Money managers under the microscope
Is betting on horses very different from picking stocks? Can understanding a gambler’s approach and mentality give a better understanding of fund managers?
In searching for answers to these questions, I spoke to Paul Moulton, a professional gambler who originally worked in the fund management industry. He then set up a fund research company (Fitzrovia International, which he eventually sold to Reuters), although his working life began with an attempt to become a professional chess player.
Most of the fraternity of professional gamblers who make a living from horse racing are what Moulton describes as ‘traders’ or ‘chisellers’.
This group do not really look at horses at all, but look at market movements, hedging back their bets, and aiming to make tiny but regular profits with much less risk. They remain tucked away in their homes in front of an array of computer screens.
By Detlef Glow, Head of EMEA Research at Thomson Reuters fund research firm Lipper. The views expressed are his own.
Exchange traded funds (ETFs) have found themselves under ever more scrutiny from regulators and market participants this year and expectations are that new rules for the sector are just a matter of time.
from Global Investing:
Even after the EU summit last weekend, asset managers seem not to have completely dismissed the idea of a possible euro zone breakup.
A closely-watched survey from Bank of America Merrill Lynch out on Tuesday showed a near 50-50 split among fund managers expecting a country possibly leaving the 17-member currency bloc.
Guest contributors Bart Turtelboom and Karim Abdel-Motaal run the Emerging Market strategy at Man GLG. The views expressed are their own.
History is written by the victors. That is what emerging markets discovered after their currency crises of the 1990s, and it is what will happen when the annals of the euro crisis are compiled. Treatment of this crisis has varied, but in all its forms the basic premise is already set: Germany and the world are the undeserving victims of Peripheral European excess. The Periphery spent and borrowed too much causing the current crisis. Add to this the cultural imagery of Greek pensioners retiring at the tender age of 55 on exotic Aegean islands at German savers’ expense and the colourful chapter on this historical saga is written.
By Dunny P. Moonesawmy, Head of Fund Research for Lipper in Western Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The views expressed are his own.
Spare a thought for the fund managers trying to make their business work in the Middle East and north Africa (MENA) this year.
Among the side-effects of the financial crisis, the importance for European wealth managers and other intermediaries of both managing investors’ expectations and understanding fully what those expectations are, has been underlined.
This is not entirely new. The rise of absolute return products largely reflects intermediaries’ efforts to deal directly with client expectations that, for many, have taken a severe blow. It is worth looking back at the level of inflows to funds seeking absolute returns before and after 2008 (the nadir for the industry in terms of sales activity) to see how this has evolved.
from Global Investing:
The withering complexity of a four-year-old global financial crisis -- in the euro zone, United States or increasingly in China and across the faster-growing developing world -- is now stretching the minds and patience of even the most clued-in experts and commentators. Unsurprisingly, the average householder is perplexed, increasingly anxious and keen on a simpler narrative they can rally around or rail against. It's fast becoming a fertile environment for half-baked conspiracy theories, apocalypse preaching and no little political opportunism. And, as ever, a tempting electoral ploy is to convince the public there's some magic national solution to problems way beyond borders.
For a populace fearful of seemingly inextricable connections to a wider world they can't control, it's not difficult to see the lure of petty nationalism, protectionism and isolationism. Just witness national debates on the crisis in Britain, Germany, Greece or Ireland and they are all starting to tilt toward some idea that everyone may be better off on their own -- outside a flawed single currency in the case of Germany, Greece and Ireland and even outside the European Union in the case of some lobby groups in Britain. But it's not just a debate about a European future, the U.S. Senate next week plans to vote on legisation to crack down on Chinese trade due to currency pegging despite the interdependency of the two economies. And there's no shortage of voices saying China should somehow stand aloof from the Western financial crisis, even though its spectacular economic ascent over the past decade was gained largely on the back of U.S. and European demand.
I would like to tell you a story. It’s one about the tempestuous relationship between fund managers and their investors, a tale of envy, desire and basis point negotiations. You may have spotted by now that this is not the plot for this season’s latest blockbuster.
My story has recently gained a little extra spice with two old-fashioned heroes riding into view. One from the West – Omaha - and the other from the East - well, his father hailed from Russia – with both willing to make a little less money in order to help their fellow citizens. Warren Buffett and Stuart Rose are not alone; others in France and Germany are also saddling up. These horsemen seem to be heading in the opposite direction from those in the European funds industry.
Guest blogger Luke Ellis is head of the multi-manager business at Man Group, the world’s largest listed hedge fund manager.
The views expressed here are entirely the author’s own and do not constitute Reuters’ point of view.
By Detlef Glow, Head of EMEA Research at Lipper. The views expressed are his own.
The European exchange-traded-fund (ETF) industry has shown some resilience in the face of questions about management practices raised by market observers like the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and regulatory bodies like the FSA in the UK.