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jerryking : asset_management   34

London Stock Exchange lays $27bn bet that data are the future
July 28, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Arash Massoudi, Richard Henderson and Richard Blackden.

The London Stock Exchange Group more than 300 years old, is trying to get back on the front foot with a plan for its most ambitious acquisition, one that will shape the direction of the group for years to come. It is the most striking demonstration yet of the charge among exchange operators into the business of supplying the data that is at the heart of markets....The LSE on Friday confirmed a Financial Times report that it was in talks to buy data and trading venue group Refinitiv for $27bn including debt, from a consortium led by private equity group Blackstone. If an agreement is reached for a company best-known for its Eikon desktop terminals, it would transform the LSE into a provider of financial market infrastructure and data with the scale to take on US exchange industry heavyweights Intercontinental Exchange and CME Group as well as Michael Bloomberg’s financial information empire.

“This would be a bold move in the shift among exchanges away from the matching of buyers and sellers and into the business of selling information,” said Kevin McPartland, head of market structure research at consultancy Greenwich Associates. “Data are so valuable and so is having the network of traders and investors to access that data — that’s all at play here.”......The deal would also be a defining moment for the LSE’s chief executive, David Schwimmer, just a year after the relatively unknown former Goldman Sachs banker was parachuted in to steady the ship. Its scale will bring considerable risk in execution alongside the need to convince LSE shareholders that taking on Refinitiv’s $12bn of debt will prove worth it.

Industry analysts see the strategic logic of the deal for the LSE, best known for its UK stock exchange and derivatives clearing house LCH. While revenue from initial public offerings can be more volatile, spending by everyone from asset managers to hedge funds on financial data and the analytical tools to make use of it has been going in one direction. It hit a record $30.5bn last year
.......“What’s happened is exchanges have found it more difficult to find ways of generating revenue in their traditional businesses,” “You can deliver data so easily now, there is voracious appetite from anyone making investment decisions so they can get an edge.”.....As well as winning over LSE shareholders, any deal is likely to face a lengthy period of antitrust approvals.

“There is a wider market concern about exchanges and data vendors combining,” said Niki Beattie, founder of Market Structure Partners. “The global world of data distribution is presided over by a small number of players who have a lot of power.”
asset_management  Blackstone  Bloomberg  bourses  data  financial_data  hedge_funds  inflection_points  IntercontinentalExchange  investors  LSE  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  Refinitiv  stockmarkets  Thomson_Reuters  tools  trading_platforms  turning_points  defining_moments 
11 weeks ago by jerryking
White men run 98% of finance. Can philanthropy bring change?
June 16, 2019 | Financial Times | by Rob Manilla.

Q: How do you achieve change at the decision making level in the finance industry when diversity moves at glacial pace?
asset_management  diversity  endowments  hedge_funds  finance  foundations  Kresge  meritocratic  philanthropy  private_equity  real_estate  results-driven  social_enginering  structural_change  under-representation  white_men  women 
june 2019 by jerryking
When Charlie Munger Calls, Listen and Learn
Jan. 25, 2019 | WSJ | By Jason Zweig.

Mr. Munger was calling to say that he had read the novel Mr. Taylor was about to self-publish, “The Rebel Allocator.” He was “surprisingly engaged,” recalls Mr. Taylor, 37, who had sent the book to Mr. Munger without much hope the great investor would read it. Mr. Munger proceeded to reel off roughly 20 minutes of unsolicited, detailed advice, mostly about plot and character.

In an interview, Mr. Munger tells me he tends to “skim” or “at least give some cursory attention” to any book that mentions Berkshire Hathaway......“The Rebel Allocator” is the opposite of most business novels. Here, the rich capitalist isn’t an evil genius using genetic engineering to hijack the brains of newborn babies. Instead, he is a hero: an investing mastermind who regards allocating capital as a noble calling that improves other people’s lives.

In the novel, a business student named Nick is on a field trip with his MBA class when he meets a 77-year-old billionaire, Francis Xavier, a restaurant mogul also known as “the Rebel Allocator” and “the Wizard of Wichita.”

