Browsing: Guest Posts

Guest Posts

THE Q&A THAT’S DOA (A.K.A. DEAD ON ARRIVAL)

Apr 10th, 2017 | Filed under: Investor Relations, Newly Added, Sales & Marketing in the AI Industry

By Diane Harrison Few offenses are more aggravating to investors In the investor/manager communication process than being misled. Who hasn’t been subject to the frustration of trying to ascertain a clear answer from an alternatives manager about an issue germane to the investor’s ultimate decision to invest or not toRead More


Foundation CIOs and the American Dream: A Conversation With Carnegie’s Kim Lew

Mar 22nd, 2017 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles Skorina This month we focus on the venerable foundations of New York City and one of their most accomplished investment pros: Kim Y. Lew, chief investment officer of the Carnegie Corporation. We have an in-depth conversation with Ms. Lew on her career in foundation investing and the future of womenRead More


Commit to Quit: Habits for Successful Fund Managers

Mar 20th, 2017 | Filed under: Investor Relations, Newly Added, Sales & Marketing in the AI Industry

By Diane Harrison What habit is as old as time itself? It has to be making all kinds of ‘do-better’ resolutions at the beginning of the year, only to see them falter before the birds start building their nests each spring. NBC News ran an article online in January discussingRead More


Factor Investing And The Importance Of Market Cycles

Mar 15th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., ETFs, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Smart Beta

By Scott Opsal, CFA Director of Equities, The Leuthold Group The widespread popularity of smart beta ETFs demonstrates that factor-based investing has advanced from the province of academia to rank among the most popular investment strategies for institutional and retail investors. Originally of interest to researchers looking to test, andRead More


A conversation with UTIMCO’s Bruce Zimmerman

Feb 13th, 2017 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles Skorina Bruce Zimmerman joined UTIMCO as Chief Executive Officer and chief investment officer in June of 2007, six months before the official start of the “great recession” in December 2007 (US National Bureau of Economic Research).But despite a 13% drop in the endowment in UTIMCO’s 2009 fiscal yearRead More


CHANGE MANAGEMENT FOR FUND MANAGERS

Feb 8th, 2017 | Filed under: Investor Relations, Newly Added, Sales & Marketing in the AI Industry

By Diane Harrison Looking to the past as a way to gauge the likely direction of the future is a popular exercise in the first quarter of every year. It’s a natural desire for people to want to improve on their personal and professional lives; taking stock of where theyRead More


Texas Turmoil: UTIMCO picks a new path through a political minefield

Jan 30th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles Skorina Endowment returns took a beating last year and the turnover in chief investment officers tells the tale. Among the big names to make an exit in 2016 was Bruce Zimmerman, longtime CEO of The University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO). We wrote about endowment turnover in ourRead More


Another Take on ‘A Modest Proposal’

Jan 9th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Asset allocation, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

By Diane Harrison Jonathan Swift, one of the great satirists of all time, published a disturbing and provocative essay, ‘A Modest Proposal,’ in 1729 suggesting a unique and terrible solution to Ireland’s famine crisis. In his piece, Swift recommended cannibalism as a wholesale solution to Ireland’s struggles with overpopulation, starvation,Read More


LAME DUCKS HEADED FOR A CHANGE

Dec 19th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added

By Diane Harrison As 2016 winds down, U.S. investors and voters alike have embraced the concept of change. While we may not know how this will manifest in 2017, the twin fates of government and investment are moving into this unknown together, although perhaps not unafraid. Lethargy, exhaustion, languor, fatigue…allRead More


Amy Falls: Meeting Harvard’s plan B

Dec 5th, 2016 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

In late July, Stephen Blyth stepped down as head of Harvard Management Company; then things happened fast. By mid-September, a hire seemed imminent and HMC was said to have winnowed the field down to just two: Narv Narvekar of Columbia and Amy C. Falls of Rockefeller University. Mr. Narvekar, whoRead More


Outsourced CIO assets grow to $1.3 Trillion

Nov 7th, 2016 | Filed under: Consultants, Institutional Asset Management, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

By Charles Skorina With 74 firms reporting in, total outsourced CIO assets (managed with full discretion) have grown by $240 billion to $1.367 trillion since we published our last list in 2014.  That’s an increase of over 19 percent in two years, implying an annual growth rate of about 9Read More


BLEAK HOUSE–OR THE OUTLOOK ON HEDGE FUNDS NOW

Oct 19th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Endowments & Foundations, Family Offices, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Funds, High-net-worth investors, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Investor Relations, Newly Added, Sales & Marketing in the AI Industry

By Diane Harrison Charles Dickens’ Bleak House spins a tale of mystery, intrigue, family dynamics, and irony in the Victorian age that had readers gripped by its indictment of the English court system. While the novel is packed with intricate plot twists and turns, the main story line centers onRead More


Harvard gives Narv the nod

Oct 17th, 2016 | Filed under: Academic Foundations, Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, Personalities in AI, Who's Who

By Charles Skorina As all the world now knows, Harvard has selected Columbia’s Nirmal P. “Narv” Narvekar as the new head of Harvard Management Company. His name had been bandied about as a prime candidate for weeks.  We discussed it ourselves in our Aug. 29 newsletter. Reportedly, a few big-endowment CIOsRead More


THE NLRB AND THE HEDGE FUND—MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING?

