All Posts by cfaille

All entries by this author

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


New Numbers on Catastrophe Bond Insurance

Jun 27th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Risk management, Risk Management & Operations, Structured Products

A new report from an Alternative Risk Transfer research service, Artemis, looks at the catastrophe bond and insurance-linked securities market in the (recor- breaking) first quarter of 2017. Bond and ILS issuance reached the unprecedented level of $2.76 billion this Q1. That involved 25 tranches of notes from 14 deals,Read More


New Technologies Adding to Pressure on Fees

Jun 25th, 2017 | Filed under: Fees, Hedge Funds, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

A new paper proposes that emerging technologies (blockchains, Big Data and artificial intelligence) have increased pressure on the traditional hedge fund fee structure of 2 + 20. Its author is Wulf A. Kaal, an Associate Professor at the University of St. Thomas and director of the Private Investment Fund Institute.Read More


Sovereign Funds: Illiquidity and Transparency

Jun 22nd, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Newly Added, Real Assets

News reports in the waning days of the second quarter of 2017 indicate that sovereign wealth funds, especially those of the Middle East, have turned in a big way toward real estate. Invesco says that the region’s SWFs allocated 11% of their portfolios to international real property in 2016. RealRead More


Do Teachers Pensions Need Trumpian Negotiators?

Jun 20th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Hedge Funds, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has issued a lengthy rebuke to and critique of the fee structure of the alternatives investment industry; in a position paper it calls The Big Squeeze. Should the title be considered obscure, the subtitle is clearer about the paper’s thesis, “How Money Managers’ FeesRead More


Venture Capital Top 100 List(s): GP and LP

Jun 18th, 2017 | Filed under: Equity Types of Private Equity, Newly Added, Private Equity, Private Investments, Venture capital

Preqin has named its top 100 Venture Capital firms, ordered by the amount of capital each firm has raised in the last 10 years. The top 10, with their headquarters city, are as follows: Tiger Global Management, New York New Enterprise Associates, Menlo Park Sequoia Capital, Menlo Park DST Global,Read More


Growth and Challenges for Asset Management in Italy

Jun 15th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alternative Investments in Context, ETFs, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

A recent (May 2017) Deloitte white paper discussed asset management in Italy. The paper begins with the observation that key institutions in Italian finance have a relatively short history: going no further back than the mists of the 1990s. The Società di Intermediazione Mobiliare (SIM) – literally, the phrase meansRead More


What They’re Saying About Smart Beta, Tactics, and Strategy

Jun 13th, 2017 | Filed under: Liquid Alternative Investiments, Liquid Alts, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Smart Beta, SRI and Clean Energy

For four years now, FTSE Russell has surveyed global institutions, asking about their interest in smart beta indexes and about their allocations to investable products based on same. The 2017 survey results are in. The new survey finds (as did the earlier ones) that risk reduction, return enhancement, and improvedRead More


Pension Funds’ Portfolio Decisions: The Dutch Data

Jun 11th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

DeNederlandscheBank (DNB) issued a working paper this spring about the impact of liquidity and capital constraints on defined benefit pension plans. The paper has three authors, Dirk Broeders, Kristy Jansen, and Bas Werker. The first named author, Broeders, is the only one formally affiliated with DNB. The others are affiliatedRead More


Institutions that Integrate ESG Considerations: 6 Types

Jun 8th, 2017 | Filed under: Alternative energy, Climate change, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Social investing, SRI and Clean Energy

A new white paper from the Investor Responsibility Research Center (the IRRC Institute) in conjunction with Sustainalytics looks at the various approaches that investors, institutional investors in particular, might and do take to integrate ESG issues into their portfolio decisions. Specifically, the IRRC and Sustainalytics, two Manhattan-based research groups longRead More


New Zealand PE and VC Activity on the rise

Jun 6th, 2017 | Filed under: Equity Types of Private Equity, Newly Added, Private Equity, Private Investments, Venture capital

An increase in total buy-out investments proved a big factor in the growth through 2016 of the private equity and venture capital market in New Zealand. A new report looks at this growth and concludes that fund-raising activity there has reached a milestone, hitting again a levels not seen sinceRead More


