Category: Funds of Funds

crowd funding
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Top Five Crowdfunding Myths

Top Five Crowdfunding Myths

Joel Hughes, Head of UK and Europe at Indiegogo

Launching a crowdfunding campaign is a lot easier said than done. It takes a lot of effort before the launch, during the campaign and even after funding is complete. Despite the fact that crowdfunding has been around for almost two decades, there are still many misconceptions about what makes a successful campaign, so before you launch your crowdfunding campaign, make sure you have all your facts straight. Joel Hughes, Head of UK and Europe at Indiegogo, debunks the five most common crowdfunding myths.

Myth #1: A good idea is enough to get you funded

Reality: Having an interesting idea is often just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to crowdfunding success. There are thousands of active campaigns for all sorts of gadgets and products across multiple crowdfunding platforms at any given moment.

To reach your goal, you need to develop a plan of action to spread the word about your campaign. Don’t restrict this just to your immediate network of friends and family. Make sure that everyone and anyone knows about it. There are tons of ways to spread the word including social media channels, direct emailing, LinkedIn networking events, and more. If you combine a few of these methods you’ll reach more people, so mix it up!

Myth #2: The work starts when the campaign starts

Reality: Crowdfunding requires hard work long before launch. You can’t just post a description of your project on the campaign page and expect backers to be willing to invest. You need to have all your ducks in a row before you launch.

We recommend beginning work on the campaign at least two months before your official launch date. This is the minimum amount of time needed to create a strong email list and build a community around your idea – two essential factors in your campaign’s success. Use this time to do your research, have a schedule, gather a strong team, define roles, and line up all your assets before your launch. If you prepare well in advance, you’ll be able to work in an efficient manner for the duration of your campaign.

Myth #3: It’s all about the money

Reality: A successful campaign isn’t about just reaching your funding goal. Crowdfunding offers more than just a boost in finances. It’s a great way to validate your idea and generate some buzz.

Crowdfunding is changing how entrepreneurs and innovators are bringing products to market. It is enabling thousands of innovators to generate brand awareness and facilitate a larger conversation with backers and potential customers, all while still in the product development process.

Myth #4: All crowdfunding platforms are the same 

Reality: There are a wide variety of platforms that you can choose from, so you need to understand the nuances between them in order to identify which one is best for your project. Choosing the right crowdfunding platform is important to the success of a crowdfunding campaign in converting people who view your campaign into backers.

Be sure you research what each platform offers, including fees, flexibility, customisation and support to help you run a successful campaign. Depending on your product, there may be some platforms that are more appropriate than others. Another factor to consider is the fundraising model each platform uses as there are several available, including rewards, equity, donation, hybrid, and lending.

Myth #5: A big social following is required to be successful

Reality: Social media is a great way to spread the word about your crowdfunding campaign, however, it’s not the only way.

The fundamental key for effective outreach is engagement. When planning your outreach strategy, keep your request as personalised as possible in order to increase the chance of a contribution. Email, for example, is often a more effective way of reaching contributors because it’s direct and personal. Avoid sending mass ‘BCC emails’ and instead send individually tailored messages. Whilst this might take more time, it’s likely to result in more contributions.

Regardless of your assumptions about starting a business, the most important thing to remember is that crowdfunding is much more than a months’ long campaign to reach a funding goal. It can also be used to raise awareness amongst consumers and for market validation. There are a plethora of factors to take into consideration before launching a campaign such as who’ll be part of your team, what incentives you’ll be offering your backers and how you’ll be building your database of contacts. Once you have your assets all lined up and you’re ready to go. It’s time to click the ‘launch’ button and dispel the crowdfunding myths once and for all.

 

Libero Development Fund: Absolute Excellence in Absolute Returns
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Libero Development Fund: Absolute Excellence in Absolute Returns

Libero Funds was developed through a combination of over 50 years’ experience in Alternative Assets Services, Funds and Financial Services and a deep frustration with poorly performing market correlated investment strategies. In 2012, Mary Murphy (Former Executive Managing Director of IFS) and Iain Cahill decided to create an investment strategy which is low risk with low volatility but generates strong returns in all market conditions.

This strategy became the Libero Development Fund, an absolute return offering with a pioneering strategy which Iain is keen to explain.

“Our Libero Development Fund strategy is truly unique in how it is structured and operates. It is designed to achieve consistently positive returns with low risk and low volatility. Based on the fund structure and key risk management policies, and agreed with the Auditors, the Fund only recognises income earned. By not recognising unrealised gains the monthly NAVs reflect actual income earned by the Fund.

“Overall we see our fund as having the potential to aid other funds who hold large cash balances and are concerned about deploying them in the current market environments. As we all know from the moment investor capital is raised, we have a duty of care to both protect their capital but also have it working. Libero can help to bridge that gap for other fund managers.”

