All Posts by cfaille

All entries by this author

Lazard Research on Smart Beta

Nov 5th, 2017 | Filed under: Behavioral finance, Due Diligence Process, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Risk Management & Operations, Smart Beta

Jason Williams, senior vice president at Lazard Asset Management, has written a white paper on the “six sins of smart beta.” First: what is smart beta? Academic studies indicate anomalies in the markets that somehow don’t get arbitraged away.  These become identified as “factors” and indexes can be designed soRead More


Federal Reserve on Counterparties to the next Lehman Brothers

Nov 2nd, 2017 | Filed under: Business News, Insolvency, Newly Added, Operations, Risk Management & Operations, Service Providers

The Federal Reserve has issued a final rule relating to the qualified financial contracts (QFCs) of global systemically important U.S. banking institutions (GSIBs). Derivatives & Repo Report, a blog maintained by the international law firm Perkins Coie, has done a thorough write-up on the subject, to which the material belowRead More


Are Clearinghouses Systemically Risky? Gary Cohn is Heard From

Oct 31st, 2017 | Filed under: Business News, Hedge Funds, Insolvency, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

Economists sometimes cite a “law of unintended consequences.” This is what it sounds like, the principle that actions of people, inclusive of and perhaps (depending on who is writing) especially the actions of a government, have unanticipated and (as far as third party observers can judge intentions) unintended consequences. InRead More


China and a Reduced Form Bayesian VAR

Oct 29th, 2017 | Filed under: Commodities, Finance & Economics, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

What the heck does the forbidding phrase “reduced form Bayesian VAR” mean? Let’s break this down. The VAR in question isn’t VaR (Value at Risk). It’s Vector Autoregression. This is a stochastic process model employed to understand the linear dependences among multiple time series. Each variable in a VAR hasRead More


EC and US CFTC Reach Agreement on Venues

Oct 26th, 2017 | Filed under: Commodities, Newly Added, Regulatory Environment, The A.I. Industry

The European Commission and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission have agreed on a “common approach on certain derivatives trading venues.” The idea is that parties in the U.S. should be able to do business with counter-parties in Europe in such a way that the latter comply with Article 28Read More


DTCC: How to Think About Fintech

Oct 24th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Operations, Risk Management & Operations

The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), a provider of clearance, settlement, and a wide range of other services to the financial markets, has issued a new white paper on technological innovations and the disruptions fintech may generate. The report begins with a quotation from a speech given by LaelRead More


EIU on Institutions and Time Horizons

Oct 19th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, Risk management, Risk Management Strategies & Processes

With the  sponsorship of Franklin Templeton, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)  has surveyed  143 investing institutions in North America (part of the global sample of 571) in order to study recent shifts in their portfolio allocation, especially with an eye to the risks that concern them and the length ofRead More


International Debt Enforcement: Nautical Twists and Turns

Oct 17th, 2017 | Filed under: Business News, Finance & Economics, Insolvency, Newly Added

Since sovereign debts and collection issues we shall always have with us, it is not amiss to look back four years to a decision by the Supreme Court of Ghana issued in June 2013, on NML Capital’s effort to enforce its judgment against the Republic of Argentina through the seizureRead More


Private Credit Industry: Supply and Demand

Oct 15th, 2017 | Filed under: Debt Types of Private Equity, Newly Added, Private Investments

The Alternative Credit Council, an affiliate of the Alternative Investment Management Association, has put out a paper on the present state of the private credit industry, considering both the demand (from borrowers) for its services and the supply (from investors) of capital to lend. In preparing this paper, the ACCRead More


EDHEC, New Research, and Hyper-illiquid Assets

Oct 12th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Real Assets

The EDHEC Infrastructure Institute – Singapore has published a new paper describing what it calls the “very first results of an ambitious project to create investment benchmarks for long-term investors in infrastructure.” The Institute is host to a dedicated team, who for years now have been collecting and aggregating primaryRead More


