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Opalesque Radio Archive

"Re-risking" Asset Allocations
Radio Feature 65: Tom Elliott in conversation with Sona Blessing
Friday, February 01, 2013 - CFA Switzerland Forecast Dinner Event, Zurich
img Tom Elliott is a global strategist within the Investment Marketing Team at J.P. Morgan Asset Management. He is responsible for investment communications through the Guide to the Markets suite of products. In this feature he shares his forecasts for 2013, identifies investment opportunities and the headwinds that could lead to underperformance.

Firsthand Insights on Investing in China
Radio Feature 64: Uli Sigg in conversation with Sona Blessing
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
img Uli Sigg currently serves as a member of the advisory board of the China Development Bank and other Chinese entities. He has spent several years in China, following its economic reform, and its contemporary art scene. He has accumulated the most substantial collection of contemporary Chinese art in the world. In 1997, he established the Chinese Contemporary Art Award, an award for Chinese contemporary artists and art critics in China. He is a member of the International Council of New York’s MOMA, and International Advisory Council of the Tate Gallery in London.

Emerging Risks
Radio Feature 63: Iordanis Chatziprodromou in conversation with Sona Blessing
Friday, January 25, 2013
img Iordanis Chatziprodromou is a Senior Risk Manager at Swiss Re focusing mainly on the identification, analysis and quantification of emerging technological, financial and economic risks. Before joining Swiss Re, he worked in the finance industry predominantly as a quantitative analyst with strong emphasis on sustainable finance.

Outrageous Predictions for 2013
Radio Feature 62: Steen Jakobsen in conversation with Sona Blessing
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
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Since March 2011 Steen Jakobsen is Chief Economist at Saxo Bank. Prior to which he was Chief Investment Officer for Limus Capital Partners. He has more than 20 years of experience within the fields of proprietary trading and alternative investment.

In this feature he shares his Outrageous Predictions for 2013: DAX plunges 33%, Nationalisation of Major Japanese Electronic Companies, Soybeans to rise by 50%, Gold corrects to USD 1,200 per ounce, WTI Crude hits USD50, USDJPY heads to 60.00, Hong Kong unpegs HKD from USD - RE-Pegs to RMB, EURCHF breaks peg, touches 0.9500, Spain takes one step closer to default as interest rates rise to 10%, 30-Year US Yield doubles in 2013!


Commodities to follow in 2013: Tin, Palladium, Coffee
Radio Feature 61: Nicholas Brooks in Conversation with Sona Blessing
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
img Nicholas Brooks is head of research and investment strategy for the ETF Securities group of companies. He has over 15 years of experience as a global economist and strategist, covering a wide range of markets and asset classes. He has also completed work on a PhD thesis examining financial fragility and the dynamics of financial crisis.

Capturing positive performance from alternative assets in a risk-on risk-off environment
CAIA Series III: Cédric Kohler in Conversation with Sona Blessing
Friday, December 07, 2012
img Cedric Kohler is Head of Advisory at Fundana SA. Prior to which, he worked for Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch & Cie, holding the roles of Head of Hedge Fund Advisory and Head of Funds of Hedge Funds. From 2004 until 2007, he was Global Head of Firm-wide Risk at Citadel Investment Group in Chicago. Cedric has also served as a Managing Director at Merrill Lynch in New York, holding the role of Margin & Risk Global Head. He holds a Masters in Economics and Finance from Warwick University and a Bachelors in Economics and Business from HEC.

Trading conditioned by political and violent risk analysis
Brian Lawson in Conversation with Sona Blessing
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
img Brian Lawson is Chief Global Economist at Exclusive Analysis. He has spent more than 30 years in investment banking, and in his current position, focuses primarily on economic and financial risks, including commodities and sovereign debt.
In this feature he shares insights on for example, their "...knowing at an early stage, that Russia was likely to lift its wheat ban, when the Russian Ministry of Agriculture was telling the world press that the wheat ban will remain in place."... In being able to share this information almost three months ahead, with their clients he says: "You can make a large amount of money if you call a market correctly."

Should we still want the USD as the only international reserve currency?
CAIA Series II: Professor Barry Eichengreen in conversation with Sona Blessing
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
img Barry Eichengreen is George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, Department of Economics.

