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  • 1. UCITS-ALTERNATIVE UNWRAPPED As Convergence between Long-only Managers and Hedge Funds Grows and Institutional Allocation to Alternatives Hits Historical Highs A Question Arises: Are UCITS-Alternative the Alternative "Alternative"? Alternative UCITS Retreat 2011 - Citywire 1 December, 2011 AURELIANO GENTILINI Managing Partner - Mαthεmα
  • 2. Key Topics
    • Absolute Return Funds – Definition and Key Investment Themes
    • Overview of Absolute Return Fund Industry Trends
    • Asset Management Trends
    • Alternative UCITS-compliant Funds
    • Institutional Asset Allocation Models
    • Absolute Return & Hedge Fund Asset Growth Drivers in 2011 and Beyond
    • Performance Analysis and Benchmarking
  • 3. Absolute Return Fund – A Definition
    • Absolute Return funds are collective investment vehicles that aim for positive returns in any market conditions.
      • The funds are not benchmarked against a traditional long only market index. Rather they aim at outperforming a cash or risk-free benchmark
      • Asset base can be any or flexible
      • Often, but not always, have a cash/interest rate/inflation benchmark (+ target basis points)
      • May be short, medium or long term strategy
      • Various strategies exist under the same banner (index unconstrained/ asset allocation, leveraged long/short, quantitative risk management, hedge-like)
      • Risk budgeting
    • Index-unconstrained funds (categorised within Total Return funds) are similar to absolute return fund in that portfolio construction is made without reference to a benchmark
      • Carry market risk (beta) because the portfolio can only be structurally 'long' a particular market, rather than being able to sell short or move to cash to protect against market falls
  • 4. Key Issues in Absolute Return Fund Investing
    • Investors Are Not Consistent
      • Market Downtrend: Absolute Return Funds Are Demanded
      • Market Uptrend: Beating the Market Benchmark Is Critical
    • What is the Real Balance?
    • Does Product Offering Drive Investors’ Demand or Vice Versa?
      • Absolute Return Funds Tapping into the Institutional Segment
      • UCITS III-AlternativeVehicles
    • Leverage
      • A 10% return becomes a 100% return when enhanced by ten-to-one leverage. Leverage works quickly in reverse, though
    • Underlying Strategy
    • Risk/Return Analysis
    • Performance Measurement
  • 5. Absolute Fund Return Properties
    • Absolute fund returns may become more correlated to general market trends during downturns
      • exposures [to market factors] can be strongly different in the down-market regimes compared to normal times, suggesting that risk exposures in the down-market regimes are quite different than those faced during normal regimes
      • when strong shocks to the market occur, [absolute funds’] diversification benefits seem to deteriorate due to non-linear dependence
    • Funds’ returns may exhibit the “higher moment” return properties of negative skewness and excess kurtosis due to their exposure to alternative strategies
      • when returns are negative, absolute return losses may be larger than plain vanilla funds if hedging strategies are not effective. Larger loss risk may increase as more hedge-like funds are added to a portfolio
  • 6. 2010 Lipper Hedge Funds Survey – UCITS Absolute Return Funds
    • Question 5
    • What are in your opinion the challenges and opportunities for hedge fund managers taking advantage of UCITS regulation to convert alternative strategies into mainstream mutual funds?
  • 7. 2010 Lipper Hedge Funds Survey – UCITS Absolute Return Funds
    • Question 6
    • Do you foresee any threats to the alternative fund business arising from absolute return hedge-like funds such as UCITS III-compliant funds?
  • 8. Asset Management Today: Investors Want Cheap or Spicy
  • 9. Asset Management Industry Changes
    • Barbell polarization of asset flows is speeding up – money flows to either passive managers/ETFs (cheap) or else hedge funds/other alternative managers (spicy)
      • Do ETFs pose the next systemic risk?
        • At the end of June 2011, the global ETF industry had 2,825 ETFs with 6,229 listings and assets of US$1,442.7 billion, from 146 providers on 49 exchanges around the world (source BlackRock)
        • At the end of June 2010, the global ETF industry had 2,252 ETFs with 4,570 listings and assets of US$1,025.9 billion from 130 providers on 42 exchanges (source BlackRock)
        • Global AUM in ETFs and ETPs are expected to increase by 20–30% annually over the next few years, taking the global ETF/ETP industry to approximately US$2 trillion in AUM by early 2012.
