Activist strategies may obtain or attempt to obtain representation of the company's board of directors in an effort to impact the firm's policies or strategic direction and in some cases may advocate activities such as division or asset sales, partial or complete corporate divestiture, dividend or share buybacks, and changes in management. Strategies employ an investment process primarily focused on opportunities in equity and equity related instruments of companies which are currently or prospectively engaged in a corporate transaction, security issuance/repurchase, asset sales, division spin-off or other catalyst oriented situation. These involve both announced transactions as well as situations which pre-, post-date or situations in which no formal announcement is expected to occur. Activist strategies are distinguished from other Event Driven strategies in that, over a given market cycle, Activist strategies would expect to have greater than 50% of the portfolio in activist positions, as described.
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 Barclays Global High Yield Index is a multi-currency flagship measure of the global high yield debt market. The index represents the union of the US High Yield, the Pan-European High Yield, and Emerging Markets (EM) Hard Currency High Yield Indices.
Bloomberg Emerging Markets Hard Currency Aggregate Index is a flagship hard currency emerging markets debt benchmark that includes USD-denominated debt from sovereign, quasi-sovereign, and corporate EM issuers.
Bloomberg US Corporate High Yield Bond Index measures the USD-denominated, high yield, fixed-rate corporate bond market. Securities are classified as high yield if the middle rating of Moody's, Fitch and S&P is Ba1/BB+/BB+ or below.
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.
CTA (Commodity Trading Advisor) strategies use a managed futures strategy. They invest in futures contracts and use a variety of trading strategies which may include systematic trading and trend following. However, managers can actively manage investments using discretionary strategies, as well. CTA funds offering a managed futures strategy must be registered with the CFTC and NFA.
Credit strategies generally buy and sell fixed-income securities, such as high-yield bonds, distressed bonds, structured credit, and their derivatives. Managers look for a relative value between the senior and junior securities of the same corporate issuer. They also trade securities of equivalent credit quality from different corporate issuers, or different tranches, in the complex capital of structured debt vehicles like mortgage-backed securities (MBSs) or collateralized loan obligations (CLOs). Credit hedge funds focus on credit rather than interest rates.
Diversifying funds are hedge funds that are typically expected by HFRM to display low and often negative correlation and/or beta to traditional risk asset classes such as equities over an investment cycle, though certain funds in this category may display variable degrees of market correlation at certain points of the investment cycle. Such funds are often long volatility and generally may provide attractive diversification benefits to a client’s portfolio though returns may vary between gains and losses and can be volatile during any given time period. This internal classification is based on the analysis and subjective views of HFRM. 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 hedge funds classified as “Diversifying” will perform as described above. Hedge 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 hedge funds that are typically expected by HFRM to display moderate to high positive correlation and/or beta to traditional risk asset classes such as equities over an investment cycle, though certain funds in this category may display variable levels of correlation at certain points of the investment cycle. Such funds often invest with a (sometimes significant) net-long bias and because of this there may also exist a higher level of risk associated with these types of strategies. This internal classification is based on the analysis and subjective views of HFRM. 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 hedge funds classified as “Directional” will perform as described above. Hedge 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.
Distressed strategies invest in distressed debt. This type of debt can be loosely defined as the obligations of companies that have filed for bankruptcy or are very likely to file for bankruptcy in the near future. Hedge funds that invest in distressed debt purchase the bonds of firms that have filed for bankruptcy or are likely to do so in the near future.
Equity hedge strategies maintain positions both long and short in primarily equity and equity derivative securities. A wide variety of investment processes can be employed to arrive at an investment decision, including both quantitative and fundamental techniques; strategies can be broadly diversified or narrowly focused on specific sectors and can range broadly in terms of levels of net exposure, leverage employed, holding period, concentrations of market capitalizations and valuation ranges of typical portfolios. Equity Hedge managers would typically maintain at least 50% exposure to, and may in some cases be entirely invested in, equities - both long and short. EH is further subdivided into 7 sub-strategies.
Equity long/short strategies take long positions in stocks that are expected to appreciate and short positions in stocks that are expected to decline. A long-short equity strategy seeks to minimize market exposure while profiting from stock gains in the long positions, along with price declines in the short positions.
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.
Event-driven strategies maintain positions in companies currently or prospectively involved in corporate transactions of a wide variety including but not limited to mergers, restructurings, financial distress, tender offers, shareholder buybacks, debt exchanges, security issuance or other capital structure adjustments. Security types can range from most senior in the capital structure to most junior or subordinated, and frequently involve additional derivative securities. Event Driven exposure includes a combination of sensitivities to equity markets, credit markets and idiosyncratic, company specific developments. Investment theses are typically predicated on fundamental characteristics (as opposed to quantitative), with the realization of the thesis predicated on a specific development exogenous to the existing capital structure.
“Fallen angel” is a bond that was initially given an investment-grade rating but has since been downgraded to a below investment-grade rating.
Fixed income investing generally focuses on preservation of capital and includes investments like government and corporate bonds, CDs and money market funds.
Global 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.
