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Asset Management Viewpoints


QFINANCE viewpoints provide you with the distilled thoughts of finance leaders and experts, outlining their current thinking on the crucial issues and challenges facing finance managers, entrepreneurs and business executives. The contributions are drawn from an array of practitioners and thinkers from the world of finance and business.

  • A Silver Lining to the Credit Crisis
    by Peter Zollinger, John Schaetzl
    Peter Zollinger, Senior Vice-President at the environmental and social governance consultancy SustainAbility, believes the best way for companies to enhance their reputation and achieve business success is through responsibility, fairness, and integrity. Here he argues that there is a silver lining to the financial crisis, that investors will in future be more likely to align their thinking with human needs. Zollinger’s clients include Aracruz...
  • Africa: Still Challenging, But More Progress Beneath the Surface Than Most People Think
    by Stephen Chan
    To those who are not deeply familiar with the continent of Africa, the history of kleptocratic rulers and long-running conflicts tends to perpetuate the myth of the “dark continent” even as tremendous strides are made in a large number of African states. While there is much still to regret and even to despair of in certain countries, one has only to look at the amount of venture capital going into Africa—even into countries that are really...
  • Africa’s Emerging Bond and Real Asset Markets
    by David Lashbrook, Zee de Gersigny
    Africa is hugely complex for European and US investors to get to grips with. However, although the continent consists of 56 very different and poorly integrated countries, it has some obvious themes and advantages compared to developed markets.First and foremost, Africa has one of the best demographics in terms of the ratio of young to old of any continent. More than 50% of the population is under the age of 25. Africa also has the world’s...
  • After Squandering a Decade of Good Fortune, Africa Needs Real Change to Achieve Its Potential
    by Marko Papic
    Africa is going through tremendous change. Do you see Africa moving ever closer to the point where it will become the next big story in the global economy?I have to give a mixed response to this question. There are some strong positives working in Africa’s favor, but these are pushing against the headwinds of political corruption and mismanagement which still plague some African nations. The strongest positive has to do with the continent’s...
  • Balances and Imbalances in the two major Asian economies
    by Matthew Gertken
    East Asia has passed through anticolonial revolutions, civil wars, rapid growth, and financial crises. Now it hosts a number of populous, prosperous, and increasingly self-confident states with greater means than ever of acting independently to secure their resources and territory. It is ripe for competition and conflict.The region divides up geographically into blocs. One obvious grouping consists of the major archipelagos—Japan, the...
  • Bias-Free Investing Offers the Best Hope for Pension Funds
    by Yves Choueifaty
    Yves Choueifaty built TOBAM in 2006, when he was managing director, head of Lehman Brothers’s quantitative asset management business in Europe. He was also previously head of Lehman Brothers Asset Management France. Prior to joining Lehman Brothers, he was CEO of Credit Lyonnais Asset Management (CLAM), with assets under management of €70 billion. Mr Choueifaty graduated in 1992 from ENSAE in statistics, actuarial studies, finance, and...
  • Capturing the Equity Premium
    by Erik Gosule
    Erik Gosule is a director, and head of Client Solutions and Investment Strategy at PanAgora Asset Management. As such, he is responsible for assisting in the development and implementation of investment strategies across the firm, including customized solutions that combine multiple investment capabilities designed to meet clients’ specific needs. Prior to joining PanAgora, Mr Gosule worked at the D. E. Shaw Group, where he was most recently a...
  • Emerging Markets: Reflecting on 2008 and Looking Ahead to 2009
    by Mark Mobius
    Mark Mobius, PhD, Managing Director, joined Templeton in 1987 as President of the Templeton Emerging Markets Fund, Inc. He currently directs the analysts based in Templeton’s 15 emerging markets offices and manages the emerging markets portfolios. Dr Mobius has spent more than 30 years working in emerging markets all over the world. He was appointed Joint Chairman of the World Bank and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s...
  • Fast Finance to Slow Finance
    by Gervais Williams
    Stock markets are all about change. Share prices move instantaneously to reflect the latest results or the utterances from world leaders. Traders sit ready to invest or disinvest huge capital sums at any moment. In the City, most assume that successful investors need to be major players with aggressive and sophisticated strategies. But could it be the case that clients might be better advised to do the opposite in the future? That investors...
  • Inverse Stagflation and the Global Economy: When Real Assets and Paper Assets Part Company
    by Renée Haugerud
    Renee Haugerud is the founder, chief investment officer, and managing principal of Galtere, a registered investment adviser that manages approximately US$1 billion across several commodity-focused products. During her 30-year investment career she has acquired expertise across all asset classes in posts throughout the world. She began her tenure in financial markets by trading cash commodity markets in the United States and Canada for Cargill...
  • Investing in a Volatile Environment: A Black Swan Perspective
    by Javier Estrada
    Javier Estrada, who is Professor of Financial Management at Barcelona-based IESE Business School, was a tennis coach in his native Argentina before moving to live and work in Spain in 1993. He set the cat among the pigeons in global investment circles with his ground-breaking research, “Black swans and market timing: How not to generate alpha,” which conclusively revealed that investors who seek to time the market are unlikely to reap rewards....
  • Investing in Corporate Debt in Difficult Market Conditions
    by Robert Marquardt
