2023-2024 / FINA0079-1

Fund Administration & Audit


30h Th

Number of credits

 Master in management (120 ECTS)5 crédits 


Marie Lambert


Gildas Blanchard, Anouck Faverjon

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The course provides students with a deep and wide overview of the role of investment funds in the financial markets as well as the role of fund service providers. It covers the different types of funds, both from a legal and investment perspectives. The course describes the economic ecosystem in which the funds operate, which includes 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).


The course finally provides insights about the size of the market and the  legal and administrative conditions around the world as well as in the local environment (it will introduce students to the special case of Luxembourg, one of the leading market place for investment funds).


Part I. Types of investment funds (classification)

Module 1: From MPT to investment funds. The first module gives the theoretical material in order to understand the role of investment funds within the Modern Portfolio Theory framework. It gives a first description of the different types of funds based on both an investment and legal perspectives.

Module 2: Deviating from MPT - The case of alternative investment funds

Module 3: Legal structure and regulatory framework: legal classification of investment funds. The module covers the legal framework and main investment vehicles for setting up a fund. It will focus mainly on European regulation. 

Module 4: Sustainability and investment funds

Module 5: Traditional and alternative investment funds: strategy-based classification of investment funds.

Part II:  Investment fund management

Module 6: The role of the management company and of the Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM). It covers the core functions of the ManCo and AIFM (i.e. portfolio management and risk management) of an investment fund according to its investment policy and regulatory status.

Module 7: Module on depositary services presents the role of the depositary for traditional and alternative funds as well as highlights their differences. The course will cover in details the duties of these service providers but also the implications of the contractual relationship with the fund sponsor. It will finally also provide students with market information (major players) and the current challenges with regard to new legal requirements.


Module 8Fund administration and audit module covers the service of fund administration (fees payment, investor redemption/subscription, role of transfer agent, prospectus and reporting) and accounting (NAV calculations, ...). It finally covers the independent audit function and introduces students to supervision bodies and legal requirements.



If times allows, other subjects might be covered such as the financing of private market funds (subscription lines by real estate, private equity and debt funds and its impact on their liquidity and their performance metrics), challenges in fund distribution, ...

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

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 conduct a due diligence on investment funds, establishing their financial strategy, their 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, research information autonomously.


(3) Students will master 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.

This course contributes to the following Intended Learning Outcomes :


ILO-2 : Gaining the knowledge and understanding of one of the proposed fields of concentration or to gain deep knowledge in the field of the management being already specialized through a first University Master Degree . 


ILO-5 : Integrate autonomously researched information, tools, knowledge and context to build and propose, either individually or as part of a team, original, creative and viable solutions to concrete complex management problems, whether real or simulated, taking into account, when necessary, the human, social and legal context.


ILO-6 : Ability to speak 2 foreign languages: C1 in English and B2 in one other language.


ILO-7 : Being capable of professional team work 


ILO-8 : Developing leadership 


ILO-9 : Developing a critical sense (arguing)


ILO-10 : Developing a transversal, global vision 


ILO-11 : Creative conception of solutions 


ILO-12 : Professional capacity for oral communication


ILO-13 : Professional capacity for written communication  

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

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 prior knowledge in investments and portfolio management, law, audit and accounting.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course consists of 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).


The course uses the following teaching approaches:

  • Lectures
  • Workshops with practitioners
  • 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 a financial dataset (Eikon)

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

The course is composed of 10 face-to-face or virtual (live) lectures. These lectures include workshops with practitioners.  Students will have the unique opportunity to meet key players in the fund industry ecosystem including fund managers/investment advisors (from different types of funds), depositary banks, fund lawyers, fund auditor, fund accountants, alternative investment fund manager and management company, fund distributor.


Recommended or required readings

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

Exam(s) in session

January exam session

- In-person

written exam ( open-ended questions )

August-September exam session

- In-person

oral exam

Written work / report

Continuous assessment

Additional information:

The course grade is split as follows: 

  • 20% of the grade is a project where students will work on the due diligence of investment funds. To do so, students will need to research autonomously information regarding their assignment, especially through access to performance datasets (Eikon Refinitiv).


  • 60% of the grade is a written exam

  • 20% continuous evaluation: The evaluation will take into account activities organized during the lectures as well as preparation of lectures. It could comprise (non-exhaustive and illustrative list only): case studies organized during the lecture, case studies preparation before the lecture, quizzes organized during lectures, active and relevant Questions and Answers during lectures. 

    Retake exam (August)

  • Students who fail at the first session or do not present themselves at the exam will have to (re)take the exam in the second session organized in August/September. There is no intermediary session.
  • Students who did not participate to the course (and therefore have 0 in continuous evaluation and for the group work), will not be allowed to participate to the first session's exam.
  • The grade split for the second session is as follows. (i) Oral exam for 80% of their grade. (ii) 20% of their final grade will consist of an individual assignment.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

Since the continuous evaluation and a group project represents a substantial part of the course grade, course enrollment will be closed after October 31st as well as group enrollment. Each student should be enrolled in a group by that date to be authorized to enroll into the course and/or to take the January exam.


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 anouck.faverjon@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 - Professor at HEC Liège - marie.lambert@uliege.be  

Gildas Blanchard - Head of Industry Affairs, Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry (ALFI) - gildas.blanchard@alfi.lu

Teaching assistants:  

Anouck Faverjon: anouck.faverjon@uliege.be

Alexandre Scivoletto: alexandre.scivoletto@uliege.be    

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