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HEDGE CONNECTION’S GLOBAL FUND FORUM 2014 ANNOUNCES NEW GUEST SPEAKERS AND LEAD SPONSOR

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Prominent Investors and Hedge Fund Managers to Enjoy Insights from Larry Powell, Denise Shull and Mark Jeffries; Concept Capital Markets signs on as exclusive Prime Broker Sponsor

Hedge Connection, the premier patented hedge fund marketing platform in the alternative investment industry, announces three prominent guest speakers at the Global Fund Forum 2014 from June 10 to 12, 2014 at the Borgata in Atlantic City. Attendees will gain insights from former Deputy CIO and co-manager of the Utah Retirement Fund Larry Powell, leading adviser and communications consultant Mark Jeffries and author and neuroeconomist Denise Shull. The Global Fund Forum will facilitate thousands of meetings between hedge fund managers and institutional and family office investors sourced from Hedge Connection’s relationships and decade long experience hosting exclusive investor introductory events.

 Mark Jeffreys,  Denise Shull, Larry Powell

Mark Jeffreys, Denise Shull, Larry Powell

Hedge Connection is also pleased to announce that Concept Capital Markets has agreed to serve as a lead sponsor of the Global Fund Forum. Concept Capital has built a strong franchise as an introducing prime broker by providing hedge fund managers, managed account platforms, institutional investors, family offices, and registered investment advisers with turn-key solutions designed to free its clients to focus on their core competencies with an offering featuring world-class custody and clearing options, multi asset class capabilities, leading execution and order management systems, a seasoned execution desk, a range of financing options, a highly professional operations and customer support team, comprehensive portfolio reporting capabilities, and capital introduction.

“Since first learning of Hedge Connection our firm has been intrigued by the possibilities of the portal and the manner in which it can conveniently connect managers and those allocating funds in the alternative space,” said Jack Seibald, Managing Member of Concept Capital Markets, LLC. “The Global Fund Forum seems like a natural extension of this effort, and Concept Capital is excited to play a role in making it happen,” he added.

“In addition to the Global Fund Forum’s numerous one-on-one investor and manager meetings our attendees are looking forward to gaining insights from these brilliant speakers. Their addition enhances our exciting three day agenda filled with networking, lunches and dinners, cocktail receptions, entertainment and a special charity Casino Night that will benefit Portfolios with Purpose and the 100 Women in Hedge Funds 2014 beneficiary of their U.S. philanthropic activities the Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation (CPIRF),” said Lisa Vioni, CEO of Hedge Connection, Inc. “We are also delighted to announce that industry-leader Concept Capital Markets has signed on as our exclusive prime broker sponsor,” she added.

HEDGE CONNECTION’S GLOBAL FUND FORUM 2014 ANNOUNCES NEW GUEST SPEAKERS AND LEAD SPONSOR 3Global Fund Forum guest speaker Larry Powell commented: “Any organization whose mission centers on improving communication amongst investors and between managers and investors is a friend of mine, I look forward to sharing my war stories!”

Larry Powell is the former Deputy CIO and co-managed the Utah Retirement Fund, a $25B US Public Pension Plan. Mr. Powell joined URS in 2008, he was ultimately responsible for the oversight and management of the investment team, analyzing deals and investing in all global public and private market asset classes. He worked with the URS investment team in all aspects of the investment management process, including manager sourcing, due diligence, buy/sell decisions, fee and term negotiations as well as the tactical and strategic investing of the URS portfolio. Prior to joining URS, Mr. Powell served as Managing Director, External Public Markets (EPM) at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. In this position, Mr. Powell managed a team of ten professionals who collectively oversaw all of TRS’ global investments in external managers within equities, fixed income and hedge funds. The EPM portfolio represented approximately 1/3 of all TRS’ assets estimated at $100billion. Previously, Mr. Powell was President and Chief Investment Officer of a macro hedge fund firm, which he founded in 1987. He holds a B.S. degree with a dual concentration in Finance and Real Estate from the University of Arizona, Tucson.