His recently published books include: "From Miracle to Maturity: The Growth of the Korean Economy", with Dwight H. Perkins and Kwanho Shin, "The World Economy after the Global Crisis: A New Economic Order for the 21st Century", co-edited with Bokyeong Park and "Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar and the Future of the International Monetary System".

In this live interview he shares his insights on the dollar (USD), its continued viability as an international reserve currency, falling off the fiscal cliff and its impact on the USD, the possibility of "a grand bargain of some sort" , other currencies that could eventually qualify as a/ reserve currency/(ies)...

UCITS: Investors’ Appetite, Performance and Future
CAIA Series I : Marilyn Ramplin in conversation with Sona Blessing
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
img Marilyn Ramplin is founder of the UCITS University, the International group UCITS for Hedge Funds, and has acted as an advisor to international regulators. She also founded Ramplin Capital, a global hedge fund consultancy. Prior to which, she was an Executive Director with JP Morgan's Prime Brokerage in London and was part of the Bear Stearns acquisition during the financial crisis. She has been a risk arbitrage trader for a multi-billion dollar US hedge fund, has in-depth OTC derivatives experience and has developed credit counterparty risk models for clients like the Bank of International Settlements, BIS.

Asset Allocation during a Period of Financial Repression
Radio Feature 60: Professor Heinrich von Wyss in conversation with Sona Blessing
Monday, October 01, 2012 at the Swiss Pensions Conference
img Dr. Heinrich von Wyss is Assistant Professor of Finance at the University of St.Gallen, Swiss Institute of Banking and Finance. Also amongst his teaching activities: Visiting Assistant Professor, Stern School of Business, New York University (2011), Asia Compact: International Finance, University of St.Gallen in Singapore (2012), Institutional Asset Management, University of St.Gallen (2010 - 2012).

Seek Tactical Opportunities in Rates and a Currency Opportunity in Mexico
Radio Feature 59: Mathew Cobon in conversation with Sona Blessing
Thursday, September 27, 2012
img Mathew Cobon is Head of Macro (rates and currency) and lead fund manager of the Absolute and Target return bond strategies at Threadneedle. Prior to joining Threadneedle, Matthew spent four years at Aberdeen Asset Management, where he held the role of Head of Currency. He has also gained currency trading experience at Deutsche Asset Management and Citigroup.

Sustainable Agriculture and Agroforestry as an Asset Class
Radio Feature 58: Michael Young in conversation with Sona Blessing
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
img Michael Young is Director at Luxembourg based Sustainable Capital. He brings more than 16 years of investment industry experience to the Sustainable Resources Investment Committee - encompassing project appraisal, business development, training, product development, investment analysis and trading. Previous employers include INVESCO Asset Management, Prudential, Standard Life, Baring Asset Management and SHUAA Capital Saudi Arabia. He has benefited from extensive European, Middle East and Asian work experience.

Investing in Africa a Proxy for Investing in China?
Radio Feature 57: Aly-Khan Satchu in conversation with Sona Blessing
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at the NZZ Capital Market Forum in Zurich
img Aly-Khan Satchu is CEO of Rich Management Limited.
Since 2009 he has been an active investor on the Nairobi Stock Exchange, The Uganda Securities Exchange and on various other African stock markets. Since 2003 Aly-Khan has traded his own funds - primarily commodities (particularly oil), currency futures and options, equity indices and single stocks.

In previous positions he ran global trading desks for Credit Suisse First Boston (Emerging Markets) and lived through the financial crisis in Latin America in 1994 at a time when he had lent more than USD2 billion in that market. From 1998-1999 Aly-Khan was Treasurer and Director of all collateralised lending at ANZ Investment Bank. He also served as an Executive Director at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein in charge of Emerging Market Financing and Short Term Interest rates.


Positive Performance in European Utilities, Energy and Infrastructure
Radio Feature 56: Isabel Serra in conversation with Sona Blessing
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
img Isabel Serra is Founding Partner and CEO of Madrid based Cygnus Asset Management, which manages over USD300 million.
She has 20 years of experience in the finance industry and shares her insights on the benefits of investing in utilities and the energy sectors in Europe and particularly in Spain.
She also elaborates on how the Cygnus Utilities Fund has achieved a positive performance of +6.60% in 2012 and why utilities have defied being tagged as a defensive play...

