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jerryking : alternative_investments   19

Labels in finance have become meaningless     | Financial Times
OCTOBER 18, 2019 | Financial TImes | by Tom Braithwaite.

In the hunt for returns, investment banks now offer credit cards and hedge funds sell books

Some of Goldman’s investment bankers fear the company’s diffuse range of activities dilute its core role. Once, Goldman Sachs touted itself as “a leading global investment banking and securities firm” advising on mergers and trading debt and equities, Goldman is now: a venture capitalist investing in the likes of Uber and WeWork; a retail bank offering accounts and short-term loans to ordinary consumers; a credit card issuer in partnership with Apple; and a software developer with a suite of applications. ....The finance industry is now full of companies uncomfortable in their own skins and trying to adopt more fluid identities. Blackstone, notionally a private equity firm, today makes more money from property. BlackRock, famous as one of the world’s biggest owners of public equities, is now getting into private equity buyouts. Elliott Management, an activist hedge fund, has ended up owning a football club, AC Milan, and two bookstore chains, Barnes & Noble and Waterstones. Barriers are breaking down and labels are fraying......It is this yield-starved world that sends financial companies roaming far and wide in a hunt for returns.....the IMF has pointed to renewed risks from pension funds’ headlong rush into alternative assets. The allocation to alternatives such as property and private equity has risen from just over 5 per cent in 2007 to more than 20 per cent today. The IMF warns of Woodford-like runs on a grand scale when investors rush to withdraw assets from such “open-ended funds”, yet another misnomer. “Such runs could force fund managers to engage in fire sales, further depressing asset prices, inflicting losses on other market participants, and, in the extreme case, increasing the risk for the financial system,” the economists warned. Always read the label, but never rely on it.
alternative_investments  Blackstone  BlackRock  Elliott_Management  finance  Goldman_Sachs  layer_mastery  selling_off  special_sauce 
october 2019 by jerryking
Stephen Schwarzman: ‘I like to do things that are beautiful’
September 20, 2019 | Financial Times | by Lionel Barber.

Schwarzman’s fortune (net worth about $18bn) has bought him power and influence. He’s graduated from being a mega dealmaker to philanthropist, back channel in US-China relations and “Trump whisperer”. I want to explore these multiple roles, but also pin down why the man who has built one of the most successful financial businesses on the planet has never quite received the credit he believes he deserves......Blackstone started as a boutique advisory firm, with the goal of making enough money to start its own private equity fund. Private equity has attracted controversy because of alleged asset-stripping: buying companies, loading them with debt (“leverage”) and selling them off at a handsome profit, with favourable tax treatment.

Schwarzman casts himself as a long-term investor, not a scavenger in sheep’s clothing. He recounts with gusto the megadeals and the risk-taking involved in picking the right time to buy and sell assets, ranging from US Steel’s railroad network to the Waldorf hotel.

His skill is market timing. Blackstone has expanded into real estate and hedge funds and other “alternative assets”, with $545bn under management today. Blackstone funds are also the largest owner of real estate in the world. The firm’s rise epitomises the “buy side” revolution that favours asset managers at the expense of traditional banks trading liquid securities.

Schwarzman has written a book, which is part memoir, part Blackstone management primer called What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence. (A better title would be Whatever It Takes, I suggest.) ......Blackstone is a meritocracy, he says, where two iron rules apply: no internal politics and do not lose money. “I go from the premise that anybody of talent does not want necessarily to be a private in an army. The lowest they want is to be a lieutenant colonel and preferably they’d all like to be generals.”......We turn to Schwarzman’s generous philanthropy. In recent years, he has donated $100m to the New York Public Library, $150m to Yale, £150m to Oxford university, $350m to MIT. He’s also set up the Schwarzman scholars, a one-year masters programme on global affairs for top international students to study at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
alternative_investments  Blackstone  books  dealmakers  investors  market_timing  philanthropy  private_equity  Stephen_Schwarzman  U.S.-China_relations 
september 2019 by jerryking
How Financial Products Drive Today’s Art World
July 20, 2018 | The New York Times | By Scott Reyburn.

How does one invest in art without going through the complications of buying and owning an actual artwork?

That is the question behind financial products for investors attracted by soaring art prices but intimidated by the complexity and opacity of the market..... entrepreneurs are trying to iron out the archaic inefficiencies of the art world with new types of financial products, particularly the secure ledgers of blockchain...... “More transparency equals more trust, more trust equals more transactions, more transactions equals stronger markets,” Anne Bracegirdle, a specialist in the photographs department at Christie’s, said on Tuesday at the auction house’s first Art & Tech Summit, dedicated to exploring blockchain......blockchain’s decentralized record-keeping could create a “more welcoming art ecosystem” in which collectors and professionals routinely verify the authenticity, provenance and ownership of artworks on an industrywide registry securely situated in the cloud...... blockchain has already proved to be a game-changer in one important area of growth, according to those at the Christie’s event: art in digital forms.