Alpha Generation and Real-Time Data

Oct 10th, 2017 | Filed under: Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

In a recent paper, Michael W. Brandt and two colleagues look into whether hedge funds “adjust the conditional market exposure in response to real-time changes in macroeconomic conditions, and whether doing so improves their performance.” The paper is a short one but it may punch above its weight in severalRead More


The State of Alternative Investments in Australia and New Zealand 

Oct 8th, 2017 | Filed under: Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

A new Preqin paper presents the state of the alternatives investment industry in Australia and New Zealand. Mark O’Hare, the CEO of Preqin, says in a Foreword that Preqin’s databases track 481 fund managers active in one or the other of those two countries, and 443 “significant institutional investors” TheRead More


Performance of SRIs: Funds and Indexes

Oct 5th, 2017 | Filed under: Alternative energy, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Socially responsible investing, SRI and Clean Energy

A new paper by Giuseppe Risalvato, a Ph.D. candidate at Università Carlo Cattaneo, Italy, contends that there is no “ethical sacrifice” in investing. That is, there is no discount that investors who want to be socially responsible will have to pay for that choice. Risalvato makes two chief theoretical argumentsRead More


Alternative Investments in Target Date Funds

Oct 3rd, 2017 | Filed under: Alternative Investments in Context, Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

Vanguard, the manager of about 370 low cost traditional funds and ETFs, and an institution famously associated with low cost retail investing, has made public a new paper on the inclusion of alternative investments in target date funds. It isn’t enamored of the idea. Target date funds (TDFs), otherwise knownRead More


The Function of the High-Watermark: Not What You Think

Oct 1st, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Performance, Analytics & Metrics, The A.I. Industry

A new paper in the Journal of Accounting and Finance discusses hurdle rates and high watermarks, and how they affect, or at least correlate with, performance. A hurdle rate is a minimum contractually specified rate of return that a hedge fund must achieve in order to collect performance fees. ARead More


AIMA and SGPS on Managed Futures and CTAs

Sep 28th, 2017 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Allocating to A.I., Business News, Commodities, CTA, Institutional Asset Management, Investing in Commodities, Macro and Managed Futures Funds, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

The Alternative Investment Management Association and Societe Generale Prime Services have together put out a white paper about managed futures funds and the commodity trading advisers who manage them. A key themes of the paper is that managed futures strategies aren’t as risky as are typical investments in equity markets.Read More


Cautious Numbers Estimates: A Comparative Look

Sep 26th, 2017 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Funds, Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry, The A.I. Industry

On August 29, we at AllAboutAlpha ran a summary of the latest Eurekahedge report, saying that total hedge fund industry assets around the globe were $2.33 trillion, and that this figure was up by $108.6 billion over the first seven months of 2017. We heard soon thereafter from a readerRead More


Hedge Fund Activism: The Facts Don’t Bear Out the Dire Warnings

Sep 24th, 2017 | Filed under: Equity Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

Lucian Bebchuk, a professor at Harvard Law, has been at the heart of scholarly arguments over corporate governance for a long time, perhaps since 1990, the year he edited a textbook on Corporate Law and Economic Analysis. That was also the year Bebchuk, along with Marcel Kahan, authored a seminalRead More


SUNY Scholars: Hedge Funds are Smart about PIPES

Sep 21st, 2017 | Filed under: Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, Newly Added, Other Issues in Private Investments, Private Investments

Two scholars affiliated with the State University of New York at Albany recently looked into the roles of hedge funds in corporate misreporting. Specifically, they used a database of PIPE issuers. The resulting paper, by Na Dai (Associate Professor of Finance at SUNY) and Alfred Zhu Liu (Assistant Professor ofRead More


Barnes on Swaps Transparency under  MiFID II

Sep 19th, 2017 | Filed under: Commodities, Investing in Commodities, Newly Added, Operations, Risk Management & Operations, Structured Products