Denise Shull, a neuroeconomist and author, founded The ReThink Group in 2003 in order to solve the vexing problem of human misperception of risk. For over ten years, Shull has coached Wall Street professionals, offering techniques to avoid their typical behavioral responses to fear and greed. She specializes in separating intuition — felt knowledge — from impulse. Shull started her trading career at the Chicago Board Options Exchange and later traded futures as a member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. It was at that time that she began transforming neuroeconomics – the new science of the brain on risk – into investing profits. She is a frequent speaker at industry and academic conferences, is often quoted in prominent business, risk, neuroeconomic and psychological publications and has appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box, CBS Sports, Bloomberg TV, Cavuto, PBS and The Discovery Channel. Shull graduated from Harvard Kennedy’s executive program in “Investment Decisions and Behavioral Finance” in 2009 and holds a Master of Arts in neuroscience (1995) from The University of Chicago. Her thesis research, “The Neurobiology of Freud’s Repetition Compulsion” was published in 2003 in the Annals of Modern Psychoanalysis and was cited in 2013 as one of the earliest papers in the emerging field of neuro-psychoanalysis.

Former Merrill Lynch stockbroker turned author and Keynote Speaker, Mark Jeffries, has become a trusted adviser and communications consultant to some of the world’s largest and most successful organizations. He speaks at and moderates conferences, summits, sales meetings, user forums and conventions all over the world for clients including IBM, Ernst & Young, SAS, HP, Zurich Insurance, Gartner, Microsoft, Royal Bank of Canada, Deltek & Bank of America. Dividing his time between The United States, Canada and Europe, Mark’s ideas, inspiration and guidance, are sought across virtually all industries.

The Global Fund Forum (the “Forum”) will enable over a thousand one-on-one meetings between institutional and family office investors and a diverse group of hedge fund managers. Prior to the Forum managers create a fund profile on Hedge Connection and gain access to investor profiles, and can begin to request meetings and send messages using Hedge Connection’s proprietary event scheduler. Participants can also use the Forum’s Mobile App during the event to get access to their schedule, see investor and fund profiles and read about the forum sponsors. For enquiries about participation, qualification or sponsorship opportunities for this year and the Global Fund Forum 2015 please click here.

About Hedge Connection, Inc.

Hedge Connection was launched in 2005 and is a marketing platform for hedge funds as well as an information portal for investors. On June 18, 2013 Hedge Connection Inc. received US Patent 8,068,478 for its unique business process of letting hedge funds and investors meet and connect online. Hedge Connection is viewed as the premier investor-intro and hedge fund marketing platform in the alternative investment industry. In addition to the online platform, Hedge Connection produces events.  Over 5,000 investors have participated in Hedge Connection events resulting in thousands of direct meetings at events held in New York, San Francisco and Chicago. Hedge Connection has recently introduced the industry’s first socialized database. Through free membership in the Boardroom, industry participants can follow hedge funds in the fund database and other boardroom members offering the highest level of connectivity in the alternative industry today.

About Concept Capital Markets, LLC

Concept Capital Markets, LLC offers a comprehensive suite of brokerage and related services that provide traditional and alternative investment managers with solutions that are customizable and scalable. The firm was built by former investment managers to serve hedge fund managers, managed account platforms, institutional investors, family offices, and registered investment advisers with turn-key solutions designed to free its clients to focus on their core competencies. Our offering features world-class custody and clearing options, multi asset class capabilities, leading execution and order management systems, a seasoned execution desk, a range of financing options, a highly professional operations and customer support team, comprehensive portfolio reporting capabilities, and capital introduction. Concept Capital Markets, LLC is headquartered in Garden City, New York and operates offices in New York City and Purchase, NY, Greenwich, CT, Alpharetta, GA, El Segundo and Santa Monica, CA and Boca Raton, FL. The firm is registered as a Broker Dealer and Investment Adviser with the SEC, and is a member of FINRA, NFA, and SIPC.

