Guest columnist Charles Skorina looks at the potential for 2016 endowment returns and finds them to be somewhat lacking... Could alternatives ride to the rescue?
The head of the New York Fed said on Wednesday, August 26th, that "the decision to begin the normalization process at the September FOMC meeting seems less compelling to me than it was a few weeks ago." We may be about to see another Fed retreat, analogous to that of a little more than two years ago.
In the three month period that ends with July, Eurekahedge’s Greater China Index (which has 85 constituents) is down 9.39%. That has come about for precisely the reasons that a reader of the pertinent headlines would guess.
Guest columnist Charles Skorina with a cautionary tale of greed and deceit and less-than-best practices at a large public pension plan.
Obamacare's impact on the investment world may have been mitigated until very recently by the protracted and complicated litigation that the law immediately generated starting with its enactment in 2010. But now....
Credit Suisse Capital Services says that appetite has increased of late, among institutional investors, for multistrategy funds. Faille offers some thoughts as to why.
The authors of a new study of the relationship between fund size and performance employ a database consisting of 7,261 funds and their performance over a twenty year period (1994 to 2014). Spoiler alert: size is bad. Especially in a crisis.
"Not moving is more risky than moving," said one CEO asked about mergers and acquisitions. "We will make more acquisitions, but they’ll probably be larger in nature, more transformative. "
Guest columnist Diane Harrison examines the relationship between family offices and emerging managers and why some managers get money and why others don't.
Guest columnist Andre Boreas takes a look at the alternative investment universe year-to-date 2015 by the numbers.
Meredith Jones' book on investing in women takes it to the Street and comes back with some solid conclusions.
Low interest rates and record equity valuations together mean that companies can use either stock swaps or borrowed cash or a combination of the two, to buy one another. Further, corporate executives infer that they have to keep buying in order not to become a target themselves.
Larry Fink is "deeply worried" that the combination of share repo with high-yield debt is "one of the reasons why we have a below trend-line economy. We're not investing in the future as much as we should." Carl Icahn, predictably, has a very different view of what ails us.
The conclusion of two Indian scholars in a new study supports the view that socially responsible investing is good for investors in India. But Faille worries that the battle-of-the-studies has thus far been indecisive, and that aerodynamics suggests this insect shouldn't be able to fly.
Perhaps the fate of Kweku Adoboli, whose roguish trading at UBS' expense came to light in September 2011, can serve now in the summer of 2015 as a caution for some in the European elite contemplating the long stand-off between Syriza and the Troika.
Two authors at EDHEC remind us that 15% of the assets in any ETF or ETF-like products for European investors were in smart-beta indexed products as of August 2014, and that this amount is growing. They discuss the extent to which investors are pleased with their results.
Andrew Beer continues his discussion on slashing hedge fund fees without burning yourself or your clients.
There was some excitement as recently as January 2015 over renewed talk of a Yahoo/AOL deal, but after the bloom finally came off that rose, YHOO settled into a trading range has been roughly from $42 to $46. Faille guesses that there is an opportunity here on the upside of that range, because another suitor is bound to appear.
Managers who offer funds that provide shorter time frames to investment exits, greater liquidity through a hedge fund structure, and employ the event-driven skill set that identifies and manages an investment portfolio yielding private equity-like returns are finding increased interest from an investment community seeking returns married with reasonable liquidity.
This Lancelot's adventures came to a bad end: defeated by the dragon of insolvency. But its official liquidator did win a victory over an investor seeking special treatment via a side letter.
For Faille, the stand-out essay in this collection of case studies, from CNBC's Maneet Ahuja, concerns Marc Lasry and Sonia Gardner, of the Avenue Capital Group. As Myron Scholes says in his afterword to this volume, Lasry and Gardner take returns from those whose demand for liquidity makes them willing to give them up.
A new report by Eurekahedge says that the rise of new products such as hedge fund trackers and related developments since the global financial crisis have set the fund of funds world into a downward spiral whence it has yet to recover.
