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Guest Posts

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'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

Alpha Schmalpha: It’s not just ‘Greek’ to investors

Aug 23rd, 2011 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends

What's it all about, this alpha? And for that matter, where is it? Dr. Bob Swarup tackles the real meanings of alpha and beta.Read More

Hedge Fund Indexes Learn to Walk Upright: Introducing the Hedge Fund Barometer

Jun 30th, 2011 | Filed under:

Hedge fund indexes have been around for as long as there have been hedge funds to index. As the industry evolves, so too the way it is measured must change. The Hedge Fund Barometer intends to change the way we measure hedge fund performance.Read More

A Pared-Down Approach to Stock Picking

Mar 25th, 2011 | Filed under:

Special to by: Paul Cantor, CFA, portfolio manager and Diane Harrison, Managing Director, Hercules Trading Fund, LLC Investors looking for opportunities in the hedge fund market first need to consider an overall strategy approach. The typical ‘Big Three’ are: 1) Directional, 2) Market-Neutral, and 3) Event-Driven. Directional strategies seekRead More

Is now a good time to jump into the hedge fund waters?

Feb 14th, 2011 | Filed under:

Sure it's hard to start a hedge fund these days. But for some that obviously doesn't matter.Read More

SEC Insider Trading Enforcement: A New Foreboding Tune For Investors

Nov 22nd, 2010 | Filed under:

By: Mikhail Iliev, head writer of Who’s In My Fund? Back in January, AAA asked whether the significant increase in proposed Securities and Exchange Commission examinations heralds a new era for hedge fund oversight. The question looks to be answered soon and most likely in the affirmative – at least inRead More

Switching Horses Mid-Race: How to know when riding different betas creates alpha

Aug 10th, 2010 | Filed under: Performance, Analytics & Metrics

Alpha doesn't always have to come from security selection - as today's guest contributor points out.Read More

How much wood would a woodchuck allocate if a woodchuck would allocate part of his portfolio to wood?

May 19th, 2010 | Filed under: Commodities, Institutional Investing

As alternative investors know, money does grow on trees after all. The trick is: how to harvest it. Read More

What NASCAR Can Teach Us About Return Persistence

Apr 28th, 2010 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory

At the very least, NASCAR and Formula One share two things in common with the alternative asset management industry...Read More

“Alpha Extension” extended to emerging markets

Feb 28th, 2010 | Filed under:

Advocates of “short-extension” or “alpha-extension” strategies such as 130/30 funds often point out that traditional long-only managers are only able to bet against a stock by as much as that stock represents in the benchmark index.  After all, they argue, you can do no more than simply deciding not toRead More

Comment: “Risk-based compensation” a more equitable approach

Jan 14th, 2010 | Filed under:

The past few years have seen discontent about return-based hedge fund fees growing amongst investors. Here's a proposal from one manager that attempts to balance both risk and return.Read More

Alternative Viewpoints: Due to funds’ lack of persistence, the Sharpe ratio has no validity as an investment decision tool

Oct 29th, 2009 | Filed under:

There have been many studies on hedge fund manager return “persistence”.  Persistence, after all, is a necessary precondition for the existence of alpha.  Like alpha itself, you might expect that the persistence of a good Sharpe ratio may be possible in less mature (more informationally inefficient) markets.  But a newRead More

A Reader Comments…

Oct 2nd, 2009 | Filed under:

The hedge fund space has become "contaminated", says this reader.Read More

Alternative Viewpoints: Using the Modified Sharpe & Information Ratios

Sep 2nd, 2009 | Filed under:

In this month's "Alternative Viewpoints" column, BNY Mellon's Neil Kotecha explains one of the reasons why the Sharpe Ratio isn't so sharp after all.Read More

Prominent researcher finds “Extreme Value Theory” can turn VaR into a better crystal ball

Jun 29th, 2009 | Filed under:

Who knew "Value at Risk" calculation was an extreme sport? Sure, it's not base jumping...But at least one prominent mathematician turned investment researcher says it's not far off. Read More

Investing in hedge funds in emerging markets: the “prudent approach”

Jun 24th, 2009 | Filed under:

Emerging markets are emerging like crazy this spring. So why not just ride the (beta) wave? One expert finds that emerging market alpha can make life a lot more enjoyable.Read More

“Illiquidity Premium” that fuelled endowment returns falls back to 2005 levels

May 7th, 2009 | Filed under:

Is the secret out when it comes to endowment returns? Read More

Alternative Viewpoints: The Ascendancy of Risk Management

Apr 30th, 2009 | Filed under:

As GAIM Ops comes to a close, Abdul Sheikh, CAIA, of State Street argues that independent fund administration is now a no brainer. Read More

Book Review: The Heretics of Finance – Conversations with Leading Practitioners of Technical Analysis

Apr 5th, 2009 | Filed under:

Heretics of Finance may not change the way readers see the markets, but it just might change the way we see those who read the markets.Read More

Niccolo Machiavelli’s Hedge Fund Secrets

Mar 19th, 2009 | Filed under:

In 1513, Niccolo Machiavelli warned Lorenzo d' Medici, ruler of the Florentine Republic about "the inconsistency of prosperity". Did "Black Swan" author Nassim Taleb go back in time to advise Machiavelli? Read this and make up your own mind. Read More

Alternative Viewpoints: Monetizing hedge fund transparency

Mar 3rd, 2009 | Filed under:

What would life be like with full hedge fund transparency? For clues, you needn't look much further than the US requirement to submit "13F" filings. Read More

Financial crisis to slow convergence of hedge funds and private equity, but not for long, says academic

Feb 20th, 2009 | Filed under: Private Equity

The much ballyhooed topic of convergence between hedge funds and private equity has been bumped from the front pages recently by the convergence of financial sector workers and pink slips. But according to one academic (who has the ear of the US Congress), it's not going away any time soon. Read More

Alternative Viewpoints: Alternative Investments in India – Regulatory easing, growth in private equity, and new real estate opportunities

Feb 2nd, 2009 | Filed under: Private Equity

The Indian economy has been in the news a lot recently. But what about alternative investments in the sub-continent?Read More

Jaeger predicts year of alternative beta, the death of “black boxes.” Advocates “scenario based” portfolio construction.

Jan 19th, 2009 | Filed under:

Hedge fund industry watcher and alternative beta advocate Lars Jaeger of Partners Group provides us with his hedge fund predictions in this exclusive.Read More

Alternative Viewpoints: Survivors to Benefit from “Hedge Fund Industry Life Cycle”

Jan 4th, 2009 | Filed under:

Guest contributor Tommaso Sanzin, CAIA says that the natural ebbs and (asset) flows of the hedge fund industry will yield more untapped opportunities and fewer unskilled managers. Read More

Alternative Viewpoints: A “Golden Age” of higher returns, new managers & smaller funds on its way

Nov 30th, 2008 | Filed under:

Peter Douglas, the widely-quoted hedge fund consultant and manager, forecasts golden times ahead for the hedge fund industry - at least, for those who survive.Read More

Comment: The Problem of “Missing Factors” in Hedge Fund Replication

Nov 9th, 2008 | Filed under: Alternative Beta & Hedge Fund Replication

Hedge fund replication using factor models is a balancing act between using so many factors that the model doesn't hold up in the future, and using so few factors that the model doesn't hold up at all. Read More