Blunt and bristly, with zero tolerance for stupidity, Mr. Xavier spouts proverbs and zingers. A mash-up of Mr. Munger and Mr. Buffett, he often invokes their ideas.

Taking a shine to Nick, Mr. Xavier asks him to write his biography. Like many young people today, Nick wonders if becoming a billionaire is inherently immoral when poverty is still widespread.

Mr. Xavier teaches Nick what separates great businesses from good and bad ones. He uses three drinking straws, labeled “cost,” “price” and “value,” to demonstrate: When a business can charge a higher price than its goods or services cost, the difference is profit. When the value its customers feel they get is greater than price, that difference is brand or pricing power—the ability to raise prices without losing customers.

As Mr. Xavier moves the straws around, Nick learns that investing decisions can make the world a better place: “Good capital allocation means doing more with less to create happier customers,” says Mr. Xavier. “Profit should be celebrated as a signal that an entrepreneur provided value while consuming the least amount of resources to do so.”
asset_management  Berkshire_Hathaway  books  capital_allocation  Charlie_Munger  fiction  intrinsic_value  investing  investors  Jason_Zweig  novels  Warren_Buffett 
january 2019 by jerryking
Taking the helm: why asset management bosses are getting the top jobs
September 1, 2018 | Financial Times | by Owen Walker.

The journey to the top of a global finance company is straightforward if recent hires are anything to go by: simply take over the asset management division, launch profitable products, open up new markets and wait for the chief executive role to become available.
asset_management  finance  financial_services  investment_management  leaders  money_management 
september 2018 by jerryking
The quant factories producing the fund managers of tomorrow
Jennifer Thompson in London JUNE 2, 2018

The wealth of nations and individuals is ever more likely to be influenced by computer algorithms as investors look to computer-powered quantitative trading strategies to generate returns. But underpinning those machines and algorithms are real people, namely the world’s sharpest mathematicians and data scientists.

Though not hard to identify, virtually every industry — and especially Big Tech — is competing with the financial world for their skills....Competition for talent means the campuses of elite universities have become a favoured hunting ground for many groups, and that the very best students and early career academics can command staggering starting salaries should they join the investment world......The links asset managers foster with universities vary. In the UK, Oxford and Cambridge are home to dedicated institutes established and funded by investment managers. Although these were set up with a genuine desire to foster research in the field, with a nod to philanthropy, they are also proving to be an effective way to spotting future talent.

Connections between hedge funds and investment managers are less formalised on US campuses but are treated with no less importance.

Personal relationships are important,
mathematics  data_scientists  quants  quantitative  hedge_funds  algorithms  war_for_talent  asset_management  PhDs  WorldQuant  Big_Tech 
june 2018 by jerryking
AllianceBernstein’s Nashville move threatens New York and London
May 3, 2018 | Financial Times | Gillian Tett 10 HOURS AGO.

AllianceBernstein’s Nashville move is highly symbolic — and revealing — of the current state of finance. It highlights rising cost pressures on traditional asset managers, as investors abandon expensive, actively-run mutual funds for low-fee, passive trackers. The shift also shows how technological disruption is forcing top executives to rethink their assumptions. One obvious factor that has made it easier for a company such as AllianceBernstein to shift its physical headquarters is that the internet makes it possible to trade securities and do research anywhere in the world.

However, another, less-discussed, issue is that as financial services move into cyber space and the sector throws money at technology, companies also need to build digital facilities and hire computer technicians. That is tough to do in New York: competition for digital workers is high and it is hard to build cutting-edge computer hubs in densely packed historic buildings.

