Introduction

Mon Dec 10, 2012

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By Joy Dunbar, Editor, Absolute UCITS

Absolute UCITS, part of HedgeFund Intelligence, undertook the most comprehensive survey of the platform UCITS industry at the midpoint of 2012. Around 66 fund managers responded to the survey and all the major platforms answered.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
There have been many developments since Absolute UCITS conducted its last survey in 2011 including several launches, a liquidation and a platform transferring from its investment banking division to its wealth management arm. Even though assets under management in the alternative UCITS industry have remained the same at around $116 billion, the proportion using platforms has increased from $9 billion at the midpoint of 2011 to $11.7 billion a year later.

The platform industry continues to be a one-stop shop solution offering traditional and boutique offshore alpha generators access to fund governance, administration and custody services, and most platforms still offer capital-raising capabilities.

KEY FINDINGS
• The percentage of alternative sub-fund assets under the UCITS platform umbrella have increased from 8% at the mid-point of 2011 to 10% at the same point this year, while alternative UCITS assets under management have remained steady at $116 billion.

• All the top three UCITS-compliant platforms have German heritage. The top five platforms are Luxembourg-domiciled, with the exception of Universal Investment (UI) which is domiciled in Germany.

 • The proportion of retail investors of the entire alternative UCITS universe has increased from 22% of retail investors to 38%.

• The development of the Asian passport is not a threat to the UCITS brand, according to platforms.

FOOTNOTES AND METHODOLOGY
Absolute UCITS, part of HedgeFund Intelligence, undertook the most comprehensive survey of the platform UCITS industry at the midpoint of 2012.

An email with quantitative questions was sent to fund managers. Fund managers were divided into asset managers that use an UCITS platform and those that do not. Platforms were also emailed a survey with quantitative and qualitative questions. Each group answered different questions.

This survey does not cover the entire alternative UCITS sector. A platform is defined as a provider that has more than one externally managed fund. It excludes fund managers who do not actively market themselves as a UCITS platform. Managed accounts are also not included in the findings.