Browsing: Featured Post

Featured Post

Alpha From the Non-Bank Lending Space

Sep 25th, 2016 | Filed under: Hedge Funds, Newly Added, Other Issues in Private Investments, Private Investments

A new report, Financing the Economy 2016, looks at “the role of alternative asset managers in the non-bank lending environment,” addressing such questions as the likely impact of an exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union (a “Brexit,”) upon Europe-focused direct lending vehicles. The paper is a jointRead More


Kyle Bass, IPR and Shorting Big Pharma

Sep 22nd, 2016 | Filed under: Intellectual Property, Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Other Topics in A.I., Personalities in AI, Real Assets

Kyle Bass, the investor who shorted the market in residential mortgage-based securities a decade ago, with speculator success, is interested now in shorting the major pharmaceutical companies. He is certainly entitled to try that play. But what is especially provocative and controversial is that he also seems willing to giveRead More


Research, Unbundling and MiFID II

Sep 20th, 2016 | Filed under: Investor Relations, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Regulatory Environment, Sales & Marketing in the AI Industry, The A.I. Industry

The “soft dollars” question, that is, the issue of the arrangements by which the managers of other peoples’ and other institutions’ money might most appropriately pay for investment-related research, remains unresolved. Traditionally, the managers of investment funds, alternatives among them, could collect rebates from the trading fees charged them byRead More


Aligning Interests: Changes in Alt Investment Business Models

Sep 18th, 2016 | Filed under: Fees, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Funds, Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry, The A.I. Industry

A new AIMA research paper discusses “the alignment of interests between hedge fund managers and investors” as it manifests itself in changes in the hedge fund business model. There have always been features in the relationship that were designed to produce such an alignment. As Michelle McGregor Smith observes, inRead More


Investors in Extractive Industries: Practice Your Forced Grin

Sep 15th, 2016 | Filed under: Commodities, Commodities: Examples, diamonds, Newly Added, oil

A new book comes to us this year from the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA), a think tank founded in March 2011 “to create a platform for engagement around strategic issues facing South Africa.” Unsurprisingly, this report suffers from the generic weakness of books written by committee—it reads asRead More


On Aluminum and Other Metals: A Thought on Physicality 

Sep 13th, 2016 | Filed under: Business News, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Finance & Economics, Hard metals, Investing in Commodities, Newly Added

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx), the company that bought the London Metal Exchange four years ago, has further expansion plans. At a recent event on the commodity markets of East Asia, Charles Li, the CEO of HKEx, spoke on this point. Li wants to create a physical metals tradingRead More


ESMA’s Greybeards Ponder Blockchains

Sep 11th, 2016 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Business News, Currencies, Digital currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, Finance & Economics, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., The Global Economy & Currencies

There has been a flurry in recent days of activity about blockchains among the graybeards of the financial world, those who ponder the Really Big Picture and who have the ear of important regulators. Let us start from the beginning. What is a blockchain? It is a chronological, virtual, andRead More


Hedge fund activists need friends

Sep 8th, 2016 | Filed under: Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

Two scholars at the University of Warwick, Warwick Business School, in the UK, have written a paper on “the benefits of friendship in hedge fund activism.” At the heart of the paper is the not-especially-astonishing news that hedge fund activists benefit from social ties, that is, from the ability toRead More


UC Berkeley: Stale Prices Not a Threat to Liquidity Takers

Sep 7th, 2016 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Alpha Strategies, Business News, Equity Hedge Funds, Finance & Economics, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

Two scholars associated with the University of California, Berkeley, have argued in a recent paper that there is less to latency arbitrage, or at least to a certain paradigmatic sort of latency arb, than meets the eye. Robert P. Bartlett III and Justin McCrary used data from the Securities InformationRead More


Eurekahedge: Redemptions Exceeding New Investment for HFs Worldwide

Sep 5th, 2016 | Filed under: Commodities, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Energy, Hard metals, Hedge Funds, Newly Added, Relative Value Hedge Funds

Hedge funds have now seen three consecutive months in which redemptions have exceeded new investment, for a net outflow. The net outflow for July alone was $5.7 billion. Fortunately, July also saw performance based gains of $10.5 billion, so the total assets under management grew slightly. The table below adaptedRead More


