2018-2019 / FINA0079-1

Fund Administration & Audit


30h Th

Nombre de crédits

 Master en sciences de gestion, à finalité5 crédits 


Marie Lambert

Langue(s) de l'unité d'enseignement

Langue anglaise

Organisation et évaluation

Enseignement au premier quadrimestre, examen en janvier


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Unités d'enseignement prérequises et corequises

Les unités prérequises ou corequises sont présentées au sein de chaque programme

Contenus de l'unité d'enseignement

The course provides students with an overview of the different types of funds, both from a legal and investment perspectives. It covers the legal and administrative conditions and the economic ecosystem in which the funds operate around the world as well as in the local environment.
Module 1: From Modern Portfolio Theory to Investment Funds
The first module lays the theoretical and practical foundations for studying investment funds. It reviews Modern Portfolio Theory and introduces students to the mutual fund industry. The module concludes with some paradigm shifts in the industry towards (i) more beta/risk management and the so-called "smart beta funds" and towards (ii) a clear separation between the management of normal returns (a.k.a. betas) emanating from exposure to rewarded sources of risk and the management of abnormal returns (a.k.a. alphas) emanating from active managers' unique expertise to generate excess return above and beyond the risks taken. The latter topic finally introduces alternative investments.
Modules 2 to 4: Alternative investment funds (Hedge Funds, Private Equity Funds, Private Debt Funds, Real Estate Funds)
The courses give for each type of fund an overview of their investment strategies, risk and return potential, fees, target investors as well as industry key numbers and evolutions.
Module 5: Legal framework of investment funds and main investment vehicles
Module 6: The role of the management company and the investment fund service providers (zoom on fund administration and accounting and transfer agents)
The sixth module starts by describing the main functions performed by a management company of an investment fund. It then provides an overview of the different service providers (custody, depository, fund administrators, auditors, tax/legal advisors, distributors/placement agents, transfer agents) and stakeholders (supervisory authorities) surrounding the investment funds, including some general information about the fee structure (management fees, service providers' fees). After reviewing the investment fund ecosystem and stakeholders, the course will focus on the role of transfer agents, the service of fund administration (fees payment, prospectus and reporting) and accounting (NAV calculations, ...). It will also introduce students to the special case of Luxembourg, one of the leading market place for investment funds, providing the background and history of the investment funds in Luxembourg.
Modules 7 and 8: Other investment fund services
The seventh and eighth modules cover two other fund services, respectively the custody and depositary services and the independent audit. The latter module also introduces students to supervision bodies and legal requirements.
Module 9: Research in investment funds at HEC Liège
The ninth module is an introduction to research in smart beta funds, private equity funds, mutual fund style analytics and hedge funds conducted by Prof. Marie Lambert and her research group.
Module 10: Fund distribution channels
The tenth and last module covers the different fund distribution channels from three points of view: a management company, a fund distributor and a specialized platform supporting and facilitating cross-border fund distribution, order routing and information diffusion. The module will also present an innovative technology for which the Luxembourg is pioneer (DLT for Distributed Ledger Technology), i.e. use of the blockchain technology for distributing investment funds.
Modules 1 to 10: Wrap up and concluding thoughts
The last lecture concludes on the investment fund industry with the results of the group project and the presentation of the three best investment funds set up proposal (see group project).


Acquis d'apprentissage (objectifs d'apprentissage) de l'unité d'enseignement

Students will develop the following individual capacities: 

   (1) Students will be able to differentiate the (i) investment strategies, (ii) risk and return potential and (iii) targeted investors of different types of funds.
(2) Students will be able to establish a threefold strategy to establish an investment fund: deciding on its financial strategy, its organizational/legal structure and its distribution channel including the targeted investors. For answering this concrete complex and transversal financial management problems, students will need to  collect market data, model financial information, perform interviews, research information autonomously.
(3) Students will be able to execute the financial management of an investment fund. This includes the process to establish a fund, selecting or in-sourcing the service providers and organizing the distribution channels.
(4) Students will understand the key evolutions within the global fund landscape including its administrative, legal and economic contexts. Students will need to adapt their management practices in this specific context.
  (5) They will strengthen their communication skills in business related problems and in English.

