December 1st, 2013
In a world where buy and sell orders can be executed in milliseconds and billions of dollars can be moved around the globe in less time than it takes to read this article, one type of transaction remains true to the world of pen and ink. Prospective investors in hedge funds almost universally must complete printed application forms that often can be 50 or more pages.
And that’s only part of it. Hard copies of bank statements, investment reports, tax returns, passports, and more had to be submitted with the application. All this, then, is reviewed by fund administrators and manually entered into the fund’s electronic system before a dime can be transferred. Read the rest of this entry »
October 18th, 2013
Financial professionals may be wizards at analyzing complex transactions, but explaining them in words plain enough for the rest of us to understand is a rare skill. Whether bankers, accountants or asset managers, too many insist on taking the long road to get to the point. It’s almost as if they believe the more words they use, the more impressive the analysis. Nothing could be further from the truth, says Susan Weiner, a chartered financial analyst and author of Financial Blogging: How to Write Powerful Posts That Attract Clients. She offers seven tips for improving the writing of financial professionals, beginning with examples from the most revered of investors, Warren Buffet. His “plainspoken style instills trust in investors,” she says, suggesting that writers read their “clunky sections” out loud. And while they’re at it, trim down too long sentences and too wordy paragraphs. MarketingProfs.com
October 6th, 2013
“An investment approach that combines rigorous risk management with a stock selection process can be a valuable addition to a hedge fund portfolio,” writes Dr. Vinay Nair, managing partner and CEO of Ada Investment.
He says a “Portfolio Fit Strategy” is emerging as an attractive approach to market seasonality.
“Much like the global weather patterns, our financial markets are prone to unpredictable bouts of various seasons – now more than in past cyclical upturns. So, even as there may be an ideal strategy for each season, there is another increasingly important question – what season should the hedge fund allocator design their portfolio for? Read the rest of this entry »
September 20th, 2013
Like so many other companies, financial services firms are embracing the Internet cloud for its convenience, versatility and, not just coincidentally, its ability to provide quick recovery in the event of a disaster. When Superstorm Sandy struck New York and New Jersey, financial firms that had backed up their digital data to the cloud were able to resume business as soon as workers had their own Internet access restored. A survey of investment managers, hedge funds and others by Eze Castle Integration probed the whys and benefits of using the cloud. These findings will be detailed in a webinar for fund managers on Sept. 24th at 11 a.m. eastern.
September 4th, 2013
Private equity investment funds can be held liable for the unfunded pension liabilities of their portfolio companies under a decision by a federal appeals court in Boston.
Ruling that equity funds are engaged in a “trade or business” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the court overturned a district court decision to the contrary. Read the rest of this entry »
August 6th, 2013
The 100 largest alternative investment managers controlled more than $3.1 trillion at the end of 2012, with real estate managers handling the largest share.
The Global Alternatives Survey, compiled by Towers Watson, found real estate funds had 34% of the total global investment, followed by direct private equity fund managers with 23% ($717 billion). Hedge funds and funds of hedge funds had $612 billion and $176 billion respectively.
Pension funds, by far, comprise the largest share of the total, accounting for 36% of the total assets managed by the 100 largest managers. The next largest share, at 19%, comes from wealth managers; insurance companies, at 9%, rank third. Fifteen years ago, pension fund assets amounted to just 5%. Read the rest of this entry »
July 29th, 2013
The SEC’s long expected decision lifting the 80 year ban on advertising for private placements — think private equity and hedge funds — now opens the door for managers to appeal directly to consumers for the first time. It’s a “sea change of communication opportunities and challenges for hedge fund managers, says Holly Singer, founder and president of HS Marketing, which serves the alternative investment community. Warning that the new found marketing freedom also carries increased responsibilities, Singer offers five tips for fund managers as they enter the new arena of public communication. Among them: plan holistically, be selecting, and leverage multiple channels. Notes Singer, “The open floodgates resulting from a less restricted marketing environment are likely to increase the challenge of getting heard above the noise.” FINalternatives
July 3rd, 2013
In a starkly troubling report on the challenges facing the alternative asset industry, SEI’s 6th annual survey of hedge fund investors bluntly declares that the collapse of world markets and the recession that followed was, for the industry, “The end of the world as we know it.”
The financial markets may have recovered, even reaching new highs, but “the (hedge fund) industry
has failed to make a dazzling comeback. In fact, it has now seen a decade of generally disappointing performance.”
While the report chronicles the difficulties hedge fund managers face, including average returns that lag the S&P 500 and downward pressure on fees, all is not gloom and doom. The institutional investors participating in the survey said they plan to increase the share of their portfolios allocated to hedge funds. Only 16% plan a decrease. Measured against last year’s record $12 billion increase in alternative asset investment, 2013 could again set records. Read the rest of this entry »
June 23rd, 2013
If you’ve eve been stuck looking for just the right word for an article, or help trying to figure out whether it’s “its” or “it’s” you’ve probably discovered there’s no shortage of sites offering help. Googling “grammar” or “thesaurus” turns up tens of thousands of results. But when you need help of a different sort — a colorful phrase, a specific statistic, or how to attract a bigger audience for your blog — finding it can be harder. Fortunately, there’s a handy one page list of resources for writers — amateur, business, and professional. Here you will find lists of sites organized by the kind of help they provide. The list is billed as “150 Resources to Help You Write Better, Faster, and More Persuasively.” Open Education Database
May 15th, 2013
As some of the biggest names in hedge fund management gathered in New York last week, an analysis of the tips they offered at last year’s Ira Sohn Investment conference showed that on the whole, they earned a return three points less than traditional index funds.
The Sohn Investment conference, a pediatric cancer research fundraising event, brings together leading fund managers who share insights and investment strategies with wealthy investors. This year, 17 managers took turns on the stage at Lincoln Center to share their views on everything from promising sectors to global economic policy. Read the rest of this entry »