Last updated: 12:01 / Wednesday, 9 December 2020
Partnership with HFR

Aberdeen Standard Investments Creates a Platform to Invest in the Hedge Fund Universe

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  • Drawing on the public market equity tracker model, the product looks to take a share of the 3 trillion dollars hedge fund market and attract new investors
  • The platform will allow ASI to launch products which track the HFRI 500, a fund weighted index comprised of 500 investable hedge funds
  • It will also give access to HFR’s investable index family, with almost 30 underlying investable hedge fund strategy, sub-strategy and thematic indices

Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) has created a new platform that will allow investors to track a broad spectrum of investable hedge fund benchmarks for the first time. Drawing on the public market equity tracker model, where half of US equity assets are passively invested, the product looks to take a share of the 3 trillion dollars hedge fund market and attract new investors, explained the asset manager in a press release.

The platform will allow ASI to launch products which track the HFRI 500, a fund weighted index comprised of 500 investable hedge funds across a broad range of strategies calculated and published by Hedge Fund Research Inc. (HFR). The flagship HFRI 500 index tracking strategy is targeting an initial fundraising of 500 million dollars by May 2021 and will have an investment capacity in excess of 50 billion dollars.

The platform will also give access to HFR’s investable index family, with almost 30 underlying investable hedge fund strategy, sub-strategy and thematic indices giving investors the opportunity to choose those most suited to their needs. This is the latest development following a partnership formed in 2019 between ASI and HFR which will see the launch of a series of products on ASI’s dedicated index tracking platform.

“Own” the benchmark

“Our partnership with HFR means we are able to launch genuinely innovative benchmark tracking products. Before now products that attempted to track hedge fund benchmarks were both narrow in scope and the implementation approach resulted in investment outcomes that deviated from the return of the hedge fund industry. The funds available on the ASI index tracking platform are able to address these issues by physically owning each underlying fund benchmark constituents at the index weights, helping overcome the historical impediments”, said Russell Barlow, global head of alternative investment strategies at the asset manager

He also pointed out that the platform not only allows allocators to “own” the benchmark but also to express strategy, sub-strategy and thematic views in a pure way. “By doing so they can avoid the variability in return outcome comes from the idiosyncratic views expressed by a single fund”, he added.

Meanwhile, Joseph Nicholas, founder and chairman of HFR, stated that they are pleased to support this launch because, for the first time, investors can access HFRI Benchmarks. “The flagship HFRI 500 index is a global, equal-weighted benchmark comprised of the largest hedge funds that report to the HFR Database which are open to new investment and offer quarterly liquidity or better. It offers clients a benchmark that’s more representative of the hedge fund industry return while also allowing tracking products to deliver the return of the index as a gateway to investing in a broad, diversified set of hedge fund strategies from some of the most prominent managers in the world”, he commented.

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