Browsing: Real Assets

Real Assets

Metals and Mining: A Tale of Two Doughnuts

Apr 12th, 2017 | Filed under: Industry Size & Managers, Natural Resources and Land, Newly Added, Real Assets, The A.I. Industry

Preqin has turned its Spotlight on Real Assets in a new publication, drawing our attention in particular to metals and mining. Among the institutional investors that say they are targeting unlisted metals and mining focused funds over the coming twelve months, Preqin names three as “samples”:  the Compagnia di SanRead More


Some Granularity on the Mexican Pension Industry

Apr 4th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Real Assets

BlackRock has published a research report about pension funds in Mexico, a report produced as part of its broader research project looking into the state of the pension fund industry around the globe.  It shows that the cause of alternatrive investments as a group is the cause of diversification forRead More


Citi GPS on the Infrastructure as Asset Class

Mar 19th, 2017 | Filed under: Infrastructure, Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets

Citi Global Perspectives and Solutions (Citi GPS) has published a new white paper on the global need for infrastructure spending. The authors are: Jason Channell, head of EMEA Infrastructure Research; Elizabeth Curmi, Global Thematic Analyst; and David Lubin, head of Emerging Markets Economics. Channell et al contend that “now couldRead More


Listed Infrastructure as a Complement to the Private Funds

Mar 7th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Real Assets

Two portfolio managers (and senior VPs) at Cohen & Steers, in a new white paper, make the case that “listed infrastructure is an attractive complement to private investments, providing long-term portfolio solutions for real asset allocations.” Cohen & Steers, a New York headquartered global investment manager, recommends that institutions allocateRead More


EY on Real Estate Private Equity Trends

Feb 5th, 2017 | Filed under: Equity Types of Private Equity, Newly Added, Other Issues in Private Investments, Private Investments, Real Assets, Real Estate, Real Estate Equity Investments

The global real estate division of financial consultancy Ernst & Young recently published a report on the private equity outlook in the real estate space. As the head of the division, Mark Grinis, says in an introduction, the premise of the report is that success in this space requires managerialRead More


SWFs Looking to PEs Both as Intermediaries and as Co-investors

Feb 2nd, 2017 | Filed under: Infrastructure, Natural Resources and Land, Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Real Assets

A recent working paper from the European Corporate Governance Institute discusses direct investment by sovereign wealth funds in private equity transactions – that is, it discusses an ongoing shift from investing in PE funds to co-investing with PE funds. The paper describes this as a trend especially viable in theRead More


REITs: The Market Bought on Rumor, Sold on News

Dec 13th, 2016 | Filed under: Liquid and Fixed Income Real Estate, Newly Added, Real Assets

Real estate stocks have distinguished themselves from financials to the extent that the former group now has its own Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) sector. A fair amount of publicity accompanied this change in August, and it catalyzed a white paper from Principal Global Investors on the REIT Breakout. TheRead More


TIAA Report On Responsibility and Farmland

Dec 11th, 2016 | Filed under: Farmland, Natural Resources and Land, Newly Added, Real Assets

Biff Ourso, TIAA’s portfolio manager for agriculture investments, says in a prefatory message to their new report that “concerns have been raised about whether investment in regions such as Brazil contribute to land conflicts, lead to the displacement of local people … or foster excessive pesticide usage.” TIAA, which hasRead More


Preqin on Ag Funds and Their Managers

Dec 1st, 2016 | Filed under: Farmland, Natural Resources and Land, Newly Added, Real Assets

Fundraising for agriculture/farmland-focused funds has been remarkably strong recently, according to research by Preqin, the multi-national data and consulting firm. Farmland has been aptly described as the “oldest alternative investment” and dates as far back as 9,000 years ago. The focus on Preqin’s special report on agriculture is somewhat more recentRead More


Infrastructure Project Finance: Benchmarking and Definitions

Nov 22nd, 2016 | Filed under: Infrastructure, Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Real Assets

In a new article in The Journal of Alternative Investments, three EDHEC-affiliated scholars, led by Frédéric Blanc-Brude, the director of the EDHEC Infrastructure, Singapore, look at recent improvements in the understanding of the financial performance of privately held infrastructure investments, debt or equity, with respect to benchmarking thereof.  They concludeRead More


MIND THE GAP—LENDERS APPROACHING

Nov 14th, 2016 | Filed under: Debt Types of Private Equity, Newly Added, Private Investments, Real Assets, Real Estate

By Diane Harrison It’s been years since investors have been able to get excited about the term “yield” when referencing their investment portfolio. Too many individuals have been hanging onto cash while searching fruitlessly for somewhere other than equities to put their money to work. Advisors haven’t been much helpRead More


Dakota Access and the Army Corps of Engineers: An Odd Mistake?

