Alpha Hunters

Women in Senior Roles in Alternative Finance: The Marathon Continues

Mar 16th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Seekers, Alpha Strategies, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Today's Post

Funds of funds are quite different entities from single-manager funds from the point of view of the number of women in senior C-suite roles. Different in what direction? That depends upon the country under consideration.


Does Private Real Estate Actually Have a Low Correlation with Public Real Estate?

Mar 15th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Asset pricing, Institutional Investing, Private Equity, Real Estate, Today's Post

Brad Case, Ph.D., CFA, CAIA, looks at the relationships between public and private real estate.


Alpha, Love, and Marriage

Mar 10th, 2015 | Filed under: Academic Research, Alpha Hunters, Behavioral finance, Risk management, Today's Post

The most important turning points of our lives tend to have consequences for our alpha seeking. A new paper gives us some insight into what those consequences are, and how they vary as to strategies.


Focus on U.S. Real Estate Benchmarks: NCREIF Transaction Based Index

Feb 20th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Indexes, Real Estate, Today's Post

By Brad Case, PhD, CFA, CAIA This is the third in a series of articles focusing on the strengths of different indices that are published regularly and may be appropriate for benchmarking, risk assessment, and other real estate investment purposes. The first article focused on two similar index families, the Moody’s/RCA Commercial Property Price Index (CPPI) […]


A Basis for Pursuing the Pursuers? Sonar-based Whale Hunts

Feb 17th, 2015 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Alpha Hunters, Derivatives, Institutional Investing, Regulatory, Today's Post

To the extent that high-frequency trading is analogized to 'insider trading,' it may be in trouble with securities regulators but still in the clear with commodities regulators. After all, the latter do allow hedgers to use non-public material information to protect themselves. But Gregory Scopino doesn't believe pinging and related HFT practices should be in the clear with the CFTC at all.


A Metaphorical Map that Proposes an Unbound Barbell

Feb 12th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Alternative Beta & Hedge Fund Replication, Alternative Mutual Funds, Asset allocation, Hedge Fund Strategies, Liquid Alts, Risk management, Today's Post

The hedge fund universe has become a much more complicated place since 2008. The old-school hedge funds offering only quarterly redemptions with at least one month notice are no longer the only option for those seeking alternatives plays. And those who are seeking such plays may be somewhat confused by the proliferation of possibilities.


Pension Funds as Alternative Investors Get Some Advice

Jan 28th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Asset allocation, Institutional Investing, Today's Post

As the CEO of AIMA, Jack Inglis, said: Many pension-fund trustees "are asking questions about their existing or prospective hedge fund allocations. Rarely has there been such demand for a realistic assessment of the benefits – and also the risks – associated with hedge fund investing.” The AIMA and CAIA are working together to meet that demand in a series of papers.


Prize to Sannikov: Scholar of Friction and Moral Hazard

Jan 26th, 2015 | Filed under: Academic Research, Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Today's Post

In a fascinating review article, Sannikov and his co-authors distinguished among the sorts of liquidity, and thus identified the precise sort of liquidity mismatch likely to lead to market shocks. In a working paper last year, Sannikov took on the issue of executive pay, incentives, and claw-backs.


Top 10 Hedge Fund Trends for 2015

Jan 8th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Fund Strategies, Institutional Investing, Today's Post

Guest columnist Don Steinbrugge, CFA, surveys institutional investors and hedge funds to find out what the top trends may be for 2015.


Focus on U.S. Real Estate Benchmarks: NCREIF Property Index

Jan 4th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Indexes, Real Estate, Today's Post

Brad Case, Ph.D., CFA, CAIA, guest columnist, continues his series on U.S. real estate benchmarks as he looks at the NCREIF Property Index.


Top 5 Alpha Stories of 2014

Dec 30th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Commodities, Emerging markets, Today's Post

In the middle of the year now ending, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered as complete a victory as it could manage to the hold-out bondholders in the Argentine-default dispute. Enforcement efforts plod on, and it seems likely a related story could make our top five list next year, too.


The Magnetism of Insider Trading: Part Two

Dec 28th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Hedge Fund Strategies, Legislation/Court rulings, Today's Post

In Part One Faille discussed the Newman/Chiasson decision of a three-judge panel of the appeals court. In this follow-up, he discussed consequences, starting (but not ending) with the good news this offers Michael Steinberg.


Missing the Market: An American Visits Nigeria

Dec 17th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Frontier markets, Today's Post

Guest columnist Doug Friedenberg explores Nigeria as a frontier market.


The Magnetism of Insider Trading: Part One

Dec 16th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Hedge Fund Strategies, Legislation/Court rulings, Today's Post

A three-judge panel of the appeals court instructed the district court to "dismiss the indictment with prejudice as it pertains to Newman and Chiasson." Here we discuss why. in the second part, we'll discuss the likely consequences.


