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Aberdeen CEO talks technology and his paranoia
FinTech
<p>All asset management CEOs are worried about industry disruption, says Martin Gilbert, CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management.</p> <p>"As a chief executive I’m paid to be paranoid!" Gilbert wrote in a recent blog for the Press and Journal. Asset managers are waiting for the financial equivalent of Uber or iTunes to completely rip apart their traditional business models, he says.</p> <p>If Apple were to announce it was entering the money management world next year, it would strike terror in the hearts of Gilbert and his fellow CEOs. Apple isn't a financial company with the expertise of Aberdeen, Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, or others, but the company is such an innovative force that has shaken the world in less than a decade that any industry should be afraid of it, says Gilbert. "I’m not arrogant or complacent enough to think that we can rest on our laurels for a second," he writes. Even if a money manager is flexible and tries to keep up with the times, it will still be inhibited by its size and regulations.</p> <p>Gilbert isn't waiting for technology to come to him. The CEO is visiting Silicon Valley himself to learn about new fintech and encourage Aberdeen's new "innovation committee"</p> <p>"What is certain is the way we do business and interact with clients in ten-years’ time will be completely different to how we work today," Gilbert says.<br /> Photo: Niall Kennedy </p>
The most consistent performing hedge funds over the past five years
Hedge Funds
<p>Preqin issues league tables of funds that have consistently generated higher returns and lower volatility than their peers.</p> <p>Drawing on data compiled for the 2015 Preqin Alternative Assets Performance Monitor, Preqin has created league tables of Hedge Funds that have most consistently delivered strong, stable performance. The league tables do not seek in any way to endorse these funds, but rather to illustrate those that have performed the most consistently over the period June 2010 – June 2015. Seven top-level strategies are represented – Equity, Macro, Event Driven, Credit, Relative Value, Multi-Strategy, and CTA – with all of the top 10 equity strategies funds scoring over 90 out of 100 across all metrics.</p> <p>Methodology:<br /> From its Hedge Fund Analyst database of over 12,000 hedge funds, Preqin ranked the 1,358 qualifying funds (those with a full performance record of at least five years) using a percentile rank methodology over each of the following metrics: annualized return, volatility, Sharpe ratio and Sortino ratio. The score of each fund was then derived through an equally weighted average of the four percentile values, and used to determine the fund’s Consistency Rating. Where a Sortino ratio could not be calculated (due to the fund not generating a negative return in the sample period) the fund was given a percentile score of 100 for its Sortino ratio metric.</p> <p>Most Consistent Performing Hedge Funds:</p> <p> Equity Strategies – All of the top 10 consistent performing equity strategies funds scored in the 90th percentile for each metric. The highest score was for the Peregrine High Growth Fund, with a Consistency Rating of 95.5. Peregrine Capital and 36ONE Asset Management each had two funds in the top five.<br /> Macro Strategies – The top macro strategies Consistency Rating was 96.7 for the BNY Mellon ARX Extra FIM fund. ARX Investimentos and Verde Asset Management had three and four funds respectively in the top ten.<br /> Event Driven Strategies – The top ranked event driven strategies fund was Altum Credit Fund, run by Altum Capital Management, which scored 88.0.<br /> Credit Strategies – Capitania Multi Credito Privado FIC FIM, with a Consistency Rating of 91.7, was ranked leading credit strategies fund. III Capital Management had two funds in the top ten.<br /> Relative Value Strategies – The Peregrine Capital Pure Hedge Fund scored 93.5. III Capital Management also had a further two of the top ten funds in this strategy.<br /> Multi-Strategy – The TRZ Funds Global Arbitrage Fund had the top Consistency Rating of 95.7. Six of the top ten scoring multi-strategy funds are based in Brazil.<br /> CTAs – The top score for CTAs, and the highest Consistency Rating of any top-level strategy, was for the Global Sigma Plus fund, run by the Global Sigma Group, which scored 98.5.</p>
Wall Street pay is on the rise
