All Strategically Speaking articles – Page 8

  • Interviews

    On an ambitious journey

    March 2012 (Magazine)

    The name ‘AXA’ was chosen in the early 1980s, so the story goes, because it can be easily and uniformly pronounced in any language, and, as far as anyone knows, it also doesn’t mean anything rude anywhere around the world. But slick branding can’t make you good at everything, of course.

  • Interviews

    Alternatives – with pensions DNA

    February 2012 (Magazine)

    Sometimes a company’s best investments aren’t in businesses or financial markets. When Jack Coates took over management of the pension plan for US forest products firm Weyerhaeuser in 1985, he was returning to full-time work after the company let him pursue a PhD while working part-time in his international treasury position. That investment was to pay off handsomely. His research led him to understand how alternative investments could be relevant to the challenge he saw before the Weyerhaeuser pension plan, which was under-funded and needed to generate higher returns without incurring too much downside volatility.

  • Interviews

    Geneva conventions

    January 2012 (Magazine)

    Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch, the 215-year-old Geneva-based banking group, is, of course, a family business. It is just happy coincidence that both the father and brother of Hubert Keller, who co-heads the institutional asset management division, Lombard Odier Investment Managers (LOIM) alongside Thierry Lombard, spent parts of their career with the bank: Keller says he never came across it during his years on the sell-side in London, before joining in 2006.

  • Interviews

    Bringing the New World to the Old

    January 2012 (Magazine)

    The third quarter of 2011 was not much fun for Investec Asset Management (Investec AM). 

  • Interviews

    New entrant to European fiduciary management

    December 2011 (Magazine)

    Here in Europe, the joke says that British Airways is a pension scheme that owns a few planes. The US equivalent claims that General Motors is a social security fund with a sideline in building Buicks.

  • Interviews

    Strategic agility

    December 2011 (Magazine)

    Nordic private equity house CapMan does not make things easy on itself. Its mission statement: “To be the best-performing European private equity firm”.

  • Interviews

    Clear signals in the fog

    November 2011 (Magazine)

    When IPE first spoke with Ian Heslop about the post-crisis refinements that Old Mutual Asset Managers (OMAM) had made to its quantitative equity models, it was June of 2011. The sun was shining – literally, and (for quants) metaphorically, too.

  • Interviews

    Happy in its own little world

    October 2011 (Magazine)

    With new funds springing up or existing ones growing, the winds seem to be blowing favourably again for cleantech investments.

  • Interviews

    Focus and flexibility

    October 2011 (Magazine)

    Few can claim to have been investing in emerging markets for 130 years. But Martin Currie & Co was helping to finance the North American railroads in the 1880s, when the US occupied the spot that China occupies today. That pioneering spirit lived on; it made its first Japanese investments in the 1960s, opened an office and a fund in China in 1997, and rolled out its first hedge fund – long/short Japan – in 2000. A new strategy partnership with Singapore’s APS Asset Management looks set to be a leading independent A-share active equity business.

  • Interviews

    Initiative focused

    September 2011 (Magazine)

    State Street Global Advisors (SSgA) has learnt lessons from the past. Losses incurred during 2007-08 by five of its fixed income funds, which were marketed as conservative strategies, led to lawsuits filed by among others the Houston Police Officers’ Pensions System and Prudential Financial.

  • Interviews

    Setting sail for calmer waters

    September 2011 (Magazine)

    By the time Jeremy Baskin took the helm of AXA Rosenberg, its previous CEO, Stéphane Prunet, had spent 13 months steering the widely-venerated quant house, with great steadfastness, through the worst storm ever to engulf it.

  • Interviews

    ‘Adjacency’, or the art of step-by-step

    July 2011 (Magazine)

    It is tempting, just because it is so good at it, to think of the $11bn (€7.8bn) London-based hedge fund manager CQS as a credit specialist. But founder Michael Hintze is keen to emphasise its broader strengths. “We are a big hedge fund, but we do more than simply provide absolute returns in credit,” he says. “Nowadays we are a global multi-strategy, multi-asset management firm providing hedge fund, long only and bespoke solutions for clients.”

  • Interviews

    Across the Gulf… and into the world

    June 2011 (Magazine)

    Limestone Asset Management launched its first fund, the New Europe Socially Responsible fund, in July 2008. Great timing: it was down 47% by December. But, that was 2.6 percentage points better than its benchmark, the Stoxx EU Enlarged Total Market index. And it made quite a comeback: when it ended 2009 up 83.1%, it left the index trailing by 42 percentage points – outperformance which it has built on since.

  • Interviews

    ‘Risk is everything to us’

    May 2011 (Magazine)

    Asset managers’ products rarely surprise anyone. You’re an equities specialist? You’ll have US, European, UK, emerging markets funds, maybe Japan. Fixed income? I’ll choose from your treasuries, gilts and Eurozone products, investment grade and high yield, maybe local currency emerging markets. There might even be some convertibles tucked away somewhere.

  • Interviews

    Accent on EM capability

    May 2011 (Magazine)

    Rudolf Apenbrink, HSBC Global Asset Management’s new EMEA CEO, outlined his firm’s strategy to Liam Kennedy following the integration of its Halbis and Sinopia brands

  • Interviews

    Five years on

    April 2011 (Magazine)

    When Peter Wilby begins our conversation by remarking on Stone Harbor Investment Partners’ imminent fifth birthday, it is as if, stepping back, he suddenly realises what a thrill ride it has been.

  • Interviews

    Breaking the bonds

    March 2011 (Magazine)

    Last month’s Strategically Speaking looked at how the dynamics of ageing, pension fund decumulation and tighter capital adequacy had influenced Schroders’ transformation from UK equities investor to global multi-asset manager.

  • Interviews

    Positioned for the new era in pensions

    February 2011 (Magazine)

    There are some clear long-term trends in pension asset management in Europe. Collective is giving way to individual provision. Defined benefit (DB) schemes are closing, crystalising liabilities and deficits, and implementing LDI programmes. This, together with accounting and capital adequacy standards and the decumulation phase of an ageing demographic, is pushing funds into fixed income. Where growth assets are still required, investors look beyond domestic markets because growth is expected to come from emerging economies.

  • Interviews

    Consolidating and concentrating

    February 2011 (Magazine)

    There has been a lot of change at Finasta Asset Management over the last two years. In 2009 parent company Finasta Group was sold by Lithuanian heavyweight Invalda to Bank Snoras, which had its own asset management outfit. This division was merged with Finasta Asset Management at the beginning of 2010, creating a rather odd-looking entity that was ripe for ‘synergies’.

  • Interviews

    Latin translation

    January 2011 (Magazine)

    “We have a saying in Spain,” says BBVA’s head of global asset management Luisa Gómez Bravo. “‘No vendas la piel del oso antes de haberlo cazado’.” Don’t sell the bearskin until you’ve hunted the bear. The proverb comes in response to the question of how the €140bn asset management unit of one of the biggest global banking brands remains so little-known among Europe’s institutional investors.