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February 2019
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The Guardian (February 12)

2019/ 02/ 14 by jd in Global News

“GDP growth slipped to its lowest since 2012, at 1.4%, down from 1.8% in 2017.” The UK’s dismal performance in 2018 gave the lie to “Philip Hammond’s claim that Britain can reap an economic dividend from Theresa May’s Brexit deal…as official figures confirmed the UK has suffered its worst year for GDP growth since 2012.”


Institutional Investor (July 5)

2018/ 07/ 07 by jd in Global News

“Behind the best performing endowment funds are investment committees stacked with professional investors in alternative asset management, according to new research which found that “Board expertise within alternatives broadly and private markets specifically was proven to lead to higher performance among endowments.”



Institutional Investor (April 4)

2018/ 04/ 06 by jd in Global News

On February 5, after a placid 2017, “the VIX surged from the previous trading day’s close of 17.3 to 37.3…the largest daily percentage increase in the three-decade history of the index, more than doubling in one day.” Some investors have been overreacting to the detriment of performance when they should be simply tuning out the noise. “Volatility can create a risk: that we reduce our market exposure at the point of maximum psychological pain; in other words, we sell at the bottom…. Sometimes the best thing we can do is simply nothing.”


Institutional Investor (February 14)

2018/ 02/ 15 by jd in Global News

“Record-high fundraising has resulted in some growing pains and new challenges for private market managers.” In 2017, “fund managers raised a record sum of nearly $750 billion. Much of this fundraising was driven by so-called mega funds, or funds larger than $5 billion,” which more than doubled their take over 2016.  According to McKinsey & Co., the largest firms are now increasingly challenged by where to deploy capital, rather than how to raise it. Maintaining “the persistency of firm performance” is also growing more challenging “as the biggest firms get bigger.”


Institutional Investor (December 21)

2017/ 12/ 22 by jd in Global News

“As we face the end of another year, reviewing performance and planning 2018’s asset allocations, perhaps it is wise to remember that our worst (and best) case scenarios rarely materialize.”


Institutional Investor (July 20)

2017/ 07/ 22 by jd in Global News

“After eight straight months of positive returns, hedge funds may have finally redeemed themselves in the eyes of investors…. Total industry assets under management rose by $34.1 billion to $3.1 trillion, with positive returns boosting asset growth. The renewed interest in hedge funds comes in the midst of industry’s greatest period of performance since the financial crisis.”


Reuters (July 11)

2017/ 07/ 12 by jd in Global News

As its first family fights publicly in an unprecedented and ugly manner, the “shrinking returns” of its sovereign wealth fund, GIC, “are adding gloom to Singapore. The sovereign wealth fund, which manages an estimated $343 billion of assets, has delivered its worst annual performance since 2001 barring the financial crisis.” Moreover, the “outlook is depressing too” as GIC prepares for “a protracted period of low returns.”


The Economist (June 17)

2017/ 06/ 18 by jd in Global News

Replacing Jeff Immelt at GE’s helm, new CEO John Flannery will need “to deal with GE’s soggy financial performance. Trian, an activist hedge fund, owns a stake in GE and, behind the scenes, has probably been agitating for change. Unless the numbers improve soon, pressure may mount for GE to break itself up. That would be a bad idea: what it now needs is less re-engineering and more consistent execution. At least Mr Flannery, unlike Mr Immelt, takes the helm when expectations are low.”


Institutional Investor (June 14)

2017/ 06/ 16 by jd in Global News

“Companies and their stake holders are increasingly anxious to add more women to their boards, a process that can be fraught with controversy…. But for all the hand-wringing,” a recent study from the Wharton School found that “companies do not perform any better—or any worse—when they have women on their boards.” This is “the research diversity experts don’t want you to read.”


Institutional Investor (April 6)

2017/ 04/ 07 by jd in Global News

“PNC Capital Advisors is putting its large-cap mutual funds under a factor-based computer model.” Now that quant funds tend to outperform human stock pickers, at least in the large-cap space, the move seeks to reduce costs, improve performance and attract more investors. “Quantitative factor-based models” appear to “reduce human being’s tendency to make behavioral mistakes. Portfolio managers are prone to confirmation bias as human beings are rarely swayed by new information that goes against long-held beliefs.”


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