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Why Invest in Emerging Market Corporate Debt?
Radio Feature 81: Sona Blessing in conversation with John Peta and Zara Kazaryan
Monday, August 05, 2013
img John Peta is Portfolio Manager, Co-head of Emerging Market Debt and Local Currency Strategy Leader. Zara Kazaryan is Fund Manager of Emerging Markets Debt and Corporate Strategy Leader. Both are members of Threadneedle’s Emerging Markets Fixed Income Team.

"The acceleration in rating upgrades for emerging markets corresponds with a vast improvement in the macro backdrop and net creditor status for emerging market countries in aggregate. Government debt to GDP for emerging market countries has declined to 34% of GDP 94.4% of GDP in 1993."

In this podcast they elaborate on the upside in emerging market debt and how it could be captured ...


"From Soil to Oil"
Radio Feature 80: Sona Blessing in conversation with Mark Wills
Thursday, July 25, 2013
img Mark Wills draws on two decades of experience in the world of banking and financial services. Amongst others he has worked at Royal Bank of Scotland's private banking division, specialising in tax planning and portfolio management for high net worth investors, and was also responsible for co-establishing International Financial Services in Singapore.
In this podcast he elaborates on how and why he thinks investors with a shorter timeframe can still invest in timber, as an asset class, and expect a conservative annualised ROI of 14% ...

Hedgegate Series III: Convergent Divergent Strategies
Radio Feature 79: Sona Blessing in conversation with Andrew Fisch
Friday, July 19, 2013
img Andrew Fisch is Co-Chief Investment Officer, Hedge Fund of Funds at SSARIS Advisors. Andrew has been in the hedge fund and alternatives industry for 28 years. Prior to joining SSARIS, he was a founding partner at Aurum Capital Management.

In this podcast, Andrew explains what a convergence-divergence strategy is and how it can help investors achieve superior risk-adjusted returns. How it tends to work in a bull market, a bear market and under trend reversing market conditions...


"Modest Risk-On": Equities Favoured; Regional Picks Include Japan, the US, Germany
Sona Blessing in Conversation with Valentijn van Nieuwenhuijzen
Thursday, July 11, 2013
img Valentijn van Nieuwenhuijzen is Head of Strategy, Strategy and Tactical Asset Allocation Group, ING Investment Management (International AUM as of 31.3.2013 ~EUR 184 bn.)
He is responsible for formulating the firm's macroeconomic outlook and fixed income tactical asset allocation. Focused on tactical allocation between cash, fixed income, equities, real estate, and commodities, and particularly between specific fixed income markets such as treasuries, intergovernmental credits, high yields, and emerging market debt.
Valentijin is a recognised expert in growth, inflation, and central bank policy in the major economic blocks and the global dynamics that influence different regions.

In this podcast he share's the rationale behind their mid year asset allocation review and explains why "The road is slippery but we are not stuck in the mud!"


Attractive Valuations Support Entry Point in Small and Mid Cap Indian Equities
Radio Feature 77: Chrys Kamber in Conversation with Sona Blessing
Monday, July 01, 2013
img Chrys Kamber advises the Luxembourg domiciled Gate of India fund, a fund managed by MM Warburg which focuses on listed Indian small and mid cap enterprises. .
Prior to this she was a fund manager - asset management equities - at Clariden Leu Ltd, Zurich. She has also served as an assistant relationship manager, private banking/Middle East desk at Crédit Agricole Indosuez (Suisse) SA, Geneva.
Chrys is a seasoned equity investor and manager and has over a decade's experience in investment strategy, project management and private banking.

Hedgegate Series II: The Benefits of Mulit Strategy Hedge Funds
Radio Feature 76: Ivo Zonev in Conversation with Sona Blessing
Friday, June 14, 2013
img Ivo Zonev, is a Director, Hedge Fund Analyst and Portfolio Manager at Prime Capital. Formerly he worked at Feri Finance Group as a Hedge Fund Analyst. He is a specialist in tactical trading strategies. As part of the Hedgegate Series on Opalesque Radio, and in this feature, Ivo shares Prime Capital's research findings on the benefits of multi strategy hedge funds.