Mergers in Theory and Practice: Synchronicity and Synergy

Nov 19th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Today's Post

According to a new report from Intralinks and Cass Business School, M&A activity is a critical component in how successful companies innovate and enhance shareholder value. Actavis' latest coup, rescuing Allergan from the clutches of Valeant and Pershing Square, may make the report's authors' point more vividly than their dry numbers can.


Is Private Real Estate Actually Less Volatile than Public Real Estate?

Nov 18th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Real Estate, Today's Post

Guest columnist Brad Case, Ph.D., CFA, CAIA, examines the differences between private and public real estate investments.


Is it Time to Re-Design our Markets?

Nov 4th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Today's Post

Guest columnist Vikas Shah speaks to Nobel Prize winning economist, Professor Alvin E. Roth about market re-design.


Microfinance and Its Critics: An Update

Oct 27th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Microfinance, Socially responsible investing, Today's Post

The convergence of a central banker and micro financiers at a recent ceremony in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea inspires a look at where the MFI industry stands, and where it is headed.


Late September Bombshell from Judge Lamberth

Oct 8th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Insolvency, Legislation/Court rulings, Today's Post

As the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal reminded us recently, investors sometimes gamble on politics. That is their right, but good capitalist hygiene is served when, once in a while, such a bet goes badly wrong.


Not Your Grandfather’s Market: The Evolution of Liquid Alternatives

Oct 5th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alternative Mutual Funds, Liquid Alts, Retail Investing, Today's Post

Guest columnist Andrew Smith, CAIA, traces the rise and growth of liquid alternatives.


Key Alpha-Oriented Law Firms Merging

Sep 29th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Private Equity, Today's Post

Yes, law firms that serve alpha hunters are consolidating. But don't take it personally, HF or PE managers. This isn't about you. It's about them. And it isn't necessarily a bad thing.


Top 5 Ramifications of CalPERS’ Hedge Fund Exodus

Sep 24th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Institutional Investing, Today's Post

Guest columnist Don Steinbrugge, CFA, looks at some of the potential reactions to CalPERS' leaving hedge funds.


Metamorphosis in HFT: Update with Brad Katsuyama of IEX, Central Figure in ‘Flash Boys’

Sep 18th, 2014 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Alpha Hunters, Hedge Fund Strategies, Today's Post

Guest columnist and intrepid reporter Doug Friedenberg talks to Brad Katsuyama about HFT, Michael Lewis and more.


IEA Says Investment In Clean Energy Will Keep Growing, Slowly

Sep 2nd, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Alternative energy investing, Today's Post

Guest columnist Andy Tully looks at the future of renewable energy investment and finds a future so bright, you might need to wear shades.


The Delusions a Boom Can Bring and the Perils of Chasing Hedge Fund Winners

Aug 28th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Institutional Investing, Portable Alpha & Alpha/Beta Separation, Risk management, Today's Post

For an investor allocating slots in its portfolio to hedge funds, the draw of recent outsized performance can be powerful. Thus, the temptation to chase winners. But two members of the Hedge Fund Strategies Group at Commonfund caution against it.


A Back-Handed Look at ‘Too Big to Fail’

Aug 27th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Seekers, Currencies, Insolvency, Today's Post

The significance of the size of bank reserves and deposits as channels for the influence of QE upon macro-economic factors varies bank by bank. Monetary levers don't work on the really big rocks. A word on implications for the equity positions in those banks.


Preqin on PE Distributions & Call-Ups in 2013

Aug 18th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Private Equity, Today's Post, Venture capital

The 2013 performance of the private equity industry, given any of several metrics, was quite strong. Why? In part because the exit environment has been very good.


The Investment World Has Good News for Philanthropy

Aug 3rd, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Investing, Today's Post

Private foundations have "regained solid financial footing" in terms of their investment returns over the last two years especially, after the shaky years that preceded. Their mission-related spending has accordingly increased.


Alternative Investments: Why Do We Care

Jul 24th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Today's Post

Jeff Malec, CAIA, looks at the role of alternative investments in the current market environment and why they are crucial to successful investing.,


Deal Activity: Beer and Obamacare Both Factor In

Jul 16th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Private Equity, Technology, Today's Post

Intralinks’ report suggests that “a handful of fundamental and positive shifts” are at work in the recent uptick in M&A activity. On a behavioral note: corporate confidence is returning, and presumably confident managements are more likely to seek out acquisition targets than are nervous managements.


Tactical Alpha and Persistence in Hedge Fund Returns

Jul 7th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Hedge Fund Strategies, Performance, Analytics & Metrics, Today's Post

Guest columnist Andrew Beer looks at the consistency of hedge fund returns and finds them, well, lacking...


Remembering Enron and Contending with Warren Buffett

Jun 17th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Today's Post

An aphorism of Warren Buffett's once again making the rounds can be understood in at least three distinct ways. Faille looks at the possible constructions and decides that, whatever exactly Buffett meant to say or do, his reasoning here does little harm to his target, modern finance theory.


Could Random Trading Prevent Stock Market Bubbles & Crashes?

