CFA Conference: Simon Lack

CFAPutting Investors First: The Fallacy of Hedge Funds

Simon Lack, CFA, is founder of SL Advisors, LLC. Previously, he worked in North American fixed-income derivatives and forward foreign exchange trading for JPMorgan. Mr. Lack also sat on JPMorgan’s investment committee and founded JPMorgan Incubator Funds, two private equity vehicles that took economic stakes in emerging hedge fund managers. Currently, he chairs both the Investment Committee for Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison, NJ, and the Memorial Endowment Trust Investment Committee of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Westfield, NJ. Mr. Lack is the author of The Hedge Fund Mirage: The Illusion of Big Money and Why It’s Too Good to Be True and Bonds Are Not Forever: The Crisis Facing Fixed Income Investors. You may access the book summary for The Hedge Fund Miragevia getAbstract.

Key issues include the following.

  • How well have hedge fund investors really performed and why?
  • How should investors use hedge funds?
  • Why aren’t investors negotiating more favorable terms?

Continue reading

CFA Conference: William F. Sharpe

CFAPast, Present, and Future Financial Thinking: A Conversation with Bill Sharpe

Moderated by Robert Litterman, Kepos Capital LP

William F. Sharpe is STANCO 25 Professor of Finance, Emeritus, at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Before joining the Stanford faculty, he taught at the University of Washington and the University of California at Irvine. Mr. Sharpe was one of the originators of the capital asset pricing model and developed the Sharpe ratio for investment performance analysis, the binomial method for the valuation of options, the gradient method for asset allocation optimization, and returns-based style analysis for evaluating the style and performance of investment funds. He has written seven books, and in 1990, he received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Mr. Sharpe received his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and PhD in economics from the University of California at Los Angeles.

The key questions Prof. Sharpe will address follow.

  • Understanding theory and practice in investment management
  • Improving retirement security: State pension funds, government-sponsored social security programs, defined contribution plans, and retirement income strategies

Continue reading

CFA Conference: Sustainable and Responsible Investing: Can Markets Save the World? (Panel)

CFASustainable and Responsible Investing: Can Markets Save the World?

Moderated by Roger Urwin, Towers Watson Limited

David Blood is co-founder of and senior partner at Generation Investment Management, LLP. Previously, he served as co-CEO and CEO at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Mr. Blood is on the boards of Harvest Power, New Forests, SHINE, Social Finance US, and The Nature Conservancy. He holds a BA from Hamilton College and an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business.

Stephen Rumsey is CEO at Permian Global Advisors LLP and an environmental conservationist. Previously, he served on a number of environmental not-for-profit boards and as the deputy chairman and treasurer at BirdLife International. Mr. Rumsey also served as investment manager at a large UK pension fund and designed and ran the debt markets business at Barclays de Zoete Wedd (now Barclays Capital). He also worked at Merrill Lynch and founded European Credit Management (ECM), which was sold to Wachovia/Wells Fargo. Mr. Rumsey is a graduate of the London School of Economics.

Janet Ranganathan is vice president for science and research at the World Resources Institute (WRI). Previously, she founded and directed WRI’s People and Ecosystems Program and served in WRI’s Markets and Enterprise Program and Climate and Energy Program. Ms. Ranganathan also developed and directed WRI’s US Climate Policy Initiative and the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative, a partnership convened by WRI and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. She also served as a senior lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire and in a regulatory capacity at the Department of Environment and Hertfordshire Water Regulatory Authority. Ms. Ranganathan serves on the boards of Ceres, the International Integrated Reporting Council, and the Mars Science Advisory Committee and is a member of the International Programme Advisory Committee for the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation Programme supported by the UK Department for International Development. She has written extensively on a broad range of sustainable development challenges. Ms. Ranganathan holds a BSc and an MSc in environmental technology from Imperial College.

Key questions:

  • What are the sustainability challenges facing the world and the resulting opportunities and risks for investing? Are current “sustainable investing” approaches viable and scalable?
  • Can markets be used to effectively price environmental externalities and create incentives for sustainable investment practices?
  • What conclusions can be drawn from empirical evidence about the performance of sustainable and responsible investing?

Continue reading

CFA Conference: Sheila C. Bair

CFASafeguarding the System: Promoting Stability and Minimizing Systemic Risk

Moderated by Thomas Easton, The Economist

Sheila C. Bair is chair of the Systemic Risk Council at CFA Institute and senior advisor to the Pew Charitable Trusts. Previously, she served as the 19th Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Before joining the FDIC, Ms. Bair was the Dean’s Professor of Financial Regulatory Policy for the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her recent book, Bull by the Horns, recounts her experiences at the FDIC during the financial crisis. Ms. Bair received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and a JD from the University of Kansas School of Law. A book summary for Bull By the Horns is available via getAbstract.

Among the pertinent questions for Sheila to address are these:

Is the political heart for true financial reform still beating?

  • What remains to be done to alleviate systemic risk?
  • Why are financial reforms that promote stability and minimize systemic risk important to a banking sector that supports a well-functioning, free-market economy?
  • What reforms will affect the investment management sector in the United States and Europe?

Continue reading

CFA Conference: Carl Richards

CFAThe Behavior Gap

Moderated by Margaret E. Franklin, CFA, Marret Private Wealth Inc.

Carl Richards (@behaviorgap) is director of investor education at The BAM ALLIANCE, a community of more than 130 independent wealth management firms throughout the United States. He is a weekly contributor to The New York Times and is a columnist for Morningstar Advisor. Carl has been featured on the programs Marketplace Money and the Leonard Lopate Show and on the websites Forbes.com and Oprah.com. Additionally, he is a frequent speaker at financial planning conferences and visual learning events. Carl is the author of The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money. He is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), and he holds a BS degree in finance from the University of Utah.

Carl’s central recurring theme is that when emotion gets in the way of making smart financial decisions, the distance between what we should do and what we actually do is the “behavior gap.” Using simple drawings to explain this gap, Carl’s method is to offer insights into your approach to investing and how to recognize and avoid common, emotionally driven investment mistakes. Continue reading

CFA Conference: Live Blogging

CFAAbove the Market really took off for the first time when I live-blogged the 65th CFA Institute Annual Conference in Chicago back in 2012. On account of the very kind reception those posts received, I will be doing it again at the 67th CFA Institute Annual Conference in Seattle, beginning Sunday. I trust you will appreciate the posts.