    • Trend to further concentration of the hedge fund industry – the top 100 hedge fund management companies currently control 60% of industry AUM
  • 10. Passive Investments Gain Momentum
    • IBM Institute for Business Value: 2009 survey of 2,750 industry executives, including those at endowments, foundations and sovereign wealth funds
      • passive investments will eventually overtake actively managed funds
      • 65% of respondents planned to move to passive strategies within the next three years
      • Data extrapolation suggests that in 20 years, 85% to 90% of assets will be in passive strategies, with the remaining 10% to 15% in hedge funds, private equity funds and other high-risk, high-return alternatives
    • Two main factors drive the trend:
      • defined contribution sponsors are under “political” pressure to move into passive products to reduce costs for investors
      • Asset managers want to lower the risk associated with manager selection
  • 11. Institutional Allocation To Hedge Fund Strategies
    • Moody’s Investors Service – HF 2010 Review and 2011 Outlook
      • Hedge Funds will have to lower fees, change their business strategies, and lower their risk tolerance as pension funds increase the allocation to the asset class
    • Preqin survey – May 2011
      • About 93% of institutional hedge fund investors are considering increasing their allocation to the asset class over the next three years
        • Almost 32% of those currently investing in FoHFs will start investing directly and an additional 8% are considering doing so
      • 20% of institutional investors had expanded their hedge fund teams over the past year, while a further 20% of those that do not currently have a hedge fund team intend to develop one within the next three years
      • January 2011 – 55% of U.S.-based private sector pension funds have some money invested in hedge funds (85 U.S.-based private sector pension funds that actively invested in hedge funds and 17 U.S. private pension funds that were considering making their initial investment in the asset class within the next 18 months)
      • The average U.S. private pension fund allocates 9.8% of its assets under management to hedge funds
  • 12. Pension Fund & Absolute Return Fund Industries
    • The further increase of the pension funding gap will progressively see the closure of defined benefit schemes in the short run
      • New factor-based asset allocation models aiming at reducing exposure to volatility clustering and correlation patterns among various assets will become a standard among Institutional Investors in the next two years
      • New enhanced risk factor-driven portfolio allocation models of institutional investors will direct investment flows into alternative investments with a better risk/return profile
      • The number of pension schemes looking to invest money in hedge funds doubled during 2009 (Hewitt Associates)
      • Allocation to Hedge Funds will continue focusing on niche/uncorrelated strategies - High-performing investment strategies to help recoup the heavy losses suffered in 2008 and early 2009
    • The introduction of IAS 19 on January 1, 2013 globally is expected to help prepare the ground for the Liability-driven Investment (LDI) to finally take root
      • Immediate recognition of all gains and losses arising in defined benefit plans (abolition of corridor accounting options)
      • Replace the expected return credit with an objective credit based on the AA corporate bond yield used to discount the liabilities
      • The rule might trigger a de-risking of investment strategies of pension plans
      • Billions of company profits will be wiped off [Accountancy firms estimate that such a change could reduce UK company profits by as much as £10bn ($16bn)]
  • 13. Absolute Return Fund Investors & Strategies
    • The HF investor mix is changing
      • Among high-growth investors can be listed corporates, public pension plans, insurance companies, banks, small- to mid-sized endowments, Asian private banks, Australian institutional investors & Superannuation funds, Scandinavian institutions, and family offices
      • Japanese pension plans expect to rebalance their portfolio holdings ramping up allocations to hedge funds
        • Hedge Funds Seek a Slice of Japan’s $740 Billion Pension Funds After Quake ( )
        • Hedge funds eye $740 billion Japan pensions pool ( )
        • Japan pensions bet on hedge funds to boost returns ( )
    • Multi-Strategies HFs will continue to be the losers in the forthcoming round of AUM growth
      • Decorrelation drivers in portfolio allocation will weigh
      • FoHF segment shrinking
  • 14. Trend in FoHFs and SWFs Management
    • The FoHFs segment will continue shrinking in 2011—from 33% of total AUM at 2009 year-end to 25% in 2010, and 22% at the end of 2011
      • Flaws in the business model (limited diversification and easier direct access to underlying managers) will weigh
      • Impact on marketing policies of FoHFs, with further pressures on fees
      • Funds-of-hedge-funds managers are beginning to target smaller investors as larger institutions increasingly invest directly
    • In the medium term (a three- to five-year time horizon) the largest and top performing multi-strategy funds in the world might well be those run by SWFs, and not by the traditional and best know players in the HF space such as D. E. Shaw & Co., Inc., Citadel Investment Group LLC , Highbridge Capital Management LLC, and Soros Fund Management LLC
  • 15. Absolute Return Fund Industry Trends
    • Alternative UCITS-compliant funds gained traction since the financial crisis
      • Absolute Return products other than Hedge Funds are becoming increasingly popular among institutional investors
      • HF managers have aggressively launched Alternative UCITS-compliant funds to penetrate retail and institutional segments
        • Flight-to-quality drivers (Assets in Europe's top 50 hedge fund managers rose by 11% to U.S.$300 billion between January 2009 and June 2010 – Brevan Howard assets surged almost 24% to U.S.$31.5 billion, while U.S.$1 billion were drained from Man Group – Source: InvestHedge)
        • Uncertainties on EU Regulation weighed – co-domiciliation
        • Performance slippage risks
        • Liquid vs. illiquid hedge fund strategies
    • HF managers progressively consider Ireland’s QIF and Luxembourg’s SIF structures (RWC Partners' Macro fund, launched in January 2011, managed by Peter Allbright and Stuart Frost)
      • “ Level 2” guidance for the AIFMD
  • 16. UCITS Funds
    • Ucits funds had €5.92trn in assets under management as of June 30, 2011 (source: Association of Luxembourg Funds Industry)
      • Luxembourg accounted for the highest majority, making up 31.4% or €1.86trn. Ireland's share totaled €770bn, 13.0% of the total.