“Digital art is a computer file that can be reproduced and redistributed infinitely. Where’s the resale value?”.....For other art and technology experts, “tokenization” — using the value of an artwork to underpin tradable digital tokens — is the way forward. “Blockchain represents a huge opportunity for the size of the market,” said Niccolò Filippo Veneri Savoia, founder of Look Lateral, a start-up looking to generate cryptocurrency trading in fractions of artworks.

“I see more transactions,” added Mr. Savoia, who pointed out that tokens representing a percentage of an artwork could be sold several times a year. “The crypto world will bring huge liquidity.”......the challenge for tokenization ventures such as Look Lateral is finding works of art of sufficient quality to hold their value after being exposed to fractional trading. The art market puts a premium on “blue chip” works that have not been overtraded, and these tend to be bought by wealthy individuals, not by fintech start-ups.....UTA Brant Fine Art Fund, devised by the seasoned New York collector Peter Brant and the United Talent Agency in Los Angeles.

The fund aims to invest $250 million in “best-in-class” postwar and contemporary works,...Noah Horowitz, in his 2011 primer, “Art of the Deal: Contemporary Art in a Global Financial Market,”.... funds, tokenization and even digital art are all investments that don’t give investors anything to hang on their walls.

“We should never forget that in the center of it all is artists,”
art  artists  art_advisory  art_authentication  art_finance  auctions  authenticity  best_of  blockchain  blue-chips  books  Christie's  collectors  conferences  contemporary_art  digital_artifacts  end_of_ownership  fin-tech  investing  investors  opacity  post-WWII  provenance  record-keeping  scarcity  tokenization  collectibles  replication  alternative_investments  crypto-currencies  digital_currencies  currencies  virtual_currencies  metacurrencies  art_market  fractional_ownership  primers  game_changers 
july 2018 by jerryking
Pimco’s Strategy for Life After Gross: Go Beyond ‘Bonds and Burgers’ - WSJ
By JUSTIN BAER
Updated Nov. 7, 2016

The 53-year-old Frenchman, who joined Pimco in the past week, intends to push it deeper into hedge funds, real-estate assets and other alternative investments, people familiar with the matter said. With interest rates in much of the developed world near zero, those kinds of investments are in demand from pensions, endowments and other clients. They are also among the types of funds that command higher fees.

Investing in bonds, loans and other forms of debt securities will remain Pimco’s focus, but Mr. Roman will aim to build out capabilities in areas ranging from private credit to quantitative investments based on computer models, the people said.....Pimco, a subsidiary of German insurer Allianz SE, believes the gradual shift into alternatives is its best bet to ride out what many industry executives expect will be a brutal shakeout for asset managers. Tepid returns and the surging popularity of cheaper investment options, including exchange-traded funds, have pressured managers to lower fees.
Pimco  CEOs  alternative_investments  asset_management  capabilities  money_management  ETFs  shakeouts  interest_rates  developed_countries  low-interest  developing_countries 
november 2016 by jerryking
White House to Begin $10 Billion Rural Investment Fund - NYTimes.com
By ALEXANDRA STEVENSON JULY 24, 2014

The White House Rural Council will announce plans on Thursday to start a $10 billion investment fund that will give pension funds and large investors the opportunity to invest in agricultural projects. Those include wastewater systems, energy projects and infrastructure development in rural America.

“We’re the eHarmony.com of infrastructure and business investment,”...The move comes as pension funds and institutional investors, faced with few investment opportunities that yield high returns in the face of low interest rates, have begun to shift large amounts of money into less traditional investments that promise bigger returns like hedge funds and private equity firms.
farmland  agriculture  agribusiness  rural  alternative_investments  private_equity  infrastructure  investing  energy  wastewater-treatment  institutional_investors  pension_funds 
july 2014 by jerryking
How David Goodman aims to get back to wealth management - The Globe and Mail
TIM KILADZE |The Globe and Mail | Jul. 16 2014

After keeping a low profile – restricted by legal covenants that prevented him from dabbling in wealth management right after the deal – Mr. Goodman is determined to create something new within Dundee Corp., the holding company his father founded decades ago.
wealth_management  entrepreneur  alternative_investments  Tim_Kiladze  noncompete_agreements  Dundee 
july 2014 by jerryking
Titans of finance have moved on from the banks
14 Feb. 2014| Financial Times | Gillian Tett.