Sovereign Debt: A Cryonic Solution to the Holdout Problem

Sep 1st, 2016 | Filed under: Business News, Finance & Economics, Industry Size & Managers, Insolvency

Where does the world stand on the restructuring problem after NML v Argentina?  One professor and one practicing attorney recently coauthored a fascinating proposal that might answer that question, part of which they call the “cryonic solution,” after the hoped-for science of freezing people to await the development of aRead More


Fiduciary Duty, Excessive Fees, and Findings of Fact  

Aug 30th, 2016 | Filed under: Asset Managers, Industry Size & Managers, Legislation/Court rulings, Newly Added, Regulatory Environment, The A.I. Industry

The Honorable Peter J. Sheridan, for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, ruled in favor of defendants, AXA Equitable and related entities, in a consolidated derivative action on behalf of mutual fund investors. This was a lengthy decision issued on August 25 that will reward attentionRead More


Northill: In Defense of Active Management

Aug 27th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Benchmarking & Performance Attribution, Newly Added, Performance, Analytics & Metrics

Northill Capital, a London-based asset manager, has released a report defending active asset management from the common charge that it cannot, after costs, beat the passive managers. That is an old and familiar subject for debate. What cannot be debated, because it is a simple matter of definition and arithmetic,Read More


The Next Crisis: BIS Warns of ‘Financial Vulnerabilities’ in EME/NFCs

Aug 25th, 2016 | Filed under: Currencies, Emerging markets, Finance & Economics, Macroeconomics, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

In a recent paper submitted to the G20’s working group on international financial architecture, scholars with the Bank for International Settlements have warned that an accumulation of debt in the years since the global financial crisis has left the emerging market economics (EMEs) vulnerable to capital outflows. The authors ofRead More


The Shale/Fracking Revolution: 1998 to 2011

Aug 23rd, 2016 | Filed under: Commodities, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Investing in Commodities, Newly Added, oil

A critical revolution in the crude oil and natural gas markets began 18 years ago. Gary Sernovitz, who has given the world his thoughts on this revolution in the new book The Green and the Black, has had some convenient seats whence to observe, most recently as a managing directorRead More


Risk-Adjusted Time Series Momentum Strategies

Aug 21st, 2016 | Filed under: Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Hedge Funds, Macro and Managed Futures Funds, Newly Added

The name is awkwardly long, and the standard abbreviation, “RAMOM,” sounds like what one says when cheering on one’s mother as she nears a finish line. Still, risk adjusted time series momentum strategies have something to be said for them, in comparison to cross-sectional momentum (MOM without preface), or evenRead More


New Support for a 40-Year-Old Theory about IPOs

Aug 18th, 2016 | Filed under: Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added

It is always aesthetically pleasing to see something elegant brought down from an attic, dusted off, and found to be of continuing value as part of the home’s furniture. Back in 1977, Edward Miller offered a hypothesis about the price move patterns distinctive to newly listed stocks.  In “Risk, Uncertainty,Read More


Sovereign Credit Swaps: Europe’s Sovereigns and Regime Changes

Aug 16th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Credit Derivatives, Newly Added, Regulatory Environment, Structured Credit Products, Structured Products, The A.I. Industry

Andrea Consiglio and two of his colleagues have developed models for the management of risk in the sovereign credit swaps market, and they have successfully back tested these models against recent European history. Consiglio is a professor at the University of Palermo, in Italy. Sovereign CDS’ are contracts that offerRead More


Why are Bank Stress Tests like Student/Instructor Evaluations?

