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CalPERS investment staffer joins Universa as a director

Wednesday, April 08, 2020
Opalesque Industry Update - Ronald Lagnado joined risk-mitigation specialist hedge fund manager Universa Investments as a director in the firm's research department.

At CalPERS, Dr. Lagnado served as a Senior Investment Director responsible for total fund portfolio management, asset allocation, and a sizeable internal tail-risk hedging program, which featured Universa's Black Swan Protection Protocol as a cornerstone.

Dr. Lagnado received his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology. He has written numerous articles on quantitative finance and served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California and Stevens Institute of Technology.

At Universa, Dr. Lagnado will be responsible for research initiatives dedicated to tail risk hedging across asset classes and proper drawdown management strategies that can help improve a pension's ability to both meet liabilities and plan for the long term.

Universa stresses that proper risk mitigation raises compound growth rates by minimizing drawdowns and also by costing much less than other alternatives in normal markets to allow clients to more effectively capture risk premium.

Universa formalized and institutionalized the concept of tail risk hedging in 2007, providing live tail risk mitigation for clients during (and since) the 2008 crisis. Cultivated by decades of cumulative development and implementation, Universa's risk mitigation strategies focus on maximizing convexity-the degree of portfolio loss protection provided for a given capital allocation.

Universa Investments is an investment management firm that has specialized in risk mitigation since it was founded in 2007 by President and Chief Investment Officer Mark Spitznagel. Spitznagel and Universa's Distinguished Scientific Advisor, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, together began tail hedging formally for client portfolios more than 20 years ago.

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