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How to break into the VC world
Venture Capital
<p>Venture capitalists are the cool kids of the finance high school world. But it's not easy to get to the top.</p> <p>As one VC said, people have this "wry notion that it [venture] means automatic fun, wealth and thrills,'s just not that way," writes Inc. If you're willing to put in the hours, the effort, and have a traditional finance background, here's what else VCs recommend you have to join their ranks:</p> <p> Be an entrepreneur. Success or failure, having experience building and selling companies can make you a VC's dream entrepreneur-in-residence. If you're not a business starter, work for a startup. Startup experience can give valuable insight for investing in new companies later.<br /> Invest. Make a track record by investing in an angel deal or two with your own money. Added bonus? Sit on a startup's advisory board.<br /> Network, network, network. It's vital to know and be known in the startup community. Attend events, blog, and utilize your current job's connections. Make your contact list irreplaceable.<br /> Be smart and analytical. Be able to critically look at companies, analyze their potential, and know their finances. Good old fashioned finance skills are essential here.<br /> Think about alternative career paths. Few people jump into their dream careers. It's unlikely you'll intern at a VC firm and work your way up the ladder. Consider gaining operating experience. Work in business development at a tech company. Join an angel group or family office in an investor role.</p> <p>Photo: Michael</p>
Daily Scan: Stocks fall ahead of weekend; Russia moves into Syria
Capital Markets
<p>Updated throughout the day</p> <p>September 18</p> <p>Good evening.  After reading the tea leaves overnight on the newest Federal Reserve policy statement, traders and investors headed to gold and bonds. Safety on, risk off. The Dow fell steadily all day, closing with a 1.74% loss. The S&amp;P 500 was down 1.61%, and the Nasdaq dropped 1.36%. To review: The Federal Open Market Committee voted Thursday to hold steady on zero interest rates. The markets aren't loving this move. And it's not just because the Fed policymakers have said they are worried about the slowdown in China and its effect globally. Investors are worried that the Fed has been stripped of its power to act. The central bank is the de facto leader of global monetary policy. Inaction is making our partners anxious. The dollar is nearing a 3-week low and stock futures are off about 1%. Get ready now for the next month's worth of: Will the Fed lift rates in October or December? It's the longest running monetary reality show in the world.</p> <p>Here’s what else you need to know:</p> <p>Russia moves first fighter jets to Syria. At least four tactical fighter jets are at the growing airfield on the Syrian coast. Russia has already sent housing for up to 2,000 people, attack helicopters, choppers for troop transportation, and artillery. It's not yet clear what Russia's full intent is. Wall Street Journal (paywall)</p> <p>Burkina Faso president freed. President Michel Kafando has been freed after being seized by the military coup Thursday. Prime Minister Isaac Zida is still under house arrest. BBC</p> <p>Japan dumps dovish approach. The upper chamber of Parliament approved the controversial bills allowing the military to engage in overseas combat, a major shift since the island nation's post-WWII pacifism. The bill will allow overseas combat for the Self-Defense Force in very limited circumstances. They were previously limited to humanitarian roles. CNN</p> <p>Deutsche Bank pulls i-banking out of Russia. Deutsche has been making moves to significantly cut company costs worldwide. By the end of the year, about 200 investment bank employee in the Russian deal advisory and securities-trading services will be affected. Technology, cash management, and other financial services employees will stay in place. Wall Street Journal (paywall)</p> <p>Baby Doe identified. Law enforcement says it has finally identified the body of the young girl found in the Boston Harbor in June. The Boston police have been pushing a forensic photo of the girl, Bella Bond, around the area for months. The child's mother and her boyfriend have been arrested in relation to her death. CNN</p> <p>Despite everything, Asia ends week modestly higher. Friday was mixed post-Fed decision day.  Asian stock markets went 'huh?' and bond markets rallied. The Shanghai and Hong Kong indices rose a modest 0.38% and 0.30%, respectively. Markets in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Tokyo were all down. </p> <p>Danke, Janet. With Yellen &amp; Co. keeping rates unched, European bond yields are starting to drop like flies. German 10-year bund yie</p>