A recent blog in the TABB Forum, by Chris Barnes of Clarus Financial Technology, looks at recent developments in the realm of MiFID, and looks forward. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority in August of this year authorized certain Approved Publication Arrangements (APAs) for reporting under MiFID II.  The authorization ofRead More


Aon: Alternative Risk Premia Viable for Many

Sep 17th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Asset Allocation Models, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added

A new report from Aon discusses the contemporary market for alternative risk premia: where it is, how it got here; where it may be headed. The authors, Matthew Towsey and Chris Walvoord, begin with some very basic considerations of what ‘risk premia’ are. They are, on the one hand, theRead More


A Call to Norway to Invest in Renewables

Sep 14th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Socially responsible investing, SRI and Clean Energy

A new paper from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis looks at Norway’s pension fund, which is now in the process of increasing its investment in stock from 62.5% of the portfolio to 70%. The total portfolio value is now $7.5 trillion NOK, or about US $976 billion.Read More


M&F Worldwide: Not Just for Squeeze Outs Anymore

Sep 12th, 2017 | Filed under: Equity Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Hedge Fund Strategies, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

In 2014, hearing litigation over the fate of M&F Worldwide, the Delaware Supreme Court set out rules as to what a controlling shareholder has to do in order to keep his/its decisions within the safe domain of the “business judgment rule.” Last month, in a decision that may be ofRead More


Sovereign Wealth Funds: Partners and Capability

Sep 7th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

Sometimes it pays to read footnotes and end matter, because that turns out to be where the story is. Bocconi University’s Sovereign Investment Lab has published its latest annual report on sovereign wealth funds, and this gives us a case in point. The report says that 2016 was far fromRead More


The Consequences of Auditing the Auditors

Sep 6th, 2017 | Filed under: Behavioral finance, Finance & Economics, Newly Added

Nemit Shroff, an associate professor of accounting at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management, has written a study of the consequences of auditing for the auditees. He has concluded that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) “adds significant value to the financial reporting process,” with aRead More


High-Frequency Trading and Spoofing   

Aug 31st, 2017 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Business News, Commodities, Investing in Commodities, Newly Added, Risk Management & Operations

Six years ago Michael Coscia placed orders through the CME Group’s Globex platform via a trading algorithm that amounted to “spoofing.” He placed both large and small orders in the copper market, for example, with the large orders (cancelled within milliseconds) designed to create the illusion of market movement inRead More


Eurekahedge Reports: Total Industry Assets Stand at $2.33 Trillion

Aug 29th, 2017 | Filed under: Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., SRI and Clean Energy, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry, The A.I. Industry

Eurekahedge’s August report says that the Eurekahedge Hedge Fund Index grew by 0.88% in July 2017, while the underlying markets represented by the MSCI World Index grew by 1.64%. For June, overall, managers reported performance based losses of $8.4 billion, so that the industry growth was due entirely to netRead More


NEPC Surveys E&F Managers About Alternative Investments

Aug 27th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

NEPC, the investment consulting group that caters especially to endowments and foundations, has posted a survey about what such institutions think of marketable alternatives. This broad category “marketable alternatives” includes direct hedge funds, funds of hedge funds, liquid alternatives, and global asset allocation. Eighty-seven percent of the E&F respondents inRead More


Transparency in Alternative Investing

Aug 24th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Risk management, Risk Management Strategies & Processes

In February of this year, the Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 200 senior asset managers and institutional investor executives to learn what factors are most important in the way they make their decisions. Several different types of institution were involved, including hedge funds, private equity firms, insurance companies, and nonprofits. Also,Read More


Jacobs, Levy, and Markowitz on Portfolios

Aug 22nd, 2017 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added

Bruce Jacobs and Kenneth Levy, the founders and Chief Investment Officers of Jacobs Levy Equity Management, have brought out a new and considerably thickened edition of their classic collection of articles on equity investment. This second edition of Equity Management contains all 15 articles from the original, and 24 ofRead More


Half-Time Report on PwC’s Vision for Asset Management

Aug 20th, 2017 | Filed under: Fees, Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added, Regulatory, Regulatory Environment

Three years ago PwC published a paper on what they expect the asset management world will look like in 2020 – which is, as it happens, three years from now. We have reached the half-point in the hypothetical timeline. Much in the report still holds up, though of course itRead More


Blockchains, Innovations, and Intermediaries

Aug 17th, 2017 | Filed under: Digital currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I.

