Alternative Investment Awards 2017 51 Best Fund Structuring Company 2017 SL Investment Management is a specialist Investment Manager working globally with intermediaries, professional and institutional investors to deliver a range of low-correlation investments and asset management services. We caught up with Alec Taylor to find out more. Since 1990 SL has managed or advised over 30 collective investment vehicles, utilising multiple structures and domiciles - representing over $2.6bn in assets. The firm’s reputation for innovation is combined with strong corporate governance and actuarial capabilities which help it to meet the stringent due diligence requirements of major institutional and corporate investors. Alec discusses the firm’s service offering in more detail and outlines how the company seeks to provide clients with the very highest standards of support and innovative investment products. “Specialists in UK Traded Endowment Policies (TEPs) and US Life Settlements, here at SL our goal is to offer investors access to alternative assets that deliver stable returns, that are resistant to market volatility and protect capital values. We aim to deliver investor value through the application of our expertise and capabilities in both asset acquisition and valuation, portfolio servicing through to fund creation and manage- ment. “The key to our success is the ability to work in close collaboration with clients in order to identify innovative solutions based on our highly developed expertise and knowledge in our core sectors. Led by an ex- perienced executive team, SL’s financial and technical specialists bring substantial intellectual capital. Our structure is heavily client focused, leveraging the experience of key specialist teams such as fund manage- ment, structuring, actuarial and asset valuation.” The firm’s latest US Life Settlement offering - BlackOak Investors LP - is a medium to long term Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) aimed at achieving steady capital growth at favourable risk adjusted rates irrespective of movements in mainstay asset classes. So far, Blackoak has achieved a 22.9% (April 2017) annualised return since inception in 2014, with over 80% of this return achieved through realised trading activities and policy maturities. The fundamental investment strategy of BlackOak is to achieve long term capital growth through the acquisition, active management and trading of US senior life settlement policies, with assets sourced from a diverse range of supply channels in both the secondary and tertiary markets. Experience demonstrates that this approach provides access to the widest range of policies at the best possible value for investors. Additionally, the fund seeks to invest in a diversified portfolio of life settlements from a range of US insurance companies, across a number of US states. This ensures that counter party risks are managed and mitigated appropriately. The fund takes a cautious approach to liquidity, maintaining a reserve in excess of twelve months’ worth of anticipated premiums and fund costs. As a founding member of the European Life Settlement Association, SL is dedicated to supporting the life settlement industry to adopt recognis- able standards to promote transparency. ELSA’s Code of Practice was introduced to establish common standards of best practice within the European life settlement industry and protect the interests of investors in the asset class. Alec is keen to emphasise the firm’s focus on com- plying with the various regulations by which it is bound in order to offer clients strong, risk averse returns. “SL is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Alternative Investment Fund Manager. We operate within a highly regulated framework that ensures we adhere to a strict set of regulations designed to protect investor interests. For example, we make a full bi-annual disclosure to the FCA on the Alternative Investment Funds we manage, outlining elements such as the investment strategy, risk mitigation, liquidity management and conflict of interest policy. “Importantly, under the AIFM regulation, the risk management, val- uation and portfolio management functions within SL are segregated and functionally independent. In structuring our investments we create products in highly regulated jurisdictions, partnering with industry lead- ing custodians, administrators and auditors to ensure an exceptional level of control and diligence is applied to the valuation and manage- ment of the assets within the fund.” Discussing the future, Alec is keen to highlight SL’s ongoing focus on success as the firm seeks to adapt around the latest industry develop- ments and offer clients cutting edge solutions that meet their needs. “Overall, at SL our approach is marked by a series of industry firsts and includes the creation of the first TEP Investment Trust, the first off-shore open-ended TEP fund , the first hybrid TEP/Property fund and the first London Stock Exchange listed life settlement fund. Looking ahead, our long term aim is to continue to build upon our heritage, maintaining our position at the forefront of alternative investment developments.” AI170031