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FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

INVESTOR SERVICES

MANAGER SERVICES

How many employees do Alfinas Advisers have? How is your team structured? 

The firm's permanent team consists of six partners and one team member as well as some twenty external consultants hired on a contractual basis depending on the size, type and complexity of the mandates. Our team can also call upon the assistance of our trusted partners, specialised in various verticals of the investment industry, such as risk, ESG, compliance, legal, audit, financial services, accounting and  actuary valuation, tax etc.

 

How is your team organised?

The team is organised around three working groups, namely the Management Evaluation Committee ("MEC"), the Due Diligence Committee ("DDC") and the Investment Committee ("IC").  These three groups draw on both in-house and outsourced manpower and work independently, avoiding any conflict of interest.

What is the role of the investment committee?

The Committee is responsible for approving the investment strategy. It advises on the selection and monitoring processes of investment managers. The Committee is responsible for due diligence and evaluation protocols to ensure compliance with the investment policy statement of the mandates. Members of the Committee are consultants, investors and professionals with significant business and investment management experience. The Investment Committee meets quarterly.

What is the role of the  Manager Evaluation Committee?

The Manager Evaluation Team ("MEC") is composed of Alfinas'members and an external consultant. It is the first point of contact with candidate managers and serves as a consultant to the Investment Committee.  The MEC has one vote at the Investment Committee meeting. 

What is the role of the due diligence committees?

The Due diligence Committee ("DDC")  is composed of 5 sub-committees, all convened to carry out a due diligence investigation in connection with an initial recommendation of the manager evaluation team,  The Committee has the authority to consult independent experts where the Committee considers it necessary to carry out its duties under this Charter

How do you get paid?

The firm derives 100% of its revenue from the consulting fees it charges its clients and from the advisory agreement.  For the advisory agreement,  we can also apply a remuneration model that combines, consulting fees and a percentage of the assets under advice.

 

How are your consulting fees calculated?

The basis for the calculation is a combination of the number of hours worked, the number of people needed to complete the assignment, the duration of the assignment and the complexity of the task.

What is your soft dollar policy? 
We do not enter into a soft-dollar arrangement, which means we do not work on success fees or other incentive-based fees solely.  According to our hard-dollar policy arrangement, each service must be bill separately, directly to the user of the services-

How much research do you conduct on the managers before presenting them to your clients? 

We only introduce our clients to managers we know very well, and who have been screened and assessed according to our manager research protocols.  We employ industry standard Due Diligence protocols based on industry-standard manager research guidelines and DDQs, Additionally,  upon request, we may also employ clients' defined due diligence and managers research protocols. 

What investment philosophy do you adopt to construct multi-manager portfolios?

We adhere to an asset class investment philosophy. This style is contrary to the traditional “active multi-manager approach”  whereby individual investment managers are selected to outperform the market.

A significant body of academic research has amassed to consistently show that a large majority of fund managers deliver below-market performance once the effect of their fees and expenses are taken into account. Furthermore, the top tier of fund managers varies from year to year. This makes trying to pick next year’s top performers a risky strategy, and in our view likely to lead to subpar returns. An asset class strategy aims to deliver the returns from each asset class with minimal costs. If executed correctly it ensures investors are appropriately rewarded for the investment risks they take. The benefits of this approach are broad diversification, reduced volatility; lower risk; lower fees, and enhanced returns

What are the strategies eligible for your investment universe? 

 We are fundamentally strategy agnostic.  Our manager selection activities are in part demand-driven, as expressed by our clients' requests for proposals, requests for information and searches. 

What type of investments do you use to build portfolios?

Depending on a client’s risk tolerance, objectives and time frames, we structure our clients’ portfolios with a differing allocation to growth assets m income assets and capital preservation assets. 

To implement this strategy, a mix of low-cost managed funds and of ETFs are used for most client portfolios. We employ a number of filters before selecting investments. These filters mean that certain assets are excluded from our standard portfolios. 

 

What strategy are you looking at or most interested in? 

 We look primarily for a risk-return profile, rather than a strategy. However, some strategies are part of our core allocation.  These strategies fall into two groups. The first group are strategies that can enhance the performance of a bond/fixed income or balanced portfolio, such as private debt/private credit, relative value, event-driven, directional and multi-strategy strategies. The second group consists of purely opportunistic strategies, including niches, green alternatives, new alternatives, emerging and frontier markets as well as specific SRI -Impact-ESG themes such as energy transition topics,

Can you or do you do investments in multiple strategies simultaneously at the same firm?
Yes, as a multi-manager allocation specialist, our process starts with the selection of managers, not funds. Once a manager has been selected by our DD team and added to the  "Buy-List", over time our mandate may expand to include other products as well.  Additionally, we can include one of several products of the same manager in our various portfolio construction processes (for in-house funds, white funds or private label funds or custom portfolios). The fund selection made by our portfolio optimisation process will determine which fund and how many funds and to what extent we can use them.

