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Macquarie Research turns quant equity research on rugby
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>Macquarie Research has taken its considerable quantitative talents and put them to work forecasting he Rugby World Cup finals and is finding an unusually high win percentage, one that would make any hedge fund manager salivate.</p> <p>Quant research approach has delivered an 82.5 percent success rate<br /> With an 82.5 win percentage – correctly forecasting 33 of 40 Rugby World Cup matches – the group looks forward and thinks the New Zealand team continues to be the front runner, while Australia is a big move and Whales still has a good chance of beating South Africa.</p> <p>The formula considers five variables: Value, momentum, sentiment, quality and home field advantage. While stressing that the purpose of the recommendations is fun, they note that their equity research models incorporate years of research using academic models. “The World Cup model has been put together by a lone team member in their spare time,” they note.<br /> Quant formula defines predictive modeling based on five major categories<br /> In terms of value, the variables the Macquarie Research team uses to determine value includes world ranking and World Cup Match experience. For momentum they select Change in ranking and win percentage over the previous 12 months. For sentiment they consider public odds of winning and change in odds. To determine quality they consider a best result factor and point differential over the last 12 months along with World Cup points. To top off the formula they place a certain mathematical value on home field advantage.</p> <p>“There were clearly some upsets in the tournament that caught everyone by surprise,” said the report, titled “The Marcquarie Quant Guide to the Rugby World Cup.” Unexpected results that defy past performance expectations are often a point of weakness in quant modeling. “England has been the biggest scalp producing the worst result of a home team ever in a World Cup. Being included in the ‘pool of death’ as the host nation was always harsh (obviously the royal family don’t have the sway they used to) and the pressure ultimately proved too much.”</p> <p>This is not the first time Macquarie has taken a quant approach to predict sporting events. It did so with Australia’s famous Melbourne Cup horse race in 2014, 2013, 2012, for instance, as well as last year’s Football World Cup in Brazil. “These forecasts do not come without pedigree; Macquarie’s Melbourne Cup model has generated some good performances and the Football World Cup model successfully picked Germany to win last year,” they wrote.</p> <p>This story first appeared in ValueWalk.<br /> Photo: </p>
Picasso ink drawing on auction in NYC expected to bring in $35 million
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Works from art greats including Picasso, van Gogh, Calder, Giacometti, Rothko, Degas, and Jackson Pollock will be auctioned in New York next month.</p> <p>Sotheby's is hosting the November 4 event on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, reports the New York Post. The entire collection is worth more than $500 million, and Picasso's "Femme assise sur une chaise" is estimated to sell for up to $35 million. The pieces come from the collection of A. Alfred Taubman, shopping mall magnate and philanthropist.</p> <p>For those who can't afford the pricey pieces, Sotheby's York Avenue galleries display most of the works free to the public between October 24 and 27.<br /> Photo: Nadia</p>
Video: Twitter laying off 8% of workforce and guess where the internal memo ends up
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>The letter from newly crowned CEO Jack Dorsey appeared on Twitter, naturally.</p> <p>jack dorsey’s letter to employees.<br /> — ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) October 13, 2015<br /> This sentence in the letter evoked quite a bit of derision:</p> <p>"This isn't easy. But it is right. The world needs a strong Twitter, and this is another step to get there." -- @Jack</p> <p>— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) October 13, 2015</p> <p>On Reddit, a laid off engineer discovered his email no longer worked. What now, he asked? The comments got closed down after they hit 552.<br /> Video: CNBC<br /> Photo: JD Lasica</p>
Chinese asset manager stabbed by angry investor