A new paper by Wulf A. Kaal, an Associate Professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, looks at the proliferation of blockchain-related innovations in the world of private investment funds. In an earlier paper, Kaal discussed the impact this is having on the fee structure of that industry.Read More


Build Value: Don’t Just Meet Quarterly Targets!

Aug 15th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alternative Investments in Context, Institutional Asset Management, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

FCLT Global, a new not-for-profit organization that seeks to promote long-term thinking in business and finance, has issued a manifesto, “Rising to the Challenge of Short-Termism.” The paper was written by Dominic Barton, Jonathan Bailer, and Joshua Zoffer. Each is affiliated with McKinsey & Company, which is one of theRead More


Real Estate Tops the Willis Alternative Investment League Table

Aug 10th, 2017 | Filed under: Hedge Funds, Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW) recently posted its Global Alternatives Survey. WLTW is a consultancy with a long history, roots going back to 1828, and that now has 40,000 employees serving clients in 140 countries. The gist of its new report is that the alternatives asset industry has grown toRead More


Networks, Modeling, and Funds of Funds

Aug 8th, 2017 | Filed under: Alternative Investments in Context, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

Two scholars affiliated with FERI Trust, a leading investment manager of the German-speaking countries of Europe, have written a study of hedge fund strategies that uses a “network-based analysis” thereof. The two authors, Eduard Baitinger and Thomas Maier, argue that hedge fund strategies show “numerous network-based properties” which help explainRead More


Til and Heckinger on Commodity Debacles, Part II

Aug 6th, 2017 | Filed under: Due Diligence Process, Newly Added, Personalities in AI, Risk Management & Operations

A new paper available at SSRN looks at two infamous commodity industry melt-downs: Amaranth and MF Global. It offers a diagnosis of each. The paper is co-authored by Hilary Till, of EDHEC – Risk, and Richard Heckinger, of the Working Group on Financial Markets, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. InRead More


Til and Heckinger on Commodity Debacles, Part I

Aug 3rd, 2017 | Filed under: Commodities, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Energy, Investing in Commodities, Newly Added

A new paper available at SSRN looks at two infamous commodity industry melt-downs: Amaranth and MF Global. It offers a diagnosis of each. Hilary Till, of the EDHEC – Risk Institute, and Richard Heckinger, of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, share the by-line. They acknowledge research assistance from KatherineRead More


KPMG: Alternative Investment Industry Deal Momentum Continues

Aug 1st, 2017 | Filed under: Liquid Alternative Investiments, Liquid Alts, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Regulatory Environment, The A.I. Industry

The auditing giant KPMG says in a recent report on merger and acquisition activity in the alternative asset management world that there was a dip in activity in this space in 2015, that there was a rebound “to more normalized levels” in 2016, and that the momentum off of thatRead More


Hedge Fund Gigantism is Not Necessary

Jul 30th, 2017 | Filed under: Fees, Hedge Funds, Newly Added, Seeding/early-stage, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

A joint survey by the Alternative Investment Management Association and GPP, the financial services firm formerly known as Global Prime Partners, disaggregates the hedge fund industry by size. It finds that the dynamics of the smallest (emerging-funds) sector looks very different once the “billion dollar club” and even the medium-sizedRead More


Hedge Funds in the United Kingdom

Jul 27th, 2017 | Filed under: Alternative Investments in Context, Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