How do you source new managers?

Managers are sourced through referrals, word of mouth, existing managers, third party marketers other investment consultants or personal networks within the industry.

 

What type of manager do you serve?
Both emerging and mature managers, across all asset classes and from all jurisdictions. 

What do you look for in an emerging manager?

.We look for managers through the highest standard requested by the institutional investors. On a qualitative level,  we look for processes that will provide stability and consistency in the future. We appreciate well-performing under-the-radar firms a the result of a poor or non-existent business development strategy.

What services do you provide to the managers?
We provide both manager Due Diligence and fund evaluation selection services.  We also provide investor relationship management and communication services.

Do you provide Third-party Marketing services?

No, we do not provide third party marketing or capital introduction services. However, we do provide services dedicated to calibrating managers to meet the requirements of different types of investors.

Some of the services provided include:

  • The development of marketing materials.

  • Management of investor communication

  • Guidance regarding new products or fund relaunch

  • Development of the investor's network

  • Management of Request for proposal (RFP) development.

How can I fundraise through your investment platform? 
We order to raise funds through our investment platforms, managers must undergo our due diligence process.  We only make capital available to managers that we have previously screened and added to the buy list.

 

How the investment will be structured? 
Investment can be structured in different models, from managed account solutions to private funds.  It is the final investor who decides.

 

Are your service agreements and contracts in writing?

Yes. All our client service agreements are in writing. These agreements specify the terms and conditions of the engagement as well as the obligations and responsibilities of each party.

Furthermore,  managers will be asked to sign a full disclosure and confidentiality agreement before the start of any due diligence review.

How do your due diligence services differ from other consultants in the market?

It is not a stand-alone service, but an integrated process in the construction of a dedicated multi-manager portfolio. We do not select managers in order to build a commercial database. Our due diligence report and fining are not sold to clients or other consultants

 

Is there any guarantee that a screened manager will receive an allocation?

We operate on a matchmaking model, which means that the ultimate goal of due diligence and screening is to enable our investors to invest in the managers we have selected. 

Would a due diligence report from another consultant allow me to participate directly in one of your programmes? 

No, as our due diligence review is tailormade according to protocols defined together with our clients.   We could use it as an indication but not as a definitive valuation report. 

Do you deliver a due diligence report that can be used as valuation for other clients? 

No, our due diligence reports are customised o our clients needs. For compliance and fiduciary responsibility reasons, they should not be used with other clients or for other purposes. 

Can you then offer standard due diligence?  

Yes, this is an additional service that we offer upon request from a manager. We will then deliver a final Due Diligence report for external uses. 

In the DD process, does the fund manager interact directly with the investor?

No, at this stage of the selection process, all communication goes through our due diligence committees. At a later stage, the fund manager may be invited to speak to our investment committee, whenever needed. Only managers admitted on the Buy-list might be contacted by the end-investors at their discretion.

 

How does a firm become a manager in one of Alfinas' products?

Every relationship with Alfinas Advisers begins with a due diligence review that allows us to gain a thorough understanding of the manager.

We only introduce our clients to managers we know very well, according to our protocol.

What if a manager falls out of your due diligence process and is not retained for your clients? Do you reimburse the consulting /due diligence fees? 

No, we do not!  But our due diligence process aims to conduct manager selection and not manager de-selection. Thus depending upon the reasons behind the failure, we will look to work together with the manager, advising on how to strengthen the offering. We seek long-term cooperation with the underlying managers to enable them to receive allocations directly or indirectly from our investors. 

Why should a boutique or emerging manager seek to join your program?

We provide free management coaching and practical advice through all phases of the business life cycle, helping newly formed partnerships to build a transparent, sustainable and robust business structure.  We provide access to concrete sources of long-term capital 

 

How long does the DD  process take?

There is no standard length for our due diligence review. It depends upon the type of strategy and many other factors. However, responsive and open participation by the manager can reduce the length of the process. In general, a standard manager due diligence review requests about 150 working hours or more, depending upon the complexity of the organisation and various other factors.

What is the process for being included in Alfinas advisers' manager database?

We do not maintain a database of managers. We only consider a limited number of manager needs for specific mandates, projects or research (one-off or recurrent).

Please send your investor information material (pdf presentation and fact sheet) to: info@alfinas.com; we will then send you the introductory questionnaire for investment managers. We will review the material submitted and get back to you.

How do you get paid?

 The due diligence review is not charged separately as it is part of an overall service.  For each new relationship, we charge an advisory fee and, in some cases, a performance fee.

