Schroders launches in-residence programme for fintechs
Schroders will offer fintech start-ups the opportunity to pitch for investment, access to mentors from different parts of its business, as well as desk space in its offices. This is part of a 12-month programme called Cobalt, aimed at tech companies that are developing innovative solutions relevant to investment management, which have already progressed beyond the conceptual or early-growth stage.
“By collaborating with ground-breaking tech start-ups, we can tackle legacy technology issues with problem-solving innovation for the benefit of our clients and our own productivity,” said Graham Kellen, Schroders’ Chief Digital Officer. “In turn, the start-ups we choose to work with will also profit from our industry expertise and resources to fast-track their development.”
CEO Peter Harrison added that Cobalt “gives us direct access to a pipeline of innovators enabling us to harness tomorrow’s technology to better tackle today’s investment and industry challenges.”
World’s largest pension will only pay for alpha
Japan’s $1.4 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) is changing the way it rewards its external active managers to forge a closer link between outperformance and compensation. From next month onwards, all GPIF’s active managers will receive the same flat fees as passive managers for an equivalent mandate size, plus a second instalment payable only if they outperform.
Active managers previously earned higher flat fees than passive players, which GPIF felt did not align managers’ interests with its own. “Our external asset managers have tended to focus on getting more [assets] from GPIF and to avoid taking appropriate risks required to achieve their target alpha,” GPIF stated. “By introducing the new fee structure, we would like to build a win-win relationship between GPIF and external asset managers.”
GPIF’s active managers include Amundi, Schroders, Invesco, Eastspring, Nomura, Fidelity International, J.P. Morgan Asset Management and UBS, FTfm reported.
BoE extends passporting for transition period
The Bank of England (BoE) has confirmed that it will be business as usual for European financial services firms operating in the UK until the end of 2020, after a Brexit transition period was agreed last week.
“The Bank considers it reasonable for firms currently carrying on regulated activities in the UK by means of passporting rights, or the EU framework for central counterparties, to plan that they will be able to continue undertaking these activities during the implementation period in much the same way as now,” the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street announced on Wednesday. “In letters published today, the Bank has made clear to relevant firms that they may plan on the assumption that UK authorisation or recognition will only be needed by the end of the implementation period.
“The Government has committed to bring forward legislation, if necessary, to create temporary permission regimes to allow relevant firms to continue their activities in the UK for a limited period after withdrawal,” the BoE continued.
StanChart & NASA explore quantum computing
for portfolio optimisation
Standard Chartered is collaborating with NASA and the Universities Space Research Association to investigate whether quantum computing can be used in portfolio allocation, machine learning and Monte Carlo simulations. They started working together in January after NASA accepted a research proposal from Standard Chartered on tackling portfolio optimisation, Risk.net reported.
Two Sigma, Renaissance Technologies, DE Shaw and WorldQuant are also exploring quantum computing, according to the Financial Times. Alex Wong, Managing Director at DE Shaw, said quantum computing “has the potential to leapfrog existing approaches, particularly if it can surpass both the speed and reliability of traditional computing.” DE Shaw has invested in QCWare, a quantum computing software start-up.
Hedge fund Morgan Creek buys blockchain VC specialist
US hedge fund Morgan Creek Capital Management has acquired blockchain venture specialist Full Tilt Capital. Morgan Creek in North Carolina is now planning to launch a fund investing in blockchain technology and crypto-currencies, with an ambitious plan to raise $500 million from high-net-worth investors, endowments, foundations and pension funds.
Anthony Pompliano, Full Tilt’s Managing Partner, told Bloomberg that the new fund will focus on transactions executed through blockchain technology. By way of example, Pompliano and his colleagues are looking at turning the equity of a New York hotel into tokens that investors could buy. Full Tilt, which is also based in North Carolina, specialises in making seed-round investments. It had been planning a fund investing in crypto-currency businesses when Morgan Creek came knocking.
“Morgan Creek believes blockchain to be one of the most powerful and valuable technologies to have been developed in the digital age and also believes that the disruptive power of the application of blockchain technology across all asset classes will create enormous investment opportunities,” said Mark Yusko, Founder and CIO of Morgan Creek.
Matt Kimber has joined Aon UK has as Chief Risk Officer. He was Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group’s Group Head of Risk and Compliance.
BNY Mellon Asset Management North America (which was created from the merger of Mellon Capital, Standish and The Boston Co) has named Stephanie Pierce as Head of Investment Strategy and Innovation. She was Executive Vice President, Investment Product Group at Fidelity Investments. Gerry Cosgrove from RBC Global Asset Management is also joining BNY Mellon AMNA as Head of Global Consultant Relations.
Hymans Robertson has promoted Partner Alistair Russell-Smith to Head of Corporate DB. He takes over from fellow Partner Jon Hatchett, who is moving to another role within the consultancy.
John McLaughlin has joined online investment platform Interactive Investor as an independent member of its investment committee. He spent 24 years at Schroders until his retirement at the end of last year, holding a variety of senior roles including Head of Portfolio Solutions.
SEB’s Jan Erik Back will join Investcorp this summer as Group Chief Financial Officer.
JLL has named Claire England as Director for Diversity and Inclusion. She held a similar role at law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner.
Manulife’s US investment division, John Hancock has hired Kimberly-Clark’s Sofia Teixeira as Head of Diversity and Inclusion, a newly-created role.
London-based boutique Latitude Investment Management has appointed Alex Robins as Head of Institutional Clients. He was Senior Product Manager at Sarasin & Partners.
Man GLG has hired Simon Finch as CIO of Credit, a newly-created role. He was CIO of CQS, where he managed a multi-asset credit fund.
Neudata, which advises asset managers on alternative data, has added Simon Mahony as a Senior V.P. in Research, based in London. He was a European Equity Research Analyst at Fidelity International.
Ben Chan will join the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan in June as Asia Pacific Managing Director. He is Executive Director of Investments and Co-Head Investments (Transactions) at Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund.
OppenheimerFunds has appointed Ahmad Deek as Chief Risk Officer, based in New York. He was Managing Director, Senior Risk Officer in Goldman Sachs’ Investment Management Division. Since January, he has also served as Head Data Scientist for Marcus, Goldman Sachs’ digital platform.
Hong Kong’s Pension Schemes Association, which was established in February to represent the Mandatory Provident Fund industry, has appointed Heman Wong as CEO. He is a former Executive Director of Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority Provident Fund Scheme.
PGIM has brought in BlackRock’s Howard Nowell as Managing Director of the Institutional Relationship Group in London.
RBC Global Asset Management has hired Portfolio Manager Robert Henderson from Rutabaga Capital to run its US mid-cap value strategy.