Guest columnist Andrew Beer looks at alpha.
Guest columnist Diane Harrison on investment lessons learned on the golf course.
The tear-jerker ending to a famous Broadway musical comes to Faille's mind as he contemplates the latest twist in the struggle over DuPont's board.
A new survey from AIMA seems designed to dispel the idea that alternative finance is a game played somewhere far away from the 'real economy.' The gist of it is that as banks withdraw from lending to that real economy, alternative asset managers, including hedge funds, have stepped in to fill the void.
Guest columnist Andrew Beer examines the "value" of value.
One can argue with Harvey Miller, and with his old-school views about bankruptcy law, but now that he can no longer argue back one should show due deference.
Charles Skorina looks at the top public endowments and discusses performance with Erik Lundberg.
Why has Ken Griffin, the founder of Citadel, hired former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke as a Senior Advisor? This decision represents a surprise given Griffin's views on "quantitative easing," views he forcefully expressed a couple of years ago.
Guest columnist Diane Harrison looks at the world of alternatives to alternatives, including stamps, cars, farmland and more...
It is always dangerous to say (of any deep and liquid market) that the market is simply wrong in its valuations. Likewise, if you're sitting at a poker table and you don't know who the sucker is ....
Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, BMPS, the oldest bank in the world, has now admitted that its exposure to Nomura Holdings has exceeded the 25% cap set by Italy’s regulators. Faille can't think of a good alpha-winning play on this fact, but it does inspire him to re-work a Kipling poem.
The hapless U.S. mutual funds Chen and Gallagher sample have a nominally positive pre fee alpha only when measured against CAPM. That disappears into the negatives when the baseline used is the Fama-French model, and deeper into the negatives when the momentum factor is added.
Indexes labeled as representing developed market equity include companies with significant and increasing exposure to macro-economic trends in the emerging markets. A portfolio that tracks such an index may well have much more such exposure than its managers or investors had bargained for
Intralinks is confident that the ongoing growth in M&A activity will continue through the 2d quarter, fueled by strong performances in EMEA and North America. In North America in particular the drivers include low interest rates and pressure on corporate honchos to generate growth in that low-rate environment.
Guest columnist Donald Steinbrugge, CFA, looks at the bad rap hedge funds have gotten and talks about why it's not deserved.
Investors in hedge funds want more transparency than they think they're getting, a fact that might not be clear to their managers.
The typical investment manager is more likely to understand the divestment argument if he is shown that the dynamic effects of climate change on his fossil fuel portfolio holdings will be like a knife to the brain of one of TV's Walking Dead zombies, portfolio splatter included.
The Delaware Chancery Court would apparently have preferred to stay out of the issue of valuation as it played itself out in the 2012 acquisition of Ancestry.com by Permira. But it couldn't: the statute encouraging appraisal fights was too clearly worded for that.
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.
Brad Case, Ph.D., CFA, CAIA, looks at the relationships between public and private real estate.
Andrew Beer looks at what happens when talented hedge fund managers try and perform within the constraints of the mutual fund structure.
Doug Friedenberg takes a look at Twitter as a random news generator on subjects close to the hearts of portfolio managers, and finds it invaluable for the information just beginning to enter your known universe.
Three authors at EDHEC propose a two-step modeling process for the valuation of certain infrastructure debt. One of the key ideas they incorporate is the value of the step-in rights that come when the issuers violate a covenant or otherwise find themselves in technical default.
The Greek prime minister's surrender to Germany and the troika has alienated much of his own base in Syriza. You can bet on it. Indeed, finding creative ways to bet on it looks like a sound alpha strategy now.
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 new report from Eurekahedge tries to go beyond some obvious observations about the performance of hedge funds there in 2014, or about the performance of that country's broad economy last year. Eurekahedge talked to seven experts in the field. They took quite different views on the most basic of questions. So different that a contrarian would have a tough time finding the consensus to counter.
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.
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.