    • The prominence of co-domiciliation could be short lived however due to uncertainty over the AIFM Directive
      • Most hedge fund managers considering domiciling their funds in the EU said they would do so before the implementation of the AIFM Directive in 2013
      • 69% of those considering EU domiciliation said they were considering doing so by transferring the domicile of their existing funds to the EU
    • The UCITS framework, which some respondents said was an effective marketing tool to stem outflows during the financial crisis, has lost some of its appeal amongst hedge fund managers
      • Whereas those polled were just as likely to set up UCITS funds as other regulated structures, such as Irish QIFs and Luxembourg SIFs, in the past
      • 77% of those considering creating an onshore structure in the future now say they would prefer QIFs and SIFs instead
  • 17. Regulatory Trends – Hedge Funds and Alternative UCITS Funds
    • The costs involved in complying with more stringent regulatory requirements can make HFs comparatively more expensive to manage
      • Changes in the mapping of geographies of HF management companies will occur in the short to medium term due to significant changes in regulation
      • We will observe significant steps towards the creation of an International Registry of Hedge Funds
      • US rule changes signed into law under the Dodd-Frank Act have broad extraterritorial effects and require many historically exempt fund managers with assets over US$150 million—even those only US contacts are US investors in their funds—to seek SEC registrations
        • The SEC will require larger funds to keep extensive records regarding trading activities and those without a compliance officer will be forced to hire one
      • The position of Third Country alternative investment fund managers has been resolved by creating a dual system of allowing the existing private placement rules to continue until at least 2018, while also phasing in an option for Third Country alternative investment fund managers to qualify under an EU passporting regime.
        • In many cases repackaging under UCITS-compliant hedge fund-like mutual funds has been the response of non-EU hedge fund managers to penetrate retail and institutional segments in Europe
    • Impact of flight-to-haven of UK fund managers on UK’s tax revenue
  • 18. European UCITS Absolute Return Segment’s Growth Resuming At The Beginning of 2010
  • 19. Hedge Fund Industry Asset Growth Expected to Hit the US$2 Trillion Mark by 2013
  • 20. Hedge Fund Strategies Overall Net Flows 1994-2010 Source: Lipper-TASS
  • 21. Hedge Fund Flows As A Percentage Of Beginning-Period Assets Vs. Performance 1994-2010 Source: Lipper-TASS
  • 22. Rolling Returns Vs. Rolling Asset Flows 1994-2010 Source: Lipper-TASS
  • 23. Absolute Fund Return Properties
    • Absolute fund returns may become more correlated to general market trends during downturns
      • exposures [to market factors] can be strongly different in the down-market regimes compared to normal times, suggesting that risk exposures in the down-market regimes are quite different than those faced during normal regimes
      • when strong shocks to the market occur, [absolute funds’] diversification benefits seem to deteriorate due to non-linear dependence
    • Funds’ returns may exhibit the “higher moment” return properties of negative skewness and excess kurtosis due to their exposure to alternative strategies
      • when returns are negative, absolute return losses may be larger than plain vanilla funds if hedging strategies are not effective. Larger loss risk may increase as more hedge-like funds are added to a portfolio
  • 24. Difficult Markets - Stock Market Performance Patterns Repeat
  • 25. Tail Risk – Market Crashes
  • 26. Difficult Markets - Commodities Market Performance Patterns Repeat
  • 27. Money Markets – Ted Spread as a Measure of Stress in the Eurozone
  • 28. Hedge Fund Strategy Performance
    • Short bias outperformed in September (+8.45%) and YTD (+13.19%) as the strategy benefited from global stock markets declines and dislocation factors on the macro front
    • Emerging markets (-7.47% month on month, -6.88% YTD), bettered by Long/Short Equity (-5.22% month on month, -9.12% YTD) and Event Driven (-5.06% month on month, -9.69% YTD), ranked at the bottom of the performance league table for September . Hedge fund strategies above were not successful in weathering global markets turmoil as heightened stock market correlations and volatility clustering weighed
  • 29. Hedge Fund Strategies Indexed Performance
  • 30. Alternative UCITS & Market Indices Performance Decoupled Performance in Given Periods in Commodity Indices
  • 31. Hedge Fund Strategy Performance Dispersion
    • After more than doubling in August from July’s reading, monthly performance dispersion among the Dow Jones Credit Suisse hedge fund strategy indices rose further in September , returning readings above monthly levels observed since September 2010. It widened 56 bps in September (19 bps below 2010’s highest level in September) and ended at 1,592 bps, signaling the “market” of hedge fund strategies was less crowded
