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By Caroline Bault, Managing Director of Global Business Development
This year marks the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the CAIA Association. In its relatively short history, the CAIA Association has experienced phenomenal growth and has become the benchmark in alternative investment education with more than 5,400 CAIA charter holders globally compared to 43 charter holders just 10 years ago.
Enthusiasm for the CAIA program and its comprehensive curriculum continues to be strong in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Exam registration numbers show sustained double digit growth firmly establishing the CAIA Charter as one of the most important credentials in the finance industry.
The past ten years have seen sustained growth in the CAIA community worldwide, inspiring the launch of 15 active chapters from the West Coast of the USA to Singapore and Hong Kong, and most recently Korea, supplementing our active European chapters and offering both educational and networking events locally on a regular basis. This past year alone, the CAIA Association has hosted more than 113 events in 33 cities worldwide attended by more than 5,000 fellow finance professionals from Los Angeles to Hong Kong, further establishing the importance of alternative investing and the relevance of the CAIA Program in the marketplace.
As the CAIA global member base rapidly expands, interest and support for the CAIA charter has made it the trusted resource for the alternative investment industry, especially as investors, managers, and consultants strive to deliver the best possible performance for their clients. With curriculum and materials uniquely developed by top academics and high level financial industry professionals, only CAIA can deliver the highest quality and cutting edge information, enabling all CAIA charter holders to showcase their knowledge with their peers, firms, and clients.
According to Hossein Kazemi, the Program Director at the CAIA Association, "Better knowledge of alternative investment products may have saved small and large investors billions of dollars during the past 3 years." Credentials that demonstrate a thorough understanding of the benefits and limitations of alternative investment products and strategies, and mastery of complex analytical tools to better identify, monitor, and manage the risks attached to alternative investment portfolios, are in high demand. With greater frequency, a job posting for a position in the alternative investment sector will mention "CAIA preferred."
Over the next ten years, the CAIA Association's goal is to continue to raise the educational standards in the alternative investment industry; yielding positive returns for financial industry professionals, as well as offering members and candidates access to thorough, up-to-date knowledge and understanding of the alternative investment industry and helping them perform and deliver better investment solutions to their clients.
In addition, plans are underway for continued strategic expansion. Partnerships with leading associations and academic institutions will continue to be formed as well as increased efforts to offer individual scholarships and support through the CAIA Foundation. New publications such as the Alternative Investment Analyst Review are being launched and both the Level I and Level II curriculum and study materials are being revised and updated to reflect the latest information and research in this dynamic field.
Sincere thanks go out to our founders, our inaugural member class, and to our entire community including members, candidates, staff, and all those who are enthusiastic about the CAIA mission and make significant contributions to our success.
Ken Shoji, Founder & Managing Partner, Stissing Lake Advisors, discusses risk management in hedge funds, including measurement, analysis, and reporting; liquidity management; risk budgeting and allocation; and tail risk strategies. He spoke with Wendy L. Coleman, CAIA, CFA, FRM, Senior Advisor to the CAIA Association, in New York, NY.
The Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association, sponsor of the CAIA charter, the benchmark for alternative investment education worldwide, today announced the appointment of Jane Buchan, chief executive officer of Pacific Alternative Asset Management Company, LLC ("PAAMCO"), as chairman of its board of directors.
"Jane's contributions to the industry and the association, as well as her vision for the CAIA Association, make her the ideal colleague to take the organization into the next decade," said Florence Lombard, chief executive officer of the CAIA Association.
"The world continues to increase in complexity and helping investors understand the growing array of investment opportunities and risks involved is central to CAIA's mission," said Buchan. "I am excited to continue to work with the preeminent provider of alternative investment education."
Buchan, who joined the CAIA Association Board in 2009, is the author of numerous professional publications on topics such as hedge funds, corporate risk, and market neutral strategies.
"Jane's knowledge and depth of management experience will be invaluable to CAIA's mission of providing the highest level of education to its members. Her background fits CAIA's cutting edge curriculum developed by academics and senior level industry professionals, which helps our members stay ahead in the dynamic field of alternative investing," added Lombard.
