02.29.2012
By Terry Flanagan

AIMA Launches in LatAm

The global alternatives franchise goes to Brazil.

Founded in 1990, the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) is today’s only non-profit professional trade association with global representation of the global hedge fund industry’s array of practitioners, from hedge fund managers, fund of hedge funds managers, prime brokers, to legal and accounting personnel, administrators and investors.

The lobby group recently launched a new chapter to add to their sprawling global base, which currently includes chapters in Canada, the Cayman Islands, across Asia Pacific (Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore), and London, representing the Europe Middle East Africa (EMEA) region.

With its first step into Latin America, it makes sense that the network would aim at capturing recent market action emanating from the region’s largest powerhouse market, Brazil. The chapter will kick-off with a luncheon for members and guests, reportedly discussing fund regulation, shareholder activism, operational due diligence, foreign investment, and AIFMD, a European regulatory directive to approach the oversight of alternative managers.

“There has been a tremendous appetite for AIMA’s networking events in Brazil, said Michelle Noyes, AIMA Brazil’s spokesperson, and also head of international sales and investor relations at BRZ Investimentos.

“It’s very heartening that some key members of the Brazilian industry have already joined AIMA,” she said, citing that the chapter will work closely with ANBIMA, a Brazilian capital markets association.

Global investor interest in Latin American continue to grow as the region continues to further develop economically, particularly in Brazil, spurring both prominent Brazilian investors, and Brazilian hedge funds.

The Eurekahedge Latin American Onshore Hedge Fund Index, which is 90% comprised Brazilian funds, had an average annual return of 20% from 2001 to 2010, beating the regional performance out of London, New York, and Singapore, according to the firm’s data.

“As wealth has been created in Brazil and in reais, local investors have shown a preference for Brazilian-based domestic fund managers,” Noyes told Markets Media, citing that institutional investors have also shown increasing interest in hedge funds.

“The regulations governing pension fund investing were revised to allow pension funds to invest a greater amount in hedge funds, and as risk free rates continue fall, pension funds are expected to increase their exposure to equities and alternative asset classes.”

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