Browsing: Featured Post

Featured Post

Private Credit Industry: Supply and Demand

Oct 15th, 2017 | Filed under: Debt Types of Private Equity, Newly Added, Private Investments

The Alternative Credit Council, an affiliate of the Alternative Investment Management Association, has put out a paper on the present state of the private credit industry, considering both the demand (from borrowers) for its services and the supply (from investors) of capital to lend. In preparing this paper, the ACCRead More


EDHEC, New Research, and Hyper-illiquid Assets

Oct 12th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Real Assets

The EDHEC Infrastructure Institute – Singapore has published a new paper describing what it calls the “very first results of an ambitious project to create investment benchmarks for long-term investors in infrastructure.” The Institute is host to a dedicated team, who for years now have been collecting and aggregating primaryRead More


Alpha Generation and Real-Time Data

Oct 10th, 2017 | Filed under: Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

In a recent paper, Michael W. Brandt and two colleagues look into whether hedge funds “adjust the conditional market exposure in response to real-time changes in macroeconomic conditions, and whether doing so improves their performance.” The paper is a short one but it may punch above its weight in severalRead More


The State of Alternative Investments in Australia and New Zealand 

Oct 8th, 2017 | Filed under: Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

A new Preqin paper presents the state of the alternatives investment industry in Australia and New Zealand. Mark O’Hare, the CEO of Preqin, says in a Foreword that Preqin’s databases track 481 fund managers active in one or the other of those two countries, and 443 “significant institutional investors” TheRead More


Performance of SRIs: Funds and Indexes

Oct 5th, 2017 | Filed under: Alternative energy, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Socially responsible investing, SRI and Clean Energy

A new paper by Giuseppe Risalvato, a Ph.D. candidate at Università Carlo Cattaneo, Italy, contends that there is no “ethical sacrifice” in investing. That is, there is no discount that investors who want to be socially responsible will have to pay for that choice. Risalvato makes two chief theoretical argumentsRead More


Alternative Investments in Target Date Funds

Oct 3rd, 2017 | Filed under: Alternative Investments in Context, Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

Vanguard, the manager of about 370 low cost traditional funds and ETFs, and an institution famously associated with low cost retail investing, has made public a new paper on the inclusion of alternative investments in target date funds. It isn’t enamored of the idea. Target date funds (TDFs), otherwise knownRead More


The Function of the High-Watermark: Not What You Think

Oct 1st, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Performance, Analytics & Metrics, The A.I. Industry

A new paper in the Journal of Accounting and Finance discusses hurdle rates and high watermarks, and how they affect, or at least correlate with, performance. A hurdle rate is a minimum contractually specified rate of return that a hedge fund must achieve in order to collect performance fees. ARead More


AIMA and SGPS on Managed Futures and CTAs

Sep 28th, 2017 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Allocating to A.I., Business News, Commodities, CTA, Institutional Asset Management, Investing in Commodities, Macro and Managed Futures Funds, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

The Alternative Investment Management Association and Societe Generale Prime Services have together put out a white paper about managed futures funds and the commodity trading advisers who manage them. A key themes of the paper is that managed futures strategies aren’t as risky as are typical investments in equity markets.Read More


Cautious Numbers Estimates: A Comparative Look

Sep 26th, 2017 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Funds, Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry, The A.I. Industry

On August 29, we at AllAboutAlpha ran a summary of the latest Eurekahedge report, saying that total hedge fund industry assets around the globe were $2.33 trillion, and that this figure was up by $108.6 billion over the first seven months of 2017. We heard soon thereafter from a readerRead More


Hedge Fund Activism: The Facts Don’t Bear Out the Dire Warnings

Sep 24th, 2017 | Filed under: Equity Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

Lucian Bebchuk, a professor at Harvard Law, has been at the heart of scholarly arguments over corporate governance for a long time, perhaps since 1990, the year he edited a textbook on Corporate Law and Economic Analysis. That was also the year Bebchuk, along with Marcel Kahan, authored a seminalRead More