Lawsuit in California, Survey in Europe: On ETF Managers and Investors

Jun 4th, 2017 | Filed under: Liquid Alternative Investiments, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Sales & Marketing in the AI Industry

Late last year a California state court found that the plaintiffs in a class action suit stated a cause of action when they alleged that the defendant, iShares Trust, had failed to disclose the material risk of using market or stop loss orders in connection with ETFs. This spring theRead More


BIS Numbers and the Market for Forex NDFs

Jun 1st, 2017 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Business News, Finance & Economics, Forex, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

A little over a year ago, the Bank for International Settlements announced its 11th Triennial Central Bank Survey of Foreign Exchange and Over the Counter Derivatives Market Activity. In recent days, Pragma Securities has referenced those BIS numbers in explaining the market for its latest service, an expansion of PragmaRead More


How Do They Get Those Non-Correlated Returns?

May 30th, 2017 | Filed under: Commodities, Due Diligence Process, Investing in Commodities, Newly Added, Risk Management & Operations

In a recent paper Mark Shore, of Shore Capital Management, has discussed overlaying of strategies in managed futures, saying that it is something he covers in his course on managed futures at DePaul, but that in general it “is not discussed as much as it should be.” Behind that question,Read More


Broad Commodities: Value, Inflation, Implementation

May 29th, 2017 | Filed under: Commodities, ETFs, Investing in Commodities, Newly Added

ETF Securities (US) LLC, a New York-based asset manager and manufacturer of ETP’s (Exchange Traded Products),” has issued a white paper written by its Director, Investment Strategy, (Maxwell Gold), on “broad commodities,” that is, on the use of a broad basket of commodities, as a way of allowing an investor’sRead More


Marketplace Lending: Just Because I’m Disruptive Doesn’t Mean We Can’t Be Friends!

May 23rd, 2017 | Filed under: Emerging Alternative Investments, Microfinance, Newly Added, Other Issues in Private Investments, Other Topics in A.I., Private Investments

Mark Shore, chief research officer of Shore Capital Research, and an adjunct professor at DePaul University, has prepared an “overview” of marketplace lending for institutional investors and wealth managers. The practice under discussion is also known as peer-to-peer, or even in these character economizing days as P2P, lending. Shore explainsRead More


Evidence that Sovereign Wealth Funds Mitigate the Agency Problem

May 21st, 2017 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added

Ever since the 1930s, scholars have discussed the “agency problem” built into the structure of publicly owned corporations. This was a theme of Ronald Coase’s landmark article, “The nature of the firm” in 1937. Shareholders presumably want a company managed in a way that maximizes their – the shareholders’ –Read More


First Quarter: An Industry Recovers From a Dry Spell

May 18th, 2017 | Filed under: Hedge Funds, Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry, The A.I. Industry

Preqin’s review of the hedge fund space in the first quarter of 2017 describes the quarter as a time of “return to form” after a dry spell. Two thirds of the investors interviewed by Preqin at the end of 2016 had said that their hedge fund investments had failed toRead More


Making a Case: Divestiture is the Wrong Tool Re Climate Risk

May 17th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., SRI and Clean Energy

Sarah Bernstein, of the Pension Consulting Alliance, has prepared a discussion paper for the benefit of the Vermont Pension Investment Committee, on climate risk divestment.  Specifically, Bernstein wrote in reply to a request from the VPIC to examine three divestment tracks of common intent but differing levels of generality:  thermalRead More


The Cryptocurrency Ecosystem: A New Benchmark Study

May 16th, 2017 | Filed under: Currencies, Digital currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, Finance & Economics, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., The Global Economy & Currencies

It is clear by now to even the most hardened skeptic that cryptocurrency, the class of assets of which bitcoin is the paradigm, is much more than a passing fad. Yes, the field may once have been too closely associated with survivalists, cranks, and bit players in the story ofRead More


State Pensions and Complex Investments

May 14th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

A recent report from the PEW charitable trusts discusses the degree to which the pension funds of the states of the United States are increasing their use of “complex investments.” It also speaks to the consequences of this move. The term “complex investments” is used here to describe any departureRead More