All of Libero’s funds are offshore, non-US investor, funds that offer a flexible framework with several funds for experienced investors who include Family Offices, Fund of Funds and Sophisticated Investors who are seeking a real alternative investment to cash or bond equivalent low risk strategies while at the same time seeking strong capital growth or income. Iain explains how the firm supports clients and ensures that its investment products meet their individual needs.

Key to how Libero Funds work, is listening to investor requirements and working with experts in all aspects of the funds operation. The fees charged by hedge funds are still a focus for investors and that challenge is a fair one. However, ultimately the onus is on any Fund to first deliver a fair return to investors, and as such we aim to offer the best risk adjusted returns possible.

“As a growing fund our time is spent between fund raising and investment management. While our internal investment team make the day to day trading decisions, we maintain full oversight on the activities. As any investor in a hedge fund should expect, we took the time and effort to ensure that our service providers are best in class which allows us to spend a great deal of our time with both existing and prospective investors. With such a vast array of funds in the market, our ongoing challenge is to create the right investor attention through strong returns which are low risk and with low volatility.”

Owing to investor demand, Libero have recently launched a complementary second fund, the Libero Growth Fund which seeks to create an important offering for those looking for a more mezzanine type fund and is already garnering significant investor interest. As such the future looks bright for Libero Funds, and in his concluding comments Iain outlines the firm’s exciting future plans and how it aims to ensure that clients continue to receive the best possible returns and service across all of the firm’s funds.

“During 2017 at Libero Funds we intend to grow our Libero Development Fund strategy and deliver additional Fund strategies where we see opportunities driven by investor demand. For now, Our driving ambition is to see the Libero Development Fund become a true benchmark fund within the Absolute Returns sector.”

Company: Libero Development Fund
Name: Iain Cahill CIO and Mary Murphy COO
Email: [email protected], [email protected]
Web Address: www.liberofunds.com
Address: 33-37 Athol Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 1LB
Telephone: 0044 7496 057894

Malta's New NAIF Framework Addresses one of the Biggest Issue in Fund Management
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Malta’s New NAIF Framework Addresses one of the Biggest Issue in Fund Management, MPG says

Malta, together with Luxembourg, is one of the first two jurisdictions in Europe to adopt the new framework and the move is likely to expand its share of the alternative investment funds (AIF) market, marking yet another step in the country’s move to becoming a leading financial centre, Jeremy Leach says.

Under the NAIF framework, product providers are directly regulated rather than their products, so new funds can be launched without the need for pre-authorisation by the regulator. The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) will maintain an updated list of NAIFs in good standing on its website while the AIF manager assumes full responsibility for the NAIF.

Speaking ahead of the annual Finance Malta Conference on 25/26 May, Jeremy Leach commented: “Asset managers often complain that regulation is strangling them. European regulators are notoriously slow in getting authorization and it is the biggest frustration most financial groups have. Time to market is critical when you have competition and the delay with getting authorization through various authorities is commercially compromising.

“This move by Malta is a game changer. It sends out the message that the MFSA is amenable to speeding up the time taken to launch products and it will enhance its share of the European fund market. This new framework is easier, quicker and cheaper without any compromise to the regulatory framework.”

Jeremy Leach says Malta has a number of advantages that are supporting its emergence as one of the world’s most important financial jurisdictions. These include its membership of the European Union and the Commonwealth, its tax framework, both domestically and internationally with 65 tax treaties with other countries and the legislation it has put in place around securitsations means it is the only EU jurisdiction outside of Luxembourg that has the legislation in place to offer these flexible tools.

While some other EU financial centres might attempt to get into the securitisations market, it is far easier for smaller jurisdictions to establish the necessary laws and there are very few principalities that have the same passporting rights as Malta and Luxembourg, Jeremy Leach says.

Managing Partners Group intends to offer securitisations and alternative fund management services to the pan-European market and Malta’s Securitisation Act has been a key factor in its decision to locate there, as well as its other attributes.

Institutional Venture Partners Announces a $1.4 Billion Fund
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Institutional Venture Partners Announces a $1.4 Billion Fund


Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), a later-stage venture capital and growth equity firm, today announced IVP XV, a $1.4 billion fund. This is the largest fund raised in the firm’s 35-year history and brings cumulative committed capital to $5.4 billion. The fund was significantly oversubscribed, with IVP’s existing Limited Partners contributing the vast majority of the fund.

The fund’s General Partners are Todd Chaffee, Somesh Dash, Steve Harrick, Eric Liaw, Jules Maltz, Sandy Miller, and Dennis Phelps. After 26 years as a General Partner at IVP, Norm Fogelsong will serve the new fund as an Advisory Partner. Collectively, the Partners have more than 150 years of venture capital and operating experience.

