Asset class definitions

Cash is represented by US 3-month Government Bond TR, measuring the US dollar-denominated active 3-Month, fixed-rate, nominal debt issues by the US Treasury.

Commodities asset class contains the index composites – GSCI Precious Metals Index, GSCI Energy Index, GSCI Industrial Metals Index, and GSCI Agricultural Index – measuring investment performance in different markets, namely precious metals (e.g., gold, silver), energy commodity (e.g., oil, coal), industrial metals (e.g., copper, iron ore), and agricultural commodity (i.e., soy, coffee) respectively. Reuters/Jeffries CRB Spot Price Index, the TR/CC CRB Excess Return Index, an arithmetic average of commodity futures prices with monthly rebalancing, is used for supplemental historical data.

Developed Market Corporate Fixed Income is composed of Bloomberg Barclays indices capturing investment debt from seven different local currency markets. The composite includes investment grade rated corporate bonds from the developed-market issuers.

Developed Market Equity is composed of MSCI indices capturing large-, mid- and small-cap representation across 23 individual developed-market countries, as weighted by the market capitalization of these countries. The composite covers approximately 95% of the free float-adjusted market capitalization in each country.

Developed Investment Grade Fixed Income is composed of Barclays indices capturing investment-grade debt from twenty different local currency markets. The composite includes fixed-rate treasury, government-related, and investment grade rated corporate and securitized bonds from the developed-market issuers. Local market indices for US, UK and Japan are used for supplemental historical data.

Diversifying funds are alternatives funds that are typically expected to display low and often negative correlation and/or beta to traditional risk asset classes such as equities over an investment cycle, though some funds in this category may display variable degrees of market correlation at certain points of the cycle. Such funds are designed to perform better during periods of high market volatility and generally may provide attractive diversification benefits to a client’s portfolio although returns may vary between gains and losses and can be volatile during any given period. This internal classification is based on the analysis and subjective views of CGW Alternatives. The internal classification is subject to change without notice to investors and there is no guarantee that the funds will perform as described above. It is important to note that the market strategy described above will not completely eliminate market risk. There is no guarantee that alternatives funds classified as “Diversifying” will perform as described above. Alternatives funds should not be invested in based on their classification as “Diversifying” and other assets in a client’s overall portfolio should be taken into consideration before an investment is made.

Directional funds are alternatives funds expected to display moderate to high positive correlation and/or beta to traditional risk asset classes such as equities over an investment cycle, though some funds in this category may display variable levels of correlation at certain points of the cycle. Such funds often invest with a (sometimes significant) net-long bias, and because of this may also carry a higher level of risk. This internal classification is based on the analysis and subjective views of CGW Alternatives. The internal classification is subject to change without notice to investors and there is no guarantee that the funds will perform as described above. It is important to note that the market strategy described above will not completely eliminate market risk. There is no guarantee that alternatives funds classified as “Directional” will perform as described above. Alternatives funds should not be invested in based on their classifications as “Directional” and other assets in a client’s overall portfolio should be taken into consideration before an investment is made.

Emerging Market Fixed Income is composed of Barclays indices measuring performance of fixed-rate local currency emerging markets government debt for 19 different markets across Latin America, EMEA and Asia regions. iBoxx ABF China Govt. Bond, the Markit iBoxx ABF Index comprising local currency debt from China, is used for supplemental historical data.

Emerging Markets (EM) Hard Currency Fixed Income is represented by the FTSE Emerging Market Sovereign Bond Index (ESBI), covering hard currency emerging market sovereign debt.

Equity market neutral is an investment strategy in which the portfolio manager attempts to exploit differences in stock prices by being long and short an equal amount in closely related stocks.

Hedge Funds are composed of investment managers employing different investment styles as characterized by different sub categories:

  • HFRI Equity Long/Short: Positions both long and short in primarily equity and equity derivative securities; 
  • HFRI Credit: Positions in corporate fixed income securities;
  • HFRI Event Driven: positions in companies currently or prospectively involved in wide variety of corporate transactions; 
  • HFRI Relative value: Positions based on a valuation discrepancy between multiple securities;
  • HFRI Multi Strategy: Positions based on realization of a spread between related yield instruments;
  • HFRI Macro: Positions based on movements in underlying economic variables and their impact on different markets;
  • Barclays Trader CTA Index: The composite performance of established programs (Commodity Trading Advisors) with more than four years of performance history.

