News > Financial Services

People Moves: Ex-Pimco equities head launches new firm; NYLife hires retail distribution lead
Asset Management
<p>Ex-Pimco equities head launches business. Virginie Maisonnueve has launched Maisonnueve Global Advisors in London to advise investment teams about global trends, business leadership, and digital innovation. Maisonneuve had a brief stint as head of Pimco's equities before leaving in June when Pimco closed its active equities funds. Maisonneuve previously worked at Schroders as head of global equities. Financial News</p> <p>New York Life hires retail distribution lead. Brian Jacobs has joined New York Life's MainStay Investments as head of U.S. retail distribution. Jacobs comes to the firm from Direxion Investments, a private ETF sponsor.</p> <p>Northern Trust names EMEA director. Northern Trust Asset Management has promoted Hazel McNeilage to managing director for Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Previous EMEA lead John Krieg returned to the U.S. in 2014 to become global head of institutional distribution. Pensions &amp; Investments </p> <p>Commonfund names ex-CalPERS exec CIO. Mark Anson has been hired as CIO for Commonfund, effective in January. Anson currently works for the Robert Bass family office. He worked at CalPERS until 2005 when he left to become CIO of Hermes Pension Management. Anson became President of Nuveen Investments in 2007, and moved to the Bass family office in 2013. FinAlternatives<br /> Photo: ©iStock.com/ooyoo<br /> &nbsp;</p>
Biosensors receives takeover proposal from CITIC PE
Asset Management
<p>After jilting Biosensors at the takeover altar, CITIC Private Equity is back to make amends, and then some.</p> <p>In a recent filing with the Singapore Exchange, Biosensors’ board of directors said they have received a takeover offer from CITIC Private Equity for an undisclosed amount, adding that “discussions are on-going,” and that “there is no certainty or assurance that these discussions will result in any transaction.”</p> <p>You can understand why they’re a little skeptical about it. Biosensors, a Singapore-listed, China-based medical device manufacturer, was originally propositioned by CITIC PE back in 2014, but according to another filing on the SGX, the private equity firm called off its plans and just wanted to be friends instead:<br /> “[T]he Board wishes to announce that CITIC Private Equity Funds Management Co., Ltd. (“CITIC PE”) has informed the Company that it has decided not to proceed with any take-over transactions involving the shares in the Company at this point of time. CITIC PE remains committed to cooperating with the Company and its management with a view to ensuring the Company’s continued success and to enhancing the value of CITIC PE’s investment.”<br /> Biosensors has called for a trading halt on its shares. We wish them all the best.<br /> Photo: Christina Alexanderson</p>
People Moves: AXA appoints senior fund manager; HSBC Global AM names new Singapore CEO
Asset Management
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>HSBC Global AM names new Singapore CEO. Puneet Chaddha, a 20-year HSBC veteran, has been named CEO of HSBC Global Asset Management Singapore. Pedro Bastos, Asia-Pacific CEO of HSBC Global AM, had this to say regarding Chaddha’s appointment:<br /> “Puneet has been with the HSBC Group for over two decades and has worked in several of our global businesses. He has successfully transformed the business in India in line with HSBC’s commercial and governance strategy. We are determined to expand our presence in Asia-Pacific and capitalise on our leading expertise and capabilities as a global asset manager to provide innovative products and bespoke solutions to meet our clients’ long-term investment goals.”<br /> Chaddha has held several key roles within HSBC, and prior to his current appointment, was CEO of HSBC Asset Management India. He will report to Pedro Bastos, Asia-Pacific CEO of HSBC Global AM, and to Matthew Colebrook, HSBC’s head of retail banking and wealth management in Singapore. Asia Asset Management</p> <p>AXA appoints senior equity fund manager. Simon Weston, an old hand in the Asia-Pacific investment arena, has been appointed senior equity fund manager by AXA Investment Managers. Mark Tinker, head of Framlington equities Asia, had this comment regarding Weston’s hiring:<br /> “With tremendous experience and a strong performance track record, we are excited to have Simon join us and are certain that he will bolster AXA IM’s positive momentum in the Asia Pacific.”<br /> Weston was previously with Semeru CLSA Capital Partners in Singapore, where he was managing director and portfolio manager of the firm’s Semeru Asian Equity High Yield fund. Prior to that, he worked at Old Mutual Asset Managers, Perpetual Investment Management, and Hill Samuel Asset Management. He will be based in Hong Kong and will report to Mark Tinker. Citywire Global</p> <p>M&amp;G Investments strengthens Asia team. M&amp;G Investments, in part of an initiative meant to bolster its Asia-Pacific intermediary team, has appointed Anthony Yeung as associate director and Sophia Shi as relationship manager.