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Guest Posts

I Quant to Be a Trillionaire

Oct 22nd, 2018 | Filed under: Hedge Funds, Newly Added, What about beta?

By Bill Kelly, CAIA Association CEO Everyone from Bruno Mars to Donald J. Trump wants to be a mere billionaire “so freakin’ bad.” Heck, even the current Mega Millions Lottery has become a misnomer with the current jackpot for this US game of chance standing at $1.6 billion for theRead More


Tiptoe Thru’ the Cryptos With Yale

Oct 9th, 2018 | Filed under: Digital currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., What about beta?

By Bill Kelly, CEO, CAIA Association Fifty years ago, Tiny Tim, the ukulele-wielding father of falsetto, released his self-aggrandizing album entitled God Bless Tiny Tim. Love it or hate it, those of a certain generation will never forget Track 2 entitled “Tiptoe Thru’ The Tulips With Me.” In the modernRead More


Modi Operandi

Oct 1st, 2018 | Filed under: Emerging markets, Frontier markets, Macroeconomics, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, The Global Economy & Currencies, What about beta?

By Bill Kelly, CEO, CAIA Association What’s your liquidity M.O.? If you are less than certain, it is time to look east toward the country of India and the land of Modi. After all, when 1.3 billion people cough there is a decent chance the rest of the world justRead More


D’oh!

Sep 17th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Regulatory Environment, Risk Management & Operations, What about beta?

Much has been written this week about the fall of the house of Lehman. Too big to fail became “someone has to” and the rest is history. The demise of Lehman has been one of the many sign posts that defined the GFC and now, ten years on, traditional and socialRead More


(IRR)ational Aggregation

Sep 10th, 2018 | Filed under: Debt Types of Private Equity, Equity Types of Private Equity, Newly Added, Private Equity, Private Investments, Real Estate, Real Estate Equity Investments, What about beta?

By Bill Kelly, CEO, CAIA Association Many of us have had the experience of buying a home and often turn to the bank to provide some level of secured funding for that purchase. Banks, of course, require documentary evidence for the value of their collateral which, invariably, results in a market-based appraisal process resultingRead More


The Raining Credentials  

Sep 4th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, What about beta?

By Bill Kelly, CAIA Association CEO Missions, and the statements that embody them, are typically concise, focused, and executable around some type of formulated plan. Most missions are perpetual, and it’s rare that you will Google any business website and be greeted with the words “mission accomplished.” As many ofRead More


Kurtosis Diagnosis: Don’t get Skewed!

Aug 20th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Risk management, Risk Management Strategies & Processes, Risk Metrics and Measurement, The A.I. Industry, What about beta?

By Bill Kelly, CEO, CAIA Association The quote “what gets measured gets managed” is oft-times attributed to the author and consultant Peter Drucker. The origin is less significant than its modern-day meaning and, while it is most often used in the context of business management, it ports quite well into the management ofRead More


Liquidity: The Taxi-onomy of Supply and Demand 

Aug 13th, 2018 | Filed under: Macroeconomics, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies, What about beta?

By Bill Kelly, CEO, CAIA Association The CAIA Association has partnered with AIMA to develop a series of educational papers designed to equip trustees and other fiduciaries with the proper tools to assist them in their risk oversight responsibilities. The third installment covered the use and deployment of leverage in alternative funds and we are now putting theRead More


Private (In)equity 

Jul 30th, 2018 | Filed under: Equity Types of Private Equity, Newly Added, Private Equity, Private Investments, The A.I. Industry, What about beta?

By Bill Kelly Private equity is quite simply capital not listed on a public exchange (props to Investopedia). This is certainly an apt description but as this asset class moves toward greater maturity, corresponding levels of responsibility and transparency must be ramped up too. Uninvested capital has reached dizzying heights which can only mean (on average) higher entry multiples, downward pressure on returns, lessRead More


Travails from the Crypt

Jul 23rd, 2018 | Filed under: Digital currencies, Newly Added, What about beta?

Cryptography is the practice and study of hiding information. While that does not necessarily define cryptoassets, it does begin to underscore the challenges that need to be overcome before we can see wide institutional adoption. The issues around valuation, liquidity, regulation, and even speculation have grabbed many of the recent headlines, but it might be the more boring world of custody and safekeepingRead More


Chain Blockers

Jul 16th, 2018 | Filed under: Digital currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., What about beta?

By Bill Kelly, CEO, CAIA Association The base case for distributed ledger technology (or DLT, and often used interchangeably with blockchain) is to create a trusted network of participants where there is just one ledger of account records shared by all and there is no central recordkeeper. Transactions are digitalRead More


Huge Data 

Jul 2nd, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, What about beta?

