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COVID-19 and the evolution of the alternative asset manager operating model
As a result of one of the great human tragedies of the 21st century, the world has been enduring some form of ‘lockdown’ or curtailment of ‘normal’ since early 2020 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of COVID-19 on the human condition has been immeasurable; sociologists and psychologists will have source material for many decades as they attempt to put this virus and its ramifications on the world into context. Most of those reading this are neither of the above, however, so the focus for this paper will be the effects of COVID-19 on the asset management industry and how we as an industry operated during the pandemic. Most importantly, this paper will seek to explore trends that were accelerated as a result of the pandemic and what the future operating model for the asset management industry could look like. As my core expertise is the alternative asset management industry, this commentary will focus mostly on that particular subset of the industry, but certain aspects will be applicable to different types of fund operating models across the spectrum.
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Michael Fastert joined the Tiedemann Investment Group in June 2007 as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, overseeing all legal and compliance matters of TIG. In January 2016, he was appointed chief operating officer and chief legal officer responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations of TIG, as well as continued oversight of legal and compliance matters. Prior to joining the company, Michael worked for Seward & Kissel LLP representing and advising clients in the formation and distribution of domestic and offshore hedge funds, master-feeder funds and funds of funds pursuant to US federal and state securities law from 2003 to 2007. Michael received a BBA in finance from the College of William & Mary and a JD from Boston College Law School. Michael was a keynote speaker at the 2017 Eze Advance Global Conference, an event focused on investment management operations and best practices, where he spoke about enhancing the hedge fund operating model. Additionally, Michael has been a panellist at several conferences and industry events, such as GAIM Ops Cayman and the HFM US Operational Leaders Summit, discussing topics such as operational alpha generation, leveraging technology in hedge funds, hedge fund operations, technology infrastructure, cyber security, and the legal and regulatory environment in international finance.