Nov 13th, 2016 | Filed under: Commodities, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Infrastructure, Newly Added, oil, Operationally Intensive Real Assets

On November 7, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers put out a statement that said that the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) had agreed to halt its controversial ongoing construction in North Dakota. The following day, which happens to have been Election Day, [so non-election news went largely uncovered], the ownersRead More


McKinsey: Historically Anomalous Period Nears an End

Nov 6th, 2016 | Filed under: Alternative Investments in Context, Infrastructure, Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Real Assets, The A.I. Industry

McKinsey & Co. has posted a new report assessing the state and the future of the North American asset management industry, encompassing both active and passive managers and looking at five mega-trends. Skipping to the chase, the trends are these: The end of an anomalous eta of “exceptional investment returns.”Read 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


Fine Art as Joy and Investment: A Reflection

Oct 12th, 2016 | Filed under: Business News, Newly Added, Real Assets

Why do people own great paintings? As something pleasing to hang on the wall? As a way to impress the neighbors? Presumably many buyers of privately circulating 17th century Dutch masterpieces are speculators, alpha seekers. But aren’t they speculating, in the end, upon what some end user will pay? WhatRead More


Saving the World: One EM City at a Time

Oct 10th, 2016 | Filed under: Infrastructure, Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets

The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate has issued a new report urging governments and major financial institutions to “scale up and shift investment to sustainable infrastructure as a fundamental strategy….” The report, The Sustainable Infrastructure Imperative, has no force as law or policy anywhere, but it may signalRead More


Kyle Bass, IPR and Shorting Big Pharma

Sep 22nd, 2016 | Filed under: Intellectual Property, Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Other Topics in A.I., Personalities in AI, Real Assets

Kyle Bass, the investor who shorted the market in residential mortgage-based securities a decade ago, with speculator success, is interested now in shorting the major pharmaceutical companies. He is certainly entitled to try that play. But what is especially provocative and controversial is that he also seems willing to giveRead 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


Private Capital Fundraising Slows: Green and Brown Valleys

Jul 14th, 2016 | Filed under: Farmland, Infrastructure, Natural Resources and Land, Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Other Topics in A.I., Real Assets, Real Estate, Real Estate Equity Investments

Preqin, the multinational data and consulting firm, has looked at the second quarter and found it was, for private capital fundraising  … slow. So was the quarter before it. Together they made up the first half of 2016, in which the funds closed in the world of private capital globallyRead More


Infrastructure: Look at the Contracts–Not the Industry or the Index

Jul 10th, 2016 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Infrastructure, Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Real Assets

A new paper from EDHEC Infrastructure Institute decides that there is no such thing as a listed infrastructure asset class. What is the practical significance of that inference?  It means that for investors (individual or institutional) looking to diversify their portfolio properly, a dedicated index focused on a listed infrastructureRead 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


Somebody Has to Crunch These Numbers: Infrastructure Cash Flow

Jun 5th, 2016 | Filed under: Infrastructure, Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Real Assets

EDHEC Infrastructure Institute-Singapore recently released a paper on the cash flow dynamics of private infrastructure project debt. The gist of the paper is that investors’ ability to understand credit risk in private infrastructure debt turns on advanced statistical techniques. Or, in the authors’ words, “the nature of the data requiresRead More


Infrastructure, Dividends and Path Dependence

Apr 21st, 2016 | Filed under: Infrastructure, Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Real Assets

A new paper from EDHEC Infrastructure Institute-Singapore argues that infrastructure firms represent a unique business model, one with lower revenue volatility, higher payouts, and substantially lower correlation with the business cycle than other firms. An “infrastructure firm” for purposes of this discussion is either a special purpose vehicle created inRead More


Real Estate: Footloose Money Chasing Cross-Border Deals

Feb 2nd, 2016 | Filed under: Liquid and Fixed Income Real Estate, Newly Added, Real Assets, Real Estate, Real Estate Equity Investments

Savills, a global real estate services provider listed on the London Stock Exchange, has released its annual report on the role that real property plays in the investment world.  Here are some of its key points: Real estate assets constitute 60% of the value of all assets worldwide; Residential realRead More


A Perennial Gale Hits the Coffee Industry

Jan 11th, 2016 | Filed under: Agriculture, Commodities, Commodities, Farmland, Investing in Commodities, Natural Resources and Land, Newly Added

The popularity of the drip coffee maker is in decline, or at least it has passed its peak.  In 2013. 58% of coffee drinkers had used such a coffee maker on the day before the day they were asked, that is, “yesterday.” That number was down to 54% in 2014,Read More


API: An Emerging Multi-Trillion-Dollar Market

Sep 29th, 2015 | Filed under: Business News, Operationally Intensive Real Assets

IBM has now purchased Strongloop, and this has gotten Faille thinking about APIs, a potential multi-trillion dollar market. Where technology's imperatives press again the law: how to bet? Read More


How Public Pensions Are Getting Smart About Infrastructure

Sep 24th, 2015 | Filed under: Institutional Asset Management, Operationally Intensive Real Assets

Guest columnist Jill Eicher looks at how public pension funds are cutting out the middle man and leveraging the power of their own capital for infrastructure investments.Read 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


PwC on Mergers and Acquisitions Activity

Jul 28th, 2015 | Filed under: Agriculture, Alpha Strategies, Currencies

"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. " 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


PwC Looks Ahead to 2020: Offers a Roadmap for Alternative Investment Managers

Jul 5th, 2015 | Filed under: Emerging markets, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Fund Strategies, Infrastructure, Technology

PwC offers a glimpse of a 'day in the life' of a typical compliance analyst in 2015 and again in 2020. As these authors tell it, the day is filled with data, darkness, and drudgery at present, but it will be airy, alliterative, and analytical in another five years. Read More


Who Will Meet Yahoo at the Altar?

