Swiss asset owners join forces in alternative risk premia foray

first_imgA group of large Swiss institutional investors with more than CHF150bn (€138bn) in assets under management is teaming up in what is said to be an innovative move into alternative risk premia.The group consists of three pension funds and two insurance companies, from French and German-speaking Switzerland.The plan is to invest in an Alternative Risk Premia (ARP) strategy via a dedicated Luxembourg-incorporated alternative investment fund (AIF), with launch targeted in the first quarter of 2017.The group is in the final stages of selecting the asset manager to run the investments, having started with a long list of more than 10 managers and then shortening this to five. The name of the asset manager selected will be disclosed once agreements between the parties have been signed.The identity of the investors has not yet been revealed for similar reasons.InPact Advisory has been advising the asset owners, and Antoine Prudent, founding partner at the Geneva-based investment adviser, believes that the arrangement is innovative in several ways.“To our knowledge, it is one of the first times large Swiss institutional investors are coming together to pool assets and intelligence to invest in new alternative strategies,” he told IPE.He said this had been done in other countries such as France and Denmark, and that these examples helped provide the motivation for the Swiss initiative.He also cited instances of pension funds partnering in Switzerland, in investment foundations (Anlagestiftungen), for example.However, these collaborations have been more focused on domestic assets, and the asset owners are typically smaller, according to Prudent.“This is different,” he said. “These are five of the largest Swiss institutional investors, targeting pooled investment in an international, new alternative strategy.”Other institutions have already asked to join the group, according to Prudent.The investor group is also in the final stage of selecting a Luxembourg-domiciled Alternative Investment Fund Management (AIFM) company, which will be in charge of creating the regulated special investment fund and governing it afterwards.This includes selecting custodians, administrators and auditors, and making other appointments.Prudent said: “In the end, we decided to opt for Luxembourg, as Swiss institutional investors are familiar with Luxembourg funds, the quality and pricing of the services are very competitive, and it will also allow institutional investors from other European countries to join and ultimately reduce the costs.”The group is looking to deploy about $250m (€227m) at launch, with the goal of increasing the fund to $1bn within 12-18 months, according to Prudent.This would be via increased commitments from the initial investors as well as new investors.As concerns the investment strategy, the group is pursuing a long/short alternative risk premia approach with a focus on value, carry, momentum, quality and low-volatility premia.The strategy will be applied across different asset classes (equities, fixed income and currencies) but target beta neutrality with regards to traditional assets. The group’s investments will take environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into account, Prudent confirmed.The investors are working with the asset manager candidates on a screening process that will constrain the investment universe on the basis of ESG criteria.Still undecided but looking likely is that the investors will ask the asset manager to also exclude exposure to so-called soft commodities, which are agricultural products such as coffee or wheat.This to avoid becoming embroiled in any controversies about speculation on food prices, said Prudent.last_img read more

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Burundi opposition to boycott polls slated for Monday

first_imgBurundi Opposition: Polls Must Be Held Not Later Than August Uganda: Opposition threatens polls boycott in 2016 Burundi:Main opposition group to boycott presidential polls Burundi’s electoral commission says all is set for Monday’s parliamentary elections. Opposition leaders, however, say they will boycott the polls. CCTV’s Kofa Mrenje now reports from Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura. Relatedlast_img

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Beat writers predict Virginia to avenge 2016 Elite Eight loss against Syracuse

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Before Syracuse (14-9, 6-4 Atlantic Coast) hosts No. 9 Virginia (17-4, 7-2) Saturday in the Carrier Dome, our beat writers predict UVA to avenge its 2016 Elite Eight loss. The Cavaliers have won six of their last seven, with their only loss a two-point defeat at No. 4 Villanova. The Orange has won three straight.Our beat writers explain their predictions below.Connor Grossman (14-9)Pack-menVirginia 74, Syracuse 70Virginia one-ups Syracuse on both sides of the court, and it’s not particularly close. The Cavaliers pack-line defense will make it difficult to drive the paint, forcing SU to create its own shot around the perimeter. That makes for a far less dangerous Orange offense. On UVA’s scoring end, its 49.5 field-goal percentage is tops in the ACC. There’s going to be plenty of problems for Syracuse to address, but given how much SU better is at home, expect a close one on Saturday.Matt Schneidman (11-12)Fool me onceVirginia 73, Syracuse 62AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Cavaliers are a top-five defensive team in the country so don’t expect Syracuse to extend its streak of scoring 80 or more to four games in a row. Virginia has four rotation players shooting over 40 percent from 3, and we saw how poorly SU defended the long ball against North Carolina State. A win here would be monumental for the Orange, a second against a Top 10 opponent in the same week. But this mini-run for Syracuse may just be providing false hope. The Cavaliers avenge its Elite Eight loss and there’s no Malachi Richardson to save Syracuse this time.Paul Schwedelson (15-8)Hoos HouseVirginia 64, Syracuse 53Virginia may be the best team Syracuse faces the rest of the season. The Cavaliers rank third in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency, per Kenpom.com, and lead the ACC with an average of 53.4 points allowed. The Orange, even though its won the last three games, simply isn’t good enough to crack through the Cavaliers’ dominate defense. What gives SU hope is that UVA’s leading scorer, London Perrantes, averages just 12 points per game. While the Cavs are well rounded, it doesn’t have as many dangerous options as other teams Syracuse has faced. But on Saturday it won’t matter as the Orange’s offense can’t crack through with enough points. Comments Published on February 3, 2017 at 12:14 amlast_img read more

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