As institutional investors consider a revival of hedge fund allocations, some of the biggest names in the alternative asset class – including Cliff Asness and Daniel Och – will hit Melbourne next week.

Investment Magazine’s fourth annual ‘Alternatives: Best of Breed’ conference, on Tuesday September 14 at Melbourne’s Park Hyatt, will be opened by Cliff Asness, the managing director and founding principal of AQR Capital Management.

AQR’s famous ‘Absolute Return’ hedge fund was not spared by the global financial crisis, however the manager has recently seen significant inflows from Australian investors for its systematic long-only global equity strategy, while its hedge fund beta product – which AQR claims offers a low-cost exposure to the DNA of the asset class – has also been gaining traction.

Indeed, this mix of outcomes has prompted Asness to ask the conference ‘Is there still an alternatives future?’

Meanwhile Daniel Och, the former Goldman Sachs prop trading boss who founded Och-Ziff Capital in 1994, will give the conference ‘A multi-strategy manager’s perspective on disciplined and affective risk management, diversification and asset allocation’.

Some of Australia’s most important asset allocators and gatekeepers will sit on panel discussion sessions at the conference, including AustralianSuper CIO Mark Delaney, Telstra Super CIO Jim Christensen, Mercer’s global head of alternative beta Dragana Timotjevic, SunSuper portfolio manager Bruce Tomlinson, and asset consultant executives including John Coombe (JANA), Kristian Fok (Frontier), Graeme Miller (Towers Watson), Alex Austin (Access Capital Advisers) and Eugene Snyman (Cambridge Associates).

Other funds management talent on display includes Tomas Hricko (head of product, Adveq Management), Hermann-Josef Woltery (partner at Strategic Value Partners), Robert Murray (investment committee member at Graham Capital Management), James Torney (head of global relative value, Tudor Investment Management), Randall Dillar (CIO at Liongate Capital Management), Craig Drummond (CEO of Merrill Lynch Australia), Nick White (managing director of Highbridge Capital Management), Jeffrey Fisher (Fortress Investment Group) and Gerald Beeson (COO of Citadel).

There are a limited number of complimentary passes still available for fiduciary investors, until the close of business today (Tuesday September 7). Please email if you wish to secure one.


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