Evan Katz, Hedge Fund Association (HFA) Board Member, Discusses Hedge Funds, Institutional Investors & Successful Fundraising

Feel free check out a short (three-minute) but very informative and highly insightful interview with Evan Katz, a Managing Director at Crawford Ventures, Inc., and an elected Director on the Hedge Fund Association (HFA) Board of Directors.

Mr. Katz discusses hedge funds, institutional investors and successful fundraising, especially by mid-size funds and emerging managers.  He is interviewed here, as an expert on these topics, at the HFA’s recent annual “Hedgeopolis” hedge fund and institutional investor conference in Manhattan (Nov. 9-10, 2015).

Also, as Crawford works with hundreds of institutional and family office investors that collectively allocate many billions of dollars to hedge funds, please feel free to contact Mr. Katz (EKatz@CrawfordVentures.com) if you work with or otherwise know any compelling hedge funds that are looking for more investors and to grow their AUM.

Evan Katz, Hedge Fund Association (HFA) Board Member, Discusses Hedge Funds, Institutional Investors & Successful Fundraising from Evan Katz on Vimeo.

Top 5 Colleges to Attend For a Future in Hedge Funds

According to an article published by FINalternitives, graduating from a top school with a concentration in finance does not always mean that you will be offered a job, especially in the specialized world of hedge funds. A study conducted by SumZero, an investment social network dedicated to professional investors (and more commonly referred to as the “buyside”), proved that gaining a job in hedge funds takes a lot more than just graduating from a top school.

The head of data science at SumZero, Luke Schiefelbein, told CNBC that in the study, a “top fund” category was created by using a combination of rankings. He notes:

“‘The most highly represented schools on SumZero are similar in order to those you might find on a U.S. News ranking, but the schools with alumni that are most successful at getting jobs at top hedge funds show a much different order… This suggests that top funds might be much more comprehensive in their selection process above and beyond simply identifying those that went to the top schools’” (FINalternatives, 10 Best Schools If You Want to Work at a Top Hedge Fund).

The study was based on a survey of 11,000 members that SumZero considered to be an appropriate size to represent the 100,000 – person buy side community. The list includes universities that have the highest number of graduates who work at top hedge funds. Here are the top five schools on the list, as stated by FINalternatives:

  1. Colgate, Percentage of graduates who work in top hedge funds: 17.65
  2. MIT, Percentage of graduates who work in top hedge funds: 15.12
  3. Johns Hopkins, Percentage of graduates who work in top hedge funds: 14.89
  4. Brigham Young, Percentage of graduates who work in top hedge funds: 14.71
  5. University of Pennsylvania, Percentage of graduates who work in top hedge funds: 12.23

Does your school make the cut? Find out if it’s in the top 10 here.

Alternative Assets Show Promise For Investors

As of most recent data calculated by Preqin late August shows, institutional appetite for alternative assets are progressively growing and show zero signs of slowing. According to an article published by FINalternatives, “Preqin latest Invest Outlook reveals that fully 79% of institutional managers have exposure to at least one alternative asset class,” (Appetite for Alternative Remains Strong Among Institutional Investors). That being said, there have been an increasing number of recognized benefits among investors that are related to these alternative assets.

Evan Katz Hedge FundsThough these benefits vary between institutional managers, the four main positive alternative asset reasoning similarities that Preqin notes are: diversification, reliable income streams, high returns, and inflation hedging characteristics. The report also shows that there will likely be a significant increase in investment throughout almost all asset classes in the coming year. Around 36% of infrastructure investors, 38% of private debt investors, and 42% of private equity investors plan to increase their investment in capital over the next year.

For hedge funds in particular, the Preqin report mentions that around 33% of investors are looking to invest in less capital over the next 12 months in comparison to the 19% that will increase their capital investments. Other interesting findings the report showed were:

“The vast majority of investors have a positive or neutral view of each asset class. For investors in private equity and real estate, this stands at 95% and 94% respectively. Conversely, 20% of investors in hedge funds have a negative perception of the asset class,” (Appetite for Alternative Remains Strong Among Institutional Investors).

It is clear there are major differences between hedge fund investments and real estate investments. Additional information states that over 60% of investors in real estate, private debt, and infrastructure are said to have target returns of at least 8% per year, compared to the 60% of private equity investors that have seen returns of at least 14%.

In conclusion, there are many reasons a wide variety of investors are attracted to alternative assets. Preqin CEO Mark O’Hare stated, “‘The high absolute returns generated by private equity, hedge funds’ ability to reduce volatility, the reliable income generated by private debt and the inflation-hedging characteristics of real assets are just some of the attractions for sophisticated investors,’” (Appetite for Alternative Remains Strong Among Institutional Investors).

For more information regarding Preqin’s latest findings, which surveyed over 460 investors in alternative assets from North America, Europe, Asia and elsewhere, please read FINalternatives article here.

How the ACA is Affecting Mid-Sized Finance Companies

According to a recent article published by the Hedge Connection Blog, mandated changes implemented by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have a large impact on U.S. firms who have between 51-100 employees starting in January 2016. The article states:

“Companies with 51-100 employees, who previously enjoyed the ‘economies of scale’ benefits associated with being in the large group health care market, will become part of the small group market as of their first renewal on or after January 1, 2016. While this change will happen across the U.S., we believe its impact will be very significant in New York State,” (Affordable Care Act (ACA) Changes Are Coming to U.S. Mid-Sized Businesses with Significant Impact for New York’s Finance Firms: Here is What You Need to Know to be Prepared).

This change will particularly impact New York State because there is a larger amount of mid-sized finance companies here compared to anywhere else in the country.