 

 

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Investment Roundtable: Live with Jim Bianco

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With Q4’s macro picture still looking grim amid the return of exponential coronavirus waves in Europe and the U.S. and Europe, we speak with veteran macroanalysis strategist Jim Bianco, CMT for a data-driven deep-dive into the global economy and financial markets on Sept. 7th at 12pm EDT.

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Key themes:

  • Learn from Jim’s unique combination of quantitative and qualitative analytics which provide an objective view on Rates, Currencies and Commodities to make smart investment decisions
  • Identify important intermarket relationships he is watching with respect to Global Equities
  • Roadmap a global outlook for 2021 in view of socio-political backdrop giving viewers key takeaways and intermarket perspectives on global investing.

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Jim’s robust technical analysis includes a broad look at trends and themes in the markets, market internals, positioning such as the Commitment of Traders (COT), sentiment, and fund flows. Don’t miss out on this exclusive session from one of the investment world’s most insightful thought leaders.

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Equity markets react to a rise in Covid-19 cases, uncertain Brexit talks and the upcoming US election

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Equity markets react to a rise in Covid-19 cases, uncertain Brexit talks and the upcoming US election 4

By Rupert Thompson, Chief Investment Officer at Kingswood

Equity markets had another choppy week, falling for most of it before recovering some of their losses on Friday and posting further gains this morning.

At their low point last week, global equities were down some 7% from their high in early September. US equities were down close to 10%, hurt by the large weighting to the tech giants which at least initially led the market decline.

The market correction is nothing out of the ordinary with 5-10% declines surprisingly common. Indeed, a set-back was arguably overdue given the size and speed of the market rebound from the low in March.  As to the cause for the latest weakness, it is all too obvious – namely the second wave of infections being seen across the UK and much of Europe and the local lockdowns being imposed as a result.

These will inevitably take their toll on the economic recovery which was always set to slow significantly following an initial strong bounce. Indeed, business confidence fell back in September both here and in Europe with the declines led by the consumer-facing service sector. A further drop looks inevitable in October – fuelled no doubt in the UK by the prospect that the latest restrictions could be in place for as long as six months.

The job support package announced by Rishi Sunak did little to boost confidence. Its aim is to limit the surge in unemployment triggered by the end of the furlough scheme in October. However, the scheme is much less generous than the one it replaces as the government doesn’t want to continue subsidising jobs which are no longer viable longer term.  A rise in the unemployment rate to 8% or so later this year still looks quite likely.

Aside from Covid, for the UK at least, there is of course another major source of uncertainty – namely Brexit. Another round of trade talks start this week and we are rapidly reaching crunch time with a deal needing to be largely finalised by the end of October.

Whether we end up with one or not is still far from clear. That said, the prospects for a deal maybe look rather better than they did a couple of weeks ago when the Government was busy tearing up parts of the Withdrawal Agreement. With significant Covid restrictions quite probably still in place in the new year and the Government already under attack for incompetence, it may not wish to take the flack for inflicting yet more chaos onto the economy.

Markets remain unimpressed. UK equities underperformed their global counterparts by a further 2.7% last week, bringing the cumulative underperformance to an impressive 24% so far this year. The UK weighting in the global equity index has now shrunk to all of 4.0%.

It is not only the UK which faces a few weeks of uncertainty. The US elections are on 3 November. We also have the first of three Presidential debates this Tuesday. Joe Biden’s lead looks far from unassailable, a close result could be contentious and control of Congress is also up for grabs.

All said and done, equity markets look set for a choppy few weeks. Further out, however, we remain more positive – not least because the focus should hopefully switch from the roll-out of new lockdowns to the roll-out of a vaccine.

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What Investors are Looking for in the Next Fintech

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What Investors are Looking for in the Next Fintech 5

By Shaun Puckrin, Chief Product Officer, Global Processing Services

Are investors getting pickier when it comes to fintech? It’s hard to say for sure, but there are recent developments that point towards a shift in investor interests.

