Browsing: Allocating to A.I.

Allocating to A.I.

Why Do Alpha Seekers Find It In the Small Caps?

Feb 21st, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added

The median performance of active fund managers with a small-cap mandate is uniformly better than the performance of their colleagues with a large cap mandate against their respective benchmarks. Fewer than 40% of large-cap managers outperform U.S. large-cap equity. More than 60% of their small-cap counterparts do so. The patternRead More


A conversation with UTIMCO’s Bruce Zimmerman

Feb 13th, 2017 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles Skorina Bruce Zimmerman joined UTIMCO as Chief Executive Officer and chief investment officer in June of 2007, six months before the official start of the “great recession” in December 2007 (US National Bureau of Economic Research).But despite a 13% drop in the endowment in UTIMCO’s 2009 fiscal yearRead More


DC Sponsors and PE General Partners: A Good Marriage?

Feb 7th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, Other Issues in Private Investments, Private Investments

The British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, in a new paper, contends that private equity has a valuable part to play in the portfolios of defined contribution schemes, for the simple reason that the PE world offers high returns in an era of low interest rates. To make thatRead More


Texas Turmoil: UTIMCO picks a new path through a political minefield

Jan 30th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles Skorina Endowment returns took a beating last year and the turnover in chief investment officers tells the tale. Among the big names to make an exit in 2016 was Bruce Zimmerman, longtime CEO of The University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO). We wrote about endowment turnover in ourRead More


Pension Institute on the Herding Tendency of Pensions as Investors

Jan 29th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

A new paper by the Pension Institute looks at the investing behavior of UK defined-benefit plans over the past 25 years, and finds a degree of correlation that should be worrisome to plan sponsors. The sponsors might want to design an improved incentive structure “that can better motivate pension fundsRead More


Big Data is Old Hat: Machine Learning is Hot

Jan 26th, 2017 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Allocating to A.I., Benchmarking & Performance Attribution, Business News, Finance & Economics, Newly Added

A year ago, in a report on Big Data and investment management, Citi Business Advisory Services predicted that “with the improved volume, velocity and variety of data inherent in the big data approach, the innovation seen in systematic trading models over the past decade could accelerate.” One of the platformsRead More


Hedge Fund Performance: A Multi-Factor Model

Jan 22nd, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Benchmarking & Performance Attribution, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

Dimitrios Stafylas, of Aston University, Aston Business School, in Birmingham, England, has proposed a “holistic” model of hedge fund performance attribution with three key features: Irrespective of underlying fundamentals, it is only during good times that hedge funds as a class deliver significant excess return to their investors; Also duringRead More


Cash Management Strategies for Private Equity

Jan 10th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Newly Added, Other Issues in Private Investments, Private Equity, Private Investments

Private equity investors have a distinctive cash management question: what do they do with the money that has yet to be drawn or called? Keeping cash in pillow cases is, here as always, less than the optimal solution. One of the defining features of a PE firm is that anRead More


Another Take on ‘A Modest Proposal’

Jan 9th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Asset allocation, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

By Diane Harrison Jonathan Swift, one of the great satirists of all time, published a disturbing and provocative essay, ‘A Modest Proposal,’ in 1729 suggesting a unique and terrible solution to Ireland’s famine crisis. In his piece, Swift recommended cannibalism as a wholesale solution to Ireland’s struggles with overpopulation, starvation,Read More


OECD Report on Insurer Portfolio Investment Strategies

Jan 8th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Institutional Asset Management, Newly Added

A paper by Helmut Gründl and two associates, discussed at the June 2016 meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and published “on the responsibility of the Secretary-General” thereof, proposes that the regulators of insurers active in the various member countries should see their role not as theRead More


PGIM:  Not All Alternatives Are Alike

Jan 2nd, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Asset Allocation Models, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

A new report from PGIM Institutional Advisory looks at an old question: what role should alternative investments play within the portfolio allocation decisions of institutions? The question is especially pressing at the beginning of 2017 because US broad equity indexes have done quite well for years, ever since the marketsRead More


Natixis asks 500 institutional investors to look into the future

Dec 20th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Emerging markets, Finance & Economics, High-net-worth investors, Institutional Asset Management, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

Natixis Global Asset Management has released the results of a survey of 500 institutional investors, asking them their views on prospects for 2017. The surveyed institutions expect that political and economic developments could cause an increase in volatility in the year to come, and active managers have to reset theirRead More


