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Nippon Life Insurance Company: Insights on Investing in a Deflationary Environment
Radio Feature 132: Sona Blessing in conversation with Daisuke Ishida
Thursday, June 09, 2016 CFA Swiss Pensions Conference 2016
img Daisuke Ishida is general manager of the international investment department at Nippon Life Insurance Company. He is responsible for foreign sovereign bond investments and currency risk hedging.
    In this podcast, he shares their experiences and lessons learnt:
  • - as an asset manager in navigating a deflationary landscape
  • - how they addressed the negative spread challenge
  • - they are coping with the longevity and demographic challenges facing Japan ...


Alternative Beta Strategy: Optimise Downside Protection, Upside Performance
Radio Feature 131: Sona Blessing in conversation with William Landes
Thursday, May 19, 2016
img In this podcast, William (Bill) Landes, Deputy Head of Global Investment Solutions and Alternative Investments at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, shares his insights on alternative beta - how such a liquid strategy can be structured to optimise protection (cap/exploit downside risk) and capture upside performance; its place in a portfolio …

Investment Strategies of Sovereign Wealth Funds
Radio Feature 130: Sona Blessing in conversation with Keith Black
Thursday, March 24, 2016
img In this podcast, Keith Black, Managing Director, Curriculum and Exams at CAIA, shares his insights on the investment strategies of Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs).
According to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute (SWFI) - the largest have $7.08 trillion assets under management (best guess estimate, updated Feb. 2016). SWFs invested with asset manager withdrawals are expected to reach $400 billion in 2016.

His slides that accompany this Podcast's content can be downloaded here: www.caia.org/SWF_podcast


Optimally Integrating ESG, SRI, Impact Investing in Asset Allocation
Radio Feature 129: Sona Blessing in conversation with Daniel Wild
Friday, February 05, 2016
img Featured in this podcast is Daniel Wild, Head of Sustainability Investing Research and Development, and a Member of RobecoSAMs Executive Committee.

He elaborates on:

  • - their methodology, which identifies sustainability information as an investment factor with a positive information ratio
  • - recent launches: new investment solutions that specifically consider children’s rights and corporate gender equality
  • - how their Impact Investing platform offers customised solutions to investors looking for investments that deliver financial returns and contribute by making a measurable positive social impact

U.S.REIT Focus: Operating and Investing in Net Lease Properties
Radio Feature 128: Sona Blessing in conversation with William Dioguardi
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
img William Dioguardi is Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Four Springs Capital Trust*.
In this podcast he shares his perspectives on:
  • - Developments in the U.S. real estate market - recent market activity and expectations
  • - Strategic opportunities aimed to deliver current income flows and capture capital growth
  • - Mitigating risks associated with credit quality, defaults, fraud, a rising interest rate environment


Currencies: Capitalise on Market Volatility
Radio Feature 127: Sona Blessing in conversation with Thomas Suter
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
img Thomas Suter, is CEO of Quaesta Capital AG an independent Swiss financial services provider that focuses primarily on currency and macro-management. The decade old firm manages USD3billion and amongst others runs v-Pro, a USD530million foreign-exchange options program that delivered a positive performance of 20.06% in 2015.
In this podcast he shares, amongst others, how a customised foreign exchange exposure could be positioned to exploit market volatility, mitigate risk, deliver a positive performance and is liquid ...

Achieving Capital Preservation and Positive Performance with Hedge Funds Allocated to China, Developed and Emerging Asia
Radio Feature 126: Sona Blessing in conversation with Allen Sing
Monday, November 09, 2015
img Allen Sing is Co-Head of Asia Investments and portfolio manager at SAIL Advisors. Their Asian Multi-Strategy, Multi-Manager Portfolio has a YTD performance of +7.23%as of 30.09.15)
In this podcast, he draws on his experience garnered from former Asian crisis and elaborates on:


Currency Wars: How are the USD, EUR, JPY, RMB and other emerging market currencies expected to behave?
Radio Feature 125: Sona Blessing in conversation with Prof. Barry Eichengreen
Thursday, November 05, 2015
img Barry Eichengreen is Professor of Economics and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He tells us what motivated him to write his most recent book “Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, The Great Recession, and the Uses-and Misuses-of History”.
He also shares his insights on currency wars; why he expects to see continued relative strength in the USD; the challenges faced by emerging markets and their currencies; why the Fed has held-off with raising interest rates ...

A Strategic Allocation to, and Risk-Adjusted Returns from Euro Fixed Income
Radio Feature 124: Sona Blessing in conversation with Anne Velot
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
img Anne Velot is Head of the Active Euro Credit Team at AXA Investment Managers.

She has 22 years of industry experience and joins us in this podcast, to share her outlook on investment opportunities across the european fixed income space.
Based on the current global macro economic backdrop, she talks us through their strategic and tactical focus, and elaborates on how conceptually investing in the Euro Credit Total Return Strategy could serve as a "one-stop-shop" bond allocation solution.


Capturing Performance from European REITs: Identifying Attractive Pockets of Valuations
Radio Feature 123: Sona Blessing in conversation with Frederic Guibaud
Friday, September 25, 2015
img Frederic Guibaud, is Country Head Switzerland, Institutional Asset Management at Petercam.

In this podcast he elaborates on how European REITs as an asset class has performed since the financial crisis of 2008.
Its place in a portfolio, why now, geographically where and which sectors offer attractive investment opportunities, the impact of listed real estate being the 11th GICS® sector from August 2016 ...


Bespoke Timberland Asset Allocation Solutions
Radio Feature 122: Sona Blessing in conversation with Michael Shearer, Jim Webb
Thursday, August 20, 2015
img Michael Shearer and Jim Webb, are the Founding Partners, and Principals of Timberland Capital Advisors (TCA). Each has garnered 22 years’ experience in timberland investment organisations and have spent 38 years in forest management.