Real Assets and Environmental/Social Impacts

May 11th, 2017 | Filed under: Alternative energy, Natural Resources and Land, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Real Assets, SRI and Clean Energy

It’s an old debate: does socially responsible investing under its variations (including “impact investing”) come at a cost in terms of risk-adjusted performance? Or does it actually add a dividend, so that one does well by doing good? Or are impact and non-impact investing in otherwise comparable assets on aRead More


Highlights in the Growth of Farmland Funds

May 9th, 2017 | Filed under: Agriculture, Farmland, Natural Resources and Land, Newly Added, Real Assets

Highquest Partners and a product strategist for timber and agriculture at GMO LLC (Julie Koeninger) have collaborated on a white paper on the history of farmland investment, at its heart the story, first, of how farmland has grown (since the late 1980s and the rebound from the farm crisis earlierRead More


Hedge Funds and Sell-Side Analysts: Who is Tipping Off Whom?

May 7th, 2017 | Filed under: Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added, Risk Management & Operations, Risk Management Strategies & Processes

Nathan Swem, an economist with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, has written a paper on an always fascinating subject: the flow of information in financial markets. The point, in successful equity trading for example, isn’t merely “who you know?” Nor is it “what you know.” It’sRead More


SWFs: Growth Slows but Continues

May 4th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

Preqin’s new Sovereign Wealth Fund Review makes the point that total assets under the management of SWFs continue to grow, but the rate of growth is notably slowing. This graph, measuring in US$ trillions, illustrates the growth trend since the financial crisis. Although the space grew by $.76 trillion betweenRead More


ESG Concerns Have Multi-Factored Impact on Performance

May 2nd, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., SRI and Clean Energy

The Cornerstone Capital Group, in a new white paper, looks at some of the specific interactions between ESG and investment factors. The paper, by Michael Geraghty, a global equity strategist for Cornerstone,  begins with a review of five of the factors most thoroughly studied in academia: value, the capture ofRead More


Longevity Risk Transfer Markets: Limits to Growth

Apr 30th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

It was a fairly routine item about an accomplished executive changing jobs in the asset management industry, but it caught my eye. A March 2017 news item said that Andrew Reid, until recently the head of corporate pension origination at Deutsche Bank, had left that post to work with InsightRead More


Risk Management Isn’t Just Fund Selection

Apr 27th, 2017 | Filed under: Due Diligence Process, Newly Added, Private Equity, Private Investments, Risk Management & Operations

New Strategies for Risk Management in Private Equity, a new book from Private Equity International, is an anthology of papers on the titular subject. It is edited by Dr. Ivan Herger to offer investors in PE new perspectives on the field. Herger, a managing director at Capital Dynamics, has aRead More


Generation Two Liquid Alternatives

Apr 25th, 2017 | Filed under: Liquid Alternative Investiments, Liquid Alts, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Sales & Marketing in the AI Industry

Beachhead Capital Management has published a white paper on what it calls the “second generation of liquid alternatives.” To begin at the beginning, “liquid alternatives” are investment products, available to retail investors, for example through mutual funds or ETFs, which are designed to provide the diversification and absolute-return benefits typicallyRead More


Ernst & Young on ESG Reporting

Apr 23rd, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Socially responsible investing, SRI and Clean Energy

Are companies leveling with their shareholders and stakeholders in reporting data pertinent to their environmental and social impacts and their governance issues? Whether they are or aren’t levelling: how important is that as part of their relationship with their investors? For Ernst & Young, these questions have become more pressingRead More


Preqin: Another Net Outflow Year Underway for Hedge Fund Industry

Apr 20th, 2017 | Filed under: Hedge Funds, Newly Added, Relative Value Hedge Funds

In the February issue of its Hedge Fund Spotlight, Preqin looks into its crystal ball and tells us of its near term (2017) predictions for the hedge fund industry. The article begins with a simple observation: hedge funds saw net outflows of assets under management (AUM) in 2016. Likewise, 54%Read More


The Case for Bargain Hunting in South Africa

Apr 18th, 2017 | Filed under: Currencies, Emerging markets, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