AIMA and KPMG on Managed Accounts

Dec 15th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Newly Added

AIMA’s new managed accounts guide tells us that an investment manager considering the use of managed accounts should consider certain disadvantages that come with this product, and may want to negotiate around these difficulties with investors. For smaller investment managers in particular, the increased regulatory and operational requirements can beRead More


Private Equity Placements in China

Dec 8th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Benchmarking & Performance Attribution, Currencies, Emerging markets, Newly Added, Private Equity, Private Investments, The Global Economy & Currencies

A new paper by G. Nathan Dong and two other scholars investigates private equity placements in China and their consequences for the issuing firms. The study works from a natural experiment that resulted from regulations created by the PRC ten years ago. In 2006, the China Securities Regulatory Commission issuedRead More


Amy Falls: Meeting Harvard’s plan B

Dec 5th, 2016 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

In late July, Stephen Blyth stepped down as head of Harvard Management Company; then things happened fast. By mid-September, a hire seemed imminent and HMC was said to have winnowed the field down to just two: Narv Narvekar of Columbia and Amy C. Falls of Rockefeller University. Mr. Narvekar, whoRead More


Global Pension Funds: Process and Best Practices

Dec 4th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Newly Added

A new white paper from PwC, sponsored by AMAFORES, La Asociación Mexicana de Administradoras de Fondos para el Retiro (The Mexican Association of Retirement Fund Administrators) , looks at the best practices for the pension fund industry in the wake of the global financial crisis of less than a decadeRead More


PE Buyout Funds: Finding or Building a Proxy

Nov 17th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Newly Added, Other Issues in Private Investments, Private Investments

Alexandre Coupe, associate director, Pacific  Alternative Asset Management Company, head of PAAMCO’s asset allocation research, and formerly of Green Street Advisors, has written a fascinating review of private equity funds. She looks at what proxies work (and which don’t work) in assisting portfolio managers who have to make asset allocationRead More


Energy Infrastructure: The Midstream Sector

Nov 10th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Newly Added, Regulatory Environment, The A.I. Industry

Is it a stream or is it a sea? They seem to have gotten their hydrological imagery mixed up. But no, the “sea” in question is a literal sea, though the “stream” in question is a mere bit of imagery, so clichéd as such that no one sees it asRead More


Pension Funds, Hedge Funds, and Allocations

Nov 8th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

A new scholarly paper addresses the puzzle: which institutional investors are best informed? Zhe Chen, of the University of New South Wales, David Forsberg, Macquarie Graduate School of Management, and David R. Gallagher, UNSW Australia Business School,  compare hedge funds, mutual funds, pension funds, and private banking firms to determineRead More


Outsourced CIO assets grow to $1.3 Trillion

Nov 7th, 2016 | Filed under: Consultants, Institutional Asset Management, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

By Charles Skorina With 74 firms reporting in, total outsourced CIO assets (managed with full discretion) have grown by $240 billion to $1.367 trillion since we published our last list in 2014.  That’s an increase of over 19 percent in two years, implying an annual growth rate of about 9Read More


Judge Rose: Libya’s SWF Heads Knew What They Were Doing

Nov 1st, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Legislation/Court rulings, Newly Added, Regulatory Environment, The A.I. Industry

The economic historians of posterity have their work cut out for them here. There are doctoral dissertations in the works already, no doubt. And in time several scholarly careers will hang on this.   Those scholars will have to make sense of the political developments in late-Qaddafi Libya, of the roleRead More


Eurekahedge: Exodus from the Event-Driven Funds YTD  

Oct 23rd, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Commodities, Equity Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, Newly Added, Relative Value Hedge Funds

The event-driven hedge fund space is the most troubled in a generally troubled time for the industry. According to the new Eurekahedge report, the event-driven strategy “has seen US$14 billion investor redemptions over the past nine months,” and $10.7 billion over just the past six months. The first nine monthsRead More


BLEAK HOUSE–OR THE OUTLOOK ON HEDGE FUNDS NOW

Oct 19th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Endowments & Foundations, Family Offices, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Funds, High-net-worth investors, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Investor Relations, Newly Added, Sales & Marketing in the AI Industry