INVESTMENT UNIVERSE

DUE DILIGENCE

EDWDO PLATFORM

What do EMSP  and DMSP stand for?  
EMSP ("Emerging Manager Selection Platform")  and DMSP  ("Diversity Manager Selection Platform") are two investment programs constructed as a multi-manager segregated investment vehicle, to facilitate access to institutional capital for emerging, small and medium-sized managers. 

 

What is the legal structure of the EMSP/DMSP??

The EMSP and DMSP  are a series of model portfolios following a multi-manager allocation. The portfolios are constructed under a  PCC  (Protected Cell Companies)  umbrella. Each underlying segregated compartment can be customized  as a private fund -of funds  (white or private Label, in-house or customised solution))

upon the investor's choice and request. 

What approach do the EMSP and DMSP follow?

 The EMSP and DMSP are not conventional 'programmes' or 'baskets' of managers. All selected managers on the platform will be integrated into an investable multi.-manager portfolio.  We do not maintain a database of investable managers. The managers are selected for investment through the  EMSP/DMSP's structure or investors-club deals. and in-house fund of funds. 

How does the investment platforms work?

The platforms make it possible for our investors to invest in pre-selected investment opportunities with underlying managers, (e.g. via a feeder vehicle created to aggregate several investments, via deal-clubs or simply directly according to the investor's usual allocation methods. Similarly, specialised vehicles may be set up for a single manager or a group of managers to facilitate access to a specific investor or group of investors.

 

What is the platform investment capacity? 

Both investment programmes (EMSP & DMSP) have no capacity limit nor obligation to reach a certain minimum annual allocation.  The flexible PCC structure allows investments on capital calls as suitable investment opportunities raise over time.  

Ho, do you define an emerging manager?

As we provide incubating, seed, accelerating capital and relaunch capital we do not have any fixed criteria in terms of volume of AUM or length of track record. It all depends upon the strategies and the asset classes.

How does your approach differ from other emerging manager programmes?

Our seed and early-stage investment programmes are structured as investable and customisable managers of a managers portfolio. All retained managers on the platform will be integrated into an investable either single-strategy and/or multi-strategy portfolio, which reduces the risk of investing in a single manager and allows investors to structure the portfolio of managers according to their specific risk-return profile.

How are investment managers selected?
When an investor seeks a new investment manager for a particular asset class, the manager evaluation committee  (MEC)  identifies managers according to the search criteria, and submit them to the due diligence committee (DDC) for appraisal. Members of the  MEC and the DDC  meet to review each fund manager’s organizational profile, investment philosophy, investment process, professional staff and investment performance. Based on this review, the Investment Committee retains the optimum manager or managers for the asset class allocation

 

How many managers will be onboarded on the programmes? 

There is no target as the programmes are recurrent.  As the programmes shed managers at the end of the lock-in period or for other reasons, new managers will be hired to replace those who have left the programme. Each programme (EMSP and DMSP) will incorporate as many new managers, small or emerging, as the portfolio diversification model allows.  

Will the investment be made directly into my fund, which is a Delaware partnership, or do I need to set up a feeder fund at different jurisdiction?

No, it Is not requested,  as the portfolio is structured as a PCC, that may invest in Delaware or any other offshore domiciled funds.  The PCC  may also invest in managed accounts.

Do your investment platforms require any additional governance rights or oversight on the underlying fund? 

No, both investment platforms are passive investors.  Due diligence is performed on candidate managers prior to offering the opportunity to our investor base. At that time, FundWiser will confirm that the fund's terms and conditions are satisfactory for a fund in that specific asset class/geography, in addition to ensuring that the underlying fund's governance, controls, monitoring and risk management procedures are in place.  Managers will not be considered for investment if any of these conditions are deemed unsatisfactory. Depending on the nature of the fund and its terms, specific conditions or additional governance rights may be required; however, this will only be the case if the fund documentation does not meet market standards.

What is the platform investment capacity? 

Both investment programmes (EMSP & DMSP) have no capacity limit nor obligation to reach a certain minimum annual allocation.  The flexible PCC structure allows investments on capital calls as suitable investment opportunities raise over time.  

What is the standard fee to participate in the investment programme?  
There is no standard participation fee for the managers selected for allocation in the emerging manager and diverse manager programmes. ut each manager will be applied a  consulting fee that covers both the due diligence investigation, the pre-selection activities and the monitoring activities.

Investing involves risks to your capital and returns are not guaranteed. Investing should be done only as part of a diversified portfolio. The value of the tax reliefs referred to on this website will depend on personal circumstances. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Tifosy is not permitted to advise you in relation to any investment and you are recommended to seek independent financial advice when considering any investment.

DISCLAIMER

EUROPAALLEE 41

8021 ZURICH 

MAIL: INFO@ALFINAS.COM

TEL: +41 43 499 65 57

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