Browsing: Featured Post

Featured Post

The Transformation of the Global Reinsurance Industry

Dec 14th, 2017 | Filed under: Emerging Alternative Investments, Newly Added, Other Issues in Private Investments, Other Topics in A.I.

A new paper from Milliman, a consultant to the insurance and financial services industries, discusses the ongoing transformation in and of the global reinsurance industry that alternative investment has created. About 20 years ago, in the wake of Hurricane Andrew and the Northridge earthquake, catastrophe bonds caught on as aRead More


State Street Forecasts on Smart Beta

Dec 12th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Finance & Economics, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Liquid Alternative Investiments, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Smart Beta

State Street Global Advisors has a new paper out that seeks to help State Street clients “refine their own strategic asset allocation” especially insofar as their portfolios include smart beta investments, by explaining how State Street forecasts returns, and where the forecasts as to some of the factor returns standRead More


University endowments in the crosshairs

Dec 11th, 2017 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles Skorina The U.S. has the greatest university system in the world.  But it’s expensive.  And congress is about to make matters worse by taxing the endowment earnings of “large” private college and university endowments. The latest congressional proposal aims to slap a 1.4 percent excise tax on theRead More


Deloitte on Initial Coins Offerings (ICOs) as IPOs

Dec 10th, 2017 | Filed under: Currencies, Digital currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, Newly Added, Other Issues in Private Investments, Other Topics in A.I., Private Investments, The Global Economy & Currencies

An October 2017 white paper from Deloitte discusses the extent to which the offerings of tokens built upon blockchains have become the new IPOs of the crypto era. There are no binding rules about how to execute an initial coin offering (ICO). Nonetheless, there have been enough of these soRead More


Around the World with a Timberland Outlook

Dec 7th, 2017 | Filed under: Natural Resources and Land, Newly Added, Real Assets, SRI and Clean Energy

New Forests, an Australia-based investment manager focusing on strategies in forestry, land management, and conservation, has published its 2017 Timberland Investment Outlook. This paper begins with the observation that institutional investment in timberland now amounts to more than $100 billion. This makes it still a “relatively small” asset class, butRead More


Regulatory Challenges Posed by Crypto Funds

Dec 5th, 2017 | Filed under: Commodities, Currencies, Digital currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, Finance & Economics, Hedge Funds, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

A forthcoming paper in the Stanford Journal of Law, Business, and Finance looks at the cryptocurrency markets (bitcoin and its kin), the hedge funds that look to make money from them and the operational issues involved. Two independent scholars collaborated on writing the paper: Edmund Mokhtarian and Alexander Lindgren. AlthoughRead More


Bain on Dry Powder and High Asset Prices

Dec 3rd, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Other Issues in Private Investments, Private Equity, Private Investments

Bain & Co., a consultancy to the private equity industry, has issued its Global Private Equity Report 2017. One central theme of the report is that prices of desired assets aren’t merely high, they are “structurally high,” and thus likely to remain so. They are high because there is aRead More


PwC Charge: Asset Managers are Digital Tech ‘Laggards’

Nov 30th, 2017 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added, Technology, The A.I. Industry

A new paper from PricewaterhouseCoopers on the coming transformations in the asset and wealth management industries says that firms in this market must adapt or die. And the adaptation the authors have in mind isn’t just the usual Darwinian metaphor – managers must “become business revolutionaries, even disruptors” in orderRead More


WHAT CHALLENGES LIE AHEAD FOR ALTERNATIVES IN 2018?

Nov 29th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

By Diane Harrison With year-end holidays approaching and investment action wrap-up and forward planning in process, investors are bracing for change in many formats. November seems like a good time to take an industry snapshot survey of portfolio managers, wealth advisors, regulatory professionals, and the like, and ask them aRead More


A look at the European pension industry

Nov 28th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

Three years ago, Amin Rajan, the CEO of CREATE-Research, prepared a study of the way that pension plans had reacted to the global financial crisis and to the subsequent financial conditions.  His study continues to be worthy of attention in 2017. The study included a survey of 190 pension plansRead More


Exley on Cashflow-Driven Investment

Nov 26th, 2017 | Filed under: Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Institutional Asset Management, Liability Driven Investing, Newly Added