Just prior to the June 8 election in the UK this year, Preqin took a look at the state of the hedge fund industry there. Interest in this subject matter is high for the alternative industry globally, given London’s centrality and the great deal that is riding on how theRead More


AIMA Gets Its Groove On: Two New Guides

Jul 25th, 2017 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

The Alternative Investment Management Association, the global AI industry group, has been busy of late. Its recent publications include a Best Execution Guide for the European Union’s revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID 2) and a guide to fund administration. Fund Administration The AIMA guide on fund administration reworksRead More


Lessons from University Endowments

Jul 23rd, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

In a recent article for The Journal of Investment Consulting, John Mulvey and Margaret Holen look at the practice of asset allocation among large U.S. university endowments. They focus on asset category definitions in the hope of throwing some light on “the movement to define asset categories with reference toRead More


Preqin and NXT Capital on the Filling of a Post-GFC Vacuum

Jul 20th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Newly Added

Preqin, in collaboration with NXT Capital, has surveyed institutional investors about the U.S. lower middle-market direct lending space, and has issued a report on their attitudes. The gist of the report is that investor appetite for the lower middle market “has steadily gained momentum in the past decade and …Read More


Skin in the Game: Testing a Cliché

Jul 16th, 2017 | Filed under: Alternative Investments in Context, Asset Managers, Hedge Funds, Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added

One of the most well-worn clichés in the hedge fund industry is the phrase “skin in the game.” Investors want managers who have “skin in the game,” that is, managers who risk/hedge their own money the same way they are risking/investing their outside investors’ money. A recent paper by ArpitRead More


Real Estate: A Global Outlook

Jul 13th, 2017 | Filed under: Infrastructure, Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Real Assets

PWC and the Urban Land Institute have jointly issued a report on “emerging trends in real estate” around the globe, which stresses that real estate’s attraction as an investment, even as a cross-border investment, has held up notwithstanding unprecedented levels of concern about geopolitics. The “global drift back to domesticRead More


Pensions: On Mortality and Long-Duration Corporate Bonds

Jul 11th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Newly Added

Milliman, an actuarial and consulting firm headquartered in Seattle, has completed a white paper on corporate pension funding based on its 17th annual analysis of the disclosures of the “Milliman 100,” that is, of the 100 biggest corporate defined benefit plan sponsors in the U.S. The funded ratio of theseRead More


Alternative Risk Premia Investing

Jul 9th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Asset Allocation Models, Newly Added

Unigestion has posted a research paper by Olivier Blin, Joan Lee, and Jérôme Teiletche, on “some of the practical considerations that should help investors get the most out of their allocation to” alternative risk premia (ARP) strategies. Unigestion is a boutique asset manager, and Blin is its head of crossRead More


Accounting Issues and Investing in Timberland

Jul 6th, 2017 | Filed under: Natural Resources and Land, Newly Added, Real Assets

On May 3, 2017, Ernst & Young made available the bullet points for a presentation on the “accounting, financial reporting, and regulatory considerations” affecting investment vehicles in this space. Mark to market or historic cost In general, the presentation says, the accounting treatment depends on where on a spectrum ofRead More


Wine: French Producers, U.S. Consumers, the World’s Investors        

Jul 4th, 2017 | Filed under: Emerging Alternative Investments, Natural Resources and Land, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Real Assets

Agrifrance recently posted a report looking at the French wine industry, with an especial focus on export to the United States. The U.S. “has been the world’s leading wine market by value since 2013,” says the company head, Benoit Léchenault, in a preface to the report. France is the secondRead More


Timberland Investors See 0% Growth Rate for Harvesting Costs

Jul 3rd, 2017 | Filed under: Natural Resources and Land, Newly Added, Real Assets

Today, we’ll look at  KPMG’s effort to determine who exactly the investors in timberland are, what their underwriting assumptions are, and what are their expectations for the coming 12 months. The firms surveyed included North America’s timberland investment market participants with five different structures: appraisal or consulting organizations; integrated forestRead More