Institutional investors continue to favor alternative investments, especially equity and credit hedge fund strategies and private equity. This was one of the key takeaways from this year’s Walkers Fundamentals Hedge Fund Seminar, featuring Walkers partners Nicholas Blake‑Knox, Rolf Lindsay, Ingrid Pierce, Colette Wilkins and Caroline Williams. This two-part series reviews the above and other highlights of the seminar. This first article outlines recent trends in fund launches, asset flows and preferred strategies; fund durations, fees and governance; expectations for cryptocurrency and environmental, social and governance investing; and the impact of Brexit. The second article will address best practices for managers and investors to navigate suspensions of redemptions, liquidations and restructurings. For coverage of the Walkers Fundamentals Hedge Fund Seminar from prior years, see: 2017 Seminar; 2016 Seminar; 2015 Seminar; and 2014 Seminar.