Browsing: Risk management

Risk management

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

An Overview of Real Asset Investing

Aug 26th, 2015 | Filed under: Infrastructure, Intellectual Property, Private Equity, Real Estate, Risk management

Guest columnist Andrew Smith, CAIA, provides an overview of real assets and their commensurate risks and rewards.Read More

Study Says The Gold Bugs are Right

Aug 23rd, 2015 | Filed under: Currencies, Forex, Gold, Hard metals, Risk management

Gold seems, to a larger extent than silver, and even more so to an extent larger than is true for palladium or platinum, to work as a true financial asset: decoupled from price developments in the commodity markets. It succeeds as a hedge against currency and stock-market trouble.Read More

Weintraub of GFT: Basel III Coming Into Force by Increments

Aug 20th, 2015 | Filed under: Asset allocation, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Regulatory, Risk management

Faille spoke recently to Herman Weintraub, executive director and head of alternative investment practices at GFT, about the impact of the Basel III rule changes upon the HF industry. Weintraub says, one ought to look not at the parts, but at the whole. 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

SEC’s Daniel Gallagher: Friend of the Beleaguered CCO

Aug 10th, 2015 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Regulation, Regulatory, Risk management

Commissioner Gallagher contends that some recent enforcement actions "have unfairly contorted the rule to treat the compliance function as a new business line," thus giving compliance officers the unwelcome role of business heads. In this and other respects, Gallagher says the agency is setting up a perverse system of incentives for those who ought to be its allies, the CCOs of IAs. 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

SEC: KKR Misallocated ‘Broken Deal’ Costs

Jul 14th, 2015 | Filed under: Private Equity, Regulatory, Risk management

A recent SEC finding at the expense of KKR illustrates the risk inherent in non-allocation, or careless allocation, of broken-deal expenses, and illustrates that lawyers don't necessarily use the word "deceit" to mean what one might think it means. Read More

Rogue Trader Adoboli’s Return to Freedom: Down Memory Lane

Jun 30th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Strategies, Risk management

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. Read More

European Investor Satisfaction with Smart Beta ETFs

Jun 28th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Strategies, CAPM / Alpha Theory, ETFs, Liquid Alts, Risk management, Smart Beta

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. Read More

A Close Look at the Deutsche Bank Findings

Jun 10th, 2015 | Filed under: Derivatives, Risk management

Judy Collins might suggest looking at risk from ‘both sides now.’ But it appears that according to DB at a critical moment in global financial history, risk existed only to the extent that it worked to enhance the value of DB positions: it didn’t exist in any sense that might have required a haircut.Read More

Copper Prices: Why the Downslope?

May 26th, 2015 | Filed under: Commodities, Hard metals, Risk management, Technology

How long will it take before the world again sees copper at around $10,000 a ton, the going price it touched (though briefly) in early 2011? Perhaps several more years and another full business cycle. There may be a lot of down before an upturn gets us there. Read More

Comparing SPM to Elliott: And Other Thoughts on MBS Funds

May 6th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Seekers, Derivatives, Risk management

SPM "sticks out in [his] mind" as a successful manager with a "17 year track record" with returns in the mid 20s. "Where else are you going to get that?" Well, there is at least one other place that then comes to Brian Shapiro's thoughts: SPM's return compares to the return available from Elliott.Read More

Tavakoli on Death, an Industry’s Culture, and Decisions

Apr 29th, 2015 | Filed under: Derivatives, Risk management

Bill Broeksmit, with whom Tavakoli worked closely at the interest-rate swaps desk at Merrill Lynch in the late 1980s, killed himself in January 2014. The manner of this death, and the circumstances surrounding it, give this book even more gravitas than would a global financial crisis or two. Read More

Eurelectric Speaks Up For Grushenka

Apr 16th, 2015 | Filed under: Derivatives, Regulatory, Risk management

Is it possible or desirable to separate "speculation" from operational hedging, so as to clear the way for industries to do the latter without the regulatory burdens that planners want to impose upon the former? Once Europe has decided that speculation is a bad thing, won't it end up pursuing the demon ways that will collapse the proposed distinction? Read More

The Latest News from Italian Banking and the Dane-geld

Apr 15th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Strategies, Insolvency, Risk management

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. Read More

EDHEC: Geography is Not Just a Listing or Headquarters

Apr 12th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Strategies, Asset allocation, Emerging markets, Risk management

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 forRead More

Liquidity, Leverage and Those Nimble Hedge Funds

Apr 9th, 2015 | Filed under: Derivatives, Hedge Fund Strategies, Regulatory, Risk management

