Institutional Investing

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

Dec 10th, 2014 | Filed under: Commodities, Institutional Investing, Technology, Today's Post

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.


Footnote 13: Barclays Did ‘Change the Number’

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

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....


Signs of a Renaissance in Emerging Manager ‘Alpha’

Oct 2nd, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Seekers, Alpha Strategies, Hedge Fund Strategies, Institutional Investing, Performance, Analytics & Metrics, Today's Post

Guest columnist Peter Urbani looks at emerging managers and why they may be re-emerging and bringing alpha with them.


What hath CalPERS Wrought? And Why?

Sep 30th, 2014 | Filed under: Institutional Investing, Investment Management Fees, Today's Post

Should investors, especially institutional investors, push back (or push back harder than they have so far) against the fee structure preferred by those whom they pay to manage their money? And is the recent announcement from CalPERS such a push?


Looking at the Next Generation of Institutional Investing

Sep 25th, 2014 | Filed under: Asset allocation, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Institutional Investing, Today's Post

Guest columnist Andrew Beer looks at the changes in institutional investing.


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.


The Skorina Report: Another try at herding Gotham’s five-headed fund

Sep 21st, 2014 | Filed under: Featured Post, Guest Posts, Institutional Investing, The Skorina Report, Today's Post

Guest columnist Charles Skorina looks at the five-headed NYC pension system with its new leader, Scott Evans.


Investing in the Investor

Sep 4th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Strategies, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Institutional Investing, Retail Investing, Today's Post

Guest columnist Diane Harrison looks at what advisors think of hedge funds.


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.


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.


The Skorina Report is Surfing the Age of Asset Management: Will the tide of global AUM lift all asset-management boats?

Jul 31st, 2014 | Filed under: Guest Posts, Institutional Investing, The Skorina Report, Today's Post

Charles Skorina looks at the future of CIOs and with rising AUM and sees a forecast calling for sunny and bright. Maybe it's finally time to break out the shades!


Deutsche Bank on Investor Demands Today

Jul 27th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Strategies, Institutional Investing, Retail Investing, Today's Post

If such institutions as the ECB keep rewarding indebtedness, then over time they get their way. They'll get a lot of deal making, even if it amounts to a frenzy. Then investors will demand funds that play to that frenzy.


Looking at the Future of World Wealth McKinsey-style

Jul 21st, 2014 | Filed under: Emerging markets, Institutional Investing, Today's Post

In Asia the high-net-worth population still consists largely of the first-generation wealthy. So: what are these Asian entrepreneurs looking for in their private banking services? That is one of the questions McKinsey considers.


Does the Defined-Contribution Broom Still Sweep All Before It?

Jul 14th, 2014 | Filed under: Institutional Investing, Today's Post

Had the plan not received final IRS approval, the benefits part of the Times/Guild contract would have reverted to a DC plan, and this would have been yet another exhibition of how defined contributions is sweeping all before it. But the IRS did approve, and that broom is for now back in its closet.


The Philosophy of Liquidity: Diversity, Decision-making and Governance

Jul 6th, 2014 | Filed under: Institutional Investing, Today's Post

Guest columnist Donna Howe examines diversity at the board level. Does it make a governance difference?


Industry Discovery: Maturity is a Pain

Jun 26th, 2014 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Fund Strategies, Institutional Investing, Seeding/early-stage, Today's Post

One takeaway, from the point of view of the managers, is that a close engagement with institutional investors requires a lot of time and effort, and those commodities have to be budgeted. How to handle the circumstances of industry maturity is an individualized call.


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.


Why Do Investors Love Large Hedge Funds?

May 8th, 2014 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Fund Strategies, Institutional Investing, Performance, Analytics & Metrics, Today's Post

Jeff Malec, CAIA, looks at why large hedge funds have all the fun and get all the money.


The Dynamism of a Cyclist: EDHEC on LDI

May 7th, 2014 | Filed under: Institutional Investing, Liability Driven Investing, Risk management, Today's Post

Europe's pension fund managers embrace LDI quite generally, and many embrace the "dynamic" version of that strategy. But four scholars at EDHEC find it curious they don't do so for the right reason -- they don't seem to see LDI as the risk-management imperative it is.


Performance Drag in Alternative Multi-manager Mutual Funds

May 5th, 2014 | Filed under: Alternative Mutual Funds, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Fund Strategies, Institutional Investing, Performance, Analytics & Metrics, Retail Investing, Timely Research, Today's Post

Guest columnists Andrew Beer and Michael Weinberg look at the opportunities that lie in the largely untapped alternative mutual fund markets.


