There’s no escaping the fact that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still impacting the 2021 investment landscape. The experiences, hardships and requirements of the pandemic continue to prompt alternative asset management firms around the globe to review and adjust their priorities, operations and goals to increase solvency and build prosperity in the face of rapid, ongoing change. If one were to write a story about the alternative fund industry in 2021, it would detail the continuing successful momentum the industry was building in 2020, with alternatives thriving, meeting investor expectations and performing; at the same time, investors, faced with persistent market volatility and business uncertainty, continue to embrace the value of alternative funds to diversify their investment portfolios, mitigate risk and future-proof their returns.
Most of us are familiar with the phrase “the future is now,” but what does the expression really mean? In 2021, alternative fund managers are defining the term and applying it by using foresight to envision the future today. They’re visualizing how events might unfold towards a particular outcome — in this case, successfully extending their ability to predict and leverage the next wave of investment opportunities — while forecasting and preparing for a future colored by higher investor standards, increased regulatory scrutiny, and workforce and operational challenges.
Alternative fund managers have realized they need to not only address but advance current and future investor priorities, which now extend to retail investors as well, regarding environmental and societal imperatives, while taking the necessary steps to attract, support and retain a diverse and decentralized workforce. They’re making critical changes to investment strategies and product mix, including increasing exposure to digital assets, while implementing new talent acquisition and retention policies, employing new digital infrastructures and IT capabilities, and capitalizing on current environmental, societal and marketplace shifts to help guide their investment direction now and well into the future.