Jun 16th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Strategies, Intellectual Property, Real Estate, Technology

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.Read More


Java IP War: The Obama Administration Picks the Wrong Side

Jun 8th, 2015 | Filed under: Intellectual Property, Technology

The Solicitor General, speaking for the United States, has filed the expected amicus brief in the Google/Oracle showdown. The SG's position is that the Supreme Court should refuse to hear the case so that the lower courts can get back to using what the brief calls the "flexible fair use doctrine" to do justice. 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


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


Some Assets are Hard to Ignore

Apr 23rd, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Currencies, Gold, Hard metals, Infrastructure

Guest columnist Diane Harrison looks at the world of alternatives to alternatives, including stamps, cars, farmland and more...Read More


Aleynikov’s Trial and My Cousin Vinnie

Apr 21st, 2015 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Intellectual Property, Legislation/Court rulings

A party seeking to employ an expert witness is supposed to let the other side know who the expert is in advance of trial. Fans of a classic Joe Pesci movie will remember that it isn't necessary to join the prosecutor in a hunting lodge. Read More


Tax & Election Seasons Create Alternative Altercations in the US

Apr 20th, 2015 | Filed under: Legislation/Court rulings, Partner accounting, Real Estate, Venture capital

As a general rule, politicians [mostly] on the Democratic side benefit by raising the issue of the taxation of carried interest during campaigns and then quietly letting it die, as their donors expect, when the legislature is actually working on tax bills. It's a way of signaling who is a "populist" and who isn't. 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


Gazelles, Exports, and Infrastructure: A View from the UK

Mar 11th, 2015 | Filed under: Infrastructure

The Confederation of British Industry has taken a look at some of the issues that do and should concern investors in the industries of those islands. Among much else, the CBI wants the government to kick-start the private placement market. And to worry more about infrastructure. Read More


Long-Term Infrastructure Debt: The Valuation Issue

Feb 26th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Strategies, Infrastructure, Insolvency

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. Read More


Focus on U.S. Real Estate Benchmarks: NCREIF Transaction Based Index

Feb 20th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Indexes, Real Estate

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/RCARead More


Down Memory Lane: That WTI-Brent Divergence

Feb 18th, 2015 | Filed under: Commodities, Infrastructure, oil

For one professor, the surprising divergence in the prices of WTI/Brent crude in the period 2010-2012 was a case study in how commodity prices can teach us about supply chain conditions. Faille looks back at his article, and forward past today's calmer but still-fluctuating spread. Read More


Crowdfunding: In the Gun Sights of Patent Plaintiffs

Feb 3rd, 2015 | Filed under: Crowdfunding, Intellectual Property, Legislation/Court rulings, Regulatory

The first of the three patents cited by the plaintiffs was filed at a time when the crowdfunding exemption movement was making a fair amount of noise on Capitol Hill, though it had not yet had tangible success. One might already entertain certain suspicions. Read More


How Bad is the Cash Drag on Open-End Private Equity Real Estate Funds?

Jan 22nd, 2015 | Filed under: Private Equity, Real Estate

Guest columnist Brad Case, Ph.D., CFA, CAIA, examines the effects of cash drag on open-end private equity funds.Read More


Focus on U.S. Real Estate Benchmarks: NCREIF Property Index

Jan 4th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Indexes, Real Estate

Brad Case, Ph.D., CFA, CAIA, guest columnist, continues his series on U.S. real estate benchmarks as he looks at the NCREIF Property Index.Read More


Does Leverage Have a Positive or Negative Effect on Private Equity Real Estate Investments?

Dec 14th, 2014 | Filed under: Private Equity, Real Estate

Guest columnist Brad Case, Ph.D., CFA, CAIA, explores the effects of leverage on private equity real estate investments.Read More


Focus on U.S. Real Estate Benchmarks: Moody’s/RCA CPPI and CoStar CCRSI

Nov 30th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Strategies, Real Estate

Brad Case, Ph.D., CFA, CAIA, guest columnist, examines the value of U.S. real estate benchmarks.Read More


Is Private Real Estate Actually Less Volatile than Public Real Estate?

Nov 18th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Real Estate

Guest columnist Brad Case, Ph.D., CFA, CAIA, examines the differences between private and public real estate investments.Read More