High Yield Bank Loans are debt financing obligations issued by a bank or other financial institution to a company or individual that holds legal claim to the borrower’s assets in the event of a corporate bankruptcy. These loans are usually secured by a company’s assets, and often pa y a high coupon due to a company’s poor (non-investment grade) credit worthiness.

High Yield Fixed Income is composed of Barclays indices measuring the non-investment grade, fixed-rate corporate bonds denominated in US dollars, British pounds and euros. Securities are classified as high yield if the middle rating of Moody’s, Fitch, and S&P is Ba1/BB+/BB+ or below, excluding emerging market debt. Ibbotson High Yield Index, a broad high yield index including bonds across the maturity spectrum, within the BB-B rated credit quality spectrum, included in the below-investment-grade universe, is used for supplemental historical data.

Multi-Strategy Hedge Funds combine different single hedge fund strategies in one portfolio and differentiate considerably from each other. Most often, such portfolios include a variety of long-short, relative value and event-driven strategies.

Private Credit is debt financing provided by non-bank lenders such as hedge funds, private debt funds, business development companies (BDCs) and specialty finance companies. Private credit can take on various forms, including direct loans, mezzanine financing or private debt funds. Small- and medium-sized companies most commonly take on private credit.

Private Equity is an alternative investment class which at its most basic form is the capital or ownership of shares not publicly traded or listed on a stock exchange. Its characteristics are often driven by those for Developed Market Small-Cap Equities, adjusted for illiquidity, sector concentration and greater leverage.

Real Assets are physical assets that have an intrinsic worth due to their substance and properties. Real assets include precious metals, commodities, real estate, land, equipment, and natural resources.

Real Estate Investment Trust or REIT is a corporate entity that either has bulk or all its asset base, income and investments related to real estate. In the US under Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) guidelines, for an entity to qualify as an REIT, at least 90% of its taxable annual income to shareholders in the form of dividends must be from real estate. While typically REITs are publicly traded, not all are, as Public Non-Listed REITs (PNLRs) can register with SEC as REITs, but do not trade on major stock exchanges.

Relative Value Hedge Funds maintain positions in which the investment thesis is predicated on realization of a valuation discrepancy in the relationship between multiple securities. Managers employ a variety of fundamental and quantitative techniques to establish investment theses, and security types range broadly across equity, fixed income, derivative or other security types. Fixed income strategies are typically quantitatively driven to measure the existing relationship between instruments and, in some cases, identify attractive positions in which the risk adjusted spread between these instruments represents an attractive opportunity for the investment manager. RV position may be involved in corporate transactions also, but as opposed to ED exposures, the investment thesis is predicated on realization of a pricing discrepancy between related securities, as opposed to the outcome of the corporate transaction.

Structured Credit is an investment strategy which involves pooling similar debt obligations and selling off the resulting cash flows. Structured credit products are created through a securitization process, in which financial assets such as loans and mortgages are packaged into interest-bearing securities backed by those assets, and issued to investors. This, in effect, re-allocates the risks and return potential involved in the underlying debt.

Index definitions

Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Bond Index is a flagship measure of global investment grade debt from twenty-four local currency markets. This multi-currency benchmark includes treasury, government-related, corporate and securitized fixed-rate bonds from both developed and emerging markets issuers.

Bloomberg US Corporate High Yield Bond Index measures the USD-denominated, high yield, fixed-rate corporate bond market. 

Cliffwater Direct Lending Index (CDLI) measures the un-levered, gross-of-fees performance of US middle-market corporate loans, as represented by the underlying assets of Business Development Companies (BDCs), including both exchange -traded and unlisted BDCs, subject to certain eligibility criteria.