Ce cours contribue aux attendus d'apprentissage suivants :
ILO-2 : Acquérir les connaissances et la compréhension de l'une des disciplines de spécialisation Ou approfondir sa connaissance du domaine de spécialisation par l'effectuation d'un premier Master de niveau universitaire.
ILO-5 : Intégrer des informations, des outils, des connaissances et des données contextuelles recherchés de manière autonome pour concevoir et proposer, individuellement ou au sein d'une équipe, des solutions originales, créatives et viables à des problèmes de gestion complexes réels ou simulés, en tenant compte, le cas échéant, du contexte humain, social et juridique. 
ILO-6 : S'exprimer dans deux langues étrangères dont l'anglais:  C1 en anglais et B2 dans l'autre langue.
ILO-7 : travailler en équipe de manière professionnelle.
ILO-8 : développer son leadership.
ILO-9 : développer son sens critique (argumentation).
ILO-10 : développer une vision globale transversale. 
ILO-11 : être créatif dans la conception de solutions.
ILO-12 : communiquer oralement d'une manière professionnelle.
ILO-13 : communiquer par écrit d'une manière professionnelle.

Savoirs et compétences prérequis

The course groups students with different backgrounds and the course project will benefit from this diversity. 
Independently of their profile, students should still all have basic knowledge in investments and portfolio management, law, audit and accounting.

Activités d'apprentissage prévues et méthodes d'enseignement

The course is structured as follows:

  • 10 lectures of three hours which provide both the academic and the practitioners' views on the current issues in the Fund Industry. Professionals in Fund Industry from the Luxembourg market place actively participate to the course. Luxembourg is by far the European leader (and second in the world behind the United States) in the mutual fund industry with more than 11,000 funds managing around 1,800 billion Euros;
  • two tutorials for the group assignment: October 8thand 15th;
  • One final wrap up course which concludes the course and provides feedback on the students' group work. Feedback from both the professor and practitioners will be provided in order to prepare students to a professional career in the fund industry. During this session, the three best projects will be announced and be asked to present;
  • A lecture focusing on research activities in investment funds conducted within the team of M. Lambert at HEC Liège. The course also provides students with the key current academic issues - yet unresolved - raised within the fund industry as well as prepares students to a career in research.
The course uses the following teaching approaches:

  • Lectures
  • Workshops with practitioners
  • Workshop with researchers
  • Problem-based learning (group work): The group assignment includes to work on a concrete complex and transversal financial management problems taking advantage of the different student profiles (Law, Economics, Banking and Asset Management, Financial Analysis and Audit) attending the class.
  • Data collection on financial datasets (Preqin, Morningstar)

Mode d'enseignement (présentiel ; enseignement à distance)

The course is composed of 10 face-to-face lectures (including workshops with practitioners), 2 tutorials and distance learning. 

Lectures recommandées ou obligatoires et notes de cours

Mandatory readings 
The mandatory course material will be available on the course web page on lol@: http://lola.hec.ulg.ac.be

Complimentary/Recommended readings     Andrew W. Lo, The Dynamics of the Hedge Fund Industry
Matthew Hudson, Funds: Private Equity, Hedge and All Core Structures (The Wiley Finance Series) 1st Edition
Rober Pozen et al., The Fund Industry: How Your Money is Managed Hardcover - February 8, 2011
Owen Concannon, CFA Institute Industry Guides: The Asset Management Industry Paperback - April 3, 2015

Modalités d'évaluation et critères

The grade for the course is split as follows:

  • 40% grade is a group project where students, in multidisciplinary teams, will work on a challenge called "set up your fund". For performing their assignment, students will need to research autonomously information regarding their assignment through access to performance datasets (Preqin, Morningstar) and by performing, on their own, interviews of business professionals (met during the course or not). Two tutorials will be organized on October 8th (workshop) and 15th (Q&A).

    On December 10th 2018, the three best reports will be announced and the students, by group, will be asked to present their value proposition.
  • 60% grade is a multiple choices exam (closed book).


Remarques organisationnelles

Students have the opportunity to ask questions on the material during the class and at the end of each session. Outside the course hours, students should send their questions to the teaching assistant maxime.ledent@uliege.be who will organize a questions and answers session or an individual meeting.
Students are invited to check the lol@ platform on a regular basis for any practical information regarding the course or any schedule change.


Marie Lambert - Associate Professor at HEC Liège - marie.lambert@uliege.be  
Teaching assistant and PhD candidate:  
Maxime Ledent - maxime.ledent@uliege.be