Monthly Archives: January 2016

Interview with Bryn Sandison, Aurum Research Limited

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Bryn SandisonBryn Sandison currently heads Aurum Research Limited’s (“Aurum”) operational due diligence function, having joined the firm in 2007. Bryn began his career at PwC auditing investment fund vehicles, later moving to PwC USA to work on developing the firm’s approach to risk analytics. Aurum has been advising a range of fund of hedge funds for over 21 years and, more recently, has been focusing on the Alt UCITS space. You recently voiced concerns that investors trust the UCITS brand too much. What problems do you see when investors make their investment decisions?
Bryn Sandison: Aurum’s long history of analysing hedge fund solutions has meant that we‘ve learnt through experience to spot the pitfalls behind operational risk.  We demand high standards of underlying managers if they are to be the stewards of our investors’ capital. Aurum was an early adopter in creating a dedicated operational due diligence function, whereas many competitors were late to the game, setting up operational due diligence as a reaction the losses of Madoff and the Lehman bankruptcy, which highlighted the importance of operational due diligence. Read More

Taking a look back at 2015: the UCITS HFS Index in numbers

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Performance 2015
The UCITS HFS Index recorded a moderately positive 2015, although it started well into the year with a January performance of 1.09%, followed up by gains of 1.01% in February. However, those were the best monthly performances of the year. Albeit the broad index only had four down months – the first one only coming in June (-1.09%) – the loses taken hampered the yearly performance tremendously. The UCITS HFS Index already peaked in May (2.71%) and struggled thereafter, even turning negative at the end of September (-0.05%) for a few days. Although it bounced back, a negative end to the year with a loss of -0.76% in December reduced the yearly performance again. The UCITS HFS Index finishes 2015 with gains of 0.40%.

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UCITS HFS Index takes hit at year end, down -0.76% in December 2015

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After two months of positive performance the UCITS HFS Index takes a hit and reports losses of -0.76% in December 2015. The broad index started negatively into the month, dropping -0.42% after the first week of trading. The negative trend accelerated in week two as the UCITS HFS Index had to take losses of -0.54%. Although the decline halted thereafter, meagre returns of 0.14% in week three and 0.06% in the last one-and-a-half weeks of the month were not enough to turn things around in order to end the month with a positive performance. Of all funds tracked only 28.61% reported gains in December 2015.chart_UCITS HFS Index_2015_12 Read More