Buchan succeeds Thomas Schneeweis who served as board chair for the last year. Schneeweis will remain a member of the board and chairman of the CAIA Foundation.
As CEO of PAAMCO, Buchan is responsible for overall business strategy and firm direction. In addition, she is a sector specialist responsible for the evaluation and management of fixed-income relative value hedge funds in the various PAAMCO portfolios. She is also a member of the investment management, risk management, and account management committees.
Prior to forming PAAMCO, Buchan held a number of positions in the financial markets and was an Assistant Professor of Finance at the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. She graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in Economics and received both her M.A. and Ph.D. in Business Economics (Finance) from Harvard University.
Phuong Nguyen, CAIA, is the first recipient of the CAIA Academic Partnership Program Scholarship, entitling her to drastically reduced exam registration fees. Ms. Nguyen passed Level I in March 2011 and Level II in September of the same year. Having earned the CAIA Designation, she recently became a member. Andrew Tetreault, Program Assistant in the CAIA Curriculum Department, asked Phuong a few questions about her experience with the program.
Andrew: Congratulations on passing both the Level I exam and the Level II exam on your first try! Could you talk about your overall experience with the CAIA Program?
Phuong: Level I seemed very suited for students, whereas Level II appeared to be more suited to those with experience in the industry. Compared to the CFA (which I am taking), CAIA appears to focus more on analysis, and the due diligence side. As to the most interesting part of the program, I found the topics found in the CIT (CAIA Current and Integrated Topics) to be particularly interesting.
A: How did Clark University's Master of Science in Finance help you obtain the CAIA?
P: Several of the courses in the program were directly applicable to the CAIA exam; in particular, case studies of Bernie Madoff, were drawn from the CAIA curriculum. Specifically, courses discussing Fixed Income, Hedge Funds, and Investment Strategies, were very helpful in preparing for the CAIA exam and many were taught by a CAIA member.
Sondra Vitols, Professor of Practice in Finance at Clark, was particularly enthusiastic about the CAIA program and taught several of the related courses. She strongly encouraged us to take the CFA and the CAIA to help us get an edge for when we graduated.
A: Do you think you would have taken the CAIA had Clark NOT been an Academic Partner, and if so, when?
P: Probably not. I likely would have waited to take the CAIA until I'd gotten a job in the industry (if then).
A: What has been your path thus far?
P: I attended Clark, where I pursued a Master of Science in Finance, had an internship at AIA [Alternative Investment Analytics in Amherst, MA], where Satyabrota Das, Senior Analyst at Alternative Investment Analytics, told me about the CAIA program and recommended that I take it. Now I have a temporary contract position in the accounting department at State Street in Boston MA.
David Rogers, CA, CBV, Founding Partner, Caledon Capital Management, discusses constructing an institutional portfolio with private equity, what premium above public markets institutional clients are seeking from private equity, and infrastructure investing. Mr. Rogers spoke with Wendy L. Coleman, CAIA, CFA, FRM, Senior Advisor to the CAIA Association, in New York, NY.
The first in a series of interviews with industry professionals, Erik Knutzen, CAIA, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, NEPC, discusses the role alternatives play in investment portfolios, clients' expectations and fears in the current environment, risk budgeting, and common mistakes in manager selection. Mr. Knutzen spoke with Wendy Coleman, CAIA, CFA, FRM, Senior Advisor to the CAIA Association, in New York, NY.
100 Women in Hedge Funds has announced the second year of the 100 Women in Hedge Funds/CAIA Scholars program. The scholarship program, administered by the CAIA Foundation, was established in 2011 in collaboration with the 100WHF Institute and is underwritten by PAAMCO to support women seeking to earn the CAIA Designation, the highest standard of education in alternative investments. This scholarship is open annually to 10 individuals with an interest in pursuing a career in alternative investment management with a specific focus on portfolio management. To be considered for the 2012 entering CAIA class, applicants must be full members of 100 Women in Hedge Funds, not be eligible for program reimbursement by their employers, and have one year of professional experience in the alternative investment industry. The scholarships cover the enrollment and registration fees of the examination process of the CAIA Designation and also include study materials.
