Investors across the globe are again looking into alternative asset classes for their money as the effects of the financial crisis continue. However, these challenging times have dramatically increased the demand for more in-depth information on a particular product, the consultancy and research firm Alternative Decisions has told WealthBriefingAsia.
"The scene now is similar to after a bushfire - the fire burns away all the old dried out bushes leaving things looking charred but the ground is more fertile for new plants to grow. This is where we are now," Lawrie Chandler, co-founder of Alternative Decisions told this publication in an exclusive interview.
"The major difficulty is that investors now want more information on the 'how' and 'what,' questions that are not answered by extra data and require more qualitative reporting," Mr Chandler said.
Alternative Decisions is a firm that collects and distributes data on alternative investments. Currently, 35 per cent of its clients are involved in private wealth management, a ratio it expects to grow as the search for unique managers intensifies.
"For example, the private wealth sector tends to be an early investor in new investment groups. An impartial service that seeks to raise standards and help investors discover transparent managers off the normal radar screens is a perfect tool for the wealth management sector," Mr Chandler noted.
"Where the service is unique is that an investor in Hong Kong may not be aware of a high quality investment manager in New Zealand; we can connect these two groups together through knowledge sharing. Having tracked a fund by reading their marketing communications before meeting that manager ensures a better relationship is created,” he said.
Alternative Decisions was launched this year by Germany-based consultant and performance tracker eHedge in a bid to broaden investor communication and research services. eHedge handles 2,400 "live" alternative funds from 1,100 investment groups worldwide.