By Diane Harrison Charles Dickens’ Bleak House spins a tale of mystery, intrigue, family dynamics, and irony in the Victorian age that had readers gripped by its indictment of the English court system. While the novel is packed with intricate plot twists and turns, the main story line centers onRead More


Islam, Western Pensions, and Real Assets

Oct 18th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Intellectual Property, Natural Resources and Land, Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Real Assets

A recent academic discussion of the much-vexed question of Islamic finance (including the always at least implicit query, how does it fit into the broader usually non-Islamic global picture?) focuses on the role in Islam of real assets, understood as tangible objects such as land, buildings, machinery, and commodities. TheRead More


Harvard gives Narv the nod

Oct 17th, 2016 | Filed under: Academic Foundations, Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, Personalities in AI, Who's Who

By Charles Skorina As all the world now knows, Harvard has selected Columbia’s Nirmal P. “Narv” Narvekar as the new head of Harvard Management Company. His name had been bandied about as a prime candidate for weeks.  We discussed it ourselves in our Aug. 29 newsletter. Reportedly, a few big-endowment CIOsRead More


From UMIFA to UPMIFA: Taking Stock 10 Years Later

Sep 29th, 2016 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Newly Added

Ten years ago, thus before the global financial crisis, the Uniform Law Commission promulgated the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA), a successor to an earlier uniform act, the UMIFA. One of the big changes from UMIFA to UPMIFA was the elimination of the concept of “historic dollarRead More


The Harvard Management Company to Big to Hail?

Sep 28th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

In asset management, as in other endeavors, size really does matter. Bigger is better.  But growth in AUM drives growth in headcount and complexity; and that can overwhelm existing structures and challenge management. A few weeks ago in “Crunch Time for the Harvard Endowment” we referred to HMC’s hunt for aRead More


Northill: In Defense of Active Management

Aug 27th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Benchmarking & Performance Attribution, Newly Added, Performance, Analytics & Metrics

Northill Capital, a London-based asset manager, has released a report defending active asset management from the common charge that it cannot, after costs, beat the passive managers. That is an old and familiar subject for debate. What cannot be debated, because it is a simple matter of definition and arithmetic,Read More


Sovereign Credit Swaps: Europe’s Sovereigns and Regime Changes

Aug 16th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Credit Derivatives, Newly Added, Regulatory Environment, Structured Credit Products, Structured Products, The A.I. Industry

Andrea Consiglio and two of his colleagues have developed models for the management of risk in the sovereign credit swaps market, and they have successfully back tested these models against recent European history. Consiglio is a professor at the University of Palermo, in Italy. Sovereign CDS’ are contracts that offerRead More


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


New Paper Tackles Basic Questions About Alternative Investments

Aug 11th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alternative Investments in Context, Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

RCM Alternatives, a Chicago-based asset manager specializing in managed futures products, has published a new white paper asking the naive-seeming question, “Why Alternatives?” The paper begins with the observation that many alternative investors look to this field for an answer to a specific problem:  hedging the long position in equitiesRead More


Active vs. Passive: A 3-Club Headwind

Aug 10th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Benchmarking & Performance Attribution, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

By Scott Opsal Relative Performance Actively managed funds have recently underperformed passive indexes. As a result, fund inflows and deposits have favored passive funds. Active Vs. Passive Return Patterns Are Cyclical Our research suggests relative returns between active and passive are cyclical, depending on the market environment. We examine severalRead More


Study Says Pensions May Be Looking for Returns in the Wrong Places

Aug 7th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Newly Added, Private Investments, Real Estate Equity Investments

Alex Beath, senior research analyst at CEM Benchmarking, the Toronto-based pension research firm, has produced a white paper on the pension fund performance in the U.S. since 1998, and the news he brings is not good (for pension funds themselves, or for the hedge funds to which they have allocatedRead 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


ESG Issues: The Material and the Immaterial

Jul 12th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alternative energy, Benchmarking & Performance Attribution, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Socially responsible investing, SRI and Clean Energy

Activists pressing for corporate change on environmental, social, and governance issues often focus on issues that are, from the point of view of firm valuation, immaterial. Three scholars associated with the Harvard Business School recently quantified the materiality versus immateriality of shareholder proposals on ESG topics and discussed some ofRead More


Managing Expectations: The Rise of the Separately Managed Account

Jul 11th, 2016 | Filed under: Family Offices, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, High-net-worth investors, Newly Added, Sales & Marketing in the AI Industry, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

By Diane Harrison The line between wealth management and fund management continues to blur for the alternative asset managers who serve the high-net-worth investor community. Driven by a growing desire on the part of these investors to maximize control over their investment portfolio, managers who are emerging or who operateRead More


Lyxor Quants Ask: What Exactly is a ‘Risk Factor’ Anyway?