TCA is an investment management firm, focused on locating and acquiring timberland assets which meet investors' specific needs. In this podcast, Michael talks us through where they see opportunities, expected positive performance outcomes and their ability to customise timberland investments ...


Liquidity vs. Illiquidity: Costs, Control and Investment Opportunities
Radio Feature 121: Sona Blessing in conversation with Stephan Meschenmoser
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
img Stephan Meschenmoser, is a Managing Director and a member of the Strategy and Market Views function of the Client Solutions group within BlackRock Solutions.

In this podcast he shares insights on the role of liquidity; identifying and capturing illiquidity premia; monitoring structural, valuation, and asset class concentration risks.
Why the search for yield is increasingly driving institutional investors to review allocations in less liquid real asset classes such as infrastructure ...


Risk Protection, Return Opportunities and Asset Allocation Amidst the Three Outcomes for Greece
Radio Feature 120: Sona Blessing in conversation with Christina Boeck
Thursday, June 25, 2015
img In this podcast, Christina Boeck, Chief Investment Officer at AXA Investment Managers - Switzerland, elaborates on the global macro economic backdrop; talks us through the three outcomes for Greece and its potential market implications; shares insights on asset allocation opportunities ...

Case Study: A Swiss Pension Plan's Investment Process and Asset Allocation to Infrastructure
Radio Feature 119: Sona Blessing in conversation with Martin Roth
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 CFA Swiss Pensions Conference 2015
img Martin Roth is Managing Director of the Swiss based Pensionskasse Manor, where amongst others; he is responsible for alternative and real estate investments. Martin has 20 years of experience in asset management - prior to joining Manor in 2004 as Head of Asset Management, he was a senior portfolio manager at UBS, responsible for special clients and family offices. In this podcast he talks us through why they considered infrastructure as an asset class, navigating the opportunity set, the challenges, choices and expected returns ...

Compounding Equities
Radio Feature 118: Sona Blessing in conversation with Neil Robson and Ashish Kochar
Tuesday, June 02, 2015
img In this podcast Neil Robson and Ashish Kochar reflect on amongst others, whether quantitative easing is the sole driver of equity market valuations. Neil is the deputy manager of the Threadneedle Global Select Fund and manages a number of global equity mandates for institutional clients. He is also the co-manager of the Threadneedle Global Extended Alpha Fund, the American Extended Alpha Fund and American Absolute Alpha Fund. Ashish Kochar is co-manager for the Threadneedle Global Extended Alpha Fund, the American Extended Alpha Fund and the American Absolute Alpha Fund. He also heads the consumer staples sector research team.

Pursuing Volatility: BNY Mellon Dynamic Total Return Fund
Radio Feature 117: Sona Blessing in conversation with Nicolas Kopitsis and Jason Lejonvarn
Friday, May 22, 2015
img This podcast features Nicolas Kopitsis, CEO, BNY Mellon Investments Switzerland GmbH and Jason Lejonvarn, Global Investment Strategist, Mellon Capital Management Corporation. Nicolas, elaborates on the implications and the founding of their new FINMA regulated Swiss entity and introduces their multi-asset Dynamic Total Return Fund. Jason talks us through how the strategy, with assets under management of over USD1 billion (source: Mellon Capital, 31.03.15) has been managed since 2006 to deliver equity-like returns whilst providing lower volatility than traditional, benchmark-guided equity allocations.

Can European Equity Earnings Outperform U.S. Equity Earnings?
Radio Feature 116: Sona Blessing in conversation with Tom Stubbe Olsen
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
img Tom Olsen is the Founder of, and Portfolio Manager at, European Value Partners (EVP). He is the architect of the firm's investment strategy - value investing in Europe. Prior to forming EVP in 2008, Tom was head of value management, and chief investment officer for the Value Funds at Nordea Investment Funds S.A. In this podcast he elaborates on, and addresses whether European equity valuations are stretched; on a relative basis their attractiveness to U.S. equities; the headwinds and tailwinds of investing in a European equity strategy, why stock picking is increasingly important...

Continued Confidence in the U.S. Economy, Equities, USD - Volatility and Pull-Backs to be expected along the Way
Radio Feature 115: Sona Blessing in conversation with Mark Vitner
Monday, April 13, 2015
img Mark Vitner is a Managing Director and Senior Economist at Wells Fargo Securities, LLC.
In this podcast he shares insights on why they were anticipating Q1 2015 to be somewhat disappointing - but still believe that the U.S. recovery is underway.
Why the U.S. apartment market, especially in urban areas, is very strong.
Why he doesn’t think U.S. equities are currently overvalued.
Why the dollar is likely to strengthen ...

Jim Rogers: Optimistic on Russia, North Korea, Investing in Agriculture and the USD
Radio Feature 114: Sona Blessing in conversation with Jim Rogers
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
img In this podcast Jim Rogers shares his thoughts on the economies of the U.S., Japan, BRICS and his asset allocation strategy.
He comments on whether there will be a Grexit, why he is optimistic on Russia and North Korea (expects the unification of the latter with South Korea) and why, despite the fundamentals he favours and is invested in the USD ...

Timber/Timberland: An Atypical Real Asset and Commodity?
Radio Feature 113: Sona Blessing in conversation with Jon P. Caulfield
Monday, March 02, 2015 2015 Timberland Investment Conference - UGA
img Jon is head of Timberland Research at BTG Pactual's Timberland Merchant Banking business. He is responsible for conducting timberland and forest products-related economic and financial analysis.
In this podcast he draws out the similarities and differences that timberland and timber, exhibit, as a real asset and as a commodity.

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