www.wealthandfinance-news.com 32 Wealth & Finance International - Issue 1 2018 Please tell me about your firm, the work you do and the types of clients with whom you work. Listed on the London Stock Exchange since 1991, we are one of Europe’s largest public, pure-play investment managers. To be world class, we aim for excellence in everything we do. Whether it is looking after our clients’ investments, offering our employees a rewarding career path, or helping ensure we are operating sustainably and for the long-term good of our planet. It is a commitment that has helped us become a trusted partner to individual and institutional investors around the world. As Global Head of Alternative Investment Strategies, what do you and your team do for your investors? My team helps our investor build more robust and diversified portfolios by providing research, access, implementation and ongoing management of portfolios of alternative investments. We began this kind of investing back in the 1990s with a fund of hedge funds approach, and have evolved over the years to provide a much wider range of solutions for all investors. These range from customised portfolios for institutional investors, UCITS and ’40 Act regulated or ‘liquid alternatives’ funds, low-cost risk premia strategies, focused single-strategy solutions, managed accounts, and of course, funds of hedge funds. These solutions can be focussed on return-seeking approaches, aim to provide strong diversification benefits, or protect portfolios during times of extreme market stress. So, what is your investment philosophy when it comes to hedge funds and related alternative strategies and styles? Markets are inefficient, dynamic and, in some cases, only just emerging – and so there are numerous investment opportunities that traditional long-only investments cannot access. These alternative strategies can provide returns that are not dependent on the equity risk premium, or on interest rates, and so can offer diversification and more ways to generate growth. These opportunities are often hard to find or hard to access. To capture them effectively, fund managers need specialist skill sets, specific resources and/or proprietary systems. The managers providing access to these opportunities have historically been defined as “hedge funds”, although they are not a homogenous group. As such, hedge fund strategies should be divided up in different ways in order to make their analysis more meaningful. Essentially, each fund or strategy should deliver alpha relative to traditional long-only markets, leading to better risk-adjusted returns. This should be a result of manager skill and/or arbitrage exploitation. Those of us that went through 2008 and see where markets are trading today think a lot about ‘times of extreme market stress’ that you mentioned earlier – what do you see investors doing about that today? Financial markets have rallied a long way and, as history has shown, a bull market tends to be followed by a correction. The question we are asking is how hard would an investor be hit on the way down. There’s plenty to suggest that a correction may be overdue whether the driver is concerns over Brexit, President Trump or the soaring levels of the S&P index. Aberdeen Asset Management is a global asset management company focused on meeting the worldwide investment needs of institutions, private investors and the advisers who serve them. We did a Q&A with Russell Barlow to find out more about the successful company. The Future is Ready to be Made 1712WF14 Company: Aberdeen Asset Management PLC Contact: Russell Barlow Email: claudia.svendsen@ aberdeenstandard.com Address: Bow Bells House, 1 Bread Street, London, EC4M 9HH, UK Phone: +44 (0) 20 7463 6000 Website: www.aberdeenstandard.com To be world class, we aim for excellence in everything we do. Whether it is looking after our clients’ investments, offering our employees a rewarding career path, or helping ensure we are operating sustainably and for the long-term good of our planet.