There is a third point about boardroom psychology: as executives toss those “d” words around — digital disruption — the conversations allow them to question all manner of taboos, including many that have nothing to do with computers. The idea of leaving a hallowed financial centre thus becomes easier to embrace, as costs keep rising in America’s coastal hubs.
Gillian_Tett  relocation  asset_management  cost_of_living  quality_of_life  Nashville  war_for_talent  digital_strategies  disruption 
may 2018 by jerryking
Al Gore: sustainability is history’s biggest investment opportunity
Owen Walker YESTERDAY

Fourteen years ago Mr Gore co-founded a sustainability-focused fund management company with David Blood, former head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Rather than the colourful “Blood & Gore Partners”, they named the business Generation Investment Management. The London-based group has since attracted $19bn in assets, managing money for institutional investors and affluent individuals, mainly in North America and Europe....Mr Gore has just given a presentation to UBS wealth advisers at the bank’s annual investment get-together. Unlike most of the PowerPoint-packed presentations, Mr Gore’s delivery is a glitzy affair, with dramatic theme music and video clips of crashing glaciers. His talk receives a standing ovation and he is mobbed for more selfies at the end....Generation lists large public sector investors among its clients, such as Calstrs, the $223bn Californian teachers’ pension plan, the $192bn New York State pension plan and the UK’s Environment Agency retirement fund. It also manages money for wealthy individuals but has stopped short of opening to retail investors. Almost all its assets are run in equity mandates, yet $1bn is invested in private equity
Al_Gore  sustainability  asset_management  institutional_investors  investors  green  climate_change 
april 2018 by jerryking
BlackRock co-founder warns on complacency over Chinese tech
Owen Walker in Davos 2 HOURS AGO

“Apple was not in the music industry, Google was not in the mobile phone industry and Amazon was not in the groceries business — until they were,” he said. “Tech companies are going to enter the financial services market in a very, very aggressive way.” 

Ant Financial’s sprawling portfolio of businesses includes one of the world’s biggest credit scoring systems, a bank, an insurer and a lending platform for small businesses. It was reported last week by the FT and other news organisations that Ant Financial is seeking to raise at least $9bn in its latest private fundraising ahead of an initial public offering....“You have to expect there will be a threat from [Chinese] technology companies to financial services,” ....“But I would say Amazon is equally a threat to doing that.” 
BlackRock  Ant_Financial  complacency  threats  disruption  Alibaba  asset_management  financial_services 
april 2018 by jerryking
BlackRock bulks up research into artificial intelligence
February 19, 2018 | FT | Robin Wigglesworth in New York and Chris Flood in London.

BlackRock is establishing a “BlackRock Lab for Artificial Intelligence” in Palo Alto, California.....The lab will “augment our current teams and accelerate our efforts to bring the benefits of these technologies to the entirety of the firm and to our clients”.....The asset management industry is particularly interested in the area, as they try to improve the performance of their fund managers, automate back-office functions to cut costs and enhance their client outreach by analysing vast amounts of internal and external data....\quantitative managers are “engaged in an arms race” as data analysis techniques that work today will not necessarily be relevant in five years.

“Big data offers a world of possibilities for generating alpha [market beating returns] but traditional techniques are not good enough to analyse the huge volumes of information involved,” .....The data centre is looking for another dozen or so hires for its launch, underlining the ravenous appetite among asset managers to snap up more quantitative analysts adept at trawling through data sets like credit card purchases, satellite imagery and social media for investment signals.
alpha  artificial_intelligence  asset_management  arms_race  automation  alternative_data  BlackRock  back-office  quantitative  Silicon_Valley 
february 2018 by jerryking
BlackRock’s Larry Fink Wants to Become the Next Warren Buffett
Feb. 7, 2018 | WSJ | By Sarah Krouse.

BlackRock’s new vehicle, known within the firm as a “long-term private capital” vehicle, is part of that push to emphasize alternative investments. The firm already manages $145 billion in higher-fee investment strategies that include private equity and hedge funds of funds, real assets and private credit. But it doesn’t have a buyout fund of its own.
BlackRock  Laurence_Fink  asset_management  Warren_Buffett  long-term  investors  investing 
february 2018 by jerryking
BlackRock bets on Aladdin as genie of growth
MAY 18, 2017 | FT | Attracta Mooney.

