JULY 2019

ESG and Impact Investing: Q2 2019 News Highlights

Bill McCalpin, managing partner, impact investments, provides an overview of the latest news coming out of the impact investing industry. This quarter's roundup highlights the hedge fund community's adoption of ESG investing, growth of impact funds and robo-advisers, and female representation in hedge funds.

JULY 2019

Collateralized Loan Obligations Flourish: A Case of Déjà Vu

The alphabet soup associated with the Global Financial Crisis has resurfaced as CLOs and CDOs once again make headlines. Since 2008, mortgage securitization has crawled to a halt--with the exception of the highest quality government-backed loans. Securitization has flourished in corporate debt markets, however, with record issuance of Collateralized Loan Obligations (CLOs) causing déjà vu.

JULY 2019

Takeaways from the Aspen Ideas Festival: American Renewal, Part I

Doug Cohen, managing director, portfolio management, attended the 2019 Aspen Ideas Festival. In this first series of synopses, Doug shares key observations and takeaways from sessions covering political innovation to save our democracy, Valerie Jarrett’s recently published memoir, and the republican party in the age of Trump.


JUNE 2019

Choosing the Right Asset Mix: Guidance for Individuals with New Wealth Who Have Access to Private Illiquid Investments

Using an Athena-constructed Monte Carlo simulation model, the paper reviews financial outcomes for different asset mixes over a 40-year investment period. While a strategy with some allocation to private investments can produce more favorable results, the allocation should be balanced with a complementary portfolio of liquid investments, as well as life insurance, in order to ensure sufficient liquidity both during lifetime and at death.


Investing in Gender Equality

A practitioner’s perspective on gender lens investing and the construction of gender inclusive investment portfolios

JUNE 2017

Alice's Adventures in Volatility-land

Managing portfolios according to Modern Portfolio Theory directs us to find investment portfolios with the highest level of return for a given level of risk. In this paper we examine the nuances of volatility and risk measurement to better inform decision-making in investment portfolios.


MAY 2019

Interim Market Update - 2Q19

This quarter holds an uncertain outlook as equities return to near pre-4Q18 levels and bond yields lower. We maintain our overall neutral view across asset classes, with a slight preference for cash given the relatively flat yield curve. Amidst these volatile times we reiterate the importance of rebalancing—a strategy that is well-suited for volatile markets.

APRIL 2019

Market Update - 1Q19

In many ways the market driving events and resulting price action in Q1 2019 were mirror opposites of Q4 2018 events and price action. Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve, noted in Q418 that the Fed was a “long-way” from its neutral interest rate. He reversed course early in Q119 noting that the Fed was indeed quite close to its neutral rate.

MARCH 2019

Interim Market Update - 1Q19

The fear and panic of 4Q18 gave way to a strong rally for risk assets to start 2019. We view the rally as a sign of relief that things aren’t quite as bad as the market action implied at the end of 4Q18. This is in contrast to the euphoria we saw in January of 2018.


JULY 2019

Securitization Revisited

In recent months, global central banks have raised concerns regarding the rise in issuance and risk characteristics of the bank loan and collateralized loan obligation (CLO) markets. Regulators have questioned whether there are meaningful parallels between CLOs and mortgage-backed collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) that were at the root of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. The Research team at Athena Capital analyzed this correlation in our latest landscape review, Securitization Revisited.

JULY 2018

Financial Inclusion in Emerging and Frontier Markets

Financial inclusion is, today, one of the most popular investment themes among impact investors, in part because it has a long track record dating back to the emergence of the modern microfinance movement in the 1970s. Over the past 10 years, the field has shifted away from an emphasis on microcredit and towards the broader notion of financial inclusion. Athena Capital's landscape review examines the role for private capital within financial inclusion, the potential for meaningful social impact from investment activity, and the available investment strategies.

APRIL 2018

Evaluating Potential China Trade Tariffs

The escalating trade rhetoric between the US and China has recently garnered headlines as the countries have announced or enacted tariffs. We believe these actions mark a shift in the trade relationship between the US and China—from one of tolerance to one of engagement.