David Rubenstein loves baby pandas
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>Even financiers have a soft spot for fuzzy baby animals.</p> <p>David Rubenstein, co-founder of The Carlyle Group, is donating $4.5 million to the National Zoo's giant panda research and conservation program, reports the Washington Post. The Washington, DC zoo says the money will help fund panda reproduction research, training programs, and upgrades to the giant panda habitat through 2020. This isn't the first time Rubenstein has given a big donation to the fuzzy bears. In 2011, Rubenstein gifted another $4.5 million to the pandas.<br /> “The National Zoo’s panda program has been a remarkable success — two healthy pandas in just two years — and I am pleased to support it for another five years,” Rubenstein says in a press release.<br /> The National Zoo is known for its pandas, including a baby boy born August 22. Giant pandas are native to China and a critically endangered species. China owns and leases all pandas held in the U.S. The National Zoo pays $500,000 a year to lease its pandas, and is currently negotiating a new lease. All cubs born at the zoo have to go to China when they turn 4.<br /> Photo: Will Sowards </p>
People Moves: Wells Fargo names new EMEA president
Capital Markets
<p>Wells Fargo names new EMEA president. Frank Pizzo will serve as the new regional president for the EMEA region, replacing Jim Johnston. Johnston is returning to the U.S. at the end of the year. Pizzo will be based in London. He currently works as head of loan syndications and high yield debt capital markets. PE Hub<br /> Photo: ©<br /> &nbsp;</p>
People Moves: BNY overhauls global distribution; JPMorgan loses top portfolio manager; Robeco names new CEO
Asset Management
<p>BNY Mellon revamps distribution team. John Herlihy has been named global head of institutional at BNY Mellon Investment Management. Herlihy, based in Boston, previously worked as global chief operating officer and head of global partnered solutions at the firm. Paul Sari has also been named co-head of global strategic accounts in the Americas. Cheryl Pipia is now co-head of global strategic accounts, based in London. Michael Gordon was named global head of insurance solutions. Joe Gennaco is now global head of boutique relations and consultant coordination. Jake Walker was appointed COO, global distribution. The firm is still hiring for co-head of global client engagement, based in London. Pensions &amp; Investments</p> <p>JPMorgan bond manager taking leave. Douglas Swanson is taking a leave of absence beginning October 1. He currently runs almost $52 billion in mutual fund assets, and serves as head of the U.S. value driven fixed income team. He is leaving to spend time wit family. InvestmentNews</p> <p>Robeco names new CEO. Former Aberdeen Asset Management chief strategist David Steyn will replace Roderick Munsters as CEO, effective November 1. Munsters announced earlier this month that it was a "natural moment" for him to leave the Dutch asset manager. Reuters</p> <p>Old Mutual loses COO. Paul Hanratty is leaving the financial services group after more than 30 years. He will stay on the board until March 2016, and will be available for the company until September 2016. MarketWatch</p> <p>Old Mutual grabs Investec sales lead. Gary Dale is joining Old Mutual Wealth as head of advisory sales, effective November 30. He previously worked as head of intermediary sales of derivatives and structured products at Investec. Dale has also worked for Santander, Prudential, Norwich Union, and AXA. CityWire</p> <p>BlackRock appoints head of U.S. wealth advisory business. Salim Ramji is replacing Frank Porcelli in the role. Porcelli is transitioning to become the unit chairman, with a focus on new offerings. Ramji'ss current role of global head of corporate strategy will be filled by Geraldine Buckingham. Salt Lake Tribune</p> <p>&nbsp;<br /> Photo: ©<br /> &nbsp;</p>
Regional bank ETF flows didn't predict ZIRP continuation
Asset Management
<p>The Federal Reserve's decision Thursday to maintain its zero interest rate policy (ZIRP), not surprisingly, dealt a blow to regional bank stocks and the corresponding exchange traded funds.</p> <p>However, recent flows data for ETFs such as the SPDR KBW Regional Banking (ETF)(NYSE: KRE), the largest regional bank ETF, and the SPDR KBW Bank (ETF) (NYSE: KBE) indicate many investors in these ETFs were expecting the Fed to cooperate and raise rates.<br /> Two Weeks And Substantial Losses<br /> Since the start of September through Wednesday, September 16, KRE and KBE lost $43.8 million and $11.2 million, respectively, in assets. One could say, “Hey, some investors were pulling out of these in advance of the Fed meeting.” Literally, that is true, but a combined $55 million in departures from these rate-sensitive ETFs is a blip on the radar when acknowledging KBE came into Thursday with $2.83 ...</p> <p>Full story available on</p> <p>Photo: Got Credit</p>