SUNY Scholars: Hedge Funds are Smart about PIPES

Sep 21st, 2017 | Filed under: Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, Newly Added, Other Issues in Private Investments, Private Investments

Two scholars affiliated with the State University of New York at Albany recently looked into the roles of hedge funds in corporate misreporting. Specifically, they used a database of PIPE issuers. The resulting paper, by Na Dai (Associate Professor of Finance at SUNY) and Alfred Zhu Liu (Assistant Professor ofRead More


Barnes on Swaps Transparency under  MiFID II

Sep 19th, 2017 | Filed under: Commodities, Investing in Commodities, Newly Added, Operations, Risk Management & Operations, Structured Products

A recent blog in the TABB Forum, by Chris Barnes of Clarus Financial Technology, looks at recent developments in the realm of MiFID, and looks forward. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority in August of this year authorized certain Approved Publication Arrangements (APAs) for reporting under MiFID II.  The authorization ofRead More


A Call to Norway to Invest in Renewables

Sep 14th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Socially responsible investing, SRI and Clean Energy

A new paper from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis looks at Norway’s pension fund, which is now in the process of increasing its investment in stock from 62.5% of the portfolio to 70%. The total portfolio value is now $7.5 trillion NOK, or about US $976 billion.Read More


M&F Worldwide: Not Just for Squeeze Outs Anymore

Sep 12th, 2017 | Filed under: Equity Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Hedge Fund Strategies, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

In 2014, hearing litigation over the fate of M&F Worldwide, the Delaware Supreme Court set out rules as to what a controlling shareholder has to do in order to keep his/its decisions within the safe domain of the “business judgment rule.” Last month, in a decision that may be ofRead More


Wide Range of Investors Has Wide Range of Opinions on their Managers

Sep 10th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

Intralinks, in partnership with Global Fund Media, has surveyed the opinions of limited partners: they’ve been asking LPs what they think about their GPs/managers in the alternative investment context. The bottom line of the survey is that LPs are looking in the near future to increase their allocations in alternatives.Read More


Sovereign Wealth Funds: Partners and Capability

Sep 7th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

Sometimes it pays to read footnotes and end matter, because that turns out to be where the story is. Bocconi University’s Sovereign Investment Lab has published its latest annual report on sovereign wealth funds, and this gives us a case in point. The report says that 2016 was far fromRead More


The Consequences of Auditing the Auditors

Sep 6th, 2017 | Filed under: Behavioral finance, Finance & Economics, Newly Added

Nemit Shroff, an associate professor of accounting at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management, has written a study of the consequences of auditing for the auditees. He has concluded that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) “adds significant value to the financial reporting process,” with aRead More


Investor Sentiment: Fees, Redemptions, Structures

Sep 4th, 2017 | Filed under: Alternative Investments in Context, Hedge Funds, Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry, The A.I. Industry

Credit Suisse, in its new report on its mid-year survey of hedge fund investor sentiment, says that there is “continued appetite to allocate to hedge funds” and that there is increased interest, especially, in quantitative strategies. Specifically, 81% of investors say that they will likely make allocations to hedge fundsRead More


High-Frequency Trading and Spoofing   

Aug 31st, 2017 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Business News, Commodities, Investing in Commodities, Newly Added, Risk Management & Operations

Six years ago Michael Coscia placed orders through the CME Group’s Globex platform via a trading algorithm that amounted to “spoofing.” He placed both large and small orders in the copper market, for example, with the large orders (cancelled within milliseconds) designed to create the illusion of market movement inRead More


Eurekahedge Reports: Total Industry Assets Stand at $2.33 Trillion

Aug 29th, 2017 | Filed under: Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., SRI and Clean Energy, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry, The A.I. Industry