Charles Roth, of Thornburg Investment Management, has made the case that markets have over-reacted to the recent political shake-up in South Africa, driving asset prices below their underlying value. Thus (although Roth doesn’t put the point quite this bluntly) this could be a time for some bargain hunting.  Finance MinistryRead More


Mega-Trends and Possible Future Normals

Apr 16th, 2017 | Filed under: Alternative Investments in Context, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

A new CFA Institute report, working from a survey of 1,145 leaders in the contemporary global investment industry, discusses the mega-trends at work, including: technological advance, shifting client preferences, new macroeconomic conditions, changing regulatory regimes amidst geopolitical novelties, and new demographics. The report, entitled “Future State of the Investment Profession:Read More


Metals and Mining: A Tale of Two Doughnuts

Apr 12th, 2017 | Filed under: Industry Size & Managers, Natural Resources and Land, Newly Added, Real Assets, The A.I. Industry

Preqin has turned its Spotlight on Real Assets in a new publication, drawing our attention in particular to metals and mining. Among the institutional investors that say they are targeting unlisted metals and mining focused funds over the coming twelve months, Preqin names three as “samples”:  the Compagnia di SanRead More


Credit Suisse Finds that Institutions Remain Committed to Hedge Funds

Apr 11th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Hedge Funds, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

A new Credit Suisse report about hedge fund investors’ appetites, titled “shifting tides,” comes to the somewhat re-assuring conclusion that, in some respects at least, the shift isn’t what one might fear. The report begins with the simple observation that 2016, a year that began with unexpected swings in manyRead More


Why They Call it an Absolute Priority Rule

Apr 9th, 2017 | Filed under: Business News, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Finance & Economics, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent opinion in Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp. matters to hedge funds pursuing a distressed assets strategy, because the Justices have now made it more clear than they had before that the absolute priority rule under the U.S. bankruptcy code’s chapter 11 is … absolute. ItRead More


A Look at Sustainable Investment around the World

Apr 6th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Industry Size & Managers, Other Topics in A.I., SRI and Clean Energy

The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance, a collaboration of green investment-oriented entities, has released its latest Global Sustainable Investment Review, looking at the state of SRI investments. This is the third in a series of reports “presenting results from Europe, the United States, Canada, Asia, Japan, and Australia and New Zealand.”Read More


Some Granularity on the Mexican Pension Industry

Apr 4th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Real Assets

BlackRock has published a research report about pension funds in Mexico, a report produced as part of its broader research project looking into the state of the pension fund industry around the globe.  It shows that the cause of alternatrive investments as a group is the cause of diversification forRead More


Sovereign Wealth Funds: Just Like You and Me?

Apr 2nd, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

Sovereign wealth funds, however invulnerable and leviathan-like they may seem to outsiders, have the same concerns as other institutions in the current environment. On the one hand, bond yields remain at historic lows, with $13 trillion of fixed-income securities now commanding negative interest rates. On the other hand, the globalRead More


How Does the Private Debt Fund Industry Grow?

Mar 30th, 2017 | Filed under: Debt Types of Private Equity, Newly Added, Private Investments

Preqin has issued a new report on global private debt. It begins with the observation that assets under management in the private debt industry (defined as the uncalled capital commitments plus the unrealized value of portfolio assets) have quadrupled in the last ten years, reaching $595 billion as of theRead More


The Free Lunch of Diversification: Still on the Menu

Mar 28th, 2017 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added

Anthony Davidow, vice president, alternative beta and asset allocation strategist, Charles Schwab, offers a valuable re-examination of modern portfolio theory in an article for Investments & Wealth Monitor. Davidow begins at the beginning. Harry Markowitz called diversification “the only free lunch in finance.” The idea is that by diversifying, anRead More


Survey Respondents: Market Volatility is the Gravest Threat Just Now

Mar 26th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

Natixis Global Asset Management is out with its annual survey of institutional investors and their views about alternative investors. The survey included institutions around the world and of many distinct classes: corporate and public pension funds, insurance funds, sovereign wealth funds, endowments/foundations, managing amongst them $15.5 trillion. The break-down ofRead More