and what they can trade, and greatly increasing the level of accountability and transparency that is required by funds.
At the same time, the evolution of social web technologies has created a new, more open environment for investors, and presented a range of new opportunities and challenges for investment firms to engage with and market to an ever-growing audience of potential investors. Even the previously opaque and exclusive world of alternative investments has been opened up by platforms such as alternative investment marketplace FNEX, which brings together lots of investment vehicles in one online marketplace, including hedge funds, investments in private companies, and managed futures accounts.
The investment industry has also faced a new challenge from investors that want to take matters into their own hands, using online trading platforms to engage directly with the capital markets. While online trading has been around since the late 1990s, the evolution of mobile and social trading platforms in the past few years has made the process of trading more accessible than ever. In particular, social trading – which allows investors to see and copy the trades of other traders on the network – has disrupted the traditional funds model by offering investors a more flexible and involved way of piggy-backing the trades of successful traders.
The Future of Funds
On June 5th, 2014, there will be a major event for the funds industry held at the London Capital Club in Central London entitled ‘The Future of Funds‘. Hosted by leading online trading broker and platform developer Saxo Capital Markets, the event will feature talks by Julian Stockley-Smith of JP Funds Group, Janet Thomas of Infinity Capital Partners Ltd, Richard Elston from Saxo Capital Markets, and Hedge Think’s very own Dinis Guarda.
The event kicks off at 5pm with a drinks reception, followed by an introduction to the event from Torben Kaaber, CEO of Saxo Capital Markets. Then, Saxo’s Head of Institutional Sales Richard Elston will be giving a talk entitled “Technology: Trading Platforms, Connectivity, and Multi-Asset Class Liquidity Solutions”.
At 5.40pm, attention turns to Janet Thomas of Infinity Capital Partners Ltd, who will be giving a 15-minute talk on the subject of “What the future holds for the fund investment sector”. As a Managing Director of Infinity Capital Partners (ICP FCA registered), Janet has created TouchFX, an innovative software solution intended to address the regulatory reporting concerns of buy-side firms. Before joining ICP, she was EMEA Head of Prime Brokerage Sales, mainly covering FX at Bank of America Merrill Lynch from 2011-2013. Before that Janet was at Citigroup 2006 – 2011, where her product Click won Best Product Awards from FX Profit and Loss 2008 2012, which helped Citi FX Prime Brokerage to become one of the largest and most profitable businesses of its type in the world. Click is now used by thousands of clients in more than 15 countries across 5 continents. As a key innovator and thought leader in the fund technology space, she is in a unique position to speculate on the future of the fund investment sector, and how technology is likely to impact it.
She will then hand the floor over to Dinis Guarda, CEO and Founder of Hedge Think, who will be talking on the topic of “How technology and social media is disrupting and opening new opportunities for hedge funds”. This will primarily focus on the challenge of how to react to, and monitor, possible social media trading news and influencers, as well as hacking or algorithm trading events. In recent times, the Securities and Exchange Commission has decided to allow companies and executives use social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to broadcast market-moving news, and this is a huge step ahead and an irreversible move from market makers admitting the importance of social media trading. This alone is now the rule and in fact constitutes a big opportunity for traders to use new extra real time info and social media platforms to improve capital markets signals and sentiments in their ongoing daily activities.
The final talk of the evening will be given by Julian Stockley-Smith, Director of JP Funds Group, on the subject of “Why is fund administration necessary?”. In this talk, Julian will discuss many of the aspects of the Fund Administrator role and its importance in the fund industry including a review of the key areas of Fund Accounting, Shareholder Services and Registered Office duties. In many cases Funds laws and regulations dictate that funds use independent administrators – this independence is a critical feature of why administrators exist and has become an essential ingredient for attracting capital, particularly from large institutional investors. That’s why Julian feels it is critical for administrators should work independently from investment managers, fund directors and investors themselves, to ensure that asset values are calculated and reported free of any self interest or other internal or external influences that may arise.
The event finishes with the serving of canapes at 6.30pm, with guests being given the opportunity to network with one another and the speakers, and the event officially ends at 7pm.
If you are an investment manager and interested in attending the event, you can apply by sending an email to Uriel Alvarado [email protected] no later than the 30th May.
I am a writer based in London, specialising in finance, trading, investment, and forex. Aside from the articles and content I write for IntelligentHQ, I also write for euroinvestor.com, and I have also written educational trading and investment guides for various websites including tradingquarter.com. Before specialising in finance, I worked as a writer for various digital marketing firms, specialising in online SEO-friendly content. I grew up in Aberdeen, Scotland, and I have an MA in English Literature from the University of Glasgow and I am a lead musician in a band. You can find me on twitter @pmilne100.