Applications to enter the CAIA program in September, 2012 will be accepted beginning February 1, 2012. Deadline to apply: 11:59 PM EDT on March 31, 2012. Please go to http://www.100womeninhedgefunds.org/pages/institute.php for more details and the link to start the application process.
The CAIA Foundation and its partners encourage talented professionals to apply for scholarships. Upon award, scholars must commit to entering the CAIA program within 12 months and submit a letter of application and two references. The scholarships cover enrollment and registration fees for CAIA Level I and Level II exams, the CAIA Knowledge Series textbooks, the Schweser CAIA Level I and Level II Premium Instruction Study Solution®, and the CAIA Association membership fee for the first year.
100 Women in Hedge Funds/CAIA Scholars receive:
The Scholarship Committee developed criteria for this initiative, and the CAIA Foundation reviews and selects the finalists, with the final decision being made by CAIA from among the recommended finalists.
2012 Scholarship awards will be announced May 1, 2012 for the September CAIA exam.
In a new working paper, Godfrey Cadogan, of Toronto's Ryerson University, offers a stock-price formula designed to capture the "empirical regularities of high frequency trading."
As is often the case, though, the discussion can leave those of us outside the quant world confused: Does the rendering of facts as a formula make them clearer, or does it just create a potentially misleading patina of precision?
Given Cadogan's ambitious-sounding program linking HFT, bubbles, and crashes all into one formula, one remarkable feature of the result is his formula's extreme simplicity, or, as Cadogan puts it, its "parsimony." I was reminded of the warnings in Emanuel Derman's recent book, Models.Behaving.Badly, that the "simple models" of finance economists have failed "to reflect the complex reality of the world around them." Read more.
March 2012 Exam Appointment Scheduling: CAIA candidates who have not yet scheduled an exam appointment are advised to do so as soon as possible as some centers are nearing capacity. Scheduling instructions are located on the CAIA website. You must be logged in as a registered candidate to view the instructions. If you encounter scheduling difficulties, please contact Pearson VUE directly for assistance. Contact details are included with your scheduling instructions.
Registration for the next exam period opens April 2, 2012. Exam dates are:
Hedge Funds World Middle East
Caroline Bault, Managing Director of Global Business Development of the CAIA Association, will be moderating two panels at this event. March 5-8, 2012
IMN's 10th Annual Alternative Investments Summit
Keith Black, Associate Director of Curriculum at the CAIA Association, will be speaking on Monday, March 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm on Evaluating Investment Operations and Alternative Trends and 3:45 pm on Commodities and Natural Resources. March 26-27, 2012
Zak Yeoh, CAIA, is the Performance Manager in the retirement division of FKP Limited, a leading Australian real estate and investment group. FKP owns and operates 76 retirement villages, a property asset class based primarily on a deferred management fee model.
Earning the CAIA Designation in October 2011, one of Zak's goals is to promote real estate and specifically retirement assets as an important alternative investment. Zak writes, "It is well documented that in every developed country, the growth in the senior age group will greatly outstrip growth in the general population; policy makers together with commercial enterprises will need to continually plan ahead to accommodate for the ageing population. An understanding of real estate, including retirement assets, is imperative as growth in this asset class will inevitably become stronger and the investment structure underlying this asset becomes more complex. For me, the CAIA Designation provided valuable insight into real asset investments and securitization of real estate and other alternative assets in a private equity or funds management structure. I would highly recommend anyone who is involved in the real estate investment space to pursue the CAIA Designation."
Before joining FKP, Zak was a financial analyst in London with a boutique property private equity firm and was a relationship manager in the corporate property division at Westpac Bank.
Zak earned a double degree at Monash University in Melbourne in Business with a major in Banking and Finance, and in Arts with a major in Politics.
Steve Wallace, CAIA, has been appointed Managing Director by Bryan, Garnier Asset Management (BGAM), a part of the privately owned French investment bank, Bryan, Garnier & Co. He is responsible for business development activities extending to product development and structuring. Steve will also be part of the senior management team and the investment committee.
Prior to joining BGAM, Steve was Director, Industry Relations – EMEA for the CAIA Association. During this time, he was instrumental in building a number of CAIA communities and chapters in addition to building awareness of the CAIA Designation.
