Plenty of fresh, original thinking to feature at AIF 2018

Blog -

The Amsterdam Investor Forum, a leading forum for institutional investors and alternative investment managers in the EMEA region, is just one week away.

The ability for non-financial experts to impart their knowledge is just one way that the Amsterdam Investor Forum aims to foster dialogue Delphine Amzallag Head of Relationship Management Prime Europe

Hosted at ABN AMRO’s headquarters in Amsterdam on 6th and 7th March 2018, this year’s event promises to be just as engaging; so much so that if last year is anything to go by, there will be people standing in the aisles of the auditorium. 

Delphine Amzallag, Head of Relationship Management Prime Europe, ABN AMRO Clearing, says that in keeping with the spirit of the Amsterdam Investor Forum quantitative investing will form the backdrop, against which panellists will debate key developments and trends affecting global markets. 

“What are the key issues affecting the industry and shaping the dialogue? If we look back over the last few years, they’ve been extremely challenging for the hedge fund industry. Geopolitical events such as Brexit in June 2016 and the Trump election victory in November 2016 created uncertainty in the markets.

“This year, however, I think we are moving towards more stability in the world. MiFID II is now live and I believe a more settled regulatory environment will enable the hedge fund industry to continue growing,” says Amzallag. We saw 10% growth in hedge fund AUM last year.

Lively debates

This year’s event will look at the growing prominence of cryptocurrencies, moderated by Jiri Krol, Deputy CEO & Global Head of Government Affairs, AIMA, and will feature Isabelle Mateos y Lago, Chief Multi-Asset Strategist, BlackRock, Yves Choueifaty, CEO, TOBAM, Kevin Jacobs, Senior Portfolio Manager, Digital Strategies, R.G. Niederhoffer Capital and S. Michael Moro, CEO, Genesis Global Trading. 

As well as the role of data in quantitative investing in a panel entitled “Quants: Taming the data monster”, moderated by Bartt Kellermann, CEO & Founder, Battle of the Quants and Herman Van der Sluis, Senior Portfolio Manager, PGGM, J. Scott Kerson, Senior Managing Director & Head of Systematic Strategies, Gresham IM LLC and Nicolas Gaussel, CEO & co-CIO, Metori Capital. As with previous years, the event will encourage lively debate to inform the audience of institutional investors, consultants and fund managers. 

“It is a very exciting time to be hosting the seventh edition of the AIF event,” says Amzallag. “It feels like there is a real momentum in the global marketplace. Things are very different to last year, when it still felt like we were just getting to understand the implications of Brexit. We have a fantastic line up of speakers throughout the day to share their views on the main forces influencing the alternative funds industry.” 

On a global macro panel, much has happened. US stock markets have hit record highs, the GDP outlook for Europe has started to improve, while in Asia Pacific, Japan growing at almost 2.5 per cent took many by surprise, while China’s decision to reduce leverage in the economy is further evidence of its evolution towards sustainable, domestic-driven growth. In addition, 2017 saw huge strides taken in cryptocurrencies and the positive disruptive potential of distributed ledger technologies, best illustrated by blockchain.  

“We want to explore whether digital assets like cryptocurrencies really are an asset class in their own right? Is this a new asset class? Are we getting close to Bitcoin becoming an investable asset class? What does it bring to investors in terms of uncorrelated performance and in terms of volatility? Should there be more regulation before investors allocate? 

Dealing with data within Formula One

“We always have a quant theme and this year we will be focusing more on data. We’ve invited Mark Gallagher, Managing Director, Performance Insights Ltd., to share his experiences working in Formula One for over 30 years. Mark will talk about dealing with data within Formula One and how it can lead to success through marginal gains.” An example of this could be analyzing weather data to improve the overall performance of the F1 team by knowing what tyres to use, and when to use them, during a race. 

Having Mark Gallagher share his insights on data management/analysis, independent of the financial industry, is an important feature of the Amsterdam Investor Forum. Last year, for example, included a keynote speech from Oliver Rees one of the leading voices in cybersecurity, who applies a unique psychological focus to the issues that arise when human and machine interact.   

The ability for non-financial experts to impart their knowledge is just one way that the Amsterdam Investor Forum aims to foster dialogue among panelists and attendees throughout the day and encourage critical thinking. “We are very proud of the constant year-on-year quality of the line-up,” states Amzallag. “We started off small with a community of clients and partners and it has grown to become an event featuring top-tier panelists, which is very pleasing. People speak freely. Indeed, some get in touch well ahead of us finalising the event agenda to ask if they can participate on panels. “They are the ones driving the agenda, not us. “They share their thoughts on what they consider to be important trends and developments shaping the markets, and we create a forum for them to debate those developments,” explains Amzallag. 

By shaping the agenda based on the feedback from panelists and participants, it certainly helps keep the event fresh each year. And as Amzallag concludes: “If there are no seats left in the auditorium, we must be doing something right for the industry, for our clients, and for the investment community at large.” 

Want to register for the AIF?

Register here

AIF agenda

Agenda 6 March

Agenda 7 March