Eurekahedge’s August report says that the Eurekahedge Hedge Fund Index grew by 0.88% in July 2017, while the underlying markets represented by the MSCI World Index grew by 1.64%. For June, overall, managers reported performance based losses of $8.4 billion, so that the industry growth was due entirely to netRead More


NEPC Surveys E&F Managers About Alternative Investments

Aug 27th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

NEPC, the investment consulting group that caters especially to endowments and foundations, has posted a survey about what such institutions think of marketable alternatives. This broad category “marketable alternatives” includes direct hedge funds, funds of hedge funds, liquid alternatives, and global asset allocation. Eighty-seven percent of the E&F respondents inRead More


Transparency in Alternative Investing

Aug 24th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Risk management, Risk Management Strategies & Processes

In February of this year, the Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 200 senior asset managers and institutional investor executives to learn what factors are most important in the way they make their decisions. Several different types of institution were involved, including hedge funds, private equity firms, insurance companies, and nonprofits. Also,Read More


Jacobs, Levy, and Markowitz on Portfolios

Aug 22nd, 2017 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added

Bruce Jacobs and Kenneth Levy, the founders and Chief Investment Officers of Jacobs Levy Equity Management, have brought out a new and considerably thickened edition of their classic collection of articles on equity investment. This second edition of Equity Management contains all 15 articles from the original, and 24 ofRead More


Half-Time Report on PwC’s Vision for Asset Management

Aug 20th, 2017 | Filed under: Fees, Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added, Regulatory, Regulatory Environment

Three years ago PwC published a paper on what they expect the asset management world will look like in 2020 – which is, as it happens, three years from now. We have reached the half-point in the hypothetical timeline. Much in the report still holds up, though of course itRead More


Blockchains, Innovations, and Intermediaries

Aug 17th, 2017 | Filed under: Digital currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I.

A new paper by Wulf A. Kaal, an Associate Professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, looks at the proliferation of blockchain-related innovations in the world of private investment funds. In an earlier paper, Kaal discussed the impact this is having on the fee structure of that industry.Read More


Build Value: Don’t Just Meet Quarterly Targets!

Aug 15th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alternative Investments in Context, Institutional Asset Management, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

FCLT Global, a new not-for-profit organization that seeks to promote long-term thinking in business and finance, has issued a manifesto, “Rising to the Challenge of Short-Termism.” The paper was written by Dominic Barton, Jonathan Bailer, and Joshua Zoffer. Each is affiliated with McKinsey & Company, which is one of theRead More


Boston College’s CRR on Alternatives in Pension Portfolios

Aug 13th, 2017 | Filed under: Asset Allocation Models, Institutional Asset Management, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College has put out a white paper about public pensions and alternative investments.  It asks two questions: which plans have made the largest shift into alternatives? And, how has that shift mattered to their returns and risk? The report begins with the observationRead More


Real Estate Tops the Willis Alternative Investment League Table

Aug 10th, 2017 | Filed under: Hedge Funds, Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW) recently posted its Global Alternatives Survey. WLTW is a consultancy with a long history, roots going back to 1828, and that now has 40,000 employees serving clients in 140 countries. The gist of its new report is that the alternatives asset industry has grown toRead More


Networks, Modeling, and Funds of Funds

Aug 8th, 2017 | Filed under: Alternative Investments in Context, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

Two scholars affiliated with FERI Trust, a leading investment manager of the German-speaking countries of Europe, have written a study of hedge fund strategies that uses a “network-based analysis” thereof. The two authors, Eduard Baitinger and Thomas Maier, argue that hedge fund strategies show “numerous network-based properties” which help explainRead More


Boom or Bust? Are Advisors Ready For Baby Boomers To Retire?