Aladdin, a technology system developed by BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, is also clever. It analyses the risks of investing in particular stocks, figures out where to sell bonds to get the best prices, and tracks those trades. And it is wily too, combing through huge data sets to find vital pieces of information for investors.....Launched in in 1988, when it was developed as an internal risk tool for BlackRock employees, Aladdin has become bigger, better and far more influential. It is now one of the best-known pieces of technology in the fund industry and is widely used by BlackRock’s rivals, including Deutsche Asset Management, the $733bn investment house, and Schroders, the UK’s largest listed fund manager.

But as Aladdin — which stands for Asset Liability and Debt and Derivatives Investment Network — has grown, concerns have mounted about its influence on markets. There are also questions about whether Aladdin can maintain or increase its hold on the asset management industry as rival technologies emerge.....with more and more investors using Aladdin, there are concerns about its impact on markets. The argument is that if trillions of dollars are being managed by people using the same risk system, those individuals may be more likely to make the same mistakes. i.e. Aladdin may increase systemic risk!!...Aladdin has a 9 per cent share of the 250 largest asset managers and a 15 per cent share of the insurance market, according to Credit Suisse, the Swiss bank. .......Many asset managers have recently begun the slow process of overhauling their technology systems after years of neglect. Previously, fund houses often had hundreds of different systems, but Aladdin and similar enterprise platforms allow businesses to cut out huge chunks of IT, reducing costs and jobs in the process.

At the same time, running money has become more complex and there is more regulatory scrutiny of investment decisions. This has meant that fund houses have been forced to assess how technology can help their investment processes.

“Money management is very tricky these days. Any tool that can help you with decisions is going to be highly in demand,”
........Under plans by Larry Fink, BlackRock’s chief executive, Aladdin will become an even more important source of cash for the fund giant. Mr Fink recently said that his goal is for Aladdin and the wider BlackRock solutions business to account for about 30 per cent of revenues in five years, compared with 7 per cent currently.......Even if there is a stumble in demand, BlackRock is already eyeing up other avenues for Aladdin.

In the past two years, it began promoting Aladdin, which comprises 25m lines of code, in the retail investment space, targeting wealth managers and brokers.

Last week, UBS Wealth Management Americas became the first wealth manager to say it will use Aladdin for risk management and portfolio construction......“Technology has always been a key differentiator for BlackRock. It is more essential to our business than ever before. We believe technology can transform our industry,” he said.

.......
Aladdin  asset_management  BlackRock  institutional_investors  Laurence_Fink  wealth_management  systemic_risks  order_management_system  algorithms  platforms 
january 2018 by jerryking
Meet the People’s Quant, an Ex-Marine Who Champions Value Investing - WSJ
By Chris Dieterich
June 2, 2017

Wesley Gray’s value-focused fund of overseas stocks is beating all its rivals over the past year. For him, it’s almost beside the point.

Mr. Gray, chief executive of asset manager Alpha Architect LP outside of Philadelphia, says watching short-term market moves doesn’t pay off. Instead, his firm focuses on the benefits of finding and buying a small number of very cheap stocks, and holding them through thick and thin.

Alpha Architect is an upstart active investment manager that tripled its assets last year, a noteworthy performance at a time when traditional stock pickers are struggling with lackluster performance and investor withdrawals. The firm, with $522 million in assets, is among a growing crop of money managers using academic financial and behavioral research, and algorithms, to identify stock bets likely to beat the market.

So-called quantitative investment strategies pulled from academic research have been around for years, popularized by the likes of Dimensional Fund Advisors and AQR Capital Management. Mr. Gray and Alpha Architect aim to deliver highly potent iterations to smaller investors.

Mr. Gray is a former captain in the U.S. Marine Corps who served a tour in Iraq, and later earned a Ph.D. in finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He says extreme discipline is a crucial component of his concentrated, algorithmic adaptations of classic value investing, popularized by Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett.

