EuroHedge Summit 2006

Over 750 delegates gathered on 15-16 March to take part in the third annual EuroHedge Summit, held once again at the magnificent Palais de la Bourse in Paris.

Among the highlights of the two-day event was a commanding performance from one keynote speaker, GLG's co-CEO Emmanuel Roman, on why hedge funds have become such an important feature of the overall investment management business - and on what that means going forward.

Delegates also witnessed a very engaging address from the other keynote speaker, Michael Hintze of CQS - on the extraordinary lengths to which a top hedge fund firm must go to stay on top of the complex challenges of risk management in the business today.

And they saw a thoroughgoing (if sobering) assessment of current global macro fundamentals - and the likely opportunities that these will generate - led by Fulcrum Asset Management chairman Gavyn Davies.

The Summit kicked off with a high-profile panel on the big-picture outlook, featuring four of the biggest allocators in the business - Paul Dunning from FRM, Adam Geiger from Ivy, Roxanne Martino from Harris and Tim Gascoigne from HSBC Republic.

Collectively accounting for up to 5% of the industry's total assets, the four panellists gave varying views on how they are wrestling with the many challenges for investors in the business today - including their expectations for growth, the possible effects of changes to ERISA rules in the US, and how to cope with the longer lock-ups being applied by many bigger funds, especially in the US.

They were followed by a manager panel representing four leading multi-product firms - Jonathan Hughes-Morgan from Thames River, Mark Williams from TT, Naïm Abou-Jaoudé from Dexia, and Gay Huey-Evans from Tribeca - on how they are positioning themselves to continue providing more product for such investors while maintaining their competitive edge.

The overall theme of the event was Strategies for the Future, and the programme drilled down to specific opportunities in many of the industry's key strategy areas. These began with an entertaining session on equity investing featuring four managers with very differing approaches - Zafar Ahmadullah of ZA Capital, Peter Jebsen of Concentric, Thierry Serero of C60 and David Baverez of KDA.

But the biggest attendance was attracted by the following panel - featuring Jean-Pierre Aguilar of CFM, Jonathan Hiscock of GSA, Mike Gleason of Gartmore and Eoin Murray of Old Mutual - asking whether quant strategies offer the very best diversification tool, and whether they are set to become as big in Europe as they already have become in the US.

The focus on specific strategy areas continued during the stream sessions on the first day, with sessions on credit and opportunities in Asia, and again during the second day - with the panel on macro followed by a session on multi-strategy investing, featuring Ron Beller of Peloton, Erich Bonnet of ADI, JK Brown of Och-Ziff, and Jason Mitra of Ruby. Featured speaker Tom Sandell also addressed multi-strategy investing in the event-driven sphere.

And the strategy focus concluded with a fascinating closing session on a variety of 'off-piste' strategies, featuring Don Procter of New Amsterdam Capital, Fabien Dornier of Systeia, David Bates of the soon-to-launch Carbon Trading fund, and Paul Kelly of Ritchie Capital, which has a pioneering multi-strategy off-piste approach.

The stream sessions also allowed scope in the programme to discuss a variety of more specific issues for the industry - including a panel featuring Andrew Shrimpton, head of hedge fund supervision at the FSA, to discuss the evolving regulatory climate.

There were also dedicated stream sessions focusing on the specific issues both for end-investors and for the fund of funds sector, as well as on the range of operations and risk management issues for a variety of different types of management firms.

Wed 15 - Thu 16 Mar 2006

Palais de la Bourse, Paris