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CAIA Hires Director of Member Services

Date: Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Author: HFN Daily report

The Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association, which offers the CAIA designation to those interested in becoming experts in alternative investments, announced recently it hired Jennifer Marcoullier as its director of member services.

In her role, Marcouiller will primarily lead the association in its development of member-focused programs, such as roundtables in five locations worldwide, helping establish new chapters and growing member activity and connectivity online.

"My basic mission is to help grow chapters around the world," Marcoullier said. "We're going to be having events in five locations around the world. We're planning regional meetings with member roundtables and an evening networking reception."

The CAIA Association has seen tremendous growth in its organization and the alternative investment industry overall in the past few years. According to Craig Asche, the CAIA Association's executive director, the CAIA designation is intended to help comfort potential institutional investors in the industry.

"Institutions have driven the movement toward regulation," Asche said. "From the standpoint of institutional clients being comfortable with the coverage their getting in [alternatives], our designation is important. [Institutions are] looking for people who are qualified."

According to Asche, approximately 30% of its members are consultants; another 20% to 25% are money mangers. The rest are primarily service providers to the alternative investment industry, such as lawyers or capital introduction professionals. About 400 members have passed both portions of the exam and another 200 are eligible to become members after receiving their "level two" results. The CAIA Association expects to double its membership again this year.

Well-known CAIA designation holders include former CalPERS executive Mark Anson, PAAMCO's Jane Buchan and Alexander Ineichen, the global head of alternative investment strategies research at UBS Investment Research.

With so many new members, Marcoullier said there have been requests for more networking and professional development opportunities. It will be her job to provide those types of benefits to members.

Marcoullier joins the organization from Reed Business Information, where she was a product manager.