</p> <p>Yeung, who apparently holds more than 15 years’ experience in business development, client management and operations, will be joining the British firm from GAM, where he handled fund distribution sales as well as client management. Shi meanwhile joins M&amp;G from BNY Mellon, where she focused on private banks in Singapore and Malaysia. They will both report to Ben Cherrington, Director of Intermediary Channels, Asia Pacific. M&amp;G Investments (pdf)</p> <p>Robeco Asia CEO resigns. Tony Edwards, in a surprise move, recently resigned from his post as Asia-Pacific CEO of Robeco. He is reportedly leaving due to family reasons.</p> <p>Edwards’ was Robeco Asia’s CEO for over four years, and drove all of the Dutch firm’s businesses in the region during his tenure. Prior to that, he held several senior roles in various firms, including Head of Asia ex-Japan for Neuberger Berman. Asian Investor<br /> Photo: Luke Ma<br /> &nbsp;</p>
Financial markets are a game
Asset Management
<p>Financial Markets Are A Game by EconMatters<br /> Forget about Market Multiples: Totally Meaningless Sell-Side [email protected]</p> <p>Anyone thinking about investing in financial markets should realize that most of the professionals who are on the inside, i.e., have power and access to information and capital to move markets, do not view financial markets as investment vehicles, decisions about P/E ratios, equity multiples, etc. but rather see financial markets as a giant game of making money.</p> <p>Financial Markets are Giant Criminal Playgrounds</p> <p>Consequently the first thing all ‘investors’ need to realize is that markets are crooked, always have been, and always will be despite year after year of new regulations trying to prevent ‘crooked behavior’! Once you understand that the market is a giant game, and you stop thinking about the market from a valuation sense or a fundamentals standpoint; your next task is to identify the rules of the game, or the way the game is being played during your ‘investment horizon’ as in, when you as an investor are risking your capital in the markets.</p> <p>Market Makers Never Risk Anything: They Make Markets Move Directionally</p> <p>Most of the games in the market are about fooling other investors and taking their money, but there are all types of games, some actually can benefit average investors who actually believe in the fundamentals and a fair market. The problem is that you as an average investor will be thinking that the fundamentals are why an asset is going up, which can be the case, but the party will end while you are still looking at the same fundamentals that are in place, and the game players have already sold the stock or asset and bought derivatives in the opposite direction because they are Making the party to be over, there is no guess work involved on their end as they are Market Makers!</p> <p>Sell Dungarees to the Gold Rush Crowds </p> <p>In short, fundamentals do not matter in financial markets! This is the hardest thing that investors have to learn about financial markets because they have been so conditioned to believe that the financial markets are based upon the fundamentals because of all the folks who sell shovels and axes to the market participants. The amount of money made off of the financial markets over its history probably surpasses the amounts of money made from financial assets. Again the game within the game.</p> <p>An Example of Game Playing</p> <p>I will give you an example of a recent game just to get your mind to start thinking in terms of the games behind the financial markets. So remember when the Federal Reserve was dovish at the September Meeting and the markets had sold off in a tizzy fit, don`t be fooled there was a game already in place, and it played out according to the predetermined script.</p> <p>What you have to realize is that this game, and the entire game of selling the markets off because of “China Turmoil” had very little to do with China and a whole lot to do with pushing the financial markets down into quarter end. So when the new money came into financial markets for the Christmas Rally of the 4th quarter the game players have a low base from which to work from and have a monster fourth quarter. Most of the real money is made in derivatives off of the movement in the core assets due to the massive amount of leverage that can be attained. Therefore if you know wher</p>
Cooperman takes a 7.1% in Lionbridge Technologies
Hedge Funds
<p>Leon Cooperman and Glen Capital Partners have bought a 7.1% stake in translation services firm Lionbridge Technologies.</p> <p>With a total of $23 million of shares purchased with Glen Capital, Cooperman is now the third-largest stakeholder in Lionbridge, reports the Boston Business Journal. Lionbridge CEO Rory Cowan has a 6.3% stake in the company.</p> <p>Lionbridge currently trades for about $6 a share on the Nasdaq. In June the company announced a partnership with Californian Rocket Sound to produce voice production and translation for voice over services for video games. Lionbridge also acquired CLS Communication last year for $77 million. The company's current market capitalization is about $380 million.<br /> Photo: Insider Monkey</p>
Video: Third quarter GDP -- A blip or an omen of a slowdown?
