Blog: Page 26

Risk-Adjusted Performance Measurement. Part 1: Mind the Expectations

“The guiding principles for risk control,” said Carl Bacon, CIPM, Chairman of Statpro, and former Director of Risk Control and Performance at F&C Investment Management Ltd, “are integration and confidence in data.”  Bacon was in Toronto on September 17, 2012 to deliver a one-day workshop on risk-adjusted performance measurement to about a dozen members of the CFA Society Toronto as part of the Society’s continuing education program.  He is the author of  Practical Portfolio Performance Measurement & Attribution, which went into its second edition in 2008. Performance measurement is the calculation of portfolio return for purposes of  comparison against a […]

Madoff Scandal: Three Books, Three Perspectives

The Madoff scandal has spawned a sub-genre of work.  In the Toronto Public Library system, there are about twenty entries (books, e-books, DVDs) as of September 2012.  It’s already a crowded arena.  The books range from those written by victims (The Bag Lady Papers : The Priceless Experience Of Losing It All by Alexandra Penney, 2010) to those written by family (The End Of Normal : A Wife’s Anguish, A Widow’s New Life by Stephanie Madoff Mack, 2011) to those written by persons involved with hunting him down (No One Would Listen, by Harry Markopolos, 2010).  Only one mistress has […]

ETFs: Liquidity, Trading & Portfolio Implementation Strategies

When the CFA Society Toronto decides to hold an ETFs seminar in Toronto’s Hockey Hall of Fame, such as it did on the balmy evening of Sept 13, 2012, there is a competition for attention. The venue is full of items of interest to the die-hard fan, such as the shower sandals used by Alexander Ovechkin during the 2011 All-Star game. The lesser fan might stand there, equally transfixed, wondering what the secondary market for used shower sandals could be, even those of Alexander Ovechkin. The ETFs seminar had panel discussions covering three areas: market making, liquidity and trading; utilizing […]

Automated Trading with MATLAB

Stuart Kozola, product manager for computational finance at MathWorks, demonstrated examples of trading systems using MATLAB during a webinar on August 21, 2012.  In the first half he discussed how to develop an automated trading decision engine.  This meant identifying a successful trading rule, extending the trading rule set, and automating the trading rule selection.  In the second half of the webinar he showed implementation of the automated trading, with a caveat that these would require testing prior to integration and execution in the real-life scenario. The worked problem involved Brent oil futures.  The first challenge was to identify profitable […]

Executive Compensation: Insights for Investors

If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings and put compensation as a carrier behind it you almost don’t have to manage them. – Jack Welch Catherine McCall and Damian Yu, both principals at Hugessen Consulting , provided a lively overview of issues in executive compensation to an afternoon audience at the CFA Society Toronto offices on August 20, 2012.  The duo first outlined the current governance and market environment of compensation, then gave helpful pointers for deciphering management information, and concluded with “hot topics” in the area. Executive compensation deserves the attention […]

Impact of Basel III on Capital Instruments. Part 2: Football vs. Soccer

On August 16, 2012, speaking at a webinar hosted by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP), three panellists gave a perspective on the changes Basel III would wreak on capital instruments.  Click here for Part 1. The second speaker, April Frazer, Director of Client Solutions Group at Wells Fargo, gave an overview of the impact of the US Basel III proposal on market dynamics.  Due to regulatory limitations that she is subject to as a member of a financial institution, her talk is not reported on here. Steve Sahara, Global Head of DCM Solutions and Hybrid Capital, Crédit Agricole […]

Impact of Basel III on Capital Instruments. Part 1: Ramp-up in Capital

On August 16, 2012, three panellists gave a perspective on the changes Basel III would wreak on capital instruments.  It was a highly detailed talk, delivered at high speed, with many qualifications made to the main points, but the sponsoring organization GARP has done a tremendous service to its membership by gathering together these experts.  There are some excellent summary slides (link below).  This two-part posting showcases the top messages from the three experts, Dwight Smith, April Frazer, and Steve Sahara. In June 2012, three US regulatory bodies (the OCC, the Federal Reserve Board, and the FDIC) proposed three sets of […]

Tree Bagger & Tree Booster: MatLab for Data-Driven Fitting

Let’s say you want to create a predictive model without assuming an analytical form to the model.  How would you go about it? On August 14, 2012, Richard Willey, Technical Marketing Manager at MathWorks, demonstrated via webinar how input data could be fit using machine-learning approaches. The emphasis here is data-driven, as opposed to model-driven, fitting. “A limitation of regression techniques is that the user must specify a functional form,” said Willey, and the choice of that model is usually based on the domain model. Typically the data points are fit with high-order polynomials or Fourier series. Or, the user might run the data […]

Implications of the Euro Zone Crisis

When it comes to financial debt in the Euro Zone, “deleveraging has barely begun,” said Daniel Wagner, author and risk consultant.  “It’s a long and winding road.” On August 7, 2012, Daniel Wagner, CEO of Country Risk Solutions, a US-based cross-border risk management consulting firm, addressed a Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) audience about the Eurozone crisis.  Wagner, author of Political Risk Insurance Guide, and Managing Country Risk, published in 2012, spoke on a range of related topics.  Wagner’s talk was far-ranging and comprehensive (78 slides in 45 minutes).  He spoke about the impact of debt: in particular, the effect […]

US Implementation of Basel III. Part 2: The GPS for the Journey

On July 24, 2012, Peter Went, VP Banking Risk Management Programs at GARP, summarized the changing landscape of Basel III from a US perspective. First he outlined the deadlines and proposed changes; Part 1 of this posting covers these for the standardized approach. Financial institutions adhering to the advanced approach, Went said, must follow the Basel III counterparty credit risk rules. In some cases, correlations between asset values must be increased. A distinction will be made between securitization and resecuritization. [Ed. Note: To this, we say, “high time.” See, for example, Hull & White’s award-winning article in Financial Analysts Journal, […]