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Alternative Thinking: Both Sides of the Investment Coin
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Alternative Thinking: Both Sides of the Investment Coin

Author: caasa

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We explore global and Canadian markets in alternative investments from two distinct perspectives. Our guests include Pension Funds, Single Family Offices, Multi-Family Offices, and Managers that are involved in Hedge Funds, Private Equity, Private Lending, Venture Capital, Crypto and Blockchain, and other alternative strategies. Brought to you by Canadian Association of Alternative Strategies and Assets (CAASA