Aug 15th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Risk management, Risk Management Strategies & Processes

Two scholars affiliated with Columbia University have contributed to the ongoing discussion of Federal Reserve stress tests and their consequences in an article in the Journal of Alternative Investments. Stress tests have become a big part of the U.S. regulatory scene since 2009, with the creation that year of theRead More


New Paper Tackles Basic Questions About Alternative Investments

Aug 11th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alternative Investments in Context, Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

RCM Alternatives, a Chicago-based asset manager specializing in managed futures products, has published a new white paper asking the naive-seeming question, “Why Alternatives?” The paper begins with the observation that many alternative investors look to this field for an answer to a specific problem:  hedging the long position in equitiesRead More


NB: China Positions the Yuan for Global Reserve Currency Status

Aug 9th, 2016 | Filed under: Currencies, Forex, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

Neuberger Berman, the asset management business spun off from Lehman in late 2008, has produced a new report on foreign access to China’s bond market. China has until now kept its bond market tightly fenced off from the rest of the world, which offers a marked contrast with the behaviorRead More


Study Says Pensions May Be Looking for Returns in the Wrong Places

Aug 7th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Newly Added, Private Investments, Real Estate Equity Investments

Alex Beath, senior research analyst at CEM Benchmarking, the Toronto-based pension research firm, has produced a white paper on the pension fund performance in the U.S. since 1998, and the news he brings is not good (for pension funds themselves, or for the hedge funds to which they have allocatedRead More


Headline vs. Core Inflation: We Shouldn’t Have Laughed

Aug 4th, 2016 | Filed under: Commodities, Hedge Funds, Investing in Commodities, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

I’m old enough to remember the 1970s, and to remember the economic debates in the United States at the time concerning the inflation of that era. The U.S. left the Bretton Woods system near the start of the decade, thus ushering the “free float” of currencies against one another inRead More


Waiting for Normalization: Issuing Convertibles

Aug 2nd, 2016 | Filed under: Hedge Funds, Newly Added, Relative Value Hedge Funds

A moderate increase in the issuance of convertible bonds globally over the last three years came about only after a long post-crisis decline. At the convert market’s peak, in 2007, issuers placed $160 billion of these instruments. The placement for 2008 was only half that. By 2012 the market wasRead More


Stocks after Shocks: Equity Returns in the Face of Monetary Policy

Jul 31st, 2016 | Filed under: Economics, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

A new paper by two economists affiliated with the Federal Reserve System presents a new measure of the monetary policy exposure of individual stocks. The simplest approach to this task would be to regress individual stock returns around major central bank moves (“shocks”). But that turns out not to beRead More


Eurekahedge: Performance Down, Inflows Up in 1st Half 2016

Jul 28th, 2016 | Filed under: Equity Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Finance & Economics, Hedge Funds, Macro and Managed Futures Funds, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

The latest report from Eurekahedge indicates that hedge funds’ assets under management are up by $19.9 billion in the first half of 2016 worldwide. Eurekahedge, which tracks the health of the hedge fund industry month by month, also says that total industry performance-based results were down, $5.2 billion, so moreRead More


Litigating in the Wake of Manning

Jul 26th, 2016 | Filed under: Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Fund Strategies, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

The United States Supreme Court preserved a role for state courts in securities litigation in a case involving accusations of ‘naked shorting,’ Merrill Lynch v. Manning, a May 2016 decision. Although the case involved specific state law claims, it also prominently referenced the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Reg SHO inRead More


Herbalife and Ackman: A History 

Jul 24th, 2016 | Filed under: Equity Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

On July 15, 2016, Herbalife Ltd and the Federal Trade Commission reached an agreement that settles the FTC’s complaint. The company has agreed to pay $200 million to compensate consumers who may have been deceived into a rose-colored view of their prospects selling the branded diet and personal care productsRead More


Volatility Spillover Effects: India, Korea, China

Jul 21st, 2016 | Filed under: Commodities, Currencies, Finance & Economics, Investing in Commodities, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

Last year, two scholars writing in the Journal of Alternative Investments looked at the volatility spillover effects in the Chinese stock index futures and spot markets.  The question for them was whether there is spillover from spot markets into futures markets and back. I propose to give you their answer,Read More


Taking the Alcohol Out of the Wine:  A Decarbonized Index

Jul 19th, 2016 | Filed under: Climate change, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Socially responsible investing, SRI and Clean Energy

A recent publication in the Financial Analysts Journal presents a model by virtue of which long-term passive investors may hedge the risks associated with climate change and/or with climate change related public policies. One incidental feature of the article is the sense it provides of the difference between carbon-free indexesRead More