Last year Mr. Gray put out a report, “Even God Would Get Fired as an Active Investor,” concluding that stock-picking foresight alone wouldn’t equip investors to conquer perhaps their most formidable foe: the fear-driven urge to cut losses.....the market is littered with winning strategies that lose their potency over time, and smart-sounding theories that fail outright when put into practice. Moreover, success in investing often leaves market-beating managers awash in fund inflows that quickly outstrip their capacity to generate ideas.

Mr. Gray responds that the research upon which his strategies are based have proved their resilience for years, and that they can be explained by investor behavior. He admits that he has considered the implications of getting too big, a state that he says isn’t imminent but could force unhappy changes on his firm.
alpha  investors  quants  USMC  PhDs  value_investing/investors  asset_management  algorithms  behavioural_economics  quantitative  idea_generation  finance  active_investing  stock_picking  investment_strategies  beat_the_market 
june 2017 by jerryking
BlackRock Bets on Robots to Improve Its Stock Picking - WSJ
By SARAH KROUSE
Updated March 28, 2017

The firm is offering its Main Street customers lower-cost quantitative stock funds that rely on data and computer systems to make predictions, an investment option previously available only to large institutional investors. Some existing funds will merge, get new investment mandates or close. The changes are the most significant attempt yet to rejuvenate a unit that has long lagged behind rivals in performance......The author of the company’s new strategy is former Canada Pension Plan Investment Board Chief Executive Mark Wiseman, who was hired last year to turn around the stock-picking business. The effort is the first test for Mr. Wiseman, viewed by some company observers as a potential successor to Chief Executive Laurence Fink......Many other firms that specialize in handpicking stocks are also struggling with low returns and shifting investor tastes. Since the 2008 financial crisis, clients across the money-management industry have moved hundreds of billions of dollars to lower-cost funds that track indexes, known as passive investment funds, instead of aiming to beat the market.
BlackRock  stock_picking  automation  layoffs  asset_management  institutional_investors  ETFs  Mark_Wiseman  Laurence_Fink  CPPIB  robotics  quantitative  active_investing  passive_investing  shifting_tastes  money_management  beat_the_market 
march 2017 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
At BlackRock, a Wall Street Rock Star’s $5 Trillion Comeback - The New York Times
SEPT. 15, 2016 | NYT | By LANDON THOMAS Jr.

(1) Laurence Fink: “If you think you know everything about our business, you are kidding yourself,” he said. “The biggest question we have to answer is: ‘Are we developing the right leaders?’” “Are you,” he asked, “prepared to be one of those leaders?”

(2) BlackRock was thriving because of its focus on low-risk, low-cost funds and the all-seeing wonders of Aladdin. BlackRock sees the future of finance as being rules-based, data-driven, systematic investment styles such as exchange-traded funds, which track a variety of stock and bond indexes or adhere to a set of financial rules. Fink believes that his algorithmic driven style will, over time, grow faster than the costlier “active investing” model in which individuals, not algorithms, make stock, bond and asset allocation decisions.

Most money management firms highlight their investment returns first, and risk controls second. BlackRock has taken a reverse approach: It believes that risk analysis, such as gauging how a security will trade if interest rates go up or down, improves investment results.

(3) BlackRock, along with central banks, sovereign wealth funds — have become the new arbiters of "flow.“ It is not about the flow of securities anymore, it is about the flow of information and indications of interest.”

(4) Asset Liability and Debt and Derivatives Investment Network (Aladdin), is BlackRock's big data-mining, risk-mitigation platform/framework. Aladdin is a network of code, trades, chat, algorithms and predictive models that on any given day can highlight vulnerabilities and opportunities connected to the trillions that BlackRock firm tracks — including the portion which belongs to outside firms that pay BlackRock a fee to have access to the platform. Aladdin stress-tests how securities will respond to certain situations (e.g. a sudden rise in interest rates or what happens in the event of a political surprise, like Donald J. Trump being elected president.)