“I have invested with the IVP team for over a decade now and they consistently deliver exceptional performance for us,” said Limited Partner Rick Hayes of Jasper Ridge Partners. “I continue to be impressed by the way this multi-generational team maintains their industry leadership position throughout investment cycles.”

IVP partners with talented entrepreneurs to finance rapidly growing technology and media companies that are addressing large market opportunities. Since its inception in 1980, IVP has invested in over 300 companies and 101 of those have gone public.

IVP has backed many well known consumer companies such as HomeAway, Kayak, LegalZoom, LifeLock, Netflix, Prosper, Shazam, Snapchat, SoundCloud, Supercell, The Honest Company, and Twitter. Successful enterprise investments include AppDynamics, ArcSight, ComScore, Datalogix, Domo, Dropbox, Fleetmatics, Marketo, MySQL, Omniture, OnDeck, Pure Storage, Slack, and Zenefits. With IVP XV, the firm will continue to invest in both the consumer and enterprise sectors throughout the United States.

“IVP has invested in both of my companies and I have personally invested in IVP’s two most recent funds,” said Josh James, CEO of Domo. “The IVP team is absolutely one of the best in the business. Their partners are smart, they ask great questions, and they have been incredibly helpful to us over the years. I consider them a trusted resource and a great partner.“

With the new fund, IVP plans to invest $10 to $100 million per company in 12 to 15 businesses each year. The firm believes that this highly selective approach is an essential driver of fund performance. Given its focused expertise in later-stage investing, IVP offers entrepreneurs many years of experience in helping companies recruit exceptional executives, scale operations, refine business strategies, and expand internationally.

More Needed on Minimum Wage to Tackle Low Pay
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More Needed on Minimum Wage to Tackle Low Pay, Says CWU

Billy Hayes, CWU general secretary, said: “An increase is always welcome, but this year of all years – when the economic recovery is continuing and there is a general election on the horizon – we expected the government to be bolder in sharing that success with low paid workers who have suffered most under this government.

“The minimum wage remains inadequate for the majority of families to live on, meaning the government is simply subsidising low-paying companies through in-work benefits to make up the shortfall.

“George Osborne has failed to meet his promise of a £7 minimum wage which he made over a year ago. Wages have stagnated for years under the coalition government. They have taken strong action on apprenticeships’ pay, but number 11 has missed its opportunity to put low pay for over a million workers right before the election.”

The government has announced that the minimum wage will rise in October by 20p an hour to £6.70 (3 per cent). The hourly rate for 18 to 20-year-olds will go up from £5.13 to £5.30 (3 per cent) and by 8p to £3.87 for 16 and 17-year-olds (a 2 per cent rise).

The statutory minimum for apprentices will increase by 57p to £3.30, an increase of 20 per cent.

Top Tips for Approaching Your Bank for Funding Your Business
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Top Tips for Approaching Your Bank for Funding Your Business

These top five tips have been produced by Paul Brooks, Santander’s Business Development Director for Wales. Santander is generously sponsoring the ICAEW event Latest Developments for Members in Business on Thursday, 23 April in Cardiff. The event is aimed at finance directors/controllers/managers of SMEs.

To maximise the support a bank can give you, there are a few simple tips to bear in mind:

• Plan ahead – give your bank a reasonable amount of time before the funding will be required to ensure everything will be ready in time for when you need the funding. Having a well thought out plan in advance of any meetings can also help make the process more efficient.

• Have the right statistics and up-to-date financials to hand – being able provide the correct financial information on past performance and realistic forecasts on potential future growth can help ease the process along.

• Give a clear rationale as to why the business needs the funding – let the bank see that you have done the right research and have the right insights into your market.

• Keep an open mind – when it comes to types of funding, there are many more options than just a loan or overdraft so it’s best to look at the full range before deciding what to go for. Be flexible and open to suggestions and alternatives.

• Finally, ensure that the agreed solutions match what your business needs, but also give some headroom for any additional slippage. Flexibility is key in business.

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UCITS Funds See Largest Quarterly Inflows in 8 Years

The industry body data shows that there was inward investment amounting to more than €152bn (£121bn) in the quarter. This is an increase from €138bn in Q1 for the year.

Conversely, money market funds returned back to the more normal net outflow rate, achieving a quarterly level of €22bn and reversing the €14bn net inflows which were seen in the first quarter of the year.

The return to net outflows saw UCITS, (Undertaking for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities), sales drop from €152bn in the first quarter to €130bn, but this is still high.

The EFAMA data also shows that combined, UCITS and non-UCITS assets saw an increase of 4.6% in the quarter. This amounted to a total of €10,617bn for the end of June.

Over the year, UCITS funds have a recorded net inflow total amounting to €283bn. This is a notable increase of €139bn from the results through the first half of last year. The biggest contributor to this total has been from bond funds, which have seen the largest net inflow, of €118bn.

Balanced funds and equity funds at €100bn and €51bn respectively round off the top three performers in the quarter.