By Bill Kelly, CAIA Association CEO How many billionaires would you need to accumulate one quintillion dollars of net worth? If your last name is Trump you might say just one, but the non-fake news answer is a cool one billion billionaires. Whether you are dealing in alternative facts or not, this is a massive number that carries 18 zeros to the left ofRead More


FORE! 

Jun 18th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, What about beta?

By Bill Kelly, CEO, CAIA Association Certain words in the world of sports are universally recognized and understood, even for those who have never kicked a football or swung a golf club. The 2018 FIFA World Cup Matches began this weekend and not many of us will need a definition for GOOOAAALLL. Similarly, the annual US Open Golf Championship wrappedRead More


Water, Water Everywhere…

Jun 11th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, What about beta?

By Bill Kelly, CEO, CAIA Association  It was 220 years ago when Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote and published his now famous poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Perhaps few among us could name this poet, but this specific work and the referenced line of prose live on in infamy and areRead More


It’s the Volatility (of Volatility), Stupid! 

Jun 4th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, What about beta?

By Bill Kelly, CEO, CAIA Association Just about 25 years ago a political strategist named James Carville brought this phrase into the common lexicon when he used the “Economy” as the initial punchline. The resonation of that simple phrase is arguably what got Bill Clinton into the White House. At just about that same time and a short 1,000 miles away from Hope, Ark., Professor RobertRead More


Safety First?

May 29th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, What about beta?

By: CAIA CEO Bill Kelly. Dateline, Guoliang Tunnel Road in China. This stretch of highway is a perennial favorite in the annual ranking of the world’s most dangerous roadways. Surprisingly, it ceded the top spot in that category this year to the North Yungas Road in Bolivia, but some pictures are simply not suitable for publication in this family-friendly blog. The path from Point A to Point B is rarely a straight line and the obstacles encounteredRead More


The All-Inclusive Buffet

May 21st, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, What about beta?

By: Bill Kelly, CEO, CAIA Association We have all seen it. The Sunday brunch, the Caribbean vacation, or the cruise to nowhere or everywhere that touts the all-inclusive offer when it comes to food and drink. The behavioral aspects of these arrangements are common and predictable. More choice often yields toRead More


Too Big Too Frail 

Apr 23rd, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, What about beta?

By Bill Kelly, CAIA CEO The most intractable challenges in society, and life, sometimes subsist in a state of duality. The size and scale of the downside are enormous and almost paralyzing if allowed into our daily psyche. Sometimes however, especially in life, we have finely tuned coping mechanisms that we allow in to keep these thoughts in check. This mental recalibration can be a good thing, especially when put intoRead More


in-i-fish-uh nt (adj.) 

Apr 16th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, What about beta?

By Bill Kelly, CAIA CEO In the good old days of bound books, a dictionary and thesaurus were de rigueur desktop accessories, no matter your stock-in-trade. It is hard to argue with the modern-day convenience of a Siri or Alexa who can define that certain word, or produce the ideal synonym, on-demand. The over-50 crowd, however, might remember and even lament the lost art of searching for the meaning of a word; when found, it was often accompanied by a descriptive picture that rendered the defining words to follow almost superfluous. IfRead More


The Giraffe in The Coal Mine 

Apr 9th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, What about beta?

By Bill Kelly, CAIA Association What’s a few dead canaries amongst friends, or maybe miners? Historically, it has meant a highly toxic atmosphere and a time to immediately retreat to safer ground. In the autumn of years since the GFC, the financial markets have witnessed plenty of canary-like warnings, but most have been shrugged off under the TTID and FOMO Twitter hashtags. Well, when the canary has ceded the early warningRead More


Egg Day Segue 

Apr 2nd, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, What about beta?

By Bill Kelly, CAIA CEO According to the Gregorian Calendar today is Easter Monday. It is a holiday in many countries around the world and even for the non-celebrants, visual cues abound. In many regions the universal symbol is the decorated egg. While Hallmark may have made this into anRead More


So Much March Madness

Mar 26th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, What about beta?

By Bill Kelly, CEO, CAIA Association What can the NCAA basketball tournament tell you about your investment portfolio? As it turns out, quite a bit. For those of you who simply don’t care about the annual bracket ritual, it is quite easy to get you up to speed. The bottomRead More


Trust But Clarify

Mar 19th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, What about beta?

By Bill Kelly, CAIA Association CEO What’s going on here? Wasn’t it just a few short weeks ago that the SEC came out with a self-reporting initiative aimed at advisors who essentially fail to disclose lower fee share classes to their client? This amnesty program was put into place toRead More


Irrational Dissonance

Mar 12th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, What about beta?