A new paper by Jon Exley, solutions manager of Schroders, discusses cashflow-driven investment (CDI) as a system of portfolio management that accepts and builds upon liability-driven investment (LDI). The idea in both cases is to match all future projected liability payments as they fall due, which is definitionally the imperativeRead More


Interest Rates and Hedge Fund Returns

Nov 23rd, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Fees, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Funds, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

A paper put out in October by an Associate Director and a Managing Director at Pavilion Alternatives Group says that hedge fund performance can suffer from a performance fee drag as a consequence of rising interest rates, and from the increasing cash rate that comes with that rise.  They explainRead More


Artificial Intelligence and Productivity: NBER Takes a Look

Nov 21st, 2017 | Filed under: Business News, Finance & Economics, Macroeconomics, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

A new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, in Cambridge, Mass., discusses what its authors see as a paradox: although artificial intelligence has made astonishing advances in the last 20 years, taking along with it related technologies and stock prices, real income has stagnated, and productivity seemsRead More


QUANT STRATEGIES IN THE CRYPTOCURRENCY SPACE

Nov 21st, 2017 | Filed under: Digital currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I.

By Nicolas Rabener, FactorResearch Factor Investing in the Wild West of Financial Markets Summary: Cryptocurrencies have reached a market capitalisation of > $150bn Backtesting quantitative strategies is difficult given a limited trading history & universe Short-term Momentum works very well, classic factor investing strategies less so INTRODUCTION The year 2017Read More


Selecting an Optimal Private Equity Fee Validation Methodology

Nov 20th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Private Equity, Private Investments

By Alex Tarantino These are good times to be a private equity fund investor.  Returns have been strong with distributions on the rise, both in the U.S. and Europe. Limited partners, for their part, have voted with their wallets that the asset class will continue to outperform. Indeed, fundraising continuesRead More


Advice to Hedge Fund Managers on Attracting, Retaining Investors

Nov 19th, 2017 | Filed under: Fees, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Funds, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

Ernst & Young has released a new survey on how hedge fund managers may “embrace innovation to illuminate competitive advantages,” that is, to attract and retain investors and their assets. Manager may need such advice, because the investors surveyed said they are more likely to decrease allocations to hedge fundsRead More


Amato on the Late-Cycle Dilemma

Nov 16th, 2017 | Filed under: Business News, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Personalities in AI

Joseph V. Amato, president of Neuberger Berman Group LLC and Chief Investment Officer – Equities at Neuberger Berman, has written a thoughtful discussion of late about where the markets, and the business cycle, stands. This, the end of 2017, is a “late cycle” moment. Equities continue to rise, but theRead More


HEDGE FUND FACTOR EXPOSURE & ALTERNATIVES

Nov 15th, 2017 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Funds, Indexes, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry, The A.I. Industry

By Nicolas Rabener, FactorResearch Alternatives to Alternative Investments? Summary: Equity hedge fund returns have been disappointing over the last 14 years An exposure analysis shows no structural factor exposure, but frequent factor rotation Multi-factor long-short products are an interesting alternative, depending on the fee level INTRODUCTION Hedge fund assets reachedRead More


Hedge Fund Fees Are Only Half the Problem

Nov 13th, 2017 | Filed under: Fees, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Funds, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

By Ben McMillan Hedge funds talk big about returns. Historically, successful managers have claimed credit for the favorable risk/return profiles of their funds, touting skilled security selection and portfolio management as a competitive edge. But the advent of investible benchmarks for a number of hedge fund strategies prove there’s moreRead More


Adding Some Contrarianism to the Momentum Strategy

Nov 12th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

A scholar in Moscow, at National Research University Higher School of Economics, has proposed a trading strategy that combines ‘momentum’ and “contrarian’ strategies in a way that, this scholar believes, could reap the upsides of both. The scholar, Victoria Dobrynskaya, assistant professor of finance, says that momentum strategies do produceRead More


Algorithmic Traders: Proprietary, Agency, Liquidity

Nov 9th, 2017 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Business News, Finance & Economics, Newly Added

Two scholars affiliated with the Indian Institute of Management, in Calcutta, have posted a paper about the effects of algorithmic trading on liquidity. This paper, by Samarpan Nawn and Ashok Banerjee, based on the first chapter of Nawn’s Ph.D. dissertation, distinguishes sharply between proprietary algorithmic traders and agency algorithmic traders,Read More