    Robert Marquardt is founder, chairman, and co-head of investment management at Signet Group, responsible for overall portfolio management and for development of the group’s investment strategy. He is a member of Signet’s investment committee and leads the group’s top-down process of identifying investment opportunities while focusing on the most pertinent investment risks; he is also intimately involved in hedge fund due diligence. Marquardt has...
  • Principles for Responsible Investment—Looking Beyond the Financial Metrics
    by James Gifford
    The PRI initiative is a network of international investors that work together to put the six Principles for Responsible Investment into practice. The PRI came out of two UN agencies: the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the UN Global Compact (UNGC). UNEP FI works with banks, insurance companies, and asset managers on environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues, while the Global Compact encourages...
  • Reflections on the Fixed-Income Market in Difficult Times
    by Rod Davidson
    Rod Davidson, head of the fixed-income team at Alliance Trust Asset Management, has been managing money, teams, and businesses in the global fixed-income arena for more than 20 years. Prior to joining Alliance Trust Asset Management he held similar posts at Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, Aberdeen Asset Management, and Murray Johnstone. He specializes in managing global bond and currency portfolios and has responsibility at Alliance...
  • Savings is a Growth Industry
    by Anthony Bolton
    Anthony Bolton managed one of the UK’s most successful and largest mutual funds, Fidelity Special Situations, from 1979 to 2007. Over that period the fund generated an annualized return of 20% (against some 8% for the FTSE All-Share Index). He graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in engineering and entered the City as an investment analyst at investment bank Keyser Ullman. In 1979, Bolton was hired by Fidelity, the Boston-based...
  • Steering Between Deflation and Inflation—A Troubled Road for Developed Economies
    by Neil Williams
    The primary view that seems to be dominating the developed economies as we go into the last quarter of 2010 is that central banks and governments should play a “loose for longer” game, which means avoiding raising interest rates and avoiding tightening fiscal policy. Their motive for staying loose is to fight deflationary pressures in the economy. No one wants to see another major economy going down the route that took Japan into its two lost...
  • Tanzania: The Hard Road to Stability
    by Charles Laurie
    Tanzania’s long-term economic and political outlook has become closely aligned with how it develops its fledgling oil and gas industry and the way it manages the revenues arising. Despite growth expectations brought on by significant gas finds, the country continues to suffer from the entrenched problems of social inequality, popular unrest, and corruption. Resolving these issues will be imperative for the government, but it will need to...
  • The Indian Economy: A Political Conundrum?
    by Nirvikar Singh
    Uncertainty is always and everywhere a tremendous inhibitor of investment by businesses. When management teams can’t see their way forward they tend to sit on their hands and wait for the fog to clear. A good part of India’s difficulty in the last few years stems from uncertainty surrounding major policy issues, and this uncertainty intensified in the closing months of 2013 and the opening months of 2014 under the shadow of the next...
  • The Investment Banks Are on a “Stairway to Heaven”
    by Philip Augar
    Philip Augar worked in investment banking for over twenty years. He led Natwest’s global securities business, and was a group managing director at Schroders before turning to writing in 2000 with the publication of the best-selling Death of Gentlemanly Capitalism. His fifth book, Chasing Alpha: How Reckless Growth and Unchecked Ambition Ruined the City’s Golden Decade, was published in April 2009 and was recently released in paperback under the...
  • Understanding the Risks and Opportunities in Recession-Hit Markets
    by Keith Guthrie
    Keith Guthrie is chief investment officer at Cardano, where he heads the investment team responsible for investment strategy, portfolio construction, and manager selection for pension fund clients. From 2002 to 2007 he worked as an investment manager at GAM, responsible for US$6 billion in arbitrage related fund-of-hedge fund strategies and US$500 million in multiasset-class portfolios. He started his career in the corporate actuarial department...
  • Understanding the Risks in Liability-Driven Investment (LDI) for Pension Funds
    by Marcus Mollan
    Marcus Mollan is head of strategy in the Pension Solutions Group at Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), one of the leading managers in the field of liability-driven investment, with more than £90 billion in derivatives under management. His role is to design and implement risk management solutions, involving both derivatives and physical assets, for pension schemes and other institutional investors.
  • We Need More Quants in Finance, Not Fewer
    by Alex McNeil
    Alexander McNeil, an expert on financial risk management, believes the reason that most European banks entered the recent credit crisis dangerously undercapitalized was because they failed to adopt an integrated, or “economic capital,” approach to assessing risk. This left them vulnerable once the crisis erupted and left many needing state support.McNeil is Maxwell Professor of Mathematics in the Department of Actuarial Mathematics and...
  • Why Mathematical Investing Beats Active Investment Managers Over the Medium Term
    by David Schofield
    David Schofield is president of the international division of INTECH. He holds an joint honors MA in French and German from Oxford University. Formerly he was European business head of Janus Capital Group and before that he had 15 years in investment banking with Salomon Brothers, Lehman Brothers, and UBS, in New York, London, and Frankfurt.
  • Why Quantitative Investing Can Do Well in Turbulent Markets
    by Janet Campagna
    Janet Campagna is the CEO of QS Investors, a 100% employee-owned, majority woman-owned investment management company based in New York and founded in 2010. Prior to founding QS Investors, Janet was a managing director at Deutsche Asset Management serving as the global head of quantitative strategies and a member of the global operating committee. She was a principal at Barclays Global Investors from 1994–99 and from 1989–94 an associate at First...

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