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>Want to make the big bucks? Dedicate your life to Wall Street.</p> <p>The average salary for bulge bracket bank analysts has risen from $70,000 to $85,000, according to a survey of 1,750 U.S.-based front-office investment bank employees at 25 different banks. Base salaries from analyst to associate to v.p., director, and managing director grow steadily, but bonuses grow exponentially, reports Business Insider. By the time someone reaches the level of managing director, bonuses often outpace base salaries.</p> <p>For an average starting analyst making about $76,000 a year, bonuses will add an additional $19,000. Associates reported making $115,000 plus $43,000 in bonuses. V.p.s make $164,000 plus $96,000 bonuses. Directors earn $216,000, with $192,000 in bonuses. Managing directors can bring home $337,000 in salary, plus $385,000 in bonuses.<br /> Photo: Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig<br /> &nbsp;</p>
How to win in the #StartupLife
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>Running a startup is not for everyone. It’s as soothing as a charging bear and as relaxing as solving physics at gunpoint. Over lava.</p> <p>No one knows this more than Molly Graham, current COO of Quip, ex-director/manager of Facebook Mobile, and former communications manager of Google.</p> <p>She recently did a Q&amp;A with First Round Review covering all the points of a startup's life, from infancy to maturity, its effects on the employees, and all the rules surrounding it. While I do believe it’s a must read for anyone interested in the startup scene, here are a few choice bits from it for anyone hoping to get a leg up – or looking to take a quick peek – at the trials and the tribulations of the startup lifestyle. I think it even applies for those in finance too.</p> <p>On the effects of scaling on employees:<br /> The emotions you feel when new people are coming in and taking over pieces of your job — it’s not that different from how a kid feels when they have to share their Legos. There’s a lot of natural anxiety and insecurity that the new person won’t build your Lego tower in the right way, or that they'll get to take all the fun or important Legos, or that if they take over the part of the Lego tower you were building, then there won’t be any Legos left for you. But at a scaling company, giving away responsibility — giving away the part of the Lego tower you started building — is the only way to move on to building bigger and better things.<br /> On building your company through your hires:<br /> Google, Facebook, and others have all conducted studies about what predicts the performance of a new hire. The single biggest indicator is who they were referred by. If you have high performers referring people, you’ll hire high performers. If you let low performers stay on staff because you’re too scared or insecure to fire them, then you’re building your future company in that mold.<br /> On your company’s culture:<br /> “The question is, what do you want your company to be like? When you see a trend over time that you don’t like, you need to aggressively manage it. Otherwise you can end up with some really bad habits as a company.”<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>Check out the whole article, you’ll be glad you did.<br /> Photo: Joel Gillman</p>
A day in the life of an asset management consultant: Greek crisis and ‘healthy’ stress levels
Asset Management
<p>What is it like to work a London office of one of the world’s biggest advisory firms? A FinBuzz guest writer shares her daily working routine. </p> <p>It may look like I live in a fairy tale, but I worked hard to get it and don’t plan on slowing down any time soon. I have a degree from an American business school and moved to London right after studies. Recently I changed jobs and am very content.</p> <p>Three months ago I started a position with a financial consultancy that works with corporate and central banks in Europe, as well as insurance companies.</p> <p>8:45 AM</p> <p>I wake up, brush my teeth, and leave the house. My commute to work only takes one minute. Literally. I live and work in the West End and I am very lucky that my office of 40 employees recently moved to the area. When I knew that the office was moving, I looked for a place in the same area.</p> <p>9:00 AM</p> <p>When I get to my desk, I start the day by making myself a cup of coffee and reading all the news in FT, Economist and other major publications, looking not only for general developments, but for news in my area of expertise as well. We work a lot with EU banks, including lots of Greek projects. So every single day I read articles on the front page that I later use in my work. It is an interesting feeling, because you have to adapt and change your strategies every day, depending on how things develop in Greece. I feel that what I am doing at the moment is at the epicentre of the financial world.</p> <p>9:30 AM</p> <p>We start gathering for a team meeting. We work in teams that are constantly changing, depending on projects. The minimum time you spend on one team is three months, and the maximum – one year.</p> <p>Most of people in the office are from Europe, especially France and Greece. But we also have Italians, Germans, Chinese, Indians… everyone.</p> <p>I like working in an international team like this, because we have local people who know culture and the language of Greece in our case, but we also have contributions from the other members, who have very fresh and diverse views.