Altvest, a Web site dedicated to providing information on hedge funds, has added new portions to its site, some of which support the hedge fund community, others that bring hedge fund managers closer to their investors. The site, which has been up since 1998, offers its 200 paid institutional investor subscribers information on hedge funds that they cannot find anywhere else, primarily because the hedge fund managers only submit their data to Altvest. But now, along with the added community components to the site, potential investors will be able to submit Requests for Proposals (RFPs) directly to the hedge funds. RFPs typically include the details of their investment needs, as well as questions about the hedge fund, its manager and its investment style.
Julie Silcox, director of marketing, explains that the RFP process is a fairly simple one right now, allowing investors to send either an e-mail request that outlines their questions and needs or includes a URL link back to a detailed RFP. Silcox insists that this is different than using a normal e-mail system because Altvests technology provides for the secure environment. As such, only registered members of the site may use this function. Further, Altvest needs to ensure that the investors submitting RFPs are accredited investors, an undertaking accomplished in their typical registration process.
The other new components to the site, the Hedge Fund Message Board and the Career Corner, are open to non-subscribers. The message board provides a forum for hedge fund managers and investors to talk about problems they may all be facing. The career center allows hedge funds to seek and recruit employees.
Coming down the pipeline, Silcox says, is a streamlined and cheaper Altvest option. At $5400, Altvest Edge, its current high-end option, affords registrants access to not only data on the hedge funds, but online tools for calculating portfolio management, volatility characteristics and risk-reward ratios. Looking to add to its current list of 200 paid subscribers, Altvest will release a more affordable option for the institutional investor that needs access to data on the hedge funds who manages the funds, their returns but doesnt need the online tools.
"This lower-end product doesnt have the analytical capabilities of the Edge, but its appropriate for institutional investors, as well as private investors," explains Silcox. She says the product is still under development, and, as such, she cant offer up a price for it.