Aug 7th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added

By Diane Harrison According to US census figures, Baby Boomers (defined as those born between 1946 and 1964) represent about 28% of the US population in 2017, and are currently between 53 and 71 years old. Give or take an error margin of several thousand, this translates to about 76Read More


Til and Heckinger on Commodity Debacles, Part II

Aug 6th, 2017 | Filed under: Due Diligence Process, Newly Added, Personalities in AI, Risk Management & Operations

A new paper available at SSRN looks at two infamous commodity industry melt-downs: Amaranth and MF Global. It offers a diagnosis of each. The paper is co-authored by Hilary Till, of EDHEC – Risk, and Richard Heckinger, of the Working Group on Financial Markets, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. InRead More


Til and Heckinger on Commodity Debacles, Part I

Aug 3rd, 2017 | Filed under: Commodities, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Energy, Investing in Commodities, Newly Added

A new paper available at SSRN looks at two infamous commodity industry melt-downs: Amaranth and MF Global. It offers a diagnosis of each. Hilary Till, of the EDHEC – Risk Institute, and Richard Heckinger, of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, share the by-line. They acknowledge research assistance from KatherineRead More


KPMG: Alternative Investment Industry Deal Momentum Continues

Aug 1st, 2017 | Filed under: Liquid Alternative Investiments, Liquid Alts, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Regulatory Environment, The A.I. Industry

The auditing giant KPMG says in a recent report on merger and acquisition activity in the alternative asset management world that there was a dip in activity in this space in 2015, that there was a rebound “to more normalized levels” in 2016, and that the momentum off of thatRead More


An Alternative Approach to Responsible Investing

Jul 31st, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Socially responsible investing, SRI and Clean Energy

On May 18, 2017, CAIA’s Boston Chapter held a panel discussion at the InterContinental Boston on “An Alternative Approach to Responsible Investing.” Moderated by Bill Kelly, CEO, CAIA Association, panelists included leading ESG investing experts Tim Brennan, Treasurer & CFO, Unitarian Universalist Association; Jeff Finkelman, CFA, Research Associate, Impact Investments,Read More


Hedge Fund Gigantism is Not Necessary

Jul 30th, 2017 | Filed under: Fees, Hedge Funds, Newly Added, Seeding/early-stage, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

A joint survey by the Alternative Investment Management Association and GPP, the financial services firm formerly known as Global Prime Partners, disaggregates the hedge fund industry by size. It finds that the dynamics of the smallest (emerging-funds) sector looks very different once the “billion dollar club” and even the medium-sizedRead More


Hedge Funds in the United Kingdom

Jul 27th, 2017 | Filed under: Alternative Investments in Context, Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

Just prior to the June 8 election in the UK this year, Preqin took a look at the state of the hedge fund industry there. Interest in this subject matter is high for the alternative industry globally, given London’s centrality and the great deal that is riding on how theRead More


AIMA Gets Its Groove On: Two New Guides

Jul 25th, 2017 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

The Alternative Investment Management Association, the global AI industry group, has been busy of late. Its recent publications include a Best Execution Guide for the European Union’s revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID 2) and a guide to fund administration. Fund Administration The AIMA guide on fund administration reworksRead More


Lessons from University Endowments

Jul 23rd, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

In a recent article for The Journal of Investment Consulting, John Mulvey and Margaret Holen look at the practice of asset allocation among large U.S. university endowments. They focus on asset category definitions in the hope of throwing some light on “the movement to define asset categories with reference toRead More


Preqin and NXT Capital on the Filling of a Post-GFC Vacuum

Jul 20th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Newly Added

Preqin, in collaboration with NXT Capital, has surveyed institutional investors about the U.S. lower middle-market direct lending space, and has issued a report on their attitudes. The gist of the report is that investor appetite for the lower middle market “has steadily gained momentum in the past decade and …Read More


A Critique of the Listed Infrastructure Sector

Jul 18th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Real Assets

A new study by EDHECinfra (EDHEC’s infrastructure institute based in Singapore), has a striking point of view on the whole “listed infrastructure” sector, which it says is based on the “fallacy of composition.” In economics and in logic, the term “fallacy of composition” refers to the general prejudice that ifRead More