Global macro strategies make leveraged “directional” investments on anticipated price movements of global stock markets, interest rates, foreign exchange and physical commodities, often using leverage and derivatives. Global macro advisors generally use a top-down approach and may invest in any markets using any instruments to participate in expected market movements. Directional bets introduce the risk that the managers have chosen the wrong direction to bet on. The use of leverage and trading derivative products require specialized skills, and may result in significant losses.
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.
HFRI Credit Index is a composite index of strategies trading primarily in credit markets. It is an aggregation of following 7 HFRI substrategy indices. HFRI ED: Credit Arbitrage Index, HFRI ED: Distressed/Restructuring Index, HFRI ED: Multi-Strategy Index, HFRI RV: Fixed Income-Asset Backed Index, HFRI RV: Fixed Income-Convertible Arbitrage Index, HFRI RV: Fixed Income-Corporate Index, and HFRI RV: Multi-Strategy Index.
HFRI Equity Hedge Index includes strategies which maintain positions both long and short in primarily equity and equity derivative securities. A wide variety of investment processes can be employed to arrive at an investment decision, including both quantitative and fundamental techniques; strategies can be broadly diversified or narrowly focused on specific sectors and can range broadly in terms of levels of net exposure, leverage employed, holding period, concentrations of market capitalizations and valuation ranges of typical portfolios. Equity Hedge managers would typically maintain at least 50% exposure to, and may in some cases be entirely invested in, equities - both long and short.
HFRI Event-Driven Index is an equal weighted index of multiple event-driven hedge fund managers. Event-driven is also known as “corporate life cycle” investing. This involves investing in opportunities created by significant transactional events, such as spin-offs, mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcy reorganizations, recapitalizations and share buybacks. The portfolio of some Event-Driven managers may shift in majority weighting between Risk Arbitrage and Distressed Securities, while others may take a broader scope. Instruments include long and short common and preferred stocks, as well as debt securities and options. Leverage may be used by some managers. Fund managers may hedge against market risk by purchasing S&P put options or put option spreads.
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 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 Macro: Systematic Diversified Index contains diversified strategies which have investment processes typically as a function of mathematical, algorithmic and technical models, with little or no influence of individuals over the portfolio positioning. Strategies which employ an investment process designed to identify opportunities in markets exhibiting trending or momentum characteristics across individual instruments or asset classes. Strategies typically employ quantitative process which focus on statistically robust or technical patterns in the return series of the asset, and typically focus on highly liquid instruments and maintain shorter holding periods than either discretionary or mean reverting strategies. Although some strategies seek to employ counter trend models, strategies benefit most from an environment characterized by persistent, discernable trending behavior. Systematic: Diversified strategies typically would expect to have no greater than 35% of portfolio in either dedicated currency or commodity exposures over a given market cycle.
HFRI Relative Value 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.
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 pay a high coupon due to a company’s poor (non- investment grade) credit worthiness.
ICE BofA BBB US Corporate Index is a subset of the ICE BofA US Corporate Master Index tracking the performance of US dollar denominated investment grade rated corporate debt publicly issued in the US domestic market.
Macro strategies trade a broad range of strategies in which the investment process is predicated on movements in underlying economic variables and the impact these have on equity, fixed income, hard currency and commodity markets. Managers employ a variety of techniques, both discretionary and systematic analysis, combinations of top down and bottom up theses, quantitative and fundamental approaches and long and short term holding periods. Although some strategies employ RV techniques, Macro strategies are distinct from RV strategies in that the primary investment thesis is predicated on predicted or future movements in the underlying instruments, rather than realization of a valuation discrepancy between securities. In a similar way, while both Macro and equity hedge managers may hold equity securities, the overriding investment thesis is predicated on the impact movements in underlying macroeconomic variables may have on security prices, as opposed to EH, in which the fundamental characteristics of the company are the most significant and integral to investment thesis.
Merger arbitrage strategies employ an investment process primarily focused on opportunities in equity and equity related instruments of companies which are currently engaged in a corporate transaction. Merger Arbitrage involves primarily announced transactions, typically with limited or no exposure to situations which pre-, post-date or situations in which no formal announcement is expected to occur. Opportunities are frequently presented in cross border, collared and international transactions which incorporate multiple geographic regulatory institutions, with typically involve minimal exposure to corporate credits. Merger Arbitrage strategies typically have over 75% of positions in announced transactions over a given market cycle.
MOVE, or the Merrill Lynch Option Volatility Estimate Index, is a yield curve weighted index of the normalized implied volatility on 1-month Treasury options which are weighted on the 2, 5, 10, and 30 year contracts.
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.
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.
Quant strategy is an investment fund that selects securities based on quantitative analysis. In a quant fund, the managers build computer-based models to determine whether an investment is attractive. In a pure "quant shop" the final decision to buy or sell is made by the model; however, there is a middle ground where the fund manager will use human judgment in addition to a quantitative model.
Relative value strategies 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.
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/LSTA (Loan Syndications and Trading Association) Leveraged Loan 100 Index is designed to measure the performance of the U.S. leveraged loan market based upon market weightings, spreads, and interest payments. The index is composed of loans bought by institutional investors that have partnered with S&P Global Market Intelligence’s Leveraged Commentary & Data (LCD). Index constituents are market-value weighted, subject to a single loan facility weight cap of 2%.