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If you thought being taken hostage from angry employees was the worst thing that could happen to you, welcome to China!</p> <p>Stresses are clearly building as defaults mount in the financial system in China. In one sign of the times, the CEO of Global Wealth Investment (Beijing), a major China-based asset management firm, was stabbed during a meeting on Sunday. Although it was a life-threatening injury, CEO Wang Jie is expected to recover from the assault, according to financial news outlet Caixin.</p> <p>The attacker had apparently invested Rmb300,000 ($47,300) in a wealth management product that failed and led to substantial losses.</p> <p>According to knowledgeable sources, the stabbing of the Chinese asset manager was related to the collapse of Hebei Financing Investment Guarantee Group, a large Chinese government-backed guarantor. Global Wealth and other financial groups packaged and sold a variety investment products backed by loans guaranteed by defunct Hebei Financing.<br /> More on stabbing of Chinese asset manager<br /> Earlier this summer, a group of 11 non-bank lenders wrote a letter to Communist party officials in Hebei province saying there could be “unnecessary social influence” if the government did not quickly bail out Hebei Financing and make it possible for the guarantor to honor its obligations.</p> <p>CEO Wang also wrote his own letter to Hebei officials, pointing out that Hebei Financing had not paid off on guarantees on loan defaults by five companies worth Rmb227m, and that this had impacted 660 investors in Global Wealth products. According to the Caixin report, the amount owed to Global Wealth by the guarantor is now more than Rmb620m.<br /> Keep in mind that high-yielding wealth management products have become extremely popular in China over the last few years as investors were looking for investment options besides real estate, the volatile stock market and bank deposits on which interest rates are capped. Analysts note that these products are frequently used to raise funds for higher-risk borrowers who can’t get bank loans or issue bonds.<br /> Part of the problem is that the great demand for high-yield products and minimal regulation of the sector has led to a good bit of fraud, which has led to widespread protests by investors in China who have been fleeced.<br /> Of note, Global Wealth is not accused of any crimes, however, phone calls and emails to the firm were not answered on Tuesday. Furthermore, the company’s office in Beijing was closed with a note on the door saying a “criminal incident” had occurred on Sunday.</p> <p>This article was originally published by Value Walk. <br /> Photo: David Dennis</p>
Billionaire Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov visits team at training, teaches new tricks
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Russian businessman and owner of the Brooklyn Nets led a team training camp and gave the basketball players some tips on dexterity and coordination. Not all the players were able to keep up with the 50-year old billionaire’s moves, Finbuzz reports.</p> <p>He travelled to Duke to give the team a lesson in Tescao, a Tibetan martial arts.</p> <p>“I think my preference was to come personally and to say hello to the players and to the coaches. I think it’s very important for the new team to have a special team building, and, of course, the commitment of ownership as part of the team,” he said.</p> <p>The NBA team posted a video of the tall and lean Prokhorov simultaneously drilling and bouncing balls of different size and shape, and the professionals can barely keep up. The Brooklyn Nets owner has been practicing Tescao for the last five and a half years.</p> <p>His visit reassured both investors and players that he’ll be around for at least another season.</p> <p>Prokhorov, who owns 80 percent of the Brooklyn Nets and 45 percent of the Barclays arena in Brooklyn, has an estimated net worth of $10.8 billion, according to Bloomberg’s billionaire index. It is his sixth consecutive season as the owner of the Nets. He bought the team in 2010 along with Jay-Z, who has since sold a majority of his stakes. As of this fall, he holds a one-fifteenth of a one percent of the Nets, and one-fifth of one percent of the $1 billion Barclays Center.</p> <p>Though it was reported in January of 2015 that Prokhorov was planning on selling the team and the arena, the deal never went through, and now his next move may be buying up the pieces of the team and arena he doesn’t already own.</p> <p>“I’m not planning to sell the Brooklyn Nets. The situation is that we’re in discussion with our partners at Forest City, who own 20% of the club and 55% of the arena, to buy them out,” he told TASS.</p> <p>This story originally appeared in Finbuzz.</p>
Bonus idea #56: Lodge next to Ken Griffin at the Four Seasons Hualalai
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>Looking for a place to spend your next family holiday? Why not park your brood next to Ken Griffin’s majestic Hawaiian pad?</p> <p>The Citadel chief, who’s been so pissed with his wife that he bought an unfinished apartment for $200 million, has been keeping a 5,600 square foot, Balinese-style retreat at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai the past four years – an unsurprising move, given how luxurious the place is.</p> <p>Set on Hawaii’s exclusive Kona-Kohala coast; the five-star resort boasts more awards than Meryl Streep, and is apparently a celebrity favorite, especially for honeymooners.</p> <p>Unfortunately, Griffin’s pad itself is not for rent, what you can do though is book the resort’s beautiful, oceanfront Presidential Villa, which boasts epic views of the Pacific Ocean and enough room for five. Check it out.</p> <p>Photo: stacibeck</p>
