Year after year, industry veterans and those new to the space convene for the industry’s leading event in sub-advised and multi-managed funds to stay current on the latest opportunities, trends, and strategies. An essential topic at this year’s event: New and rising vehicle structures and product types. Ahead of next month’s event, FRA spoke with industry experts who will lead the timely conversation.

The 32nd Sub-Advised Funds Forum will make its return as an in-person event at the InterContinental in Boston on September 20-21. The two-day forum will allow asset managers, wholesalers, and distributors from banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies, mutual funds, and liquid alternative funds to connect with peers and gatekeepers, exchange ideas, and learn critical information to keep up with a dynamically changing environment.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to take the pulse of what’s important in this channel, and there’s a lot that’s important. Those topics can range from vehicles to trends in fees, asset class consumption, and what types of firms are winning and how and why they’re winning. On the opposite end of the spectrum, what not to do because we can all learn to get better,” said Atticus Fallon, business development and client relations, GMO, who will moderate a hot topic panel discussion on day one of the forum.

The panel discussion will explore new and rising vehicle structures and product types in the sub-advisory space. Throughout the session, an esteemed lineup of panelists with unique perspectives will discuss the opportunities and challenges of active ETFs and less liquid products such as auction funds moving into retail, their best practices to sell into separately managed account and mutual fund wrap program distribution, and insights around how collective investment trusts work and how sub-advisory can help.

Panelists will also explore new developments in the closed-end marketplace, with a particular focus on interval funds, a growing area in the market increasingly gaining interest, according to Kimberly Flynn, managing director, alternative investments, XA Investments, who will be a speaker on the panel. “Alternative strategies are best suited for interval funds and do not fit into a mutual fund since they are typically less liquid. The benefit of packaging alternatives into an interval fund allows you to access the retail audience and a broader buyer base, while still charging higher fees as firms might in a private fund,” she explained.

The 32nd Sub-Advised Funds Forum

Interval funds are also an income focused product in an environment where it’s currently challenging to find income. “There’s going to be a lot of interest in managers that can develop either organic or synthetic forms of income and distribute that to investors,” said Flynn. “Income-oriented products will be in demand going forward partly because products that exist today don’t yield enough to be attractive to investors. So that’s one of the interesting challenges and it’s an opportunity for these firms, if they can address it, to be successful and raise capital.”

Flynn and Fallon will be joined by fellow panelists Jonathan Kreider, SVP, head of Great-West Investments, Great-West Investments, and David Kushner, founding partner, Global Asset Management Consultants, for the comprehensive discussion.

“There will be a range of topics that are covered, all of which I think are incredibly valuable,” said Fallon, who has been an attendee at the event for years. “The conference is exceptionally useful to firms who are new entrant to this specific space. The content helps firms understand what makes it click and how to succeed and, for people who have already been in this space for a long time, it’s good confirmation of what you already know.”

“It’s a chance to hear from the biggest, most important gatekeepers in the industry and to understand what makes them tick, what’s important to their business, and, perhaps, how they make decisions, which is incredibly important.”

Health and safety protocols

As FRA returns to in-person attendance, rest assured that the team is incorporating health and safety measures based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the InterContinental. Please note that guidelines and protocols are changing frequently, so please check the FRA site for updates.

The panel discussion, Survey New and Rising Vehicle Structures and Product Types in the Sub-Advisory Space, will be presented on Monday, September 20 at 10:10 a.m. EST. To learn more about the 32nd Sub-Advised Funds Forum, including the full agenda, list of speakers, and registration information, click here.