Oct 3rd, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Regulatory, Regulatory Environment

By Mark D. Schorr, Of Counsel,Crow & Cushing Maybe you thought that employers whose employees are not organized in unions or which are not involved in traditional labor activities like strikes, lockouts and picketing are outside of the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”).  If you did, you wouldRead More


The Harvard Management Company to Big to Hail?

Sep 28th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

In asset management, as in other endeavors, size really does matter. Bigger is better.  But growth in AUM drives growth in headcount and complexity; and that can overwhelm existing structures and challenge management. A few weeks ago in “Crunch Time for the Harvard Endowment” we referred to HMC’s hunt for aRead More


ATTACK MARKETING USING THE RULE OF 150

Sep 19th, 2016 | Filed under: Investor Relations, Newly Added, Sales & Marketing in the AI Industry

By Diane Harrison The Rule of 150, first posited in the 1990s by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, refers to the maximum number of people with whom any person can build meaningful relationships.  While there appears to be a spirited debate over the actual figure (100? 150? 250?), the general assumptionRead More


Crunch Time for the Harvard Endowment

Aug 14th, 2016 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, Personalities in AI

By Charles Skorina The hunt is underway for a new CEO at the Harvard Management Company.  And chairman Paul Finnegan and his board intend to get it right this time. Counting interims, they’ve now had six CEOs at their shop since Jack Meyer departed in 2005, and mostly mediocre returns to show for it. AfterRead More


Active vs. Passive: A 3-Club Headwind

Aug 10th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Benchmarking & Performance Attribution, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

By Scott Opsal Relative Performance Actively managed funds have recently underperformed passive indexes. As a result, fund inflows and deposits have favored passive funds. Active Vs. Passive Return Patterns Are Cyclical Our research suggests relative returns between active and passive are cyclical, depending on the market environment. We examine severalRead More


5 Reasons Why Emerging Managers are Worth a Look

Aug 8th, 2016 | Filed under: Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added, Sales & Marketing in the AI Industry, Seeding/early-stage, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry, The A.I. Industry

By Diane Harrison Beware the industry naysayers who proclaim hedge funds aren’t worth their salt–fees/risk/terms/etc. Sweeping generalizations may make good headlines, but they are invariably proven false by the minority that refutes them through action/statements/results/etc. Investors who take the time and effort to look under the ‘hedge fund hood’ canRead More


The Harvard Management Co.: Time for some creative destruction?

Jul 18th, 2016 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles Skorina It’s been 10 years now since Jack Meyer stepped down as head of Harvard Management Company, while David Swensen – now in his 31st year – has carried on at the Yale Investment Office. Each endowment has pursued its own distinctive management model: HMC with its “hybrid” internal/external approach,Read More


All About Alpha: Dawn of a New Decade

Jul 4th, 2016 | Filed under: Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added

By Chris Holt Today marks the dawn of a second decade for this venerable blog.  AllAboutAlpha published its first article almost exactly 10 years ago today, on July 4, 2016.  Since then, this website has published an article a day for 2,600 consecutive business days.  That’s about 1.3 million wordsRead More


Welcome to Low-Return World: Will Chief Investment Officers and Trustees be ready?

Jun 22nd, 2016 | Filed under: Infrastructure, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets

By Charles Skorina For executive recruiters like us, that’s a question we’ll have to wrestle with as we present candidates to the boards of institutional asset managers. Two of our investment-management village elders–Bill Gross and Burton Malkiel–say we’re staring down the barrel of a low-return decade.  They’ve been around for aRead More


The hedge fund fee structure consumes 80% of alpha

Jun 20th, 2016 | Filed under: Fees, Hedge Funds, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry, The A.I. Industry

By Andrew Beer Investors bear the risks and managers reap the rewards. The average hedge fund earns 1.67 per cent in management fees and is paid 18 per cent of investment profits annually. Over the past ten years, investors paid away half of pre-fee returns. Even more troubling is theRead More


Foresight is Better than Hindsight

Jun 15th, 2016 | Filed under: Investor Relations, Newly Added, Sales & Marketing in the AI Industry

By Diane Harrison The Lake Wobegon Effect—where, according to its creator, Garrison Keillor, ‘all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average’—relates to the tendency to overestimate one’s achievements and capabilities in relation to others. Lake Wobegon seems to be aliveRead More