Firstly, research from Innovate Finance shows that investment in UK fintech dropped by 39% in the first half of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. In H1 2020, $1.8bn of venture capital was invested in 167 startups compared to H1 2019, when $3bn was invested in 263 startups.

However, it’s worth mentioning that the $1.8bn UK fintech investment earlier this year was still a 22% increase over the second half of 2019, when funding totalled $1.5bn. Therefore, all signs suggest that investors will make significant increases in capital investments during the rest of the year.

Secondly, it appears that the current investor appetite is for more mature, later-stage fintechs: more than half of the $1.8bn went to just five companies: Revolut, Checkout.com, Starling Bank, Onfido and Thought Machine. Perhaps it is the ongoing economic uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 crisis that is prompting inventors towards perceived “safer bets”, but what we do know for a fact is that early-stage fintechs raised just 8% of the total investments.

Is there a silver lining? The coronavirus crisis has rapidly accelerated the digitisation of financial services, with lockdown restrictions encouraging those previously resistant to engage with digital financial services. The stage is set for fintechs to thrive and deliver offerings that meet shifting consumer demands. To be in with a shot of wooing investors, fintechs will need to demonstrate certain qualities that set them apart from other companies.

So, what are the four things investors are looking for in the next big fintech?

  1. A strong, differentiated proposition

The fintech marketplace is crowded and filled with mature innovators setting a high standard for everyone else. Against this backdrop, “challenging the incumbents” is, unfortunately, no longer a USP.

To really catch the attention of investors, you must be addressing a clear, pressing market need that no one else is tackling. Not just that, your proposition must be easily articulated and backed to the hilt with market research that proves the opportunity is worth pursuing.

Ultimately, investors are going to ask the question: why you? What are you doing that’s unique? What do you have that means you – and only you – can do this? They will also want to know how defendable that proposition is once you’ve built it.  What is your moat? Getting this right means a foot in the door with investors.

  1. A path to profitability or exit

This is an extremely pertinent point, especially given recent news surrounding the financial results for many of the big challenger banks, and how they show the route to profitability for challengers isn’t necessarily straightforward or easy.

In the current environment, an attractive fintech must be able to demonstrate a concrete, long-term plan for the financial viability of the business. There are different paths for investors to make their returns, be it a trade sale or IPO, but the fundamentals of securing a successful outcome are usually the same. By being able to demonstrate how you can plot a course to attract and serve your customers for less than you can monetise them will be at the route of any subsequent valuation, no matter how its outcome is achieved.

Whatever the goal, you need a plan to support your ambitions. You need to demonstrate an understanding that building a scalable and sustainable fintech is likely to require significant capital – you must invest in the right people, partners and technology to make money. Developing competitive services, attracting customers and, crucially, monetising your offerings, requires hard work and the ability to adapt to your customer’s needs.

  1. Strong leadership and core team

Ultimately, securing investment is about building relationships and what often tips the scales is having the right people in the room. This is why a great team is crucial.

A great team means many things: Strong leadership with the vision to build something revolutionary. The skills and expertise to turn that vision into reality. The experience to traverse the pitfalls and opportunities you’ll face. And finally, the ambition and determination to make the business successful no matter what.

Building the right team with the right qualities is often what convinces investors that they’re putting their money in the right place.

  1. The right partnerships

Partnering with the right organisations can give you strategic access to the solutions that will help build and scale your offering. Their expertise and experience are often invaluable; many partners have been in the game for years and may have already solved problems you might be encountering for the first time.

From an investor’s perspective, seeing that you’re working with credible partners and proven tech helps build confidence. It shows that you’re a less risky investment, and that you respect their investment and are going to be using their money to build real value.

Fintech investment is not dead

After this recent blip, we expect the amount of investment into fintech to continue to be significant, at least in relation to other industries. But there’s no avoiding the fact that investors will be looking to stress test potential investments much more than before.

By creating a differentiated proposition, planning a clear route to profitability, building a strong team, and finding the right partners, fintechs will be in with a shot of securing the funding they need to make their grand vision a reality.

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