Q-Eternity?
Radio Feature 75: Robert Schumacher in Conversation with Sona Blessing
Wednesday, June 05, 2013
img Robert Schumacher is Head of US Fixed Income, Strategist/Senior Portfolio Manager with AXA Investment Managers. He has 37 years of capital markets experience, with hands-on experience in sales, trading, management, marketing and investment management of retail and institutional assets.
In this Opalesque Podcast, Rob shares his interpretation and analysis of the Fed’s Monetary Policy Path - its impact on the economy and on other asset classes. Is there an up-side to exiting Quantitative Easing "early"? Is there an exit strategy and why we should be braced for "Q-Eternity"...

Impact Investing: Another Form of Philanthropy or A Viable Investment Approach?
Radio Feature 74: Julia Balandina Jaquier in Conversation with Sona Blessing
Friday, May 31, 2013
img Dr. Julia Balandina Jaquier is an acknowledged authority on Impact Investing and founder of JBJ Consult.
A seasoned impact investor, Julia works with institutional, sovereign and private investors, as well as philanthropists and private foundations.

She is also author of "Guide to Impact Investing For Family Offices and High Net Worth Individuals". She teaches impact investing and social entrepreneurship at the University of St.Gallen and has been a guest lecturer at Yale.

In this Opalesque podcast she talks us through the scope and breadth of impact investing, the challenges, measuring social and environmental impact, allocating to and integrating it within a portfolio...


US Equities: "The Re-Emerging Market?"
Radio Feature 73: Cormac Weldon in Conversation with Sona Blessing
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
img Cormac Weldon is Head of US Equities at Threadneedle Investments. He manages the Threadneedle American, American Select and American Smaller Companies funds, as well as the Allied Dunbar North American Growth fund. Cormac started his career with KPMG. He has also worked for Provident Mutual as an analyst on their North American equities team and British Gas Pension Fund as a fund manager on their North American equities team.

In this radio feature/podcast he talks about the US themes for 2013: strong franchises, the housing recovery, the energy advantage, cheap cyclicals with capital returns, bond proxies, growth, and how these could translate into capturable performance.


Hedgegate Series I: Analysing Asian Hedge Fund Performance and the Investment Landscape
Radio Feature 72: Lanny Lim in Conversation with Sona Blessing
Thursday, May 02, 2013
img Lanny is a portfolio manager at SAIL Advisors, one of Asia’s leading hedge fund research and investment specialists. He has almost two decades of experience in the Asia Pacific capital markets. Prior to SAIL, he was a Partner and Senior Analyst at Austral Capital Ltd., a multi-strategy hedge fund. Amongst others he has been Global Head of Emerging Markets Credit Research at ABN Amro Bank in Singapore.

Featured in the first podcast of our Hedgegate Series, Lanny shares his insights on the Asian hedge fund investment landscape, performance potential in Japan and in Chinese onshore convertible bonds ...


Identifying and Capturing Persistent Alpha
Radio Feature 71: Otto Francke in Conversation with Sona Blessing
Friday, April 26, 2013
img Otto Francke is a senior portfolio manager within the alternative investment team at SEB. Prior to this he was a portfolio manager and research analyst covering long/short equity strategies Atlas Capital Group. He has been active in the alternative industry for a decade, and holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering specialising in Applied Mathematics from The Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.

Pension Plans & Family Offices as Asset Allocators
Radio Feature 70: Michael Oliver Weinberg in conversation with Sona Blessing
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
img Michael Oliver Weinberg is Adjunct Associate Professor at the Columbia Business School where he is currently teaching a course he created on Alternative Investing in Pension Plans. He also runs The Weinberg Family Office. Prior to which he headed FRM’s equity and event business.
In this Opalesque Podcast he shares his insights on asset allocation from a family office and pension plan perspective.

Q1'13 - Global assets in ETFs &ETPs scale new highs of USD 2.09 trn
Radio Feature 69: Deborah Fuhr in conversation with Sona Blessing
Monday, April 15, 2013
img Deborah Fuhr, is a partner and co-founder of ETFGI. She was previously Global Head of ETF Research and Implementation Strategy and Managing Director at BlackRock/BGI from 2008 - 2011, and a Managing Director and head of the Investment Strategy team at Morgan Stanley in London from 1997 - 2008.

In this podcast Deborah elaborates on the recent record net inflows in Q1 2013 that have pushed global assets in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and exchange-traded product (ETPs) to new highs of USD 2.09 trillion.