</p> <p>All of us are global citizens: people from Greece who work here are not very typical Greeks, as well as people from Italy are not very typical Italians. They are more global Greeks, global Italians, etc. It seems as if we are all on the same wavelength, but each of us also contributes his/her own perks.</p> <p>So we discuss plans for the day as a team. Usually we will have a conference call with a client and decide who prepares what.</p> <p>I worked in a classic investment bank before. The business model there is traditional and you are not expected to develop quickly. All the projects that we do here are new and unique, no one has worked on anything identical before, so no one knows how exactly we approach it; there is no procedure. That’s why we feel like we are all in the same boat: senior members and people like me, who joined recently, are all welcome to put something on the table, to join the discussion, to share views and ideas. This is definitely my favourite part of everything I do workwise – discussing ideas with colleagues, brainstorming, finding a new way to do things.</p> <p>11:00 AM</p> <p>Conference call with a client. Last week I went on a business trip to Greece. I love meeting clients, because it effective to meet personally to discuss and agree on an action plan. So the conference ca</p>
Weekend reads: Dying unicorns, whiskey from space, and Putin’s bling ring
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>From Gavin Davies on the equity crash to how bad cute, fluffy puppies are to the economy, here are some great reads for you this weekend:</p> <p> What caused the equity crash? Financial Times (paywall)<br /> VCs have 'Dying Unicorn' lists, but they aren't sharing them. Fortune<br /> Unravelling Russia’s offshore financial nexus. FT Alphaville (paywall)<br /> Strangers in strange lands. The Economist<br /> People like puppies, and it’s a big problem for the economy. Washinton Post<br /> New investigation exposes glam life of Vladimir Putin’s bling ring. BuzzFeed<br /> Chinese tech companies reportedly hiring 'cheerleaders' to motivate programmers. CBC <br /> What makes Uber run. Fast Company<br /> Fall movie preview 2015: biopics, Bond, and 'The Force Awakens.' Rolling Stone<br /> A whisky that spent nearly three years in space just landed back on Earth. Munchies<br /> Man angers neighbors by shining 'alien' fighting spotlights. UPI</p> <p>Photo: Peter Hopper</p>
Ken Griffin quietly buys condo for A REALLY LOUD $200 MILLION
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>Life has not been kind to Ken Griffin lately. He’s in the middle of a divorce, he’s been reduced to eating McDonald’s, and some guy won’t let him combine his Palm Beach plots to create a mini beachfront village for himself.</p> <p>Thank God for small victories though:<br /> “Despite reports that a Qatari mogul was closing in on a record $250 million spread at the under-construction tower to make a single penthouse in the sky, multiple sources tell Page Six the buyer is actually Griffin.”<br /> That’s right, Page Six reports that while he and his wife battle over ownership of their multiple homes in New York, Chicago, Hawaii, etc., our man Ken calmly dropped somewhere around $200  million for a bunch of apartments in the Robert A.M. Stern-designed 220 Central Park South – the so-called “Billionaire’s Bunker.”</p> <p>The pad boasts nothing yet since its still in construction, but Curbed has some pretty epic renderings of the penthouse – just once slice of the Citadel chief’s portfolio in the 950-foot tower – here. Check it out.<br /> Photo: several seconds</p>
Weekend Scan: U.S. stocks post weekly gains; UoM consumer sentiment hits 12-month low
Capital Markets
<p>Happy Saturday everyone. While you were sleeping, U.S. stocks posted their best week in months with the S&amp;P 500 climbing 2.1% for the week, the Dow surging 2% - its best week since March – while the Nasdaq spiked 3% to notch is best showing since July. Oil however continued its downward trend largely thanks to price forecast cuts from Goldman Sachs and the EIA. WTI crude lost 3.1% this week, while Brent slipped 3%. Also ending the week on a bad note was gold, with December gold losing 1.6% for the week. This is the third consecutive weekly decline for the yellow metal, which lost 1.1% and 2.2% in the preceding two weeks respectively. Here’s what else you need to know:</p> <p>America remembers 9/11. Friday marks the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., in which more than 3,000 people were killed when terrorists commandeered three commercial airliners and crashed them. President Obama marked the tragedy with a town hall meeting in Fort Mead, Md. Other ceremonies took place in Washington, D.C., New York, and Pennsylvania.