By Bill Kelly, CEO, CAIA Association Friday was March 9 and not a lot of discussion was had about the infamy of this date going all the way back to 2009. For the few in the market who have maintained some level of perspective, analysis and a concept of whatRead More


The Year of the (Sleeping) Dog

Mar 5th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, What about beta?

By Bill Kelly, CEO, CAIA Association Welcome to Washington Chairman Powell… All eyes were on his inaugural address to the House Financial Services Committee this week, followed by semiannual remarks to the Senate Banking Committee, and by most accounts he passed with flying colors. Much of the discussion could beRead More


A Rhetorical Oracle?

Feb 26th, 2018 | Filed under: Fees, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Newly Added, Risk Metrics and Measurement, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry, What about beta?

By Bill Kelly, CEO, CAIA Association Warren Buffett cashed out his bet and the final numbers are in courtesy of the Oracle’s annual shareholder letter. Unfortunately, the most important investment lessons have been completely lost, as the media and the investment sage have mostly used this as an opportunity toRead More


A Cautionary Tale

Feb 20th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., What about beta?

By Bill Kelly, CAIA Association CEO Shadow or not, the groundhog brought volatility out of its burrow on February 2nd, and it is safe to say that it will persist for a lot longer than the six weeks of additional winter in the Northeast part of the USA.  Along withRead More


What about beta?

Feb 5th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, What about beta?

By Bill Kelly, CAIA Association CEO As the 2018 calendar turned to February, the long-anticipated volatility came back with a vengeance, but why were so many, so surprised.  As long-term investors, I point out what might be the obvious.  The first fissures of this new normal arrived on Friday Feb 2Read More


Rukaiyah Adams, CIO Meyer Memorial Trust – doing good and investing well

Dec 26th, 2017 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, Personalities in AI, Practitioners, Who's Who

By Charles Skorina The $90 billion Oregon Pension ranks among the top 15 in the US, but how many in the industry know the current board chair, Ms. Rukaiyah Adams? Ms. Adams was born in Berkeley, CA, grew up in diverse, northeast Portland, and returned to her home city afterRead More


Endowment costs: The secret history

Nov 6th, 2017 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles Skorina In early 2016 certain Congressional committees sent letters to 65 major private universities asking for information about their endowments.  They supposedly had an urgent need for this data and gave the schools just 30 days to respond. It was worded as a polite request, but it cameRead More


Outsourced assets under management up 18% year-over-year

Oct 18th, 2017 | Filed under: Consultants, Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles Skorina With 76 firms heard from, we’re now reporting $1.62 trillion in full-discretion assets under management by outsourced chief investment officer firms. That’s a year-over-year jump of $292 billion – or 18 percent – since September, 2016. The number of reported RFPs is also rising as institutions seek better returnsRead More


Below the Black: A Review of Risk Reduction Strategies

Sep 13th, 2017 | Filed under: Commodities, Commodities, Hedge Fund Strategies, Hedge Funds, Investing in Commodities, Macro and Managed Futures Funds, Newly Added, Risk management, Risk Management & Operations, Risk Management Strategies & Processes, Risk Metrics and Measurement

Excerpted from the Alternative Investment Analyst Review, Volume 1, Issue 4 The Alternative Investment Analyst Review is the official publication of the CAIA Association. Access to the most current issue is an exclusive benefit of CAIA Membership while archived issues are available to the public in the Perspectives section atRead More


Paying the Top Guns of Institutional Investing

Sep 11th, 2017 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, Personalities in AI

By Charles Skorina Last month in Part One of this report we focused on relative performance.  We ranked 107 CIOs by trailing 5-year returns. Now, we focus on how much institutions pay these excellent people. The bare comp numbers lead us to the tricky and perennial question of whether their payRead More


Can We All Participate in The Next Unicorn?

Aug 28th, 2017 | Filed under: Crowdfunding, Emerging Alternative Investments, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Retail Investing, The A.I. Industry

Excerpted from the Alternative Investment Analyst Review, Volume 6, Issue 1 The Alternative Investment Analyst Review is the official publication of the CAIA Association. Access to the most current issue is an exclusive benefit of CAIA Membership while archived issues are available to the public in the Perspectives section atRead More


Risk Parity: Is it a Strategy for a Sprint or a Marathon?