Crude Oil at Mid-Year: IEA Assessment

Jul 17th, 2016 | Filed under: Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Newly Added, oil

As this year began, crude oil prices were stuck at their lowest level in twelve years. The world seemed to be bulging with surplus of the stuff. In January, the International Energy Agency estimated that the excess of supply over demand through the first half of the year would beRead More


Private Capital Fundraising Slows: Green and Brown Valleys

Jul 14th, 2016 | Filed under: Farmland, Infrastructure, Natural Resources and Land, Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Other Topics in A.I., Real Assets, Real Estate, Real Estate Equity Investments

Preqin, the multinational data and consulting firm, has looked at the second quarter and found it was, for private capital fundraising  … slow. So was the quarter before it. Together they made up the first half of 2016, in which the funds closed in the world of private capital globallyRead More


ESG Issues: The Material and the Immaterial

Jul 12th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alternative energy, Benchmarking & Performance Attribution, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Socially responsible investing, SRI and Clean Energy

Activists pressing for corporate change on environmental, social, and governance issues often focus on issues that are, from the point of view of firm valuation, immaterial. Three scholars associated with the Harvard Business School recently quantified the materiality versus immateriality of shareholder proposals on ESG topics and discussed some ofRead More


Managing Expectations: The Rise of the Separately Managed Account

Jul 11th, 2016 | Filed under: Family Offices, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, High-net-worth investors, Newly Added, Sales & Marketing in the AI Industry, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

By Diane Harrison The line between wealth management and fund management continues to blur for the alternative asset managers who serve the high-net-worth investor community. Driven by a growing desire on the part of these investors to maximize control over their investment portfolio, managers who are emerging or who operateRead More


Infrastructure: Look at the Contracts–Not the Industry or the Index

Jul 10th, 2016 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Infrastructure, Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Real Assets

A new paper from EDHEC Infrastructure Institute decides that there is no such thing as a listed infrastructure asset class. What is the practical significance of that inference?  It means that for investors (individual or institutional) looking to diversify their portfolio properly, a dedicated index focused on a listed infrastructureRead More


6 Questions about Dead Hand Proxy Puts

Jul 7th, 2016 | Filed under: Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Fund Strategies, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

Dead Hand Proxy Puts are a relatively recent innovation in corporate finance, one intended to fend off shareholder activism, whether fueled by interested hedge funds or otherwise. Here is a primer on the subject. What Is It? A DHPP is a provision that creditors include in loan contracts with corporations,Read More


AIMA on the Consequences of Brexit: Three Scenarios

Jul 5th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Regulatory, Regulatory Environment, The A.I. Industry

Among the questions that have acquired a great deal of urgency in recent days is: what will Brexit mean for MiFiD? Or for MAD? Or for the CMU? Britain has always been a major voice in the creation of these systems and directives within the EU. Where will hedge fundRead More


Brexit and Hedge Fund Strategies

Jun 30th, 2016 | Filed under: Currencies, Equity Hedge Funds, Finance & Economics, Hedge Funds, Newly Added, Relative Value Hedge Funds, The Global Economy & Currencies

How well did hedge funds help their investors to hedge potential losses as a consequence of the markets’ immediate reaction to the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom? How well will they hedge the other uncertainties going forward? Thursday, June 23, the UK voted to leave the European Union. TheRead More


Lewis’ Heroes Get an Exchange for Their Speed Bump

Jun 26th, 2016 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Business News, Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Fund Strategies, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

On Friday, June 17, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved the promotion of IEX from an ATS to a proper exchange. Thereby it gave a new ending of sorts to Michael Lewis’ book, Flash Boys. One of the big issues for both proponents and opponents of IEX’ application to becomeRead More


New AIMA Guide: 7 Themes for Investor Relations Professionals

Jun 23rd, 2016 | Filed under: Alternative Investments in Context, Industry Size & Managers, Investor Relations, Newly Added, Sales & Marketing in the AI Industry, The A.I. Industry

In October 2015, a scholar at the University of Toronto wrote a paper on what he called the “paranoid style of investment lawyers and arbitrators,” bemoaning an increasingly shrill and belligerent tone in the investment world of late. If there is such paranoia, one probable contributor, and one possible consequenceRead More


Puerto Rico: The New Argentina?