Basel III has given us three different statistics with a common goal, to keep banks to a stable funding profile, neither too illiquid nor too highly leveraged. As these requirements come on-line, what will be the consequences for the relationship between prime brokers and hedge fund managers? Read More

EDHEC: Smart Beta Indexes May Be On a Launch Pad

Apr 6th, 2015 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory, ETFs, Risk management

There have been "a considerable number of product launches in the area of smart beta ETFs," but investors are eager for more, perhaps in the hope the developers will get beyond the "few popular strategies" in that area on which they have so far focused. With more variety may come a real take-off. 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

Alpha, Love, and Marriage

Mar 10th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Behavioral finance, Risk management

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.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

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

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. Read More

Debates Over Bayesianism Take Cartoon Form

Feb 10th, 2015 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory, Risk management, Technology

Regular readers of AllAboutAlpha know that Bayesianism, a movement with the world of probability and statistics, has a good deal to do with contemporary pricing models and portfolio theory. It also has foes in that world, the frequentists, and a 2012 cartoon, recently raised to salience again by a Facebook post, has given those frequentists reason to gripe about Bayesian smugness. Read More

Financing For Knights in Shining, or in Sooty, Armor

Jan 29th, 2015 | Filed under: Private Equity, Regulatory, Risk management

There are certain deals that banks don't want to touch with the longest lance in a joust. That doesn't mean the deals don't get done: it means they go by default to the non-bank financiers. We look at the divide. Read More

Explaining Why the Portfolio-Barbell Works

Jan 20th, 2015 | Filed under: Emerging markets, Liability Driven Investing, Risk management

Most efforts to introduce "entropy" into finance have seen it as a quantity to be minimized. A new paper, which begins as an effort to explain barbell portfolios, uses entropy in a different manner. Unfortunately, it doesn't really end up clarifying those barbells. Read More

The Quant Conundrum: Perfectly Repeatable or Repeatedly Imperfect?

Jan 15th, 2015 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Alpha Seekers, Hedge Fund Strategies, Risk management

Guest columnist Diane Harrison looks at both sides of the quantitative investment debate.Read More

Low-Vol Anomaly Provokes Reflections on an Old Adage

Jan 11th, 2015 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory, Indexes, Risk management

A new paper by Eric Falkenstein discusses an old question: the reason for the high risk-adjusted return in low-risk equities, and the adjustments it requires in CAPM. This is no fleeting oddity, but a lasting characteristic of markets. In econo-speak, not only the existence but the persistence of the anomaly requires explanation.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

The Best Offense is a Good Defense: Profiting from Hedging

Dec 3rd, 2014 | Filed under: Asset allocation, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Performance, Analytics & Metrics, Risk management

A regime switching model may treat a high-volatility environment as one “regime,” and a low-vol environment as its successor regime. The idea, as it applies to risk management, then, is simply to be ready in either setting for the switch to the other. This is both playing defense and playing offense. It is both managing risk and pursuing alpha. Read More

Wars and Failed Mergers Make for a Tricky October

Dec 1st, 2014 | Filed under: Emerging markets, Performance, Analytics & Metrics, Risk management

Only two hedge fund strategies performed in the positive numbers in October, the rest were all in the red. Managed futures did best, according to the Eurekahedge numbers, benefitting from their short positions on oil prices. Read More

Central Clearing and the Bank of England

Oct 29th, 2014 | Filed under: Commodities, Risk management

A Bank of England paper discuses the "cover 2" standard for the adequacy of the default funds of central clearing houses, an issue of increasing importance as the push to centrally-clear everything picks up steam. One question it raises somewhat incidentally is the proper pronunciation of the acronym SLOIM, for "stressed losses over initial margins." Read More

A Merchant/Academic’s Thoughts about Customizing Risk Models

Oct 14th, 2014 | Filed under: Risk management

When should customized risk models win out over the standard sort? According to two authors of a new report, there are seven factors, starting with the time horizon. Read More

Burr XII, Extreme Value, and a Fantasy

Sep 15th, 2014 | Filed under: Asset allocation, Risk management

The eight authors of a new study seek to add to “the existing literature of Bayesian VaR methods by … considering the … general class of Burr XII extreme value distributions “ and by estimating error bounds. After having a little fun we try to puzzle out what that means. Read More

