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Opalesque Radio Archive

"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.

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.

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  1. Investing - George Soros puts $500m of his money on Bill Gross, Soros, Paulson backed Hispania Activos mulls Realia takeover, Ex-Credit Suisse trader’s hedge fund sees yen shorts as crowded, Hedge hunters double default-swaps as views split, Large hedge fund positions come under pressure, Vikram Pandit's fund picks 50% stake in JM Financial's realty lending arm for $87m[more]

    George Soros puts $500m of his money on Bill Gross From WSJ.com: Before Bill Gross was fully settled in at his new firm, Janus Capital Group Inc., he received an unlikely visit from the chief investment officer of famed investor George Soros ’s firm, according to a person familiar with t

  2. Regulatory - Stringent rules for hedge funds make the financial system fragile[more]

    From FT.com: …It is one thing to impose a regulatory burden when there is a clear need to do so. Banks are underwritten by taxpayers via deposit insurance as well as the too-big-to-fail safety net; they need to be reined in, and if they shrink as a result, that may be welcome. But it is another thin

  3. Investing - Apple: Hedge funds are crazy about it, Greenlight Capital took stake in Citizens Financial after IPO, Tiger Global added to Hertz, exited Dollar General last quarter, Oberweis sells NQ Mobile stake as Valiant adds shares, Whitney Tilson sticks to losing bet on MagicJack shares, Brigade Capital backs €90m Quinn sale[more]

    Apple: Hedge funds are crazy about it From Techinsider.net: Apple Inc. is still the most popular stocks among hedge funds. According to a recent report by hedge fund tracking site Insider Monkey, more than one out of 5 hedge funds are invested in Apple Inc. At the moment there are

  4. Greenlight Re CEO says hedge fund reinsurance strategy buzz is validating[more]

    From Artemis.bm: The attention being paid to the hedge fund reinsurance business model and the fact that others are now looking to leverage bits of it within their own strategies, is validating for reinsurer Greenlight Capital Re, according to CEO Bart Hedges. There has been an increasing buzz

  5. Legal - Hedge fund manager fights £8m tax tribunal ruling[more]

    From FT.com: A hedge fund manager who may have to repay £8m in tax is trying to overturn a tribunal ruling that found he had attempted to shelter millions in an avoidance scheme. Patrick Degorce, chief investment officer at Theleme Partners, lost a tax tribunal case last year. HM Revenue & Customs c