In an era of middling hedge fund returns, aligning investor and manager interests can be an important way to develop long-term investment relationships that outlast short-term underperformance. The Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA), in collaboration with accounting and consulting firm RSM US LLP, recently asked a sizable sample of hedge fund managers for their views on the best ways to align their interests with those of their investors, focusing on customized investment vehicles; transparency; “skin in the game”; and fee and expense provisions. AIMA’s report describes a revolution in the hedge fund industry based on “customisation, collaboration and communication.” According to Tom Kehoe, global head of research and communications at AIMA, “the industry’s institutional, experienced and sophisticated investor base has driven the change toward bespoke investment mandates, value advisory services and deeper partnerships, all of which help to further strengthen hedge fund alignment with investors.” This article explores AIMA’s key findings, with added insight from Kehoe. For coverage of AIMA’s 2016 survey, see “Key Ways That Managers Align With Investors, Including Alternative Fee Structures, Skin in the Game and Customized Investment Solutions
” (Sep. 22, 2016).