Funds Hub

Money managers under the microscope

UK universities eye and keep an eye on new hedge fund punts

January 26, 2011

Pension schemes are moving away from the usual equity/bond/real estate mix to put their eggs in as many baskets as possible. No wonder then that the USS — the 31.6 billion pounds UK universities pension fund — is putting an extra 1.5 percent of its assets, or about 474 million pounds, into hedge funds, as its CIO Roger Gray tells Reuters.

If you are rushing to the phone to pitch business with Mr Gray, however, STOP a minute fund manager: be prepared, the USS is not only eyeing alpha, it is going to ask a few questions about how alpha is distributed and how investors are protected.

“Is the board of the hedge fund constituted in a way which gives us assurance that they are actually acting in the interest of the limited partners rather than in the pocket of the managers?” he said.

Key words for this pitch: governance, transparency, best and practice.  

Key advice for this pitch:  forewarned is forearmed.  (The USS does not seem to need the usual ’caveat emptor’ advice).

Go forth, brave hedgie!

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