Here are some key quotes from my latest podcast with Michelle Noyes, Managing Director and Head of the Americas at AIMA, who takes us inside the alternative investment industry’s top trade association:

“Our role is to serve as the voice of the hedge fund and private credit industry in our advocacy, communication and education work.”

“I found my way to AIMA’s doorstep as the volunteer representative for the group in Brazil. And after about a year or two of doing that, I was relocating back to the U.S. and AIMA decided to open their first U.S. office.”

“What started out was really a core focus on figuring out what our approach would be in the US.  And over time, we’ve doubled our U.S. membership.  So it’s grown quite substantially.”

“We have a global team, including myself, in different markets that are really the liaison to bring that global intelligence to the local market, as well as the local expectations and needs reflected in our global work. So it’s truly that two-way flow of information.”

“When you think about what we do as an association, you can think about our industry-facing work. This is our advocacy. This is the media relations work. The people coming up and telling the story post Game Stop.  Short selling has value.  It’s actually counterproductive to ban this activity.”

“We really do need to get that value proposition right. So it simply is showing [managers] how we can be helpful. How can we either help you make money or save money in excess of what you pay us every year in membership dues.”

“When we’re talking about COVID, it’s impacted both what we’ve covered and how we’ve covered it. We immediately brought into action and pivoted to digital delivery.”

“Over the course of the year, we ended up doing over 200 webinars for 19,000 viewers.  We had done the odd webinar here or there. But that was a completely different scale and scope. And we had done about six full-on virtual conferences. So we learned a lot about communicating with our members.”

“We honestly had no idea what to expect in terms of membership.  Then we had a record new membership in Q4 and had a really strong renewables period this year. So I think, again, as I mentioned, members do vote with their dollars. And it’s been really great to see that endorsement.”

“Through that lens [of diversity and inclusion], this issue of talent has really become prioritized. Again, we can argue that it’s always been a talent business.  But it’s really not new.  There’s just been a renewed focus on it in this light.”

“We see not just digital assets boutiques that have sprung up – and many of them coming from hedge fund backgrounds and working to institutionalize – but also core hedge funds, multi-strat and global macro funds, including access to Bitcoin or ethereum into their portfolios.”

“I think it’s actually a great moment for the Alts industry. There’s so much innovation.  We look at hedge funds, specifically. So many people are saying that this is really a golden era for hedge funds. I know we’re seeing some of the performance data coming in for Q1, which I believe is the best it’s been since pre-crisis times.”