Skin in the Game: Testing a Cliché

Jul 16th, 2017 | Filed under: Alternative Investments in Context, Asset Managers, Hedge Funds, Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added

One of the most well-worn clichés in the hedge fund industry is the phrase “skin in the game.” Investors want managers who have “skin in the game,” that is, managers who risk/hedge their own money the same way they are risking/investing their outside investors’ money. A recent paper by ArpitRead More


Real Estate: A Global Outlook

Jul 13th, 2017 | Filed under: Infrastructure, Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Real Assets

PWC and the Urban Land Institute have jointly issued a report on “emerging trends in real estate” around the globe, which stresses that real estate’s attraction as an investment, even as a cross-border investment, has held up notwithstanding unprecedented levels of concern about geopolitics. The “global drift back to domesticRead More


Pensions: On Mortality and Long-Duration Corporate Bonds

Jul 11th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Newly Added

Milliman, an actuarial and consulting firm headquartered in Seattle, has completed a white paper on corporate pension funding based on its 17th annual analysis of the disclosures of the “Milliman 100,” that is, of the 100 biggest corporate defined benefit plan sponsors in the U.S. The funded ratio of theseRead More


Alternative Risk Premia Investing

Jul 9th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Asset Allocation Models, Newly Added

Unigestion has posted a research paper by Olivier Blin, Joan Lee, and Jérôme Teiletche, on “some of the practical considerations that should help investors get the most out of their allocation to” alternative risk premia (ARP) strategies. Unigestion is a boutique asset manager, and Blin is its head of crossRead More


Accounting Issues and Investing in Timberland

Jul 6th, 2017 | Filed under: Natural Resources and Land, Newly Added, Real Assets

On May 3, 2017, Ernst & Young made available the bullet points for a presentation on the “accounting, financial reporting, and regulatory considerations” affecting investment vehicles in this space. Mark to market or historic cost In general, the presentation says, the accounting treatment depends on where on a spectrum ofRead More


Wine: French Producers, U.S. Consumers, the World’s Investors        

Jul 4th, 2017 | Filed under: Emerging Alternative Investments, Natural Resources and Land, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Real Assets

Agrifrance recently posted a report looking at the French wine industry, with an especial focus on export to the United States. The U.S. “has been the world’s leading wine market by value since 2013,” says the company head, Benoit Léchenault, in a preface to the report. France is the secondRead More


Timberland Investors See 0% Growth Rate for Harvesting Costs

Jul 3rd, 2017 | Filed under: Natural Resources and Land, Newly Added, Real Assets

Today, we’ll look at  KPMG’s effort to determine who exactly the investors in timberland are, what their underwriting assumptions are, and what are their expectations for the coming 12 months. The firms surveyed included North America’s timberland investment market participants with five different structures: appraisal or consulting organizations; integrated forestRead More


New Numbers on Catastrophe Bond Insurance

Jun 27th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Risk management, Risk Management & Operations, Structured Products

A new report from an Alternative Risk Transfer research service, Artemis, looks at the catastrophe bond and insurance-linked securities market in the (recor- breaking) first quarter of 2017. Bond and ILS issuance reached the unprecedented level of $2.76 billion this Q1. That involved 25 tranches of notes from 14 deals,Read More


New Technologies Adding to Pressure on Fees

Jun 25th, 2017 | Filed under: Fees, Hedge Funds, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

A new paper proposes that emerging technologies (blockchains, Big Data and artificial intelligence) have increased pressure on the traditional hedge fund fee structure of 2 + 20. Its author is Wulf A. Kaal, an Associate Professor at the University of St. Thomas and director of the Private Investment Fund Institute.Read More


Sovereign Funds: Illiquidity and Transparency

Jun 22nd, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Newly Added, Real Assets

News reports in the waning days of the second quarter of 2017 indicate that sovereign wealth funds, especially those of the Middle East, have turned in a big way toward real estate. Invesco says that the region’s SWFs allocated 11% of their portfolios to international real property in 2016. RealRead More