Asset Management
<p>In an interview with CNBC,  Lindsey Piegza, Stifel Fixed Income Chief Economist, and David Lebovitz, JPMorgan Asset Management, offer opposing views on the slowdown in third quarter GDP, which came in at 1.5%, slightly less than expected. At the heart of the number: A reduction in inventories. Are inventories shrinking because CEOs are concerned about the consumer or is this a natural part of the business cycle and we can reasonably expect growth to resume at a higher pace in 2016?<br /> Chart: Bureau of Economic Analysis</p>
These ETFs should love the Pfizer-Allergan news
Asset Management
<p>In what could amount to the biggest takeover of a U.S. company in over a year, Dow component Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) is reportedly mulling an acquisition of specialty pharmaceuticals maker Allergan Plc (NYSE: AGN).</p> <p>"Pfizer recently approached Allergan about a deal, according to people familiar with the matter, with one of them adding that the process is early and may not yield an agreement. Other details of the talks are unclear," reports The Wall Street Journal.</p> <p>Allergan closed with a market value of about $113 billion on Wednesday. Pfizer's market value at Wednesday's close was nearly double that. New York-based Pfizer had nearly$30.3 billion in cash on hand at the end of the second quarter.</p> <p>As is par for the course with healthcare sector deal-making, a batch of exchange traded funds stand to benefit, particularly if ...</p> <p>Full story available on Benzinga.com<br /> Photo: e-Magine Art </p>
Oaktree wraps up funding for its first QDLP fund
Hedge Funds
<p>Oaktree may be expected to post weaker earnings on Friday, but it sure scored a big win on the funding circuit the other day.</p> <p>Shanghai Daily reports that the L.A.-based fund manager secured RMB1 billion ($157 million) for its first Qualified Domestic Limited Partner (QDLP) fund, making it one of, if not the, largest QDLP fund currently in action.</p> <p>Howard Marks, Oaktree’s distressed-asset virtuoso co-founder, had this to say:<br /> “The QDLP program demonstrates China’s continued efforts to open up global investment opportunities. The encouraging results demonstrate that investors identify with Oaktree’s investment philosophy and risk-focused approach.”<br /> Investors in the fund were Noah Holdings, CreditEase Wealth Management, and Harvest Capital Management. The fund, which will be managed offshore by Oaktree, is set to be invested using the firm’s bread and butter distressed-debt strategy.<br /> Photo: Charis Tsevis</p>
Hujiang.com raises $157 million from CMI, other firms
Venture Capital
<p>Investment firms are still hot for online education platforms, and Hujiang.com seems to be no exemption.</p> <p>Based in Shanghai, backed by Baidu, and filled with over 90 million registered users, the online school raised $157 million in its recent series D round according to China Money Network, and attracted investors as diverse as China's largest private investment fund, China Minsheng Investment (CMI), and the Hefei-based publisher, Waixin Media.</p> <p>How much CMI invested in the company was disclosed however, and how much the round valued it was not divulged as well. We do know though that Hujian.com is in the process of reorganization as it prepares to go public:<br /> “The company is in the process of corporate structure reorganization, and is planning an initial public offering inside China, according to announcements made at a press conference reported by Chinese media.”<br /> The Hina Group, in a press release entitled – and only containing the words – Hujiang.com Raised over RMB 1 Billion with Hina as Exclusive Financial Advisor, said that Hujiang.com raised over RMB 1 billion ($157 million) with Hina as its exclusive financial advisor.<br /> Photo: uberof202 ff</p>
Investor risk appetite soars in Asia
Asset Management
<p>While investors in the developed world rush for the exit, risk appetite among Asian investors surged to a new high in October, according to State Street’s latest Investor Confidence Index report (pdf).<br /> “The Global ICI decreased to 114.3, down 2.3 points from September’s revised reading of 116.6. The decline in sentiment was driven by a decrease in the North American ICI from 133.2 to 125.5 along with the European ICI falling 5.8 points to 89.9. By contrast, the Asia ICI rose by 13.2 points to 111.0.”<br /> The asset manager’s Ken Froot says that this is the first time the Asia ICI climbed above the 100-point threshold this year, an interesting data point given that Shanghai and Shenzhen were on full-on risk mode during the first eight months of the year.</p> <p>The main reason for the surge? Cheap money and SOE reforms, apparently:<br /> “[T]he increasingly accommodative stance taken by policy makers globally and hopes for state-owned enterprise reforms in China have had a large impact on Asian investors, boosting risk appetite by 13.2 points.”<br /> With the Fed back at square one and the fifth plenum supposedly focused on reforms, these guys must be having a ball now.<br /> Photo: GotCredit</p>