Browsing: Institutional Investing

Institutional Investing

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


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


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


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


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


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


Why NYCERS Should Reconsider Exiting All Hedge Funds

Apr 25th, 2016 | Filed under: Hedge Funds, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Donald A. Steinbrugge, CFA I would like to share some thoughts regarding New York City Employees Retirement System (NYCERS) voting to exit all hedge funds. Pension funds should always be managed in the best interest of the plan’s beneficiaries. I believe this blanket decision to eliminate a full setRead 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 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


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


Institutions Thinking About Interest Rates and Volatility

Dec 15th, 2015 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Benchmarking & Performance Attribution, Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, Performance, Analytics & Metrics

In recent months, even the anticipation of Fed Reserve tightening has been able to send markets into a tizzy. Now the actual tightening is at last upon us. Both Natixis and Reuters surveys speak to the way the buy-side and sell-side see this. Read More


Advice for Pension Funds Who May Have Lost Their Way

Nov 10th, 2015 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

One panelist said that many pension funds have "lost their way and [gone] to asset allocation instead of focusing on their underlying obligations." Read More


SWFs under Pressure: No Panic Selling Yet

Sep 15th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Strategies, Hedge Fund Strategies, Institutional Investing

Sovereigns and their politicians are looking over the shoulders of the managers of their sovereign wealth funds. This is a pain in the neck for the latter, but it may mean opportunity for their counterparties. Read More


Japan: Richardson makes a Tricky Case

Sep 9th, 2015 | Filed under: Currencies, Forex, Indexes, Institutional Investing

The Japanese economy deserves some credit for having pulled itself out of a recent recession, and it is "beginning to show signs of benefiting from a weaker yen" as a BlackRock strategist tells us. But (there is always a "but"). Read More


The Skorina Report: Fearless Forecast Says That Endowment Returns Will Disappoint in FY2015

Sep 3rd, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Seekers, Alpha Strategies, Endowments & Foundations, Hedge Fund Strategies, Institutional Investing, Performance, Analytics & Metrics

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?Read More


Foundations: They’ve Taken a Blow from “Subdued” Markets

Sep 2nd, 2015 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Fund Strategies, Indexes, Institutional Investing, Liquid Alts, Performance, Analytics & Metrics, Risk management

Both private and community foundations depend heavily on U.S. equities. Indeed, domestic equities remained the bright spot while other strategies underperformed in 2014. A new report from a collaboration of the Council on Foundations and Commonfund provides food for thought about the reversal in foundation returns in that year. TheRead More


When Underfunded Pension Funds Take Up Social Responsibility Investing

Aug 24th, 2015 | Filed under: Institutional Investing, Legislation/Court rulings, Socially responsible investing

In November 2014, Scott Stringer, New York City's Comptroller, launched a campaign he called the Boardroom Accountability Project. Bernard Sharfman makes a case that this BAP is a good example of much that is wrong with institutional/activist investing today. Read More


Hedge Fund Assets to Increase a Quarter Trillion Dollars by Summer of 2016

Aug 19th, 2015 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Fund Strategies, Institutional Investing, Media Coverage of Hedge Funds

Guest columnist Don Steinbrugge on why hedge fund AUM is set for an increase over the course of the next 12 months.Read More


The Skorina Report: Risky Business–Chief Investment Officers and Public Pension Plans

Aug 16th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Seekers, Alpha Strategies, Institutional Investing, Risk management

Guest columnist Charles Skorina with a cautionary tale of greed and deceit and less-than-best practices at a large public pension plan.Read More


Event-Driven Hedge Funds Rescued by Obamacare

Aug 11th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Seekers, Alpha Strategies, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Fund Strategies, Institutional Investing

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.... Read More


The Strength of Multi-Strat Is No Mystery

Aug 2nd, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Fees, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Fund Strategies, Institutional Investing

Credit Suisse Capital Services says that appetite has increased of late, among institutional investors, for multistrategy funds. Faille offers some thoughts as to why. Read More


Crisis? Tempted to Flee to Shelter of Big Funds? Bad Idea

Jul 29th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Behavioral finance, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Fund Strategies, Institutional Investing

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.Read More


7 Messages Family Offices Give Emerging Managers

Jul 26th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Strategies, Family Offices, Institutional Investing

Guest columnist Diane Harrison examines the relationship between family offices and emerging managers and why some managers get money and why others don't. Read More


‘Women of the Street’—Not Just Another War Story

Jul 22nd, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Seekers, Alpha Strategies, Institutional Investing, Retail Investing

Meredith Jones' book on investing in women takes it to the Street and comes back with some solid conclusions.Read More


SBA of Florida Looks into Truth & Consequences of Activist Investing

Jul 16th, 2015 | Filed under: Institutional Investing, Risk management

Florida's State Board of Administration deserves some credit for undertaking a recent corporate governance study. Even trying to look at the consequences of its proxy-contest votes over a period of up to five years after they are cast seems to have shattered a glass ceiling separating actual institutional behavior from common sense. Read More


The Skorina Report: A Look at the New Investment Crew at NYU

Jul 9th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Seekers, Institutional Investing

Charles Skorina looks at the new crew at NYU.Read More


SCOTUS on Copyright Means a Win for Fences: Loss for the Noosphere

Jul 6th, 2015 | Filed under: Institutional Investing, Intellectual Property

An idea for the hierarchical design of a platform's APIs, and a particular expression of that idea, walk into a bar. What's the punch line? Read More


Farm Land: The Risks & Rewards of Buying Direct

Jun 7th, 2015 | Filed under: Farmland, Infrastructure, Institutional Investing, Real Estate

Guest columnist Andrew Smith, CAIA, examines the risks and rewards of investing directly in farmland.Read More


The Skorina Report: Wall Street Pay & CEO Performance: Who got their money’s worth?

