Centaur’s Des Johnson’s Fireside Chat at Billion Dollar Club

Centaur’s Des Johnson’s Fireside Chat at Billion Dollar Club

BDC Summit

CEO of Centaur US Meets Senior Leaders of UITMCO and Nationwide to Discuss Hedge Funds, Their Future from an Allocators Perspective

New York, July 9, 2021

Hedge funds, their reputation and their future were among the topics discussed during a fireside chat moderated by Des Johnson, CEO of Centaur US. The event took place at the Billion Dollar Club Summit, hosted by HFM on June 24, and can be viewed on the following link.

Des was joined by Senior Leaders of two major fund allocators, Tony Caruso, Senior Director of Hedge Fund Investments at UTIMCO and Leo Svoboda, Managing Director & Head of Liquid Alternatives, Nationwide Life Insurance Co, to discuss the topic: “An Allocator's Perspective & The State of Play and Resilience in Hedge Funds”. There was a particular emphasis on the disruption caused by COVID-19, along with the transition towards digital transformation and changes in the due diligence process.

Des explains “The last 18 months have been incredibly volatile as stock markets plunged with the global lockdown and then rebounded dramatically in the following months. Hedge funds had to adapt and adjust quickly to mobile working. Despite the disruption caused by COVID-19, the hedge fund industry demonstrated resilience, adaptability and efficiency to experience a strong year.”

He continues: “While we are certainly not yet through the far side of the pandemic and the related economic implications, it is clear from our data that hedge funds performed exceptionally over the last 18 months. For example, more than 35% of Centaur’s client portfolios grew between 10-20%. This is broadly in line with published industry data.”

The pandemic accelerated the movement of Hedge Funds towards digitalization and highlighted the importance of having a strong and secure digital infrastructure. Des comments, “Even though the sector begins to return to the office, the accelerated change towards digitalization will serve the hedge fund industry well across multiple areas in the coming years. From attracting and keeping talent with flexible working arrangements to being able to take advantage of opportunities at any time from any place, the hedge funds who have embraced new technology in the last 18 months will continue to have an advantage over their peers for the foreseeable future.

The speakers also agreed that the due diligence process has changed over the past 18 months for allocators and that flexibility has been key to success. The move towards digital working has improved the demo process for allocators. That said, most agreed that the developments in digital interactions still aren’t a replacement for in-person interactions with all attendees looking forward to face-to-face meetings again.

Overall, performance is still number one for hedge funds as they strive to provide value for investors. The speakers agreed that Hedge Fund portfolios have performed extremely well during the pandemic. The last 18 months have demonstrated a unique scenario that, although unlikely to continue into the future, has had significant ramifications to the industry as a whole.

About the Billion Dollar Club Summit

The HFM BDC Virtual Summit 2021 (June 23-24, 2021) was an elite, private networking and educational Summit designed to bring together the C-Suite from the largest hedge funds in the US. The summit tackled the most pressing topics and questions facing the US asset management industry and provided practical advice on mitigating business risk and seizing market opportunities. For more information, visit HFM BDC Summit.

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