    • Generally speaking, compared to August, the dispersion of manager returns YTD increased significantly in September (red lines on the bar in the chart indicate median values). An increased dispersion of returns generally determines a lower intracorrelation, i.e., a lower correlation among managers and strategies. Generally, lower intracorrelation among managers and hedge fund strategies leads to higher levels of diversification for investors—a desirable feature—as well as higher expected risk-adjusted returns. Notably, in the Dedicated Short Bias sector—the top-performing strategy year to date at the end of September—more than 66% of the funds tracked in the analysis posted positive returns for the period, with 22% of the funds recording performance equal to or above the 10% threshold. More than 29% of the funds classified in the runner-up strategy in the performance league table year to date— Global Macro —delivered a period performance in positive territory, with 8% recording monthly returns equal to or above the 10% threshold.
  • 32. Performance Analysis and Benchmarking
    • Sharpe ratio – Summary of the first two moments of the portfolio excess return distribution
    • Measurement issues:
      • Annualized risk-free rate
        • Choice is key because it impacts on excess return and can change ranking
        • It might be problematic in a portfolio with full international diversification
      • Portfolio aggregation
        • No straight-forward adding-up because of covariance effects between volatilities
      • Negative values are ambiguous (Israelsen ratio correction)
  • 33. Hedge Fund Strategy Correlations
    • As sovereign risk persisted , a risk-on/risk-off paradigm created an investment environment where correlation across asset classes zeroed out the benefit of diversification . Among other factors, the 12-month rolling correlation between the S&P GSCI and the S&P 500 at the end of September rose to 0.82—up from 0.77 at the end of August (a mere 5 bps off the highest reading since October 1980 recorded at the end of December 2010)
    • September 2011 confirmed the steady and significant correlation pattern of most of the hedge fund strategies with the MSCI World TR Index evidenced throughout 2010. Dedicated Short-Bias, although easing from August’s reading, continued to show a negative correlation against the index (-0.91 for both the six- and twelve-month periods, respectively). The Credit Suisse Dow Jones Hedge Fund Composite Index recorded a firm level of positive correlation with the global stock market index at 0.95. Compared to the previous month, the positive six-month correlation at the end of September decreased 17 bps to 0.74 for the Fixed Income Arbitrage sub-strategy, and to 0.10 for the Global Macro and 0.83 for the Multi-Strategies (down from 0.27 and 0.92 respectively at the end of August). Equity hedge strategies, namely Long/Short Equity, along with Event-Driven and Equity Market-Neutral, continued to be somewhat long-biased; in other words, the strategies maintained a significantly high positive correlation to equities (a correlation between 0.85 and 0.95 for the six-month period) despite choppy global stock markets conditions
  • 34. Hedge/Relative Value Strategies Vs. Market Indices – The Omega Function
  • 35. Hedge/Directional Strategies & Multi-Strategies Vs. Market Indices – The Omega Function
  • 36. Hedge/Event-Driven Strategies Vs. Market Indices – The Omega Function
  • 37. Conclusions
    • Institutional Investors’ education and understanding of the underlying investment process remain key to pick Alternative strategies in the current investment environment
    • HFs and Alternative UCITS AUM are expected to continue a pattern of growth due to Institutional investors’ allocation
    • In the current investment environment HF typical fee structure might distort HF managers’ incentives
    • HFs and Alternative-UCITS will continue delivering a better risk/return profile than most market benchmarks
      • Alternative-UCITS might exhibit performance slippage
    • Performance Analysis Matters
    • Impact of regulatory changes
  • 38. Questions & Answers [email_address]
  • 39. Disclaimer © Mαthεmα 2011. All Rights Reserved. Information contained in this presentation are for informational purposes only, and do not constitute investment advice or an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security of any entity in any jurisdiction. Although the information herein is believed to be reliable and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, we make no representation or warranty, express or implied, with respect to the fairness, correctness, accuracy, reasonableness or completeness of such information. No guarantee is made that the information in this report is accurate or complete and no warranties are made with regard to the results to be obtained from its use. Mαthεmα will not be liable for any loss or damage resulting from information obtained from this Report. Furthermore, past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.