If the mighty J Pierpont Morgan were reincarnated in New York today, who might he be? Jamie Dimon, the man who is now chief executive of JPMorgan, the ...
Jamie_Dimon  private_equity  Blackstone  regulation  KKR  alternative_investments  moguls  Gillian_Tett 
may 2014 by jerryking
Carlyle Group buys Toronto alternative asset manager - The Globe and Mail
Nov. 26 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Boyd Erman.
U.S. private equity behemoth Carlyle Group LP is buying a Toronto-based asset manager that specializes in picking hedge funds for huge institutional investors, yet another sign of Canada’s growing influence in the business of running alternative assets.

Carlyle said Tuesday that it has agreed to buy Diversified Global Asset Management Corp., an employee owned firm that oversees assets of $6.7-billion (U.S.), for about $103-million

DGAM’s specialty is advising large investors such as pension funds and sovereign wealth funds on how to use hedge fund strategies to manage risk and increase returns.

Canada, particularly Toronto, has a reputation as a top centre for money management in pension circles, with institutions such as Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board running complex strategies using alternative investments – essentially, in-house hedge funds. DGAM helps clients do the same thing by building custom portfolios of hedge funds and investments.
Carlyle_Group  private_equity  Toronto  investors  pension_funds  sovereign_wealth_funds  alternative_investments  Boyd_Erman  asset_management  OTPP  CPPIB  money_management  risk-management  institutional_investors 
november 2013 by jerryking
The Francis Bacon indicator? Art world soaks up excess cash
Nov. 19 2013 | The Globe and Mail The Globe and Mail | BRIAN MILNER.

Investors, collectors and dealers forked out nearly $1.2-billion (U.S.) last week – far above industry expectations – for a handful of illustrious names at the fall contemporary art auctions in New York. ...Art market experts, just like their counterparts in commodities, real estate, stocks and bonds, insist this is no bubble: The market is healthy, demand is growing and supply is limited....But the rich are eagerly parting with their money for art for a variety of personal and financial reasons. As a rising asset in a low-interest rate world, it’s viewed as a potential hedge against future financial storms. After all, demand remained relatively stable in the aftermath of the Great Meltdown. Also, owning a famous piece of art offers a heck of a lot more prestige than buying another commercial property. And it’s a lot cheaper than trying to compete with the Russian oligarchs (who are also big art buyers) for sports franchises.
art  bubbles  collectors  auctions  high_net_worth  contemporary_art  Francis_Bacon  prestige  hedging  low-interest  art_finance  alternative_investments  art_market 
november 2013 by jerryking
Endowments: Ivory-towering infernos
Dec 11th 2008 | The Economist |From the print edition.

As Mr Swensen explains in his influential book, “Pioneering Portfolio Management: An Unconventional Approach to Institutional Investment”, which was published in 2000, the “permanent” endowments of universities (and of some charitable foundations) meant that they could be the ultimate long-term investors, able to ride out market downturns and liquidity droughts.

By investing heavily in illiquid assets, rather than the publicly traded shares and bonds preferred by shorter-term investors, an institution with an unlimited time horizon would earn a substantial illiquidity premium.
Yale  Harvard  time_horizons  endowments  Colleges_&_Universities  illiquidity  alternative_investments  private_equity  institutional_investors  long-term  books 
february 2013 by jerryking
Forget Stocks—Chinese Turn Bullish On Booze and Caterpillar Fungus - WSJ.com
JANUARY 30, 2012 |WSJ | By DINNY MCMAHON.

Forget Stocks—Chinese Turn Bullish on Booze and Caterpillar Fungus
Investors Chase Returns in Strange Places; A Wild Ride in 'Roaring Yellow River'...With Chinese stocks falling, real-estate markets flat and bank deposits offering measly returns, Chinese investors have been looking for help in strange places. Besides traditional medicinal products, they are plowing money into art-based stock markets, homegrown liquors, mahogany furniture and jade, among other decidedly non-Western asset classes....The problem for Chinese investors is that returns have evaporated from more traditional markets. Real estate was once China's favorite investment, but government efforts to contain price increases and keep housing affordable have led to price stagnation and even declines in some cities. China's major stock exchange in Shanghai is down almost 20% since the beginning of 2011. Bank deposit rates are lower than the pace of inflation, meaning savers effectively pay banks for the privilege of handling their money.

"There really are very few investment channels," says Ren Jun, a 30-year-old media entrepreneur with investments in contemporary art, antiques, gold and silver. "That's why I'm kind of forcing myself to be brave in trying new options."
China  investing  investors  personal_finance  financial_planning  asset_classes  diversification  art  collectibles  commodities  alternative_investments  antiques  furniture  collectors 
january 2012 by jerryking

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