Uh Oh! Looks like Tesla might have a Chinese rival
Venture Capital
<p>Well it was bound to happen wasn't it? Just as taxi app Uber must now contend with Didi Kuaidi, or the way Xiaomi has shaken up the smartphone space, a lean new Chinese electric car start-up - NextEV - is trying to muscle in on Tesla's turf.</p> <p>Not only that, it just raised a round led by Silicon Valley venture capital giant Sequoia Capital, according to Fortune. Other investors include Uber-backers Hillhouse Capital. Ok, but it's in China, right? It's not like the start-up is moving into Tesla's backyard or anything? Well, actually, it just opened a new 85,000-square-foot R&amp;D center in north San Jose, California.</p> <p>Its not the first rival Tesla has had to deal with. The US incumbent, which was backed early on by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, DBL Investors, and Technology Partners - among others,  has already inspired a slew of copycats. That said, it looks like the electric car space has just got a little bit more crowded.<br /> Photo: Thomas Hawk</p>
The 3 most important things in Asian fintech right now
<p>Asia is becoming a major force in fintech and its ecosystem is already broad, covering various sub-sectors across payments, lending, data security and risk management - to name a few.</p> <p>So what’s important? At a KPMG FinTech Forum in Hong Kong today,  the industry was boiled down to three main three themes: blockchain, financial inclusion, and regulation. James Mckeogh, a partner with the firm  - AKA KPMG Hong Kong's “Mr. Fintech” - explained why they are important:</p> <p>Blockchain</p> <p>Forget Bitcoin, it’s all about blockchain - Bitcoin's underlying technology. Over the next 18 months this will be one of the biggest areas of investment for fintech. But its not about handling cryptocurrencies, said Mckeogh, its about using the technology to achieve speed, "auditability," and control on any asset-based transaction. “We are seeing a huge rise in interest in the blockchain and a rise in the development of solutions utilizing blockchain as a protocol, and we will continue to see that rise,” he said. He also predicts the next three months will see the emergence of solutions that will fundamentally change the way financial institutions transact. </p> <p>Financial inclusion</p> <p>This is not about giving money to poor but about making sure the right financial services get to the right people at the right time, said Mckeogh. While a lot of the focus has been on the African subcontinent, there a lot of people under-served in Asia. "This isn’t the non-banked,” said Mckeogh. “This is just these under-banked, and we are going to see Hong Kong play a key role in developing and rolling out the solutions, in order to address that gap.” This space will not only be about technology development but also product development, he added, sharing  ideas to come up with the best product to take to the under-banked market. </p> <p>Regulation</p> <p>There is already a lot of development going on to address issues of compliance that arise as banks try to keep up with technology. “Real time monitoring is really coming into play, and we are seeing a real  change in how regulatory issues  can be addressed,” said Mckeogh. “It comes down to collaboration and  the number of the companies that are addressing this issue.” The only way  to solve the issues over fintech regulation, he added, was through economies of scale and not working in silos. By sharing information and working collaboratively, banks can affect better regulation and make sure it is geared  towards new ways of working in a turbulent time for the financial services industry.</p> <p>James Mckeogh will join a panel discussion at the NexChange and Cyberport Inagural Fintech O-2-O Meetup on September 22.<br /> Photo: FamZoo staff</p>
More volatility on U.S. horizon has sights turning to Asia
Capital Markets
