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London Roundtable: "Life time" opportunities that stand out while traditional hedge fund strategies remain challenged

 

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Two days before the 2012 London Olympics open, we present you the Opalesque 2012 U.K. Roundtable. We found that not only athletes have been traveling to London lately, but “every single week groups of financial services companies from China are visiting us. They come here for fact finding and looking to do things, just like the Japanese did in the 80s. History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme. The Chinese are great students of history, they study the mistakes the Japanese made and are in general a lot more cautious....”

Life time opportunities

Read in this Roundtable details about the three sovereign Chinese wealth funds – how do they differ, and which one of them has started the first investments in fund of funds? Can an offshore Renminbi market develop in London, like the Euro bond market in the 80s, the Japanese dollar warrant market in the 90s and ADR and GDR markets in the 2000s?

The dislocations that are going to take place over the next ten years in banking and insurance (via Basel III, Solvency II) are going to create opportunities that we may never see again in our lifetime. Third Point and Paulson have launched reinsurance companies with significant amounts of capital, and Steve Cohen's SAC has announced one. Read how to set up such vehicles in order to benefit from the deleveraging in banking and insurance.

Traditional hedge fund strategies are challenged

A lot of hedge fund strategies have become much more difficult to assess considering the bimodal tail risk (depending upon the outcome of the European crisis), particularly directional hedge fund strategies. Significant tail risk may be a consequence of a stroke of a pen, as opposed to an economic outcome. Is it true that a lot of start-up managers are missing these tidal changes in the markets and promote strategies and styles that made money in the 2005 to 2007 period, but may fail going forward?

The Roundtable discusses strategies that have the potential to continue making money for investors, like G10 rates strategy, global equity relative value, U.S. municipal bond market strategies, arbitrage strategies including statistical arbitrage and idiosyncratic opportunities in Structured Credit.

The German Mittelstand Opportunity

One example of an idiosyncratic and specific story which is rather independent and not necessarily correlated to the broader market environment focuses on German mid-sized companies (or “Mittelstand”: mostly privately owned German mid cap companies largely manufacturing and engineering export oriented goods). In a secular shift that will probably last for 5-10 years until there is a new financing order, roughly 5,000 companies will have to re-arrange about 1,000 billion euros of financial debt on their balance sheets in order to adapt to the changes in corporate lending and banking in Germany. As those firms are forced to move away from bilateral short term facilities towards multilateral and longer term instruments (for which there are secondary markets), huge opportunities come up in German high-yielding corporate credit.

The Opalesque 2012 U.K. Roundtable, sponsored by Eurex, Bingham and Taussig Capital, took place June 28th in London with:

  • Blaine Tomlinson, Founder, Financial Risk Management (FRM)
  • Laurie Pinto, CEO, North Square Blue Oak (NSBO)
  • Dr. Paul Netherwood, Co-Founder, Beach Horizon
  • Basil Williams, CEO, Concordia Advisors
  • Mark Hoffmann, Portfolio Manager, Robus Capital Management
  • Christopher Leonard, Partner, Bingham McCutchen
  • Joe Taussig, Founder, Taussig Capital AG
  • Renaud Huck, Senior Vice President, Eurex Group
The Roundtable discussion offers additional insights and intelligence about:
  • Which hedge fund strategies have been successful for institutional fund of hedge funds manager FRM? What is behind the successes of FRM's seeding business? The combined multi-manager business of Man and FRM will manage $19bn: What does the new unit aim to achieve? How do systematic strategies cope with today's markets? What should be considered when designing systematic trading strategies? Will there be a massive M&A cycle coming soon?
  • What are the new trading opportunities going forward? Will the Deutsche Mark, Frank, Lira, Drachma come back?
  • How do exchanges handle the mandate given by global regulators to move OTC clearing to central counter parties (CCPs)?
  • Where is collateral protection heading? With new regulations, it is estimated that 1.7-2.2 trillion dollars of collateral will need to be posted by buy side firms, hence protecting these assets in the event of the default of a clearing member will be of utmost importance.
  • Opportunities or Nuisance? What are some of the new regulations European managers will have to cope with?
Enjoy the read!

Matthias Knab

Director Opalesque Ltd.
Knab@opalesque.com

Access the Opalesque Roundtable Series - U.K. 2012 | Download here

The Opalesque Roundtable Series offers unparalleled intelligence on the most important global hedge fund jurisdictions and their players. The Roundtable Series is a free publication from Opalesque and is continually updated. Please scroll down to view the full selection of our Roundtables - covering the globe!

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