Jun 4th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha-centric Companies, Asset Managers, High-net-worth investors, Institutional Investing

Charles Skorina presents his annual CEO compensation report and a little bit more.Read More


How to Cut Hedge Fund Fees in Half-Part One

May 31st, 2015 | Filed under: Fees, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Institutional Investing, Performance, Analytics & Metrics

Guest columnist Andrew Beer takes on hedge fund fees. In part one of the series he looks at the investor aggregation model.Read More


Top Hedge Fund Managers: They Aren’t Wizards, but They Are Masters

May 28th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Seekers, Alpha Strategies, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Fund Strategies, Institutional Investing, Real Estate

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. Read More


What’s in a Copyright? Java API Case Before U.S. Supreme Court

May 25th, 2015 | Filed under: Institutional Investing, Intellectual Property, Technology

High-stakes litigation between Google and Oracle approaches its resolution at the Supreme Court. For seekers of alpha, this isn't just about what investments to make, but about the way one goes about making them, the very mechanics of trading. Read More


Northern Trust on Hedge Funds, Big Data and Transparency

May 20th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Institutional Investing, Technology

The integration of data isn't fully on the hedge fund industry radar yet. Yet it may be critical to rebuilding manager-investor relations via whiz-bang 21st century technology. Read More


The Skorina Report: The Best, The Rest & Our Pick for Public Endowment CIO of Decade

Apr 30th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Institutional Investing

Charles Skorina looks at the top public endowments and discusses performance with Erik Lundberg.Read More


They Do It Right Down Under: Australian Institutional Funds

Apr 14th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Seekers, Alpha Strategies, CAPM / Alpha Theory, ETFs, Indexes, Institutional Investing

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. Read More


Hedge Fund Investors and Managers: Concord and Discord

Mar 29th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Hedge Fund Strategies, Institutional Investing

Investors in hedge funds want more transparency than they think they're getting, a fact that might not be clear to their managers. Read More


More Global Mandates, Fewer EM Mandates, and Other Changes

Mar 23rd, 2015 | Filed under: CTA, Institutional Investing, Performance, Analytics & Metrics, Risk management

Eurekahedge's latest report gives a number of timelines for grappling with changes in the hedge fund world: since 2007; since January 2013; YTD January 2015. In any frame, you don't have to be a meteorologist....Read More


KPMG, MFA & AIMA: Institutional Investors & Customization

Mar 19th, 2015 | Filed under: Alternative Mutual Funds, Asset allocation, Fees, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Fund Strategies, Institutional Investing, Liability Driven Investing, Regulatory

Surveys suggest that certain conspicuous ongoing trends will continue. For example, the classic 20 + 2 fee structure will continue to crumble, replaced by "customized" structures. A full 91% of the small hedge fund managers who filled out a survey agreed with this. A mere 76% of large hedge fund managers did likewise. Read More


ESMA to Member States: You’re Not Doing Enough Re: MiFiD

Mar 18th, 2015 | Filed under: Institutional Investing, Regulatory, Retail Investing

A newly released report tells us that ESMA is unhappy with the national "competent authorities" as to how they've enforced MiFiD. the report implies that the adjective in the phrase "competent authorities" is to be understood as a courtesy rather than a description. Read More


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

Mar 15th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Institutional Investing, Private Equity, Real Estate

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


5 Insights on a Hedge Fund Outlook

Mar 12th, 2015 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Fund Strategies, Institutional Investing

Guest columnist Diane Harrison finds five trends in hedge funds that are worth watching.Read More


The Skorina Report: Divestment vs. Fiduciary Duty Whose Money is it?

Mar 5th, 2015 | Filed under: Institutional Investing, Risk management

Guest columnist Charles Skorina takes a look at investment divestment..Read More


Capital Call – Mastering 7 Essential Investor Questions

Feb 22nd, 2015 | Filed under: Institutional Investing

...One of the key hurdles all managers face is the investor interview, when the focus is not on the fund or strategy, but on the manager’s ability to sell him or herself. While managers are typically comfortable discussing their investment thesis and related activities, they are markedly less able to articulate the personal and intangible details about which investors want to learn more. Read More


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

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. Read More


Pension Funds as Alternative Investors Get Some Advice

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

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.Read More


Top 10 Hedge Fund Trends for 2015

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

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


Longevity Risk: Wary of Your 2015, and of Somebody Else’s Life Span?

Dec 21st, 2014 | Filed under: Institutional Investing, Liability Driven Investing, Risk management, Socially responsible investing

The new survey from Natixis tells us that a lot of asset-managing institutions think their industry as a whole has been quite slow about moving in the direction of liability-driven investment strategies. Also, more than half believe traditional assets are too correlated to provide them with the diversification they need. Read More


Qatar and the QIA: When the SWF Is Also a Family Office

Dec 10th, 2014 | Filed under: Commodities, Institutional Investing, Technology

The royal family in Qatar, the House of Thani, just took direct control of the emirate's sovereign wealth fund. Also, that fund just invested big in Uber, confirming its reputation as perhaps the worlds most aggressive deal-hunting institution. Read More


Footnote 13: Barclays Did ‘Change the Number’

Oct 7th, 2014 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Institutional Investing, Regulatory

The most intriguing revelation in the exchange of briefs between the State of New York and Barclays appears in a humble footnote, where Barclays seems to concede that an employee was pressured to change an internalization number. But it was just the once.... Read More