Why consider alternative solutions today
Many things have changed in alternatives since the global financial crisis. What used to be considered as a high-risk, unregulated, non-transparent industry with poor liquidity and expensive fees has witnessed many evolutions since. Increased regulation with the emergence of alternatives UCITS funds has brought more transparency and improved liquidity. With the increased involvement of institutional investors, fees have become more competitive and the risk/return profile of alternative portfolios has become more conservative. Ultimately, these changes imply better protection for investors.
Key benefits of alternatives investments
Alternative investments offer different characteristics, or profiles, each of which provides investment benefits in the context of a global portfolio allocation. In general, the addition of carefully selected alternative strategies should improve the risk/return profile of a portfolio. In the current market environment, characterised by low interest rates and volatile equity markets, alternative solutions can be split into three main profiles:
- Asymmetric Equity: Capturing some of the market upside but with controlled volatility and limited drawdowns
- Fixed Income Alternative: Accessing fixed income-like risk/return profiles with limited correlation as a substitute for low-yielding investments
- Uncorrelated Strategies: Accessing non-traditional sources of return that are decorrelated from traditional asset classes.
UBP AIS investment philosophy and process
Hedge funds used to be considered as one single bucket of alpha-generating strategies, to complement traditional market beta in a client’s asset allocation. With the evolution of the industry, we now split alternatives into three buckets: Pure Alpha, Liquid Alpha, and Alternative Risk Premia (ARP). Each bucket has different costs and liquidity profiles, allowing investors to access alternatives more efficiently. We believe clients should accept higher fees or less liquidity only in exchange for clearly identified added value.
Our 7-step process capitalises on UBP’s strengths:
- Asset Allocation: Initial stage of the process, setting client objectives, guidelines, and risk parameters
- Investment Research: Sourcing high-quality managers in all areas of the alternative universe
- Operational Due Diligence: Reducing the risk of manager failure and fraud through a consistent operational risk framework
- Portfolio Management: Building a diverse and robust portfolio solution aligned with investor objectives and guidelines
- Operations and Back Office: Strong and experienced middle office, with the option of using leading external service providers
- Risk Management: Threaded throughout the investment process, at the underlying manager and portfolio levels
- Client Servicing: Experienced, dedicated resources focused entirely on AIS clients