Jul 6th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

Given the growing body of scholarly work over “risk factor” investing, especially the growing number of risks cited as factors, one has to wonder: what exactly is a “factor”?  In terms that admirers of Rodgers and Hammerstein will remember: is a feature of an investment a risk factor because it’sRead 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


Factor-Based Asset Allocation

Jun 19th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Commodities, Investing in Commodities, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Smart Beta

A paper by Xiaowei Kang and Daniel Ung, published in June 2014, remains timely because risk parity and related approaches remain the center of controversy and some confusion. The Kang & Ung paper looked at three approaches to risk factor based portfolio construction, studying specifically the practical aspects of theRead 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


Allocating to Risk-Managed Strategies: Reasons to Consider Hedged Equities

Jun 13th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Fund Strategies, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

By Calamos Investments Team Introduction In this segment of our series on Allocating to Risk-Managed Strategies we explain the benefits of hedging equities in a portfolio or investment strategy. You’ll learn: How institutional investors effectively employed a hedged equity strategy during the economic recovery period beginning in 2010. Why theRead 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


Investors ‘Misoverestimate’ ETFs and a Push Towards ESG

May 26th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., ETFs, Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Socially responsible investing, SRI and Clean Energy, The A.I. Industry

In a newly released report, Natixis Global Asset Management speaks to the quite positive views of passive investment vehicles and exchange traded funds that it finds in today’s marketplace.  Their report inspires the neologism “misoverestimate,” as a logical analog of a former U.S. president’s term, “misunder ….” A Natixis surveyRead More


Hedge Funds are Still Relevant in a Diversified Portfolio: 4 Fundamental Criteria for Superior Manager Selection

May 25th, 2016 | Filed under: Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Fund Strategies, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

By Appomattox Advisory, Inc. The discussion has revived again:  are hedge funds still relevant in a diversified portfolio? We believe that a thoughtful allocation to hedge funds continues to be an impactful, prudent and profitable strategy for institutional portfolios. For allocators seeking to achieve stable returns in a difficult investing environment,Read More


Best Practices for Private Equity Sponsors in an Age of Increasing Scrutiny

May 23rd, 2016 | Filed under: Benchmarking & Performance Attribution, Newly Added, Other Issues in Private Investments, Performance, Analytics & Metrics, Private Equity, Private Investments, Risk management, Risk Management Strategies & Processes

By John Czapla, Parag Patel and Shane Newell, Valuation Research Corporation As the demand for transparency rises for private equity and hedge funds, the spotlight is increasingly focusing on valuation practices. There are an important number of reasons why the valuation process has become important, and they are essential forRead More


Tricky Times for Hedge Funds and a Lot of Negative YTD Performances

May 22nd, 2016 | Filed under: Benchmarking & Performance Attribution, Equity Hedge Funds, Fees, Hedge Fund Strategies, Hedge Funds, Indexes, Newly Added, Performance, Analytics & Metrics, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

A slim majority of hedge fund managers are in the red year to date, through April, according to the latest report from Eurekahedge. Specifically, 51.4% of managers have negative YTD performance. Over the same period in 2015, the analogous number was only 21.2%. That is a good indication of whatRead More


The Alberta Approach to Benchmarking & Performance Attribution

May 18th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Benchmarking & Performance Attribution, Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

The Alberta Management Investment Corp. began life in 2008, as a successor to a division of Alberta Finance. It became a crown corporation in order to better manage the allocation of assets for twenty-six pension funds and investment plans. Its leaders initiated a review and soon discovered that they hadRead 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


Global Focus Capital: Market’s Inflationary Expectations Are Too Low

May 12th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Benchmarking & Performance Attribution, Commodities, Currencies, Finance & Economics, Macroeconomics, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

Investors can get ahead of events by aligning their portfolios to “a world of lower expected capital market returns and higher forward volatility.” That, at any rate, is the upshot of a thoughtful analysis by Eric J. Wiegel of Global Focus Capital, a Boston based asset allocation advisor. Why doesRead 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