The Alternative Investment Management Association (Aima), a global hedge fund industry association, plans to publish the first global guide to sound practices for fund of hedge funds managers.

The guide û which is due for publication in early 2009 û is being developed by some of the worldÆs leading fund of funds practitioners. It will focus on areas including risk management, disclosure to investors, valuation, management of conflicts of interest and other operational issues.

It will be a practical business tool for fund of hedge funds managers and will also seek to provide relevant and insightful information for the investor, regulatory and political communities, and the hedge fund industryÆs service providers.

The guide will be produced and overseen by a steering group of leading fund of hedge funds managers, who between them manage $150 billion of assets worldwide. The group is chaired by HDF Finance president Gilles du Fretay, and includes Financial Risk Management (FRM), Man Investments, Fauchier Partners, Allianz Alternative Asset Management, Unigestion, Pacific Alternative Asset Management Company, Ivy Asset Management, and Penjing Asset Management.

ôThere are currently no dedicated guidelines for fund of hedge funds managers yet the majority of new institutional investors tend to favour this investment route, rather than investing directly in hedge funds,ö says Andrew Baker, deputy CEO of Aima and a member of the steering group.

According to Hedge Fund Research, global hedge fund industry assets grew from an approximate $1.426 trillion at the end of 2006 to around $1.875 trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2008. During the same period, the number of funds of hedge funds has grown from 2,220 to over 2,600. This continued growth is derived from the industryÆs diversification and performance characteristics.

The guide to sound practices for fund of hedge funds managers will expand AimaÆs international body of work developed over the last 10 years including guidelines on managers, valuation, administration, governance, business continuity, due diligence for managers and service providers, anti-money laundering, and industry certification (in conjunction with the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst).

Aima has more than 1,280 corporate members worldwide, based in 47 countries. Members include leading hedge fund managers, fund of hedge funds managers, prime brokers, legal and accounting services and fund administrators.