Jun 15th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Economics, Today's Post

Many of recent history¹s most significant market events have manifest in what was (previously) the extreme of the market. These"bubbles" and "crashes" follow power laws, meaning that (in theory) they could reach any size and fundamentally threaten the functionality of the entire financial system. Could random trading be the solution?


In SEC Filing, Ackman Makes His Case

May 27th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Seekers, Alpha Strategies, Today's Post

Pershing Square owns 9.7% of Allergan's equity. Further, Valeant's proposal is structured so that Pershing Square is more of a co-bidder than a seller.


The Skorina Report: Endowment Performance at Flagship State Schools

May 22nd, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Endowments & Foundations, Featured Post, Guest Posts, Performance, Analytics & Metrics, The Skorina Report, Today's Post

Charles Skorina revisits his famous "public Ivys" study.


Why are Hedge Fund Assets Reaching All-time Highs?

May 12th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Asset allocation, Institutional Investing, Media Coverage of Hedge Funds, Performance, Analytics & Metrics, Today's Post

Guest columnist Don Steinbrugge looks at why allocators continue to invest in hedge funds, even when the media thinks they shouldn't.


Payments, Technology, and a Curve with a Kink in It

May 11th, 2014 | Filed under: Academic Research, Alpha Hunters, Alpha Seekers, Currencies, Today's Post

On Barhydt's view, we have to see Bitcoin and other currencies like it as part of an evolution of the whole world of commerce, payments, and exchange, a vast movement of disintermediation that threatens to disrupt the banking and finance industries.


IP Rights in Software: From Settlement Risk to Data Compression

Apr 7th, 2014 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Alpha Hunters, Legislation/Court rulings, Risk management, Technology, Today's Post

The patent dispute at issue before the Supreme Court March 31st involved a computerized escrow system that serves as a third party to a deal, eliminating settlement risk. A business-method patent, in short: nothing at all to do with speed of execution, or data compression, or other such trading-infrastructure-related feats.


The Mania of Boom & Bust

Apr 2nd, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Book review, Today's Post

Vikas Shah interviews Dr. Bob Swarup, CAIA, founder of Camdor Global and author of Money Mania: Booms, Panics and Busts from Ancient Rome to the Great Meltdown.


Baseball and the Stock Market

Mar 31st, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Today's Post

Spring and the opening of the baseball season bring fresh hope, so we thought it only appropriate to look at the U.S. stock market and its relationship to baseball with guest columnist Thomas Schneeweis.


Improving the Odds with Managed Futures

Mar 19th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Commodities, CTA, Today's Post

Guest columnist Diane Harrison looks at the basics of managed futures.


Europe: Hadrian’s Wall and the Big Picture Today

Mar 10th, 2014 | Filed under: AAA Newsreels, Alpha Hunters, Currencies, Today's Post

My own quite speculative view is that Europe as a project is coming apart, and that some of the constituent nations may split into underlying parts in the process, but that this is happening slowly and messily so the world is as yet far from seeing any new equilibrium.


The Skorina Report: The Ivy Leagues Prove Allocation Isn’t Destiny

Feb 6th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Guest Posts, Institutional Investing, The Skorina Report, Today's Post

The Skorina Report looks at the returns of the Ivy Leagues, which show allocation is not destiny.


Managers and Skill: Japan, India, and the Arab World

Feb 2nd, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Seekers, Alpha Strategies, Emerging markets, Today's Post

A new report from GFIA highlights some asset manager successes: in the Japanese markets riding the wave of Abenomics; in India benefitting from the weakness of the rupee; and in the Arab world thriving against the backdrop of political turmoil.


Hedge Fund Replication: A Practitioner’s Scorecard

Jan 30th, 2014 | Filed under: Academic Research, Alpha Hunters, Alpha Seekers, Alpha Strategies, Alternative Beta & Hedge Fund Replication, Hedge Fund Operations and Risk Management, Hedge Fund Strategies, Today's Post

Andrew Beer looks at hedge fund replication to see if it works.


Women Running a Marathon Toward Alternatives

Jan 26th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Seekers, Alpha Strategies, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Institutional Investing, Today's Post

The latest in a series of annual reports from Rothstein Kass on women in the alternatives world adopts a somewhat less cheery tone than did that of last year. No longer is the dominant metaphor a "tipping point." Now it's a marathon.


The Haves and Have Nots of Today’s Markets

Jan 23rd, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Today's Post

Diane Harrison looks at what 2014 may hold for the markets. What pain in exchange for the gain may lie ahead?


Are you looking for Alpha? Or Absolute Return?

Jan 16th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Seekers, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Performance, Analytics & Metrics, Today's Post

Rene Levesque, guest author, looks at the differences between absolute return and alpha and answers the question: can you absolutely return alpha?


Top Five Alpha Stories of 2013

Dec 30th, 2013 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Today's Post

In the interests of full disclosure I acknowledge here that I recently entered the realm of bitcoin owners myself. That said, bitcoin is a fascinating story, one of our top five of the past year.