Business can expect a multitude of changes in January 2016, including an increase on healthcare premiums. Other predicted changes include the following:

  • Access to rich benefit plans many of these companies previously had will be reduced
  • Benefits will be selected from a group of plans that the carrier offers
  • “Small Group” market plans will be eliminated
  • Deductibles and out-of-network coverage will be affected
  • Advanced infertility treatments and other specific services will be lowered

For more information on how the ACA’s changes will severely affect mid-sized finance companies, please read the Hedge Connection Blog’s article here.

An Unexpected Shutdown on the NYSE

In our digital age, a computer malfunction or glitch can cause a sizeable catastrophe. From banks to private data, nearly every element of our lives are kept somewhere in cyberspace. Though this existence provides us with an unprecedented level of connection, we have become exposed, and some say reliant on technology. This symbiosis came to the fore when trading was halted on the New York Stock Exchange for over three hours Wednesday morning. Fearing attack from an outside element, officials at the NYSE were quick to respond.

With thousands of dollars being traded every moment, the New York Stock Exchange thrives on speed and efficiency. A blip, the smallest hiccup in that stream of data and dollars can cause untold financial damage to companies and brokers. The technical issue arose at precisely 11:32 a.m. EST, and caused more than it’s fair share of headaches.

Though the NYSE has denied any outside involvement with the interruption, chalking the blip up to “technical issues,” the delay only proved how desperately we rely on the fluidity of technology. “We’re currently experiencing a technical issue,” said a NYSE spokeswoman, “that we’re working to resolve as quickly as possible.” “We will be providing further updates as soon as we can, and are doing our utmost to produce a swift resolution…”

While causing a fair deal of trouble, trading was able to continue through other exchanges. Though NYSE officials reported slight electronic anomalies during early Wednesday morning, the problem was resolved shortly before the entire system went down. The problem all but solved, NYSE officials have reassured traders that their system will be at full capacity soon. And while anxious traders are ready to continue their business, many still remember the Nasdaq’s crash of 2013, and fear a repeat incident. For more on this story and the full article, click here.

Hedge Fund Magnate John A. Paulson Endows Harvard

On June 3rd, John A. Paulson, hedge fund magnate John Paulson made the largest gift in Harvard University’s history, donating $400 million to support the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). Paulson is a 1980 Harvard alumnus and is the founder and president of Paulson & Co.

Evan H. Katz hedge funds comments on latest donation to HarvardAt the event, Paulson stated, “‘There is nothing more important to improve humanity than education. For 379 years, Harvard has had a profound global impact across a multitude of disciplines that benefits all of humanity. Today’s gift will help continue that legacy by making SEAS a 21st-century engineering leader. It provides a solid endowment for faculty development, research, scholarships, and financial aid,’” (Harvard Receives Its Largest Gift, Harvard Gazette).

SEAS was founded in 1847 as the Lawrence Scientific School and later changed its name to the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 2007. The school has three undergraduate-level concentrations, which include biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering. There is also a master’s program that focuses on computational science and engineering. To honor Mr. Paulson, the School will be renamed the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

John A.Paulson was born in Queens to a father from Ecuador who served in the United States Army during WWII. Paulson founded Paulson & Co. in 1994 with $2 million, a company that now stands as one of Wall Street’s most successful hedge funds after making billions of dollars in 2007. The company specializes in alternative investments and manages over $18 billion. Before finding his company, Paulson worked at several firms including Bear Stearns and the Boston Consulting Group.

Harvard University acknowledges Paulson as an extremely intelligent, generous humanitarian who has donated to a plethora of causes involving the arts, health care, conservation, and, of course, education. He currently serves in the Harvard Business School Board of Dean’s Advisors, along with the Central Park Conservancy, the New York University Board of Trustees, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Evan H. Katz hedge funds Harvard University logo

To read more about John A. Paulson’s latest donation to Harvard, read this article published by the Harvard Gazette.

Nomura’s Rising U.S. Team

Nomura Holdings, Inc., a Japanese financial holding company, is the only international standalone investment bank that has incomparable access from, to, and within Asia. From their long history of growing financial markets in Japan and by fostering their growth all around the world to countries like the United States, Nomura holds a remarkably impressive network with clients and businesses across the globe.

Evan Katz -Nomura Holdings

According to a recent article published by FINalternatives, “Nomura has added two new executives to its U.S. prime finance team as the prime brokerage industry continues to restructure in the wake of regulatory changes,” (Nomura Strengthens North American Prime Finance Team). That being said, Nomura’s reputation and publicity in the U.S.’s financial world will be increasingly stronger in upcoming years – perhaps even months.

Nomura has named Ryan Donaldson the new executive director of their hedge fund financing in the U.S. after working at Goldman Sachs for eighteen years. In addition, “Walt Kingsberry is joining Nomura as a vice president, focusing on special situations.  He was most recently an equity options trader at ED&F Man and started at Nomura in February,” (FINalternatives, Nomura Strengthens North American Prime Finance Team). These employment changes are said to show Nomura’s consistent perseverance when it comes to enhancing their prime client offering with a focus on furthering their strength from the East to the West.

For more information regarding Nomura’s rising financial team in the United States, please read FINalternatives article here.

AIMA’s New Article on Hedge Funds & Finance

New AIMA paper study entitled,“Hedge Funds Step Up Financing of the Economy” explains the role of non-bank finance, which involves funds that provide direct lending and operate predominately in the US. The article explains:

“Outside of the US, bank deleveraging in Europe is creating an opportunity for institutional and private investors to expand direct lending to a range of sectors, and there are plenty of new approaches and structures emerging. Increased activity from capital markets as opposed to lending through traditional bank lending channels has produced material benefits. Included among these are increased market liquidity, a
greater diversity of funding sources and a more efficient allocation of risk among investors,”
(AIMA, Hedge Funds Step Up Financing of the Economy)

Read more here and at www.aima.org.