Custodians Helping Customers with Securities as Collateral

Sep 11th, 2014 | Filed under: Infrastructure, Insolvency, Risk management

How address issues of supply/demand imbalance in the world of collateral requirements? Custodians can do a good deal on behalf of their customers here, and are exploring just how much. Read More

Vindicating Austrians: The New ESMA Warning on Risks

Sep 10th, 2014 | Filed under: Risk management, Technology

In a new report, ESMA discovers that some investors may be guilty of "over-reliance on continued policy support." I gather that means that investors believe that central bankers and governments will play the role of Santa Claus indefinitely. Read More

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

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. Read More

How Not to Nationalize the Clearinghouses

Aug 17th, 2014 | Filed under: Derivatives, Insolvency, Risk management

Let's not make clearinghouses too big to fail. Or if, through, Dodd-Frank, we already have, let's turn back and reconsider that decision. That's how not to end up bailing them out or nationalizing them in due course. Read More

What is Right & What is Wrong With the Sharpe Ratio?

Jul 30th, 2014 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory, Risk management

Despite what the title (Deflating the Sharpe Ratio) might cause a naïve observer to suspect, de Prado's recent presentation was more pro than con the ratio in question. Mend it, don't end it. Read More

Eurex Clearing and DB Group: New Paper on CCPs

Jul 29th, 2014 | Filed under: Derivatives, Regulatory, Risk management

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. Read More

Questions in Risk: The Different Faces of Private Equity Investing

Jul 2nd, 2014 | Filed under: Private Equity, Risk management

Guest columnist Donna Howe, CFA, looks at the different aspects of private equity and the associated risks.Read More

Rajaratnam Prosecution Sends a Signal: Traders Notice

Jun 25th, 2013 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Legislation/Court rulings, Risk management

The arrest of Rajaratnam almost four years ago and the subsequent anti-insider enforcement activity doesn't of course come as news. But it raises fascinating questions about consequences: what have been the consequences amongst traders? Read More

EDHEC on Time Horizons and Glide Paths

Apr 16th, 2013 | Filed under: Risk management

Generalized considerations about equity and mean reversion have been institutionalized with the creation of glide path or "life-cycle" funds. but the authors of a new EDHEC paper contend that the glide paths defined by these funds don't represent the optimal approach to portfolio allocation.Read More

Managing Risk in Fixed Income Markets

Dec 20th, 2012 | Filed under: Risk management

Vikas Shah discusses fixed-income risk management with Kevin Anderson, SSgA.Read More

A Fresh Look at Track Records and Risk

Nov 29th, 2012 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Fund Operations and Risk Management, Risk management

In Jack Schwager's view, the hedge fund industry as a whole is not a "mirage" at all. But relying on the past track record of specific funds or strategies: that is a dangerous reliance upon a mirage. Perhaps suggest that Grandma should put her nest egg in a diversified fund of funds.Read More

140% or More: Rehypothecation for Risk Managers

Nov 28th, 2012 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Operations and Risk Management, Risk management

As David Belmont reminds us in his new paper for the Commonfund Institute, in the U.S. there are limits on the practrice of rehypothecation. A broker can only reuse in this way assets of up to 140 percent of the value of the client's liability to said broker. Intriguingly, in the U.K. there are no such statutory limits. Read More

Top 10 Operational Risks: The ninth and tenth risk areas in a 10-part series

Nov 12th, 2012 | Filed under: Performance, Analytics & Metrics, Risk management

SEI put together a 10-part guide as an effective risk management tool to set the foundation for operational excellence. Below are excerpts from chapters nine and ten, now available for download at More

Portfolio Planning on the Way to the Fiscal Cliff

Nov 1st, 2012 | Filed under: Currencies, Regulatory, Risk management

The notion of a flight to safety has never before sounded so paradoxical. The impending fiscal cliff illustrates the unsustainable fiscal position of the U.S. Treasury, and the uncertainties this creates may generate a flight to the presumed safety of ... U.S. Treasuries.Read More

Top 10 Operational Risks: The seventh and eighth risk areas in a 10-part series

Oct 28th, 2012 | Filed under: Risk management

Operational risk within investment management firms can stem from many sources. Firms also have varying tolerance levels for accepting or handling such risk. SEI believes virtually every firm can benefit from taking a fresh look at common areas of risk and consider the variety of relatively straightforward risk management measuresRead More

Top 10 Operational Risks: The fifth and sixth risk areas in a 10-part series

Oct 14th, 2012 | Filed under: Risk management

Operational risk within investment management firms can stem from many sources. Firms also have varying tolerance levels for accepting or handling such risk.Read More