Q & A Database

The GIPS Standards Q&A database contains questions and answers (Q&As) on various searchable topics that provide additional interpretation on an issue. Q&As are considered to be authoritative guidance and must be followed in order to claim compliance with the GIPS standards.

Content from prior Q&As was included in the GIPS Standards Handbook as much as possible and many Q&As were archived. Change the Status drop-down filter to "Archived" to see the archived Q&As.

The GIPS Standards Helpdesk is available for individual questions and typically responds to inquiries within 3 business days.

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1 Result
  • Archived

    Effective: 1 October, 2012 - 31 December, 2019
    Categories: Alternative Investments
    Source: Guidance Statement on Alternative Investment Strategies and Structures

    Some of our hedge funds are domiciled in offshore locations; however, a local legal entity formally acts as a fund manager to fulfill the local regulations. Our firm formally acts as investment adviser to this local entity, which is theoretically free to follow our advice or not. However, in actuality, all of our investment advice is implemented, so our firm effectively makes all investment decisions with respect to those funds. Are we allowed to include those funds in the definition of the firm and the relevant portfolio universe?

    Yes. The definition of the firm delineates the universe of “all” portfolios that must be included in total firm assets. Fundamental to the GIPS standards is the premise that all of the firm’s actual, fee-paying, discretionary portfolios must be included in at least one composite.

    In the case of hedge funds registered off-shore, the investment management function may be formally assigned to a third-party entity that is not actually performing the portfolio management function, and the firm may be named as having an advisory-only role. In assessing such situations, a “substance over form” principle should be applied and a great degree of judgment is required to assess whether a fund is effectively managed or only advised by the firm with another entity making the final investment decisions. In the above example, if the firm can demonstrate that it effectively exercises discretionary investment management and can provide documented evidence that all investment advice has been implemented accordingly, it must include the funds concerned in the definition of the firm.

    In addition, it would be inappropriate and against the ethical spirit of the GIPS standards to make use of formal adviser-manager structures to avoid inclusion of certain funds or portfolios in the firm.

    Please also see updated Q&A