Jun 21st, 2016 | Filed under: Business News, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Finance & Economics, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

Puerto Rico and various instrumentalities thereof may default on debt within days. If they do so, this will happen without the benefit of an applicable bankruptcy system or other legislated means of restructuring, without a referee if you will, unless Congress acts decisively within a matter of days, something thatRead More


Factor-Based Asset Allocation

Jun 19th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Commodities, Investing in Commodities, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Smart Beta

A paper by Xiaowei Kang and Daniel Ung, published in June 2014, remains timely because risk parity and related approaches remain the center of controversy and some confusion. The Kang & Ung paper looked at three approaches to risk factor based portfolio construction, studying specifically the practical aspects of theRead More


Canadian Universities and Interest Rate Swaps

Jun 16th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

Two scholars looked recently at the behavior of Canadian universities regarding the management of their interest rate risk. They found something peculiar. The universities are making an increased use of interest-rate swaps, apparently under the impression that they are hedging against risks. But they aren’t. Almost all the swaps enteredRead More


Centripetal versus Centrifugal Force: Fund Marketing in Europe

Jun 14th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Regulatory, Regulatory Environment, Sales & Marketing in the AI Industry, The A.I. Industry, UCITs

On June 2, 2016 the EC issued a consultation document of interest to the many alpha seekers who would like to market their funds in one or more of the countries of the Eurozone. In a sense, its interest is much broader than that, because it fits into a veryRead More


How Risk Management Resembles Meteorology: A White Paper

Jun 12th, 2016 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Operations and Risk Management, Newly Added, Risk management, Risk Management & Operations, Risk Management Strategies & Processes

A new white paper from Campbell & Co. discusses the negative skew that is often a characteristic of portfolio returns, and the ways in which trend following can achieve positive skew instead. The paper is effectively advertised by its title, “Taming of the Skew.” The authors begin with distinctions amongRead More


Long/Short Equity: NB Makes the Case

Jun 9th, 2016 | Filed under: Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Fund Strategies, Hedge Funds, Liquid Alternative Investiments, Liquid Alts, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I.

A new paper from Neuberger Berman, an employee owned private investment firm that’s been part of the New York scene since 1939, makes the case that long/short equity strategies are “worth consideration as part of an investor’s equity allocation and the overall investment mix.” The paper is written by JulianaRead More


Giving the Baron King of Lothbury his Due

Jun 7th, 2016 | Filed under: Business News, Finance & Economics, Insolvency, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

The Bank of England is not only the central bank of the United Kingdom, in continuous operation since 1694; it is the model upon which central banking worldwide has been created. The Mother Central Bank is what it is. Mervyn King, the chief economist of the Bank of England throughRead More


Somebody Has to Crunch These Numbers: Infrastructure Cash Flow

Jun 5th, 2016 | Filed under: Infrastructure, Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Real Assets

EDHEC Infrastructure Institute-Singapore recently released a paper on the cash flow dynamics of private infrastructure project debt. The gist of the paper is that investors’ ability to understand credit risk in private infrastructure debt turns on advanced statistical techniques. Or, in the authors’ words, “the nature of the data requiresRead More


The Case Against a Bearish Argument on Crude Oil

Jun 2nd, 2016 | Filed under: Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Newly Added, oil

  A recent Bloomberg story indicates that in a world  awash in cheap crude oil, traders are now storing the stuff at a loss, at sea, on board vessels in the Straits of Malacca. Further, they are going into debt so they can bear this loss. Citing Morgan Stanley analysts,Read More


Consequences of the Paris Climate Agreement

Jun 1st, 2016 | Filed under: Business News, Equity Hedge Funds, Finance & Economics, Hedge Funds, Insolvency, Newly Added

In early December 2015, representatives of 196 parties met in Paris, France, to discuss climate change, and the necessary reduction of greenhouse gas emissions on a global basis.  The result, the “Paris Climate Agreement,” seeks to limit warming to just 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, through aRead More