Allocating to Risk-Managed Strategies: Reasons to Consider Hedged Equities

Jun 13th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Fund Strategies, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

By Calamos Investments Team Introduction In this segment of our series on Allocating to Risk-Managed Strategies we explain the benefits of hedging equities in a portfolio or investment strategy. You’ll learn: How institutional investors effectively employed a hedged equity strategy during the economic recovery period beginning in 2010. Why theRead More


SLAM Wars: The Flow Awakens Ranking Asset-Manager Flows & Profits

Jun 6th, 2016 | Filed under: Asset Managers, Endowments & Foundations, Family Offices, High-net-worth investors, Industry Size & Managers, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles A. Skorina As recruiters we work both sides of the investment-management street: serving for-profit money managers and not-for-profits like foundations and endowments.Fee-based publicly listed asset managers, especially the big ones, are newsworthy because they invest a lot of money for a lot of customers, including non-profits investors.  There’sRead More


Best Practices for Private Equity Sponsors in an Age of Increasing Scrutiny

May 23rd, 2016 | Filed under: Benchmarking & Performance Attribution, Newly Added, Other Issues in Private Investments, Performance, Analytics & Metrics, Private Equity, Private Investments, Risk management, Risk Management Strategies & Processes

By John Czapla, Parag Patel and Shane Newell, Valuation Research Corporation As the demand for transparency rises for private equity and hedge funds, the spotlight is increasingly focusing on valuation practices. There are an important number of reasons why the valuation process has become important, and they are essential forRead More


Wrangling the Unicorns: Yale celebrates their VC heroes

May 15th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Endowments & Foundations, High-net-worth investors, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, Private Equity, Private Investments, Venture capital

Yale, in their 2015 annual report issued this month has broken out their private equity allocation into two distinct segments: Leveraged Buyouts and Venture Capital.  See: This is the first time in many years they’ve offered that level of detail.  And they’ve given the whole report a VC-and-entrepreneurial theme, supplementing theRead More


Convertibles as a Risk Management Tool in Emerging Markets Portfolios

May 2nd, 2016 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Strategies, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

By Nick Niziolek, CFA In a recent post titled The Convertible Bond Trifecta, my colleague Scott Henderson outlined several market factors that appear supportive of convertible bonds after the volatility that started 2016. This post addresses a different role for convertibles: their use as a risk management tool within portfoliosRead More


The Skorina Report: Russell Read and the Alaska Permanent Fund

Apr 27th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Personalities in AI

By Charles Skorina Russell Read has just been appointed chief investment officer of the $52 billion Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (APFC), and he’s headed for a state in crisis. The collapse of global oil prices has put a big squeeze on all of the world’s oil producers; and in Alaska, where oilRead More


The Skorina Report: Why You Can’t Clone Yale

Apr 5th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles Skorina   Can you copy great endowment investment performance?  The Yale endowment, for example? Reverse-engineering a good performer is probably achievable.  The key attributes can often be identified and, to some extent, duplicated. But can you replicate great performers? That’s a much taller order.  There’s always something slightlyRead More


The Skorina Report: A Conversation with Sam Gallo, CIO, University System of Maryland Foundation

Mar 28th, 2016 | Filed under: Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles Skorina My friend Sam Gallo has just finished the two-year executive MBA program at the University of Chicago (Chicago Booth School of Business).  He graduates this month with a stellar academic record after commuting every other weekend for two years from D.C. to Chicago while running the MarylandRead More


The Convertible Bond Trifecta

Mar 21st, 2016 | Filed under: Alpha Strategies, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

By Scott Henderson, CFA, CIMA®, CMFC, Calamos Investments Convertible securities have not been immune from the volatility that has roiled risk assets in 2016. However, we believe the volatile start to the year has set the stage for longer-term opportunities. A convertible bond can be thought of as a corporateRead More


Coming Up Short in 2016

Mar 14th, 2016 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Newly Added

January’s wild ride set the tone for a jittery year in market performance. While the first quarter of 2016 has managed thus far to recover from its precipitous initial swoon, investors aren’t feeling comfortable with the current state of affairs.  Fed policy regarding interest rate direction, a strong dollar, andRead More


When an allocator calls: Best Practices for a CTA’s back office

Mar 9th, 2016 | Filed under: Commodities, CTA, Hedge Funds, Investing in Commodities, Macro and Managed Futures Funds, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

By Dana Comolli, president, DMAXX LLC Every trader who has tried to raise money knows the drill from investors: yes we want to know about your performance, but also, explain in detail your back office (infrastructure, organization). Most allocators come with pages of checklists and expect the manager to beRead More


The Skorina Report: Who are the Best Institutional Investors? It’s Not That Simple

Feb 22nd, 2016 | Filed under: Asset Managers, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

