Founded in 2011, the Association of Professional Fund Investors was created by and for its membership. It enables professional fund investors to share ideas, ensure best practices and network with their peers. The association is dedicated to the advancement of the interests of professional fund investors and voicing the collective perspective of its members concerning key topics and trends within the global asset management industry. At its core, APFI serves as a forum to drive the development and the exchange of global best practices in the areas of research, analysis, due diligence and selection of asset management products. APFI seeks to build strong collegiate relationships among its members through a global networking framework. APFI advances the voice and perspective of the professional investor to industry dialogues on product development, regulatory and distribution topics concerning the global asset management industry. APFI strives to enhance the competitiveness and overall quality of asset management products in the marketplace through its members continuously demanding exceptional quality from asset managers. Further, APFI seeks to ensure first-class client servicing, reporting and transparency from asset managers. APFI believes that the inclusion of the investors’ viewpoint is crucial to the sustainable growth of the asset management industry. APFI acts to ensure the continued recognition of the importance of professional fund investors and advance their role within the asset management industry. APFI is independent of commercial interests and is owned and controlled entirely by its members. Philosophy
There are some simple truths that APFI members see as central:
- Funds are bought by professional fund investors, not sold to them.
- Hot concepts are the basis for short-lived bubbles; APFI members seek to isolate funds and their managers that have sustainable investment merit.
- A strong competitive environment for funds is crucial, of which open architecture is a key component.
- A well thought-out, sophisticated approach to fund research is forward-looking and past performance is only a limited aspect of the selection process.
- There is no ‘right way’ to analyse and select funds – APFI members utilise a broad range of techniques and methodologies.
- Professional investors work most effectively in an environment of independence and objectivity.
The association’s recent activities include:
- Launch of the DOOR global due diligence questionnaire initiative. See DOORfunds.com
- Engaging Esma, the European regulator, on MiFID II, Ucits and Priips legislation
- Engaging the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority on post-Retail Distribution Review rules, thematic reviews and consultations such as illiquid funds
- Engaging trade bodies such as the Investment Association and the Transparency Task Force on areas such as cost disclosure and investment transparency
- APFI London Summit, March, debating changes to fiduciary rules
- APFI Fund Buyer Academy, Berlin, June, hosted by FundForum International
The association is discussing these main issues:
- The technological threat to fund selection
- Regulatory changes - the fiduciary challenge
- Active versus passive funds, exchange-traded fund innovation
- Increasing complexity, use of esoteric assets and hedge funds
- Transparency, implicit trading costs, research costs
- Ethics, social and governance – the professional fund investor’s role?
- The changing role: advisory, wealth management, asset allocation
- Professionalism, accreditation and training
- Due diligence best practice across asset classes