Catastrophe Bonds and Climate Hedging: A Talk with Barney Schauble of Nephila

May 1st, 2014 | Filed under: Alternative energy, Institutional Investing, Today's Post

Doug Friedenberg talks about investing in the climate and what real investors can and are doing with it.


Defusing a Demographic Time Bomb: A Pension Fund Case Study

Apr 29th, 2014 | Filed under: Asset allocation, Institutional Investing, Liability Driven Investing, Today's Post

Longevity hedging transactions are growing at an exponential rate in the UK. We focus on one case study in such transactions that might encourage (cautious) optimism about the tractability of demographics.


Endowments as Agile Piranhas

Apr 27th, 2014 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Investing, Risk management, Today's Post

Sophisticated institutional investors contracting with outside active managers can get positive alpha out of the U.S. equities markets, despite the arithmetical and a priori reasons for skepticism.


The Skorina Report: PIMCO’s Heir-apparent goes missing

Apr 10th, 2014 | Filed under: Asset allocation, Guest Posts, Institutional Investing, The Skorina Report, Today's Post

Charles Skorina looks at the implications of El-Erian "disappearing" from PIMCO.


Tell Me I’m Reading this Wrong: ‘Mobilize more personal pension savings for…’ Financing?

Feb 19th, 2014 | Filed under: Insolvency, Institutional Investing, Regulatory, Today's Post

Unless Reuters has been utterly misled, a recent report there suggests that Europe's greybeards are considering an astonishingly bad approach to the insolvency of their banking system: soak the pensioners.


Controlling your Inner Lobster: Climate Investment Update

Feb 11th, 2014 | Filed under: Conference report, Institutional Investing, Social investing, Today's Post

Roving columnist at-large Douglas Friedenberg reports on the Investor Summit on Climate Risk, NYC.


Deloitte to Hedge Funds: Emulate the Agility of a Skier

Feb 10th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Strategies, Alternative Mutual Funds, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Fund Strategies, Institutional Investing, Performance, Analytics & Metrics, Risk management, Today's Post

Deloitte's pie graphs emphasize the degree to which both hedge funds and PE vehicles have become dependent upon institutions in general, and detached from the retail market. But Deloitte says that 2014 "will likely see additional efforts by alternative fund managers to engage the retail investor base by taking their alternative investment strategies mainstream."


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.


NCSE Data: Endowments Sticking with the Endowment Model

Jan 29th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Strategies, Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Investing, Today's Post

Higher-education endowments are sticking with the “endowment model,” that is, their asset allocations remain stable. For example, in 2012, the surveyed institutions had 15% of their total AUM in domestic equities, 16% in international equities. In 2013, those figures were only slightly higher, 16% and 18% respectively.


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.


AlphaMetrix: We did nothing wrong!

Jan 22nd, 2014 | Filed under: Commodities, CTA, Insolvency, Institutional Investing, Legislation/Court rulings, Retail Investing, Today's Post

In 2010 AlphaMetrix held a conference in Miami with Harry Markopolos as the keynote speaker. Markopolos' claim to fame is that he told the regulators about Madoff''s Ponzi Scheme, but his words fell on deaf ears. In 2013 AlphaMetrix, which claimed to the be the transparent antidote to Madoff stood accused by the CFTC of moving money in ways it ought not and in 2014, the principals of the firm are asking for a jury trial. It is indeed a tangled web and it is unlikely to be un-weaved any time soon.


10 Top Hedge Fund Industry Trends for 2014

Jan 6th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Seekers, Alpha Strategies, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Fund Strategies, High-net-worth investors, Institutional Investing, Today's Post

Guest columnist Don Steinbrugge provides his thoughts on what the coming year will bring for hedge funds.


Cerulli on the Zombie Apocalypse in China

Dec 22nd, 2013 | Filed under: Emerging markets, Institutional Investing, Today's Post

The numbers of undead mutual funds in China has created a sharp disparity between the fund count and the AUM count. Since no one ever drops out, the fund count only goes up.


Consultants: Clients Want to Learn About LDI

Dec 5th, 2013 | Filed under: Institutional Investing, Liability Driven Investing, Socially responsible investing, Today's Post

For pension managers these days, decision making is about managing a glide path that doesn't become a fiery crash. In appealing to such clients, consultants shouldn't think of themselves as sales people selling particular products in separate boxes.


Mapping Investor Behavior

Nov 21st, 2013 | Filed under: Alpha Strategies, Behavioral finance, Institutional Investing, Retail Investing, Risk management, Today's Post

Guest columnists from Tesseract Asset Management look at investor behavior and risk management.


NCSE Data: Alternatives Falling Out of Fashion

Nov 17th, 2013 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Investing, Today's Post

NACUBO President and CEO John D. Walda and his Commonfund Institute counterpart John S. Griswold said in a statement, “the data concerning alternative strategies will bear watching as more colleges and universities report their FY2013 results.”