By Charles Skorina There is simply no place like New York for the depth and breadth of exceptional investment professionals. Yet with all this talent, the challenge of building superior investment teams that can endure and outperform over a decade or more is daunting and seldom achieved. Consistent, multi-decade superiorityRead More


Gamma Trading: Why Big Market Swings Can Be Good News

Feb 17th, 2016 | Filed under: Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Fund Strategies, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

By Jason Hill, SVP and David O’Donohue, VP, Calamos Investments When it comes to your investment portfolio, volatility can be an unsettling word. For strategies that utilize convertible arbitrage though, market volatility can be a welcomed phenomenon, as we may be able to profit from it through what is referredRead More


Alternatives Appetite 2016: Bulk Up or Slim Down?

Feb 8th, 2016 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry, The A.I. Industry

By Diane Harrison January started the year off with a bang, as global markets were rocked by Fed tightening, China crumbling, and lots of political mumbling. Prices swooned across the board and spooked investors, who strained to make sense of a financial foundation that seems to be built on sand.Read More


Alternative Multi-Manager Mutual Funds: What’s the Value Proposition, Again?

Jan 25th, 2016 | Filed under: Alternative Mutual Funds, Fees, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Liquid Alternative Investiments, Liquid Alts, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Retail Investing, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

By Andrew Beer New products are sold on a story.  For alternative multi-manager mutual funds – most of which have launched since 2012 – the pitch goes something like this:  we can find top tier hedge fund managers to run various alternative investment strategies – equity long/short, relative value, macro,Read More


Michigan State University Hires its First Chief Investment Officer

Jan 11th, 2016 | Filed under: Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Practitioners, Who's Who

By Charles Skorina   Michigan State University announced the appointment of Philip Zecher as Chief Investment Officer on Friday, December 18th, 2015. Philip Zecher has just been appointed MSU’s first-ever chief investment officer, reporting directly to Dr. Lou Anna K. Simon, MSU’s president. The trustees announced the appointment on Friday and PhilRead More


The Global Economy in 2016 – 5 Key Trends

Dec 28th, 2015 | Filed under: Finance & Economics, Newly Added

By Shane Brett Every year Global Perspectives publishes its predictions of the 5 keys trends we see impacting the global economy in the year ahead. For many parts of the world economy 2016 could be summed up in 4 words – more of the same. US powers the Global EconomyRead More


Alternative Asset Managers Feeling the Burn

Dec 17th, 2015 | Filed under: Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added

By Diane Harrison As another year draws to a close, emerging hedge fund managers wrestle with how to grow their business to the next level, including how to survive another year of cutthroat competition for attracting investors. While the answers to this riddle can be numerous and complex, I thoughtRead More


The Skorina Report: The ‘hoarding’ hoax, ‘excessive’ private-equity fees and other confusions

Nov 2nd, 2015 | Filed under: Equity Types of Private Equity, Private Equity, Private Investments

Guest columnist Charles Skorina looks at accusations of endowments "hoarding" money on one hand and paying "excessive" fees to private equity managers on the other. Is it time for an intervention?Read More


Biggest Casualty of Crude Oil Price Collapse?

Jan 12th, 2015 | Filed under: Alternative energy

Traditional energy and alternative energy clash as crude prices fall.Read More


China’s Oil Giant At Center Of Corruption Probe

May 27th, 2014 | Filed under: Energy

Oilprice.com's Ky Krauthamer looks at corruption in China's oil industry.Read More


Funds of Hedge Funds May Be Down, But Don’t Count Them Out

Dec 6th, 2012 | Filed under: Alpha Strategies, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, High-net-worth investors, Institutional Investing

Away from the bleak headlines, the funds of hedge funds industry is quietly reinventing itself.Read More


A Lack of Rigor in ‘The Hedge Fund Mirage’

Nov 15th, 2012 | Filed under:

Andrew Beer looks at the underpinnings of The Hedge Fund Mirage.Read More


Hedge Funds Must Embrace the New Communications Landscape Post-JOBS Act

Oct 30th, 2012 | Filed under:

Nick Lawler on the JOBS Act.Read More


Alpha Hunters: The Macro View

Apr 24th, 2012 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies

By John Brynjolfsson, Armored Wolf The Armored Wolf investment team held its Secular Forum in late March. This is an annual opportunity to step back and discuss major themes in the upcoming investment environment. This was an effort to identify the dominant underlying forces likely to drive asset prices .Read More


Democracy in Greece

Feb 13th, 2012 | Filed under:

Letter to the Editor –John Brynjolfsson The intransigence of the Greek populace is no secret, or covert underground fringe movement. It’s near universal, but for 199 parliamentarians. Though the EU is trying to set up escrow accounts and other controls, it is time for EU to openly acknowledge what EU’sRead More