<p>Weekly Commentary Overview</p> <p> After weeks of struggling, global equities stabilized last week. Both stocks and bonds are benefiting from relative stability in overseas markets as well as some easing of China fears.<br /> While investors caught a bit of a breather last week, volatility remains elevated.<br /> We expect this pattern to continue given the persistence of several factors: a shift in the credit environment, a pending interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve (Fed) and expensive stock valuations.<br /> And although the bumpy ride is expected to continue, creating challenges for investors, we also see opportunities.</p> <p>Stocks Steady Down, for the Moment<br /> After weeks of struggling, global equities stabilized last week. In the U.S., the S&amp;P 500 Index rose 2.08% to 1,961, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 2.05% to 16,433, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index advanced an even stronger 2.97% to end the week at 4,822. Meanwhile, the yield on the 10-year Treasury rose from 2.13% to 2.19%, as its price correspondingly fell.</p> <p>While investors caught a bit of a breather last week, volatility remains elevated. And although the bumpy ride is expected to continue, creating challenges for investors, we also see opportunities. In particular, Asian equities, both in Japan and emerging markets (EMs), look attractive right now relative to other regions.<br /> U.S. Stocks Still Pricey<br /> For the most part, stock and credit markets advanced last week. Encouragingly, the rally in stocks was led by more cyclically sensitive sectors, such as transportation, banks and semiconductors. Credit markets also stabilized, with the spread between the yields of high yield bonds and 10-year U.S. Treasuries now roughly 50 basis points (0.50%) tighter than just a few weeks ago, implying more investor appetite for risk.</p> <p>Both stocks and bonds are benefiting from relative stability in overseas markets as well as some easing of China fears. Still, volatility remains elevated. Looking at realized returns over the past month, annualized volatility on the S&amp;P 500 Index is above 30%, triple the level from early August. We expect this pattern to continue given the persistence of several factors: a shift in the credit environment, a pending interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve (Fed) and expensive stock valuations.</p> <p>On the latter, while large-cap U.S. equity multiples are now 7% below their February peak, valuations remain above the long-term average. This is problematic given the pending shift in U.S. monetary policy. Quantitative easing is gone, and while this week’s Fed decision remains a coin flip (will the Fed raise rates or not?), there is no question that U.S. monetary policy is at an inflection point.</p> <p>Even if the Fed demurs until later in the year, short-term rates are climbing. Last week, two-year Treasury yields traded to just below 0.75%, a high for the year. Without the tailwind of easier money, U.S. equities will need to get by on earnings growth, of which there hasn’t been much of late, rather than monetary policy-induced multiple expansion.</p> <p>The outlook for U.S. stocks may be muted, but we do see opportunities in other parts of the world, particularly in Asia.</p>
Massive net buying by foreigners in APAC
Asset Management
<p>In emerging Asia ex. China and Malaysia, yesterday’s [September 16] net foreign buying of $0.8 billion turned out to be the single biggest day for net foreign buying since April 2014, notes Credit Suisse Group AG (ADR) (NYSE:CS). Sakthi Siva and King Nang Chik said in their “APAC Equity Strategy” report that they continue to be Overweight the cheapest four markets: MSCI China, Korea, Taiwan and Singapore.<br /> Yesterday’s relief buying in APAC after substantial selling by foreigners<br /> Siva and Chik term it “a pleasant surprise” when net foreign buying of $789 million was logged in Emerging Asia ex. China and Malaysia on Sept. 16, after the net foreign selling over the past four months. The analysts point out that yesterday logged net foreign buying of $470 million in India, followed by $184 million in Korea and $158 million in Taiwan:</p> <p>However, Siva and Chik note the $789 million of net foreign buying comes after net foreign selling of $21 billion out of Emerging Asia ex. China and Malaysia. As can be deduced from the following table, net foreign selling over the past three to four months out of Emerging Asia ex. China and Japan is $36.3 billion:</p> <p>The CS analysts point out that on a rolling 12-month basis, net foreign buying has dropped to 0% of market cap on a rolling 12-month basis for Emerging Asia ex. China and Malaysia:</p> <p>Foreign investor capitulation in a few APAC markets<br /> Highlighting the markets which have witnessed foreign investor capitulation, Siva and Chik point out that Korea (-0.1%), the Philippines (-0.4%), Indonesia (-0.7%), Thailand (-1%) and Malaysia (-1.5%) witnessed foreign investors turning net sellers over the past year:</p> <p>However, in a few markets, including India, foreigners are still net buyers over the past 12 months:</p>