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Opalesque Radio Archive

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.

Gold: "Sell in May and go away?"
Radio Feature 48: Andreas Maag in conversation with Sona Blessing
Friday, May 11, 2012
img Andreas Maag is Head of Swiss Precious Metals Distribution at UBS Investment Bank, Based on his 30 years of experience in trading gold, he infers why the gold price has retreated below the 1600 level, its possible price formation in the context of the Euro crisis and the geo-political and economic global backdrop...

"Psychological Capital"
Radio Feature 47: Denise Shull in conversation with Sona Blessing
Thursday, April 26, 2012
img Denise Shull is founder of The ReThink Group and author of the recently published Market Mind Games, McGraw-Hill, January 2012.The book reflects her expertise in neuroscience and draws on her extensive trading experience. She is an acknowledged decision theorist and thought-leader in the psychology of risk, uncertainty and exceptional performance. Denise specialises in trading index futures and currency futures.

Fair Trade Investing
Radio Feature 46: Klaus Tischhauser in conversation with Sona Blessing
Thursday, April 05, 2012
img Klaus Tischhauser is Co-Founder and CEO of responsAbility. His milestones there include the launch of the world’s first retail microfinance fund in 2003, and winning the G-20 SME Finance Challenge. In this radio feature he shares his expertise on fair trade investing, the outlook for the space, how such opportunities can be made investable, the criteria used, tracking such investments, mitigating risk...

SRI/Environment-led/Impact Investing - Where and how to allocate to, expected returns
Radio Feature 45: Alfred Evans in conversation with Sona Blessing
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
img Alfred Evans is founder and CEO of Islan, and Director of Bunge Emissions Group. He has 20 years of professional experience in emerging markets, energy and environment. Before founding Islan Asset Management, Alfred was a manager in Bunge’s Financial Services Group where he held several senior positions over his seven-year tenure, including as CEO of Ecoinvest Carbon SA -acquired by Bunge under his guidance.
          In this radio feature he share his expertise on the evolution and outlook for SRI/impact - driven investments, investment opportunities in Africa and emerging markets for sustainable and impact investments, and available markets in emissions, forestry and agriculture...

Institutional Investing in Tree Forests and Timberland
Radio Feature 44: Dennis Neilson in conversation with Sona Blessing
Monday, April 02, 2012
img Dennis founded DANA in 1992, a New Zealand based international forest industry advisory and publishing firm that undertakes benchmarking, strategic planning, investment and marketing assignments for international corporate clients. In addition to The Global Tree Farm Economics Review, Dennis co-authors RISI’s International Pulpwood Trade Review. In this radio feature he elaborates on the tree farm and timberland opportunities for institutional investors globally, expected returns and time frames, and on the ability to claim carbon credits ...

"We look at the valuation of markets and think they are quite reasonably valued..."
Radio Feature 42: William Davies in conversation with Sona Blessing
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
img William Davies is Head of Global Equities and Deputy Head of Equities at Threadneedle Investments. He manages retail and institutional funds including the Threadneedle Global Select Fund. (Threadneedle is Winner of the 2012 Morningstar Award as "Best Large Equity House" and "Top Rated Global Equity Manager".) In this radio feature he evaluates the worst case scenario thrown at equity markets and investors, where and why he continues to see equity investment opportunities. Why they are overweight the US, still like for e.g. the technology sector in the US, and among others are biased toward exporters...

Brent Crude as a Benchmark
Radio Feature 43: Jean-Luc Amos in conversation with Sona Blessing
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
img Jean-Luc's role at Intercontinental Exchange, ICE, Futures Europe entails facilitating the development, growth and promotion of ICE’s new and existing energy Futures and OTC markets. Prior to joining ICE, he worked at Platts as a forward curve and futures editor. In this radio feature he elaborates on why Brent Crude has emerged as the reference crude oil benchmark, volumes traded over the last 12 months, how it compares with other benchmarks such as WTI and Dubai, and tells us more about why their latest product was launched.

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  1. …And Finally – Flight attendant has passengers rolling in aisle[more]

    From Orange.co.uk: A video of a US flight attendant turning her safety talk into a comedy routine is proving a huge hit online. More than five million people have watched the clip of Marty Cobb which has her passengers rolling with laughter on a Southwest Airlines flight to Salt Lake City.

  2. Niche Investing – Wealthy investors flock to fine art funds[more]

    From Clickorlando.com: Wealthy investors looking to diversify beyond stocks and bonds are now turning to an unusual money-making vehicle -- the art investment fund. The name says it all: These funds invest in fine art and seek returns by acquiring and selling high-end pieces for profit. Growth

  3. Opalesque Exclusive: Rainwater and Blue Sky - an Australian water fund emerges[more]

    Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York: Financial reporters often tout new funds and investments as uncorrelated investments, but few can say they are uncorrelated to everything but weather. Enter Blue Sky Alternative's water fund which invests in the permanent rights to Australia's water. Sev

  4. University of Michigan allocates $242m to six managers[more]

    From PIonline.com: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, invested or committed a total of $242 million to one traditional equity manager and five alternative investment funds from its $9 billion endowment. University regents approved the hire of Mittleman Investment Management to run $35 million in act

  5. Performance – Odey flagship hedge fund suffers brutal March as shorts rise, Blackstone first-quarter profit rises 30% on higher fees[more]

    Odey flagship hedge fund suffers brutal March as shorts rise From Valuewalk.com: The tide has turned for the worse for one of Europe’s best performing hedge funds. Crispin Odey’s flagship hedge fund, Odey European has suffered a 4.63% decline for the year after slipping 7.2% in March, ac