HFRI Equity Hedge: Equity Market Neutral Index is an index of equity market neutral strategies, which employ sophisticated quantitative techniques of analyzing price data to ascertain information about future price movement and relationships between securities, select securities for purchase and sale. These can include both factor-based and statistical arbitrage/trading strategies. Equity Market Neutral Strategies typically maintain characteristic net equity market exposure no greater than 10% long or short.

HFRI Fund of Funds Composite Index is an index of fund of funds, which invest with multiple managers through funds or managed accounts. The strategy designs a diversified portfolio of managers with the objective of significantly lowering the risk (volatility) of investing with an individual manager. The Fund of Funds manager has discretion in choosing which strategies to invest in for the portfolio. A manager may allocate funds to numerous managers within a single strategy, or with numerous managers in multiple strategies. The minimum investment in a Fund of Funds may be lower than an investment in an individual hedge fund or managed account. The investor has the advantage of diversification among managers and styles with significantly less capital than investing with separate managers.

HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index is a global, equal-weighted index of single-manager funds that report monthly net of all fees performance in US Dollar and have a minimum of $50 Million under management or $10 Million under management and a 12-month track record of active performance. The index does not include fund of funds.

HFRI Macro (Total) Index is an equal weighted index of multiple macro fund managers. Macro involves investing by making leveraged bets on anticipated price movements of stock markets, interest rates, foreign exchange and physical commodities. Macro managers employ a “top-down” global approach, and may invest in any markets using any instruments to participate in expected market movements. These movements may result from forecasted shifts in world economies, political fortunes or global supply and demand for resources, both physical and financial. Exchange-traded and over-the-counter derivatives are often used to magnify these price movements.

HFRI Relative Value (Total) Index is an equal weighted index that maintains positions in which the investment thesis is predicated on realization of a valuation discrepancy in the relationship between multiple securities. Managers employ a variety of fundamental and quantitative techniques to establish investment theses, and security types range broadly across equity, fixed income, derivative or other security types.

Merrill Lynch High Yield Master II Index is an index commonly used for high-yield corporate bonds. The Master II is a measure of the broad high yield market, unlike the Merrill Lynch BB/B Index, which excludes lower-rated securities. It is an unmanaged index comprised of over 1,200 high yield bonds representative of high yield bond markets as a whole. It includes zero-coupon bonds and payment-in-kind (PIK) bonds.

Morningstar LSTA US Leveraged Loan 100 Index is designed to measure the performance, activity, and key characteristics of the most tradeable loans in the US leveraged loan market (see “Bank loans, also known as leveraged loans,” above). Index constituents include the 100 largest facilities (i.e., outstanding loans) at any given time in the US, weighted by market value, subject to a single loan facility weight cap of 2%.

MSCI World Index covers large- and mid-cap equities across 23 Developed Markets countries. With 1,603 constituents, the index covers approximately 85% of the free float-adjusted market capitalization in each country.

Pitchbook Private Capital Index is a capital-weighted, aggregate quarterly returns index which captures private equity, venture capital, real estate, real assets, private debt, funds of funds, and secondaries funds.

Preqin Private Capital Quarterly Index captures the return earned by investors on average in their private capital portfolios, based on the actual amount of money invested in private capital partnerships.

S&P 500 Index is a capitalization-weighted index that includes a representative sample of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the US economy. Although the S&P 500 focuses on the large-cap segment of the market, with over 80% coverage of US equities, it is also an ideal proxy for the total market.

S&P U.S. High Yield Corporate Bond Index is designed to track the performance of U.S. dollar-denominated, high-yield corporate bonds issued by companies whose country of risk use official G-10 currencies, excluding those countries that are members of the United Nations Eastern European Group (EEG).

SG (Societe Generale) Trend Index is designed to track the 10 largest (by AUM) trend following CTAs and be representative of the trend followers in the managed futures space. The index is equal-weighted and reconstituted annually.

Other terminology

Aggregate Deal Value USD BN is the total value of deals that occurred in the specified time period, for the specified asset class.

