FRANCE – The issue of managing investment managers has been raised at the Fund Forum event in Monaco – with one senior industry figure likening it to ‘herding cats’.

Michael Kenneally, chairman and global chief executive of Credit Suisse Asset Management, told delegates: "Managing investment managers is very, very difficult. In the industry we call it herding cats.

“Investment managers want to spend their day managing money, not attending conference calls."

Kenneally said this was one reason active asset managers were moving to hedge funds. "One possibility is setting up your own hedge fund within your own organisation," he said.

Meanwhile, large and medium sized investment managers are competing with small boutiques either by acquiring them or by setting them up in-house, according to a survey by KPMG International and CREATE think tank.

The survey, which covered 300 investment managers and 29 countries with 25 trillion euros in assets under management, shows that two in three investment management houses have created 'alpha groups', semi-autonomous groups of portfolio managers and analysts.

The aim is to emulate the investment culture of the small independent boutiques, the survey's author said.

The survey also shows that one in 15 investment management houses are acquiring strategic stakes in former independently owned boutiques, particularly hedge funds.

"Mergers and acquisitions in investment management in the past two years have focused on acquiring skills rather than scale or market share," Amin Rajan, CEO of Create
told delegates at the Fund Forum.

He said that investment management firms had to create the conditions and processes in which "alpha generators" felt comfortable.