</p> <p>U.S. consumer sentiment falls to new low. The University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment index came in at 85.7 early this month – its lowest level in a year – and down from a 91.9 showing from the month before. Market volatility seems to be the one to blame here, as sentiment towards home and vehicle purchases only suffered mild declines. Reuters</p> <p>Jack Lew wants Beijing to quit fiddling with the yuan. U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew recently had a quick chat with China’s Vice Premier Wang Yang over the phone and after the usual pleasantries, Jack kindly asked China to “refrain from competitive devaluation and to move in an orderly way towards a more market determined exchange rate system, specifically signaling an intent to allow market pressures to drive the RMB up as well as down, and to increase the transparency of its exchange rate policies.” U.S. Treasury Department</p> <p>Greece snap elections may delay aid. After handing the stage to China the past few months, Greece is back the headlines once again as Standard &amp; Poor’s warns that the nation’s snap elections could delay the next tranche of ESM funds. They did however, reaffirm their CCC+ rating and stable outlook for the region, so it wasn’t all bad. Financial Times (paywall)</p> <p>18 fintech companies raised $210 million this past week. FundBox, CommonBond, Orchard Platform, and Chain all raised more than $30 million. Year to date fintech companies have raised $12.4 billion. Finovate</p> <p>Rick Perry drops out of presidential race. Former Texas governor Perry is the first of the Republicans to drop out of their party’s very crowded presidential race. Perry, who also ran in 2012, has struggled all summer against more dominant candidates.Politico </p> <p>Crane kills 65 people at Mecca. A crane collapsed on the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, killing at least 65 people and injuring more than 150 more. Mecca is preparing for the annual Hajj pilgrimage when hundreds of thousands visit the Saudi city. The site has been undergoing construction to accommodate more worshipers. </p>
NexChange People Moves: JPMorgan and Northern Trust boost Asia teams; Deutsche builds in Mexico
Capital Markets
<p>JPMorgan hires head of EM Asia FX. JPMorgan Chase has named Jonathan Cavenagh as head of the EM Asia FX strategy, based in Singapore. Cavenagh most recently worked as chief Asian strategist for Westpac Bank. Reuters</p> <p>Northern Trust names global capital markets appointments. Sunil Daswani has been promoted to the newly created role of head of international securities across EMEA and APAC, after working at Northern Trust since 2002. Dane Fannin and Mark Snowdon will report to Daswani in the new positions of head of securities lending.</p> <p>Deutsche private bank adds a managing director for Mexico. Pascal Landrove will serve in the new position of managing director for the bank in Mexico, based in Geneva. Landrove previously served as a managing director and relationship manager for Lombard Odier. On Wall Street</p> <p>&nbsp;<br /> Photo: ©iStock.com/ooyoo<br /> &nbsp;</p>
NexAmerica People Moves: Goldman loses, replaces insurance lead; JPMorgan hires portfolio manager
Asset Management
<p>Hartford steals Goldman insurance lead. Hartford Investment Management Company, subsidiary of the Hartford insurance company, has hired John Melvin as head of portfolio management, effective September 14. Melvin most recently worked at Goldman Sachs Asset Management as CIO for the global insurance asset management business. He also worked as head of insurance fixed income in the Americas for Deutsche Insurance Asset Management.</p> <p>Goldman hires for insurance team. GSAM has hired Matthew Armas as global head of insurance fixed income for the firm in New York, replacing Melvin. Amas has worked as a senior portfolio manager for GSAM in London for more than 10 years. Insurance Asset Risk</p> <p>JPMorgan appoints emerging markets portfolio manager. Diana Amoa has joined JPMorgan Asset Management as a senior portfolio manager on the local currency emerging markets debt team based in London. Amoa most recently worked at UBS AG. Celina Merrill has also joined the firm as senior credit analyst in the corporate debt emerging markets team. The New York-based Merrill previously worked for Van Eck Global. Reuters</p> <p>Deutsche names new institutional head for MENA. Albert Trinkl has been named head of institutional asset management in MENA for Deutsche Asset &amp; Wealth Management. He will be based in Dubai. Trinkl most recently worked for Lingohr &amp; Parther Asset Management as head of institutional clients in the Middle East, Africa &amp; Australia. CPI Financial </p> <p>Woodford booms with six new hires. Woodford Investment Management has hired Lucinda Crabtree, Richard Lockington, and Harry Raikes as investment analysts. Mohammad Sohail, James Coats, and Dominic Eccles have also joined the firm on the operations team. Woodford was established in 2014 by Neil Woodford, formerly of Invesco Perpetual. Yahoo Finance<br /> Photo: ©iStock.com/ooyoo<br /> &nbsp;</p>