A member of the CAIA Class of March 2007, Steve describes the benefits of the CAIA Designation: "I studied CAIA before joining the CAIA Association and found it to be an extremely robust study across the spectrum of alternative investments. In addition, the strength of the CAIA network shouldn't be underestimated and I would encourage all CAIA members to be active in their local CAIA communities. The brand is gaining momentum and given the continuing growth in alternative investments, I believe it will only become stronger."
Steve studied Financial Planning at RMIT in Australia. In addition to the CAIA Designation, he is a chartered member of the CISI and a member of UKSIF.
Fernando Walter Lolo, CAIA, has founded Directional Alpha®, LLC, a proprietary trading and alternative investment firm headquartered in Washington DC, focusing on global-macro and event-driven investment strategies.
Fernando serves as Managing Director, bringing on board 16+ years of experience in AI portfolio management, financial engineering, quantitative finance, carbon finance, private equity/venture capital, and alternative asset management. Previously, he was Portfolio Manager and AI Financial Specialist at the World Bank Group. He also worked in quantitative finance, corporate finance, and risk management in Latin America.
A CAIA member since October 2009, Fernando explains, "Earning the CAIA Designation has been key during my career in the alternative investment arena. CAIA Association's global approach to strategize and deliver cutting-edge rigorous curriculum in alternative investments, has scaled its positioning as a world class thought leader by raising the bar in the industry. Furthermore, the CAIA Designation has enhanced my business acumen with more refined actionable knowledge, which makes CAIA the designation of choice in alternative investments."
Fernando holds an MBA, a Master in Finance, and post-master degrees in Financial Engineering & Quantitative Finance from Harvard University, Columbia University, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Universidad de Buenos Aires, and Johns Hopkins University. He also holds the designation of Contador Público Nacional from CPCECABA in Argentina.
Samuel Kunz, CAIA, was selected as a runner up for the aiCIO Industry Innovation Awards in the Public Pension Plan Below $15 Billion category. According to aiCIO, "the awards mean innovation – not just for the sake of it, but also for the greater preservation of capital. They mean understanding, and acting upon, material risks in today's markets. They mean long-term, consistent results – and establishing a solid foundation for future returns. They mean understanding the goal at hand, and marshaling all available resources to meet that goal. They mean all these qualities brought together in a small number of service providers and funds that can truly be considered Industry Innovators."
Sam oversees $3 billion at the City of Chicago Policemen's Annuity and Benefit Fund and has been profiled in InvestHedge for his investment strategies as CIO.
According to Sam, "the CAIA curriculum and the benefits of its membership help me to remain at the forefront of creative thinking and design innovative solutions to better serve the 8,000 retired and 13,000 active employees of the Plan. Alternative strategies are an area of extreme focus for our fund, and we continue to aggressively pursue opportunities in private equity, real estate, infrastructure, GTAA, fund of hedge funds, and real assets in order to improve the efficiency of the overall portfolio. CAIA has provided me with the building blocks to better understand these complex strategies."
Sam earned his CAIA Designation in April 2010.
Maria Bergliden-French, CAIA, has recently joined Rockspring Property Investment Managers LLP as Business Development Manager. She will be working closely with Rockspring's sales directors and fund managers to support new capital raising initiatives globally.
Previously, Maria held various roles in investment management, business development, and client servicing for hedge fund, private equity, and real estate investments at Barclays Wealth. Most recently, she was a key member of the real estate origination team responsible for origination and coverage of global real estate investment opportunities for private clients.
A member of the CAIA class of March 2008, Maria writes, "The CAIA Program has given me a strong foundation in Alternative Investments and I could not recommend it highly enough to colleagues who want to broaden their knowledge of various alternative investment strategies. Having been involved in the exam grading, I have also experienced firsthand the dedication of all of the CAIA team who facilitate the organization and help keep the designation relevant for this fast moving area of investments."
Maria graduated from Cass Business School (formerly City University Business School) with a BSc in Business Studies and completed her MA in International Financial Analysis from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. She is currently a student in the flexible master's program at the University of Reading and is completing her MSc in Real Estate Investment Appraisal.