In San Francisco, a team of equity analysts deploys data analysis to study the language that CEOs use during an earnings call. Unusually bearish this quarter, compared with last? If so, maybe the stock is a sell. “We have more information than anyone,” Mr. Fink said.
systematic_approaches  ETFs  Wall_Street  BlackRock  Laurence_Fink  asset_management  traders  complacency  future  finance  Aladdin  risk-management  financiers  financial_services  central_banks  money_management  information_flows  volatility  economic_downturn  liquidity  bonds  platforms  frameworks  stress-tests  monitoring  CEOs  succession  risk-analysis  leadership  order_management_system  sovereign_wealth_funds  market_intelligence  intentionality  data_mining  collective_intelligence  risk-mitigation  rules-based  risks  asset_values  scaling  scenario-planning  databases 
september 2016 by jerryking
One Firm Getting What It Wants in Washington: BlackRock - WSJ
By RYAN TRACY and SARAH KROUSE
Updated April 20, 2016

The Problem: BlackRock believed that the U.S. Federal Reserve was leaning towards designating it as a source of financial system risk, like other big banks, and as such, be “too big to fail”.

What Was At Stake: the designation “systemically important” would draw BlackRock in for greater oversight by the Federal Reserve which would mean tougher rules and potentially higher capital requirements from U.S. regulators.

The Solution: BlackRock didn't take any chances. The company began spending heavily on lobbying and engaging policymakers. Executives at the firm began preparing for greater federal scrutiny of their business in the months following the 2008 financial crisis. BlackRock aggressively prepared a counter-narrative upon discovered a Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Research report that asset-management firms and the funds they run were “vulnerable to shocks” and may engage in “herding” behavior that could amplify a shock to the financial system. The response took the form of a 40-plus-page paper rebutting the report. The firm suggested that instead of focusing on the size of a manager or fund, regulators should look at what specific practices, such as the use of leverage, might be the source of risks. While other money managers such as Fidelity and Vanguard sought to evade being labeled systemically important, BlackRock’s strategy stood out.
BlackRock  crony_capitalism  Washington_D.C.  risks  lobbying  too_big_to_fail  asset_management  advocacy  government_relations  influence  political_advocacy  policy  U.S._Federal_Reserve  systemic_risks  Communicating_&_Connecting  U.S.Treasury_Department  counternarratives  oversight  financial_system  leverage  debt  creating_valuable_content  think_differently  policymakers  policymaking 
april 2016 by jerryking
Bill Gross Thinks the End Is Near - NYTimes.com
MAY 22, 2015

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator[edit]
The popular book Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, by Edwin Lefèvre, reflects on many of those lessons, and is in effect a financial memoir of Livermore (a pseudonym is used) starting with the bucket shop days and ending in the 1920s before the crash. The book has an avid following in the investment community, and is still in print. There is some speculation that this partnership between the two men was not their first collaboration. Since Lefèvre was a writer and journalist, it is thought that he was one of the friendly newspapermen that Livermore employed for both information and planted articles. Livermore himself wrote a less widely read book, "How to trade in stocks; the Livermore formula for combining time element and price". It was published in 1940, the same year he committed suicide.
Bill_Gross  bonds  PIMCO  investors  Second_Acts  money_management  books  institutional_investors  asset_management 
may 2015 by jerryking
BlackRock’s Chief, Laurence Fink, Urges Other C.E.O.s to Stop Being So Nice to Investors - NYTimes.com
APRIL 13, 2015
Continue reading the main storyVideo

PLAY VIDEO|3:24
BlackRock Chief on ‘Gambling Society’
BlackRock Chief on ‘Gambling Society’
Laurence D. Fink, chief executive of the largest asset manager in the world, warns that too many C.E.O.’s have been trying to return money to investors through dividends and buying back stock By CNBC on Publish Date April 14, 2015. Photo by Mark Lennihan/Associated Press.