"We’re not trying to change the world with a rock song": Peter Cook talks to Finbuzz about Rock in the City
<p>The music group Rock in the City writes songs about monetary policy, stocks, and banking, and is made up of finance professionals as well as career musicians. A mix between Led Zeppelin and Neil Young, the group performs in London and most recently, is collaborating with Richard Branson, writes FinBuzz.</p> <p>Sentance, the former Monetary Policy Committee Member for The Bank of England, formed the band with Peter Cook, an MBA tutor, founder of the Academy of Rock and author of business leadership books. On the group’s music page, they state their mission as “Humanising the City of London through Music”.</p> <p>The band includes Haydn Jones, Client Managing Director at Fujitsu, and three other musicians: singer Zee Fincham, a professional session musician, Rick Benbow, and drummer Pete Stephens. The combination of finance professionals and rock music has brought some amazing results. The band has just released two songs: The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street and New Normal with lyrics dedicated to fiscal policy, quantitative easing. The group says they are influenced by Led Zeppelin and Neil Yong.</p> <p>FinBuzz spoke with the band’s musical director Peter Cook.</p> <p>Peter, how did this begin? </p> <p>Rock In The City started in 2011 as an accident really when a CEO friend of mine recommended I connect with Andrew after he had been inspired by one of Andrew’s talks. I found Andrew on the internet and sent him an email. Quite surprisingly he wrote back asking me to come for coffee. So it wasn’t a rock’n’roll style beginning either – we didn’t go bombing Jack Daniels! We met at PwC and talked about business and rock music. He liked the idea of getting a band together with people who have high-flying jobs in the City. I advertised for musicians on Twitter and soon Rock In The City was born.</p> <p>How did you persuade Andrew to write songs about economics?</p> <p>Two years ago I was asked by the BBC to write a song called Fiscal Cliff – a hard rock song for hard times. I offered the job of lead singer to an ex MBA student of mine – a City banker from Canary Wharf who worked for Credit Suisse. It turned out that he also wrote poems about management, business and banking in his spare time. This inspired Andrew and he said: “Let’s write an album of songs about macroeconomics and money.”</p> <p>What was the purpose of creating the band?</p> <p>We wanted to use the band to support good causes and to lead others in the City to do the same. This inspiration comes from Andrew’s own charitable activities in the Church. Each member of the band has nominated a charity for the current release, ranging from The Stroke Association through a Children’s Hospice care to Build It International, a charity that helps people in Africa. We are also offering to perform concerts for City institutions with a donation to good causes, allowing City firms to realise their CSR ambitions whilst having a lot of fun.</p> <p>So the band was set up out of the pure enthusiasm?</p> <p>Yes indeed. Andrew has made economics a little bit more interesting and accessible by mixing it with music. He frequently appears on national TV and Radio and this gives him a more popular angle to this specialist subject which affects all of our lives.</p> <p>Where do you perform?</p> <p>We have done some charity performances to date. We will next augment the band with some major rock stars to offer corporate entertainment packages next. We deliver these events anyway via the Academy of Rock. You can see one of our “aftershows” at Henley Business School.</p> <p>What about Haydn Jones?</p> <p>Haydn is an amazing person. He is a top manager at Fujitsu, but he spends a lot of his time outside of work developing theatre productions. He’s written an entire theatrical play and he also likes writing poetry. He sent me a poem called The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street and had expected me to throw it away because the words were incredibly complex and he did not think I’d be able to write a melody for them. When I looked at the poem I realised that the words were reminiscent of a Led
Video: Lexus builds origami-inspired electric car