The Market’s Celestial Navigation Sextant: Five Primary Factors Every Investor Needs To Know

Nov 7th, 2013 | Filed under: Institutional Investing, Retail Investing, Risk management, Today's Post

Guest columnist firm Tesseract on charting proper risk management in rapidly changing seas.


Forum Selection Bylaws Dispute in Delaware: To Fight Another Day?

Nov 5th, 2013 | Filed under: Institutional Investing, Legislation/Court rulings, Today's Post

Two institutional investors challenged the legality of a forum selection bylaw favoring the management of Chevron Corp. They have lost this battle in the Delaware courts. How significant is that loss?


Cerulli on Managers Who Are ‘Very Relevant to a Few’

Oct 22nd, 2013 | Filed under: Institutional Investing, Today's Post

Numbers indicate that specialist advisory firms manage nearly twice as many assets as the industry average. As Cerulli Associates observes in a recent issue of The Cerulli Edge, this "validates the strategy."


Institutional Market to Increase By 30%: How to Play That

Oct 20th, 2013 | Filed under: Alpha Strategies, Institutional Investing, Today's Post

The hedge portion of a liability-driven portfolio can be dominated by long-duration fixed income instruments. One of the points of a new Cerulli report is that by offering those, asset managers can get a valuable 'in' with the sponsors of DB plans, to whom LDI appeals.


Much ado about nothing..in other words, the JOBS Act is finally here

Oct 13th, 2013 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Institutional Investing, Regulatory, Retail Investing, Timely Research, Today's Post

Guest columnist Diane Harrison looks at the U.S. JOBS Act for what it is...and isn't.


Clear Correlations Getting Blurry: News From Foundations

Oct 3rd, 2013 | Filed under: Alpha Seekers, Alpha Strategies, Institutional Investing, Private Equity, Today's Post

Comparing the 2011 and 2012 data, some correlations that seemed clear in the former year either disappeared entirely, or become a good deal blurrier, in the 2012 data.


Beyond Becalmed Swensen: The Next Generation Model

Sep 30th, 2013 | Filed under: Alpha Strategies, Institutional Investing, Today's Post

The David Swensen inspired "Endowment Model" came under heavy criticism in 2009-10. More recently, opinion has mellowed, and now comes a project, the Portfolio Whiteboard Project, in which the participants view Swensen in a spirit as collegial as it is critical.


Social Media Strategy & the Ultra-High-Net-Worth Market

Sep 22nd, 2013 | Filed under: High-net-worth investors, Institutional Investing, Today's Post

Guest columnist David Friedman looks at social media as a strategy for reaching the ultra-high-net-worth market.


The Risk-On, Risk-Off Teeter-Totter: How Managers Adapt

Sep 17th, 2013 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Institutional Investing, Today's Post

Cerulli reminds us that risk-on/risk-off environments now alternate with dizzying speed. Even within the course of 2013 there has been a swing from cautious optimism to just-plain cautious.


SEI: How PE Firms Can Draw Out That Dry Powder

Sep 12th, 2013 | Filed under: Institutional Investing, Private Equity, Today's Post

All that dry powder on the sidelines means good news and bad for PE GPs: first, that there is room for a lot of new demand for their services (the good news); second, that investors remain hesitant – they have deliberately kept that powder in the horn and many will likely continue to do so (the bad news).


Surfing the sustainable investing L-curve: A noble way to lose money?

Aug 26th, 2013 | Filed under: Institutional Investing, Socially responsible investing, The Skorina Report, Today's Post

Guest columnist Charles Skorina looks at sustainable investing and asks the question: Is it sustainable?


Cautious Commonfund White Paper Defends Hedge Fund Role

Aug 22nd, 2013 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Institutional Investing, Today's Post

Commonfund doesn't seem to have its heart in the project of defending hedge funds specifically as winners of alpha. Rather, its new white paper offers other, non-alpha, defense of the hedge fund as an institution.


After the Bottom Fell Out of Copper: A Private Equity Story

Aug 21st, 2013 | Filed under: Commodities, Institutional Investing, Private Equity, Today's Post

An opinion by Chief Judge Lynch, of the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, should have private equity managers in that Circuit reviewing their portfolios, and thinking in a more expansive way about their potential ERISA liabilities for companies they control.


The Skorina Report: Fees vs. performance: Jeff Hooke tilts at the public pension windmill

Aug 18th, 2013 | Filed under: Institutional Investing, Investment Management Fees, The Skorina Report, Today's Post

Guest columnist Charles Skorina looks at pension funds and fees and finds....