UCITS Sales Increase Significantly in January
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UCITS Sales Increase Significantly in January

 

The European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) has today published its latest Investment Funds Industry Fact Sheet, which provides net sales of UCITS and non-UCITS for December 2013 and the entire year of 2013, as well as net assets data at the end of 2013.

26 associations representing more than 99.6 percent of total UCITS and non-UCITS assets at the end of January 2014 provided us with net sales and/or net assets data.

The main developments in January 2014 in the reporting countries can be summarised as follows:

• UCITS recorded a significant jump in net inflows in January to EUR 71 billion, up from EUR 14 billion recorded in December, reflecting increased net sales of long-term UCITS and a considerable surge in net inflows to money market funds.

• Net sales of long-term UCITS (UCITS excluding money market funds) increased to EUR 42 billion, up from EUR 27 billion in December.

o Net sales of bond funds rose to EUR 13 billion after breaking-even in December.

o On the other hand, equity funds registered reduced net inflows of EUR 11 billion down from EUR 15 billion in December.

o Balanced funds recorded a fifth month of increasing net sales of EUR 16 billion, up from EUR 13 billion in December.

• Money market funds registered net inflows of EUR 29 billion in January, being the highest level of net inflows since August 2011. This high level of net inflows follows net outflows in December of EUR 13 billion.

• Total non-UCITS recorded net sales of EUR 13 billion, down from EUR 15 billion witnessed in December.

o Special funds (funds reserved to institutional investors) recorded reduced net inflows amounting to EUR 9 billion, compared to EUR 15 billion in December.

• Total assets of UCITS stood at EUR 6,974 billion at end January 2014, representing a 0.6 percent increase during the month.

o Total assets of non-UCITS also enjoyed an increase of 0.6 percent in January to stand at EUR 2,823 billion at month end.

Bernard Delbecque, Director of Economics and Research commented:

“UCITS recorded in January 2014 the highest monthly net sales since the onset of the global financial crisis, and this in an environment characterized by falling long-term interest rates, continued low global inflation and rising stock market uncertainty reflecting tensions in several emerging markets.”

Guernsey adds 33 new funds in Q3 2013
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Guernsey adds 33 new funds in Q3 2013

Guernsey’s financial services regulator approved 33 new investment funds during the third quarter of 2013.

Figures released today by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) show that it approved five open-ended funds, 19 closed-ended funds and nine non-Guernsey schemes* between the start of June and the end of September this year.

Taking into account licences rescinded, there was net growth of 17 funds during the period.

However, the net asset value of funds under management and administration fell by £19 billion (6.6%) to £267 billion at the end of September. That represents a decline of £7.4 billion (2.7%) year on year.

This was partly due to the pound strengthening against the US Dollar and Euro, which had a large negative effect on fund values when expressed in Sterling terms, but also a result of general financial conditions, where concerns around emerging economies impacted both equity and bond markets in the third quarter.

Fiona Le Poidevin, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance – the promotional agency for the Island’s finance industry, said: “It is disappointing to see the value of our funds business decline during the third quarter, but it is of some comfort to know that this was largely a result of external factors including exchange rates and general market sentiment.

“Indeed, the fact that we have seen 33 new funds approved during the third quarter – and net growth of 17 funds – shows that managers and investors remain attracted to what Guernsey has to offer. This is a major vote of confidence at a time when there is so much uncertainty, not least as a result of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).”

At the start of this month, Guernsey revealed its opt-in AIFMD equivalent regime which will come into effect from 2 January 2014. This is the second strand of a ‘dual regime’ where the other parallel regime is the existing regulatory framework for managers and investors not requiring an AIFMD fund, including those using EU national private placement regimes and those marketing to non-EU investors.

Miss Le Poidevin said: “Guernsey has clearly and consistently articulated its plans to adopt a ‘dual regime’ in response to AIFMD so that we can best serve the needs of our global client base. We have worked hard to ensure that we have put the right pieces of the jigsaw in place at the right time and while it is still very much early days in terms of the implementation of AIFMD, it is very pleasing to see such strong growth in the number of funds being licensed in Guernsey.

“We can see that Guernsey closed-ended funds remain very popular and especially for alternative investments, such as renewable energy, where there were two notable London listings in the third quarter. This also corroborates anecdotal evidence from industry practitioners who are reporting a busy end to the year. This bodes very well for the Guernsey funds industry in 2014.”

Other figures from the GFSC show that the value of deposits held by banks in Guernsey fell by £5.6 billion (6.3%) during the third quarter to reach £84.1 billion at the end of September, representing a decline of £12.8 billion (13.3%) year on year.

The total number of international insurance entities licensed in Guernsey reached 778 at the end of September, which is a rise of 12 during the quarter and up 32 year on year. The GFSC approved 79 new licences during the twelve months to the end of September 2013.