Business Development Company, also known as a BDC, is a regulated investment company that raises capital from individual and institutional investors through the sale of shares in the stock market. BDCs provide financing to private companies, typically small- and mid-sized businesses. BDCs are required to distribute a significant portion of their taxable income to shareholders in the form of dividends.

Collateralized loan obligations or CLOs are securities that are backed by a pool of loans. CLOs are a means to repackage portfolios of loans to be sold to investors and generate liquidity for loan underwriters to make additional loans.

Corporate Acquisition is defined as a corporate transaction where one company purchases a portion or all of another company's shares or assets.

Acquisitions are typically made in order to take control of, and build on, the target company's strengths and capture synergies.

Correlation is a statistical measure of how two assets or asset classes move in relation to one another. Correlation is measured on a scale of 1 to -1. A correlation of 1 implies perfect positive correlation, meaning that two assets or asset classes move in the same direction all of the time. A correlation of -1 implies perfect negative correlation, such that two assets or asset classes move in the opposite direction to each other all the time. A correlation of 0 implies zero correlation, such that there is no relationship between the movements in the two over time.

EV/Revenue Multiple is a ratio that compares the total valuation of a firm's operations (enterprise value) to the amount of sales generated in a specified period (revenue).

G2 or Group of Two is a hypothetical and an informal grouping made up of the United States of America and People's Republic of China that was first proposed by C. Fred Bergsten. While the original concept had a strong economic focus, more recent iterations have a more all-encompassing focus.

IPO or Initial Public Offering refers to the process of offering shares of a private corporation to the public in a new stock issuance for the first time. An IPO allows a company to raise equity capital from public investors.

IRR or Internal Rate of Return is a metric used in financial analysis to estimate the profitability of potential investments. IRR is a discount rate that makes the net present value (NPV) of all cash flows equal to zero in a discounted cash flow analysis.

Leveraged Buyout (LBO) is the acquisition of another company using a significant amount of borrowed money (bonds or loans) to meet the cost of acquisition. The assets of the company being acquired are often used as collateral for the loans, along with the assets of the acquiring company.

Nearshoring refers to a business strategy that involves companies shifting their manufacturing and production operations closer to their main markets, allowing them to reduce transportation costs and deliver their products faster to customers.

Net IRR, or internal rate of return, is a performance measurement equal to the internal rate of return after fees and carried interest are factored in. It is used in capital budgeting and portfolio management to calculate an investment's yield or overall financial quality by calculating an expected rate of return.

Non-traditional credit is a term used to describe debt instruments that are not issued by regulated banks or traded on an open market.

Public listing refers to a security which is publicly traded on an established stock exchange or national market system; and, with respect to an entity, that such entity is the issuer of a security that is publicly listed.

Refinancing refers to the process of revising and replacing the terms of an existing credit agreement, usually as it relates to a loan or mortgage.

Restructuring is a significant action undertaken by a company in order to modify its operations with the intention of reducing debt, increasing efficiency and improving the business going forward. A business restructure is most common in companies facing financial difficulties.

Secondary Buyout refers to a transaction involving the sale of a portfolio company by one financial sponsor or private equity firm to another. This kind of buyout indicates the end of the seller's control or involvement with the company.

Shadow banking system is a term used to describe financial intermediaries that engage in bank-like activities, usually lending, but are not subject to banking regulatory oversight.

Sponsor Acquisition refers to the acquisition directly or indirectly by a company (and/or its respective affiliates).

Strategic Return Estimates (SRE) are Citi Global Wealth Investments’ forecast of returns for specific asset classes over a 10-year time horizon. The forecast for each specific asset class is made using a proprietary methodology that we believe is appropriate for that asset class.

Trade Sale is the disposal of a company's shares or assets, in whole or in part to another company, an M&A exit, in other words, in which the target company is acquired for cash or stock.

Vintage Year in the private equity and venture capital industries refers to the year in which a fund began making investments or, more specifically, the date in which capital was deployed to a particular company or project. Investors may cite the vintage year in order to gauge a potential return on investment (ROI).

Volatility is a statistical measurement of the variability of return, commonly defined as either the standard deviation of returns. The higher an asset or asset class’s volatility, the riskier it is seen as being