Wednesday, February 15, 2012

NZARA now on LinkedIn...

Hi - we now have a group for NZARA on LinkedIn. Feel free to look it up. This is a useful way to stay in touch with the New Zealand alternative investment industry and NZARA members in particular. We are looking for two-way communication and discussion of those topics that members think are important. If you are a manager or an investor, please feel free to make contact through the group on LinkedIn. Go to . Search for "New Zealand Absolute Return Association Inc".

Thursday, October 20, 2011

NZARA update...October 2011

Hi. Welcome back to the NZARA Blog. The core NZARA group continues to operate in what is a very challenging environment for investment managers - both from a market environmental perspective, and also from a regulatory perspective. New Zealand managers are coping well in context, albeit with year-to-date performance that is slightly negative (see chart above -3.57% YTD). With global equities down almost 14% YTD at the end of September, it appears that there remains significant diversification benefits from being exposed to New Zealand managers in a portfolio. The HFRX Global Hedge index is down over 8% YTD which shows that not only are New Zealand managers an appropriate diversifier for a standard portfolio - but also for an hedge fund portfolio. The index is still annualizing at above 12% over its 4 year history - through one of the worst episodes in financial market history. The association continues to experience steady membership growth with several innovative investment strategies making their way onto the NZARA roster over the last 12 months. As usual, the NZARA members will meet in December in Auckland for an end-of-year function - this year on Auckland's beautiful harbour. This will be a time to catch up with each other as well as to introduce the managers to a range of important local investors. Please feel free to make contact if you wish to have more information on the NZ alternatives industry and/or its constituent managers.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Ernst & Young NZ Absolute Return Index - progress...

Hi all.

Time for an NZARA Blog update. The Ernst & Young New Zealand Absolute Return Index continues to build on its successful history, finishing April 2011 at +4.372% year-to-date. The index is annualizing at over 16% per annum after a 2010 annual performance of +10.517%. The index currently has six managers representing a balance of global equity beta, commodities, trend-following and tail risk with a new manager being evaluated that will further diversify the asset class exposures. There is substantial interest coming through to develop the index into investable products. Although the index was designed to promote the competency of New Zealand investment managers, developing investable exposures to the index has always been encouraged. We will update you with further as it develops. Talk to you all soon.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

June 2010 Update

Hi. Its been awhile since I posted to the NZARA blog so I thought it was time to give you a quick update.

The core NZARA group remains intact although more geographically disparate with members partially emigrating their businesses as a result of the growing due diligence pressures. The news has been good overall with those having made the commitment benefiting in increased assets under management. It is clear there are still benefits to having a presence in NZ with operational staff remaining here. We expect this trend to continue.

The Ernst & Young Absolute Return Index (see chart below) is down slightly for the year - essentially treading water in 2010 but we now have close to a 3 year track record - and what a track record it is - annualizing at over 15% through one of the more difficult trading environments of the last few decades. See the Index Performance page at http:/

We have some congratulations to offer one of our individual members, Tony Cooper, an expert quantitative analyst (and principal) with Double Digit Numerics who won first place in the US-based National Association of Active Investment Managers (NAAIM) Wagner Award for Advancements in Active Investment Management. Tony's paper focuses on alpha generation and risk smoothing using volatility of volatility. The paper produces a formula for the optimal leverage of an investment in any given market volatility environment. Tony's success led to being interviewed live on CNBC in the US. Congratulations Tony!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Opalesque New Zealand Roundtable...

Hi. Opalesque's Matthias Knab recently came down to New Zealand to do the second Opalesque New Zealand Roundtable - the first one took place in 2008. Of course the balanced performance of the Ernst & Young New Zealand Absolute Return Index over the last couple of years came up in the conversation. For some insight into the thinking of New Zealand managers and investors - please go to:

Thanks to all who took part.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

NZARA appoints the executive team for 2010...

Hi. At a meeting today (March 11 2010) a quorum elected the following to executive roles within the New Zealand Absolute Return Association Inc. The executive is:

Anthony Limbrick - Chairman (reappointed)
Mark Sleeman - Deputy Chairman (new)
Monique Le Roux - Secretary (new)

Contact details are available on the website at

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Equities boost July index performance...

Hi there
The good performance continues for the Ernst & Young New Zealand Absolute Return Index – up almost 3% in July and up over 8% YTD.

The index was +20% last year and +8% over its first 6 months in 2007.

The index continues to demonstrate how a well-balanced portfolio may avoid the problems of beta or other macro problems.

The directional/volatility strategies which did so well last year are not doing quite as well this year – but the equity and commodity components are going great guns – and thus we have a very smooth return series through one of the worst environments in memory.
In July the biggest contributor was Australasian small cap manager, Pie Funds (+8.6% MoM), which is up over 50% year to date. Another strong performer was Commodity Strategies. Their NZARA Average was + 7.95% in July putting them +14% YTD. Well done guys.