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>The UK arm of Lexus - the luxury car division of Japan's Toyota - has just built a working electric car almost entirely out of cardboard.</p> <p>Lexus employed a team of  designers who used 1,700 laser-cut  pieces of card - crafted from a digital model of the regular car - and stuck them all together with wood glue over a steel and aluminum frame. The impressive peice of art and craft took three months to build.</p> <p>The project is an ode to the revered craftsmen of the Lexus production lines — known as takumi. Lexus explains that a test of a takumi's manual dexterity is to have them fold an origami cat using only the non-dominant hand.</p> <p>Sadly, the car is not for sale. It's really just Lexus showing off. Even if it were available, the idea of having just a few layers of cardboard between you and the road would probably make for some very careful driving (and forget about wet conditions). Which perhaps explains the excruciatingly slow speed at which the engineer in the video below is driving.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Photo: Lexus UK</p>
Ex-asset manager and ex-consultant launch startup catering to Airbnb renters
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>After graduating from London Business School, Zoe Vu and Alexander Lyakhotskiy, who previously worked in asset management and consulting, created a startup instead of returning back to the corporate ladder, writes FinBuzz. </p> <p>These days this cycle is becoming more and more popular, as professionals loosen their ties and swap business suits for a pair of jeans and sneakers.</p> <p>Two MBA graduates of London Business School, fresh from the class of 2015, Vu and Lyakhotskiy, quite successful in their corporate careers, have recently chosen this path as well.</p> <p>This May, they have launched Pass the Keys, a company that offers full Airbnb management services to help busy individuals manage their rental or spare flats. Since its inception in May, the startup has been growing by double digits each month, with new clients signing up every week.</p> <p>By June the company was serving its first clients and started making revenues. Now they are working with flat owners from the UK, Portugal, Singapore, Malaysia and Russia, increasing revenues by 50% each month. What’s more, they are working really hard, getting ready to raise £150,000 in funding this winter.</p> <p>Clearly, the business has huge potential, taking into account that currently there are 18,000 (up from 13,000 last year) Airbnb listings in London alone. There are also almost 300,000 second homes, 3 million rentals and £50 billion in rental income in central London. The US competitor, Pillow Homes, has already raised around $2.65 million in funding.</p> <p>Prior to their entrepreneurial path, Vu worked in asset management at AIG and was responsible for $7bn of investments.</p> <p>Lyakhotskiy spent three years in McKinsey, having completed various projects in the Russian banking industry, including strategy and headcount optimization. They met at London Business School when they both did the MBA program.</p> <p>“To me, entrepreneurship is the only great alternative to continuing careers in finance or consulting. Corporate careers do not provide as fast paced career growth as in finance. And I am moving at a really fast pace,” Lyakhotskiy replied when asked why he took the entrepreneurial route.</p> <p>The business is based on the idea of a shared economy (or collaborative consumption), a fairly recent economic phenomenon, in which individuals share access to products and services.</p> <p>In 2014, Alex was on an exchange semester in HAAS, Berkeley, California and noticed the impact of the sharing economy, particularly platforms like Uber, Airbnb and Lyft. One of his friends was renting out his place on Airbnb and charging more than £300 pounds per night, netting more than £7000 per month. Quite a promising endeavor! However, managing Airbnb can take up to 40 hours of work per month.</p> <p>“This was an ‘aha!’ moment when we realized that many people can benefit from letting their places on Airbnb short-term but do not have time or possibility to do it themselves. When people are traveling abroad they don’t want to worry about guests in their place, whether the cleaner has come on time. They also don’t want to be woken up in the middle of the night by a call from guests saying that the boiler stopped working. Thus, I realized that a complete service package is required to make the process hassle-free,” said Lyakhotskiy.</p> <p>Pass the Keys helps its clients to list their places, price the property, organizes cleaning, laundry and guest meet &amp; greet. The company also provides extra concierge ser</p>
Rubenstein gives $25M to Duke
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein is giving $25 million for the art program at Duke University.</p> <p>Rubenstein, a Duke alum, has given almost $100 million to the school over the years, Art News. The latest gift will help fund a new 71,000-square-foot arts building. The $50 million building will include a dance studio, theater, and classrooms.</p> <p>Rubenstein recently gave $4.5 million to the National Zoo's giant panda research and conservation program as well.</p> <p>&nbsp;<br /> Photo: See-ming Lee</p>