Andrew Ross Sorkin
Laurence_Fink  CEOs  asset_management  Andrew_Sorkin  institutional_investors  Wall_Street  shareholder_activism  long-term  BlackRock 
april 2015 by jerryking
Bill Gross Leaves Pimco for Janus - WSJ
By KIRSTEN GRIND And MICHAEL CALIA CONNECT
Updated Sept. 26, 2014
Bill_Gross  PIMCO  exits  Janus  bonds  asset_management 
september 2014 by jerryking
BlackRock’s Aladdin: genie not included - FT.com
July 11, 2014 | FT |By Tracy Alloway.
(Risk management technology is no substitute for investor instinct)
Aladdin is BlackRock's current, state of the art risk and order management system. Aladdin has been described as BlackRock’s “central nervous system” but what is less well-known is that the operating platform also acts as the brains at some 60 other financial firms which altogether handle a whopping $14tn worth of assets.

At banks, investment managers and trading outfits around the world, Aladdin’s genie is hard at work analysing portfolios, running stress test scenarios and generally employing BlackRock’s “collective intelligence” to perform a whole host of financial functions....the increasingly significant role that Aladdin and its 25m lines of code plays in the wider financial markets has, with notable exceptions, largely been overlooked....The role of these formulas or programs tends to go unnoticed but they often play two key roles in the build-ups to financial crises. Firstly they give investors and traders a potentially dangerous sense of control over risk. Second, as their use proliferates, they also encourage a build-up of “one-way” bets as investors increasingly come to rely on similar data and analysis.
BlackRock  Laurence_Fink  asset_management  pretense_of_knowledge  long-term  risk-management  Wall_Street  collective_intelligence  systemic_risks  order_management_system  algorithms  platforms  Aladdin  stress-tests  overconfidence  overlooked  false_confidence  scenario-planning  financial_crises 
july 2014 by jerryking
World’s largest asset manager rails against companies’ short-term thinking - The Globe and Mail
BOYD ERMAN
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 23 2014,

...Mr. Fink is worried that the great tide of economic growth is not rising as quickly as it could be because of persistent and pernicious short-term thinking. Everyone from Main Street to Wall Street to Pennsylvania Avenue is too focused on near-term waves to pay attention to what the overall water level is doing.

Blogs, polls, the story of the moment – that is what drives peoples’ thinking, he says. That means investment decisions and political moves are based on what’s happening now, and not long-term goals. The economy will bear the cost of this short-term obsession, and so will investors, Mr. Fink warns. He would like to see big changes in everything from accounting to corporate governance to government spending priorities, to reset the focus on more distant horizons....“We need executives in business to start focusing on what is right in the long run,” ...“Societies are having a hard time, politically and economically, adjusting to the immediacy of information: The 24/7 news cycle, blogs, the instantaneous information. It’s very hard. This is one of the things where we are developing a crisis.”...Mr. Fink is particularly frustrated with the lionization of activist investors in the media. Think Bill Ackman, Carl Icahn and others who push for changes that will lead to an immediate runup in the stock price,....Similarly, he is critical of accounting rules that push insurance companies to invest in shorter-term assets, rather than long-term projects such as infrastructure. “Everything is leading toward an underinvestment in infrastructure and an underinvestment in capital expenditures.”...In 1999, the company went public. It has grown incredibly fast ever since. It manages money for everyone from retail investors to pension plans. During the financial crisis, the U.S. Treasury hired BlackRock to run assets in the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and the Bank of Greece hired the company to help fix the country’s banking system. (Model for WaudWare?)
BlackRock  Laurence_Fink  asset_management  long-term  Boyd_Erman  Wall_Street  delayed_gratification  thinking  strategic_thinking  Communicating_&_Connecting  CEOs  money_management  shareholder_activism  immediacy  insurance  infrastructure  CAPEX  short-term  short-term_thinking  financial_pornography  pension_funds  underinvestments  noise  pay_attention 
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
Fosun Is a Connoisseur of Brands - WSJ.com
July 2, 2013 | WSJ| By WEI GU

Fosun Is a Connoisseur of Brands
Chinese Firm's CEO, Liang Xinjun, Discusses Lure of Western Names and Maintaining Entrepreneurial Spirit.

asset management will have the biggest growth opportunity, followed by services and consumption. Property prices have been going up every year in the past decade. This will start to change.