The Dilemma that Investors Face and Opportunities in Real Estate
Radio Feature 55: Giles Keating in conversation with Sona Blessing
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 at the NZZ Capital Market Forum in Zurich
img Giles Keating is Head of Research for Private Banking and Asset Management at Credit Suisse. He is also Chair of the Global Economics and Strategy Group of Credit Suisse and Vice-Chair of the Investment Committee of Credit Suisse. Prior to joining Credit Suisse's Private Banking business in May 2004, he worked in the Investment Banking Division (formally Credit Suisse First Boston), where he held various posts, including Global Head of Fixed Income Research and Economics, Chief Economist, and Co-Head of the Pensions Advisory and Structuring Group.

In this radio feature he shares his outlook on asset allocation - including to alternatives, given the particularly challenging global macro set up; where and why real estate presents opportunities...

Capturing Yield in Asian Bonds
Radio Feature 54: Steven Howell in conversation with Sona Blessing
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
img Steven Howell joins me today to discuss the opportunity set and capturing yield in Asian bonds. He founded and launched HCAP Asset Management in November 2008. He has worked in financial markets for over 25 years and is a noted specialist in the field of high yield funds, fixed interest funds and hedge funds. His previous roles include amongst others: Co-founder of Basis Capital - responsible for leading the Asian business, primarily focusing on managing its Asian High Yield Fund, Sydney; Director and Head of Asia Pacific Capital Markets Trading for American Express Bank in Singapore, Director of Regional Fixed Income and Arbitrage for Cargill Financial Products, Singapore; Director and Head of Derivatives Trading at County NatWest Capital Markets in Sydney.

Currency Pairs to Consider Investing In and Those to Avoid
Radio Feature 53: Erik Schafhauser in conversation with Sona Blessing
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
img Erik Schafhauser has been with Saxo Bank since 2005. Prior to which he has been with KBC, Dresdner Bank and Reuters. Besides supporting institutional and UNHW / HNW clients in their trading activities, he holds seminars and presentations and writes articles for various magazines and newspapers.

Successfully managing a fund of hedge funds in a "risk-on"-"risk off" environment
Radio Feature 52: Ernesto Prado in conversation with Sona Blessing
Thursday, July 05, 2012
img Ernesto Prado is Chief Investment Officer and Partner at Ayaltis AG. Prior to founding Ayaltis, Ernesto was CIO of Peak Partner SA. The funds under his responsibility were rewarded with two InvestHedge Awards (2007) for best-risk adjusted returns in the fixed income category during the subprime crisis.
He has also worked at Fidelity Investments in Boston and Salomon Brothers in New York and London in their Fixed Income Derivatives Group. In 1998 he restructured Salomon's LTCM fixed income derivative portfolio in extremely volatile conditions.

"The New Economics of Sovereign Wealth Funds"
Radio Feature 51: Massimiliano Castelli in conversation with Sona Blessing
Friday, June 29, 2012
img Massimiliano Castelli, is Head of Global Strategy in the department advising central banks and Sovereign Wealth Funds(SWFs) at UBS Global Asset Management. In this role, he analyses market trends affecting the investment behaviour of sovereign institutions and works closely with investment specialists in providing investment advice and developing tailored investment solutions for this client segment.

He is a global thought leader on macro economic, financial and political trends in sovereign wealth management and has authored The New Economics of Sovereign Wealth Funds (Wiley, April 2012), together with Fabio Scacciavillani.

According to the authors, the book focuses "on the big picture which has been lost in the noise of diatribes and the narrow visions of most analyses. Few seem to have realised that the rise of the SWF is driven by a tectonic movement: the shift of economic centre of gravity from mature economies to large emerging markets (especially in Asia), and to commodity-exporting countries, some of which (e.g. Australia, Canada, Norway) have been wealthy nations for a long time."1...

In this radio feature Massimiliano elaborates on why "The increasing prominence of SWFs is therefore a symptom of a rebalancing in economic weight and represents one of the channels through which the secular shift to a multipolar global economy is taking place."2...
Source: 1&2 The New Economics of Sovereign Wealth Funds (Wiley, April 2012)


Managers can realise cost efficiencies ranging from 40% - 60% by embracing this operations model
Radio Feature 49: Michael Appenzeller in conversation with Sona Blessing
Thursday, May 24, 2012
img Michael Appenzeller is co-founder and managing director at Etops Operations Services, which is a service company specialising in operations outsourcing and projects for hedge funds, fund of funds, private equity funds and asset managers.

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