"This is a waiting game"
Radio Feature 68: James Montier in conversation with Sona Blessing
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
img James Montier is a member of GMO's Asset Allocation team. Prior to joining GMO in 2009, he was co-head of Global Strategy at Société Généralé. He has authored several books including "Behavioural Investing: A Practitioner's Guide to Applying Behavioural Finance; Value Investing: Tools and Techniques for Intelligent Investment"; and "The Little Book of Behavioural Investing". James is a visiting fellow at the University of Durham and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

In this podcast he talks us through amongst others why in many ways he thinks this is the most difficult opportunity set an investor can face ...


"Hedge fund performance 2013"
Radio Feature 67: Alexander Ineichen in conversation with Sona Blessing
Monday, March 11, 2013
img Alexander Ineichen is founder of Ineichen Research and Management AG, a research firm that focuses on risk management, absolute returns and thematic investing. Amongst others, he has been Head of Industry Research for the hedge fund platform at UBS Global Asset Management. He has authored "Absolute Returns-The Risk and Opportunities of Hedge Fund Investing" (Wiley Finance, 2002) and “Asymmetric Returns - The Future of Active Asset Management” (Wiley Finance, 2006).

Alexander has also written several research pieces pertaining to equity derivatives and hedge funds including AIMA’s Roadmap to Hedge Funds (2008 and 2012).

In this podcast he shares his thoughts on: the global macro-economic landscape; investment opportunities; despite the rather shaky fundamentals why equity indices like the Dow Jones Industrial Average are scaling historical highs; “Hedge fund performance 2013”, ...


Timberland: Anticipating a supply shock and how to optimise returns
Radio Feature 50: Jacek Siry in conversation with Sona Blessing
Thursday, February 14, 2013
img Jacek Siry serves as Associate Professor of Forest Economics at the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. His research areas are timberland investment, timber market modelling, global forest products trade and industry competitiveness, and carbon policies and markets.

In this radio feature Dr. Siry draws on his experience in international forestry issues, including timber trade, availability, costs as well as plantation management across major producing regions and shares how as an investor one could be positioned to optimise returns given the imminent supply side shock posed by Canadian timberland.

Tail Risk Hedging
Radio Feature 66: Vineer Bhansali in conversation with Sona Blessing
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
img Vineer Bhansali is managing director and portfolio manager, head of quantitative investment portfolios and a member of the asset allocation committee at PIMCO. In this radio feature he shares why it pays to be countercyclical in the context of tail risk hedging; the trade-off between the cost of protection and securing returns; instruments in the tool box that can be set up as hedges against for e.g. political risk...

"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.

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  1. Bridgewater turns bearish on China[more]

    Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia: The world’s biggest hedge fund Bridgewater Associates and one of the most vocal of China’s potential is now turning its back against the world’s second largest economy as it joins a growing list of high-profile investors who are challenging China’s potentials.

  2. Launches - Ex-Brevan Howard star Rokos builds team for new fund, Former Och-Ziff manager’s firm starts health care hedge fund, Industry veterans launch commodity investment firm Aron Capital Management, Nikko Asset Management launches two UCITS funds, Capital Group plans to debut Asian investor targeted fund[more]

    Ex-Brevan Howard star Rokos builds team for new fund From WSJ.com: Chris Rokos, a former star trader at Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP, has hired an economist from Nomura to join the team he’s assembling for his much anticipated hedge fund launch. Mr. Rokos, whose firm is due to b

  3. Institutions - Pension fund dismisses Texas consultant, Rhode Island pension fund gets 2.2% investment return, far below assumed rate of 7.5%, New Jersey pension investments see a drop-off in returns[more]

    Pension fund dismisses Texas consultant From Sandiegouniontribute.com: The county retirement board on Thursday terminated the Texas consultant who was given the reins of the $10 billion pension fund, and whose investment picks left many employees and retirees feeling taken for a ride.

  4. SWFs - Sovereign wealth funds paid around $14 billion in fees[more]

    From SWFinstitute.org: When it comes to the financial sector, asset management is one of the most profitable industries in the world. The Boston Consulting Group put out a 2014 figure saying there is US$ 74 trillion worth of professionally-managed assets. One of the fastest growing institutional inv

  5. Investing - Carlyle teams with TCW in push for ordinary investors[more]

    From Bloomberg.com: Carlyle Group LP isn’t backing down from its goal of offering alternative strategies to the masses, despite early setbacks. The Washington-based firm is teaming up with TCW Group, which is majority owned by Carlyle funds, to offer three vehicles that give ordinary investors acces