Due Diligence Requires Deep Dives into Data

Nov 7th, 2017 | Filed under: Due Diligence Process, Newly Added, Private Investments, Risk Management & Operations, Risk Metrics and Measurement

The data and analysis provider eVestment has issued a new white paper on “enhancing private equity manager selection with deeper data.” PE funds below the top quartile have not materially outperformed the public markets as a matter of history. So for an institutional investor, earning alpha is in large measureRead More


Lazard Research on Smart Beta

Nov 5th, 2017 | Filed under: Behavioral finance, Due Diligence Process, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Risk Management & Operations, Smart Beta

Jason Williams, senior vice president at Lazard Asset Management, has written a white paper on the “six sins of smart beta.” First: what is smart beta? Academic studies indicate anomalies in the markets that somehow don’t get arbitraged away.  These become identified as “factors” and indexes can be designed soRead More


Federal Reserve on Counterparties to the next Lehman Brothers

Nov 2nd, 2017 | Filed under: Business News, Insolvency, Newly Added, Operations, Risk Management & Operations, Service Providers

The Federal Reserve has issued a final rule relating to the qualified financial contracts (QFCs) of global systemically important U.S. banking institutions (GSIBs). Derivatives & Repo Report, a blog maintained by the international law firm Perkins Coie, has done a thorough write-up on the subject, to which the material belowRead More


FACTOR RETURNS: SMALL VS. LARGE CAPS

Nov 1st, 2017 | Filed under: Finance & Economics, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I.

By Nicolas Rabener, FactorResearch Are Factor Returns Limited to Small Caps? Summary: A frequent criticism of factor investing is that factor returns are stronger in small caps; Our research highlights that this is not uniformly true across factors; and Value and Size benefit most from including small caps. INTRODUCTION FactorRead More


Are Clearinghouses Systemically Risky? Gary Cohn is Heard From

Oct 31st, 2017 | Filed under: Business News, Hedge Funds, Insolvency, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

Economists sometimes cite a “law of unintended consequences.” This is what it sounds like, the principle that actions of people, inclusive of and perhaps (depending on who is writing) especially the actions of a government, have unanticipated and (as far as third party observers can judge intentions) unintended consequences. InRead More


China and a Reduced Form Bayesian VAR

Oct 29th, 2017 | Filed under: Commodities, Finance & Economics, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

What the heck does the forbidding phrase “reduced form Bayesian VAR” mean? Let’s break this down. The VAR in question isn’t VaR (Value at Risk). It’s Vector Autoregression. This is a stochastic process model employed to understand the linear dependences among multiple time series. Each variable in a VAR hasRead More


EC and US CFTC Reach Agreement on Venues

Oct 26th, 2017 | Filed under: Commodities, Newly Added, Regulatory Environment, The A.I. Industry

The European Commission and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission have agreed on a “common approach on certain derivatives trading venues.” The idea is that parties in the U.S. should be able to do business with counter-parties in Europe in such a way that the latter comply with Article 28Read More


DTCC: How to Think About Fintech

Oct 24th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Operations, Risk Management & Operations

The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), a provider of clearance, settlement, and a wide range of other services to the financial markets, has issued a new white paper on technological innovations and the disruptions fintech may generate. The report begins with a quotation from a speech given by LaelRead More


AIMA’s New Due Diligence Template

Oct 22nd, 2017 | Filed under: Due Diligence Process, Newly Added, Operations, Partner accounting, Risk Management & Operations, Service Providers, Technology

It has been 20 years since the Alternative Investment Management Association published its first due diligence questionnaire, a template designed to standardize the diligence process by which investors decide if a particular management is right for them. Now it has published a new questionnaire/template, covering a broader range of entities/strategies.Read More


EIU on Institutions and Time Horizons

Oct 19th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, Risk management, Risk Management Strategies & Processes

With the  sponsorship of Franklin Templeton, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)  has surveyed  143 investing institutions in North America (part of the global sample of 571) in order to study recent shifts in their portfolio allocation, especially with an eye to the risks that concern them and the length ofRead More


International Debt Enforcement: Nautical Twists and Turns

Oct 17th, 2017 | Filed under: Business News, Finance & Economics, Insolvency, Newly Added

Since sovereign debts and collection issues we shall always have with us, it is not amiss to look back four years to a decision by the Supreme Court of Ghana issued in June 2013, on NML Capital’s effort to enforce its judgment against the Republic of Argentina through the seizureRead More


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