Aug 20th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Risk Management Strategies & Processes

Excerpted from the Alternative Investment Analyst Review, Volume 1, Issue 4 The Alternative Investment Analyst Review is the official publication of the CAIA Association. Access to the most current issue is an exclusive benefit of CAIA membership, while archived issues are available to the public in the Perspectives section atRead More


A Simple Approach to the Management of Endowments

Aug 7th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Newly Added

By Hossein Kazemi & Kathryn Wilkens, CAIA Endowments and foundations are tax exempt and charitable organizations that rely on permanent pools of capital to fund their activities. These pools of capital are owned by institutions such as colleges, universities, hospitals, museums, scientific organizations, charitable entities, and religious institutions. When well-fundedRead 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


Brief Thoughts on the Impacts of Autonomous Learning Investment Strategies on Investment Management and Employment

Jul 21st, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I.

By Michael Weinberg, CFA In our thought piece, “The Intelligent Investor in an Era of Autonomous Learning,” we explained why we believe the investment world will be transmogrified by Autonomous Learning Investment Strategies (ALIS).  In this brief follow-up, we will address a question that many of our investors and othersRead More


The 100+ Top Guns of Institutional Investing

Jul 12th, 2017 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, Personalities in AI, Who's Who

By Charles Skorina This letter looks at the most recent five-year performance of over one hundred of the world’s best institutional investors. Endowment chief investment officers have an infinite investment horizon, a global playing field, and can invest in anything anywhere – within the broad policy limits set by theirRead More


Leading the charge into OCIO battlespace: 2 Harvardians invent an industry

Jun 7th, 2017 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles Skorina In 1973, two former Harvard roommates and budding entrepreneurs – Jim Bailey and Hunter Lewis – took on an assignment to review the investments held in their school’s endowment. Things were very different back then.  A treasurer of the Harvard Corporation with the wonderfully Bostonian name ofRead More


The Intelligent Use of Smart Beta     

May 25th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Smart Beta

This is the first of a series of articles on smart beta. By Scott Opsal, The Leuthold Group Understanding Factor Returns And Market Conditions Quantitative investing has become an integral component of professional investment management, and smart beta funds have become popular vehicles for advisors as they assemble actively-managed clientRead More


EMANCIPATION FROM PARTICIPATION

May 15th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added

By Diane Harrison The mindset of “I’m OK, you’re OK” endorsed by today’s progressive parents who aim to reward their ‘precious snowflake’ children for every endeavor regardless of outcome  is a dangerous one to contemplate in investment management. In contrast, meritocracy is alive and well in alternatives. There are mostRead More


What makes a great Chief Investment Officer?

May 1st, 2017 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Family Offices, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles Skorina All professional investors want to make money.  The question is, how and for whom? In the for-profit world of Wall Street asset managers and retail mutual funds, the differences among managers reflect investor appetites, time horizons and risk tolerances.  They must all serve their customers, or theRead More


THE Q&A THAT’S DOA (A.K.A. DEAD ON ARRIVAL)

Apr 10th, 2017 | Filed under: Investor Relations, Newly Added, Sales & Marketing in the AI Industry

By Diane Harrison Few offenses are more aggravating to investors In the investor/manager communication process than being misled. Who hasn’t been subject to the frustration of trying to ascertain a clear answer from an alternatives manager about an issue germane to the investor’s ultimate decision to invest or not toRead More


Foundation CIOs and the American Dream: A Conversation With Carnegie’s Kim Lew

Mar 22nd, 2017 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles Skorina This month we focus on the venerable foundations of New York City and one of their most accomplished investment pros: Kim Y. Lew, chief investment officer of the Carnegie Corporation. We have an in-depth conversation with Ms. Lew on her career in foundation investing and the future of womenRead More


Commit to Quit: Habits for Successful Fund Managers

Mar 20th, 2017 | Filed under: Investor Relations, Newly Added, Sales & Marketing in the AI Industry

By Diane Harrison What habit is as old as time itself? It has to be making all kinds of ‘do-better’ resolutions at the beginning of the year, only to see them falter before the birds start building their nests each spring. NBC News ran an article online in January discussingRead More


Factor Investing And The Importance Of Market Cycles

Mar 15th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., ETFs, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Smart Beta

By Scott Opsal, CFA Director of Equities, The Leuthold Group The widespread popularity of smart beta ETFs demonstrates that factor-based investing has advanced from the province of academia to rank among the most popular investment strategies for institutional and retail investors. Originally of interest to researchers looking to test, andRead 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


CHANGE MANAGEMENT FOR FUND MANAGERS

Feb 8th, 2017 | Filed under: Investor Relations, Newly Added, Sales & Marketing in the AI Industry

By Diane Harrison Looking to the past as a way to gauge the likely direction of the future is a popular exercise in the first quarter of every year. It’s a natural desire for people to want to improve on their personal and professional lives; taking stock of where theyRead 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