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Déjà vu: Is your money really safe?

By Bob Adler, Altana FT

When successful hedge fund manager and founder of Altana Wealth Lee Robinson saw the current financial crisis on the horizon, he didn’t just raise the flag, he invested in a new company: Altana Fat Tails.

Déjà vu: Is your money really safe? 2Unlike most credit ratings agencies, economists and bankers who failed to predict the earlier banking crisis in 2008, Robinson saw the signs from afar.  If banks cannot lend and corporates cannot borrow, the whole system shuts down.  That was what happened in 2008, and indeed in every other financial crisis, with most corporate bankruptcies rooted in a funding issue.

He believes that the current period represents the greatest danger financial markets have seen in 70 years. Banking and finance, after all, come down to one thing: credit.

Robinson says his success in predicting the last financial crisis was down to scrutinising the credit markets for early warning signs. “No analyst is infallible. All we at Altana FT are saying is what the market is saying. This is the cumulative wisdom of the market at this particular moment in time,” he adds.

In Robinson’s view, the credit default swap (CDS) market comprises the best source of a relatively small number of very sophisticated investors, so what they think and do is well worth knowing about.

Altana FT is the first company to be launched from his Altana Ventures Group, managed by ex-JP Morgan banker, Bob Adler.  It is an early warning system for financial services professionals, alerting them in real-time to increased risk of institutions.  Altana FT monitors credit default swap spreads – a key indicator of how ‘risky’ the market perceives an entity to be. The data is based on cleansed and aggregated real-time price quotes obtained directly from the information sent by sell-side traders to their clients, producing a constant feed of intraday spreads.

With a list of 1,200 entities, the tool allows subscribers to select which financial institutions to monitor. It encompasses Sovereigns, Corporate and Financial Institutions located in North America, Europe, Asia, and the emerging markets.  Alert events can be based on when a tracked entity breaches the user’s chosen CDS spread threshold, or can even be based on downgrades to an entities credit rating implied by these spreads.

Robinson added: “Sophisticated traders and investors have known about this tool for years. I’ve always felt it’s important that it be made available to a wider audience, so that more people can protect their money and their jobs. For anyone in the risk business, particularly treasurers and senior corporate managers, this is a vital alert system that can be used to make informed decisions about trading with particular companies or regions, or placing money with particular financial institutions.”

With financial markets exhibiting the greatest uncertainty in decades, Altana FT gives unprecedented access to the early warning systems used by the most sophisticated financial players anywhere.  

For further information and a 30 day free trial, please visit: www.altanaft.com

Bob Adler     
Altana Ventures/Altana FT    
John West / Sonya Williams    
Tavistock Communications    +44 (0)20 7920 3150

About Bob Adler

Bob is a successful financier with a solid experience in entrepreneurship. Prior to joining Altana, Bob was a winemaker and the founder of Château Bellevue sur Vallée in Dordogne, France. Bob has a broad spectrum of experience in business and finance that includes: investment banking, business development, management, finance and accounting.