There are three important changes. First, China is losing its main competitive advantages, such as cheap labor. Second, the country is aging fast. Local governments may have to spend up to a quarter of their income on welfare for the elderly, while families have to chip in as well. This puts pressure on future consumption. Third, interest-rate liberalization will change the competitive landscape in finance. Wealthy people will have more choices in terms of where they want to invest their money.

WSJ: How will you adjust Fosun's strategies accordingly?

Mr. Liang: Overseas markets present a great opportunity. For some multinationals, China already accounts for 20% to 30% of their revenues, and perhaps 30% to 40% of their profits. So our strategy is to buy reasonably valued companies, and improve their value by helping them do well in China. For companies in which we invest in China, such as steel, we want them to grow abroad.
brands  China  CEOs  Fosun  asset_management 
august 2013 by jerryking
Think markets raise capital? Think again.
March 25, 2013 | G&M | John Kay as told to Brian Milner

On the glut of information available to investors:

“We need to dispose of the idea that more information is better and eliminate informa...
economists  information_overload  investment_custodians  relevance  middlemen  dysfunction  money_management  asset_management  capital_markets  noise  incentives  conflicts_of_interest 
march 2013 by jerryking
POWER INC - David Rothkopf - Penguin Books
Only about thirty countries possess the powers usually associated with sovereign nations. The rest can’t actually defend their borders, govern their finances independently, or meet the basic needs of their people. In this provocative and persuasive new book, David Rothkopf calls these others semistates and argues that they’re much less powerful than hundreds of corporate supercitizens.

A multitude of facts demonstrates the reach of the modern corporation. Walmart has revenues greater than the GDP of all but twenty-five nations. The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, controls $3.3 trillion, almost as much as the currency reserves held by China and Japan combined. Corporations in Third World countries routinely hire mercenary armies to enforce their will, and in some cases (such as Shell in Nigeria), they control the politicians as well.

Striking a balance between public and private power has become the defining challenge for all societies. In Power, Inc., Rothkopf argues that the decline of the state is irreversible. The way forward is to harness corporate resources in the service of individual nations to forge a radically new relationship between the individual and the institutions that govern our lives.

David Rothkopf

David Rothkopf is the author of Running the World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power. He is the president and chief executive officer of Garten Rothkopf, an international advisory firm. He teaches international affairs at Columbia University.
books  NSC  Wal-Mart  BlackRock  asset_management  multinationals  David_Rothkopf  decline  statelessness 
july 2012 by jerryking
Hedge funds in Texas: Stetsons and spreadsheets | The Economist
Jul 30th 2011 | The Economist | FOR a state more closely
associated with cattle and cowboys, Texas is home to a surprisingly big
herd of hedge funds. They manage around $40 billion, making Texas the
fifth-largest US state for hedge-fund assets (after NY, CT, MA and
CA),...Many Texans like to trace the industry’s vibrancy to the state’s
risk-taking traditions. ...More important than the idea that there is
something entrepreneurial in the water is the state’s tremendous wealth,
much of which comes from oil and gas. Around 10% of Americans worth
over $30m are in Texas, according to WealthX, which tracks rich
investors. The Bass brothers in Fort Worth were among the first to
invest in hedge funds—in the 1970s, after they inherited some of the
family fortune—and to bring talented managers down to run arbitrage
strategies. Texans today also prefer investing in trusted local
managers.
Texas  hedge_funds  asset_management  arbitrage  financial_services  investment_advice  oil_industry  Bass_brothers 
july 2011 by jerryking
Sprott CEO: International foray will drive expansion
July 21, 2011 | | TIM KILADZE
Describes growth of its business as 'slow and steady' and vows the firm will stay true to its roots in precious metals
Eric_Sprott  asset_management  Sprott_Inc.  commodities  precious_metals 
july 2011 by jerryking

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