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Alternative Market Briefing

Family offices look for niche investments in the hunt for returns

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Ram Ahluwalia
Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

As hedge funds mature, the type of investments most managers are making these days are less risky and closer to institutional expectations of acceptable trading strategies. For family offices that aren't bound by public interest concerns, finding hedge fund managers that can bring niche strategies to bear in a portfolio are more appealing. In a recent Opalesque TV interview, Ram Ahluwalia, CFA, Portfolio Manager at family office Winged Foot Capital sat down with moderator Michael Oliver Weinberg to discuss where he finds opportunity in this market.

"We’re heavily invested in alternatives, but I don’t have a crystal ball. I look for managers that have a relative value exposure, that have tight nets operating in niche constrained markets," Ahluwalia says.

To that end, Winged Foot is predisposed to relative value managers and more specifically, relative value managers that are looking into sectors like Biotech or SmallCap equities.

Notably, Ahluwalia says of the 30 managers they are invested with they have zero equity long short managers, and zero global macro managers. "I think its very difficult to get a competitive advantage in the equity long short market. The competition is heavy, no one has a real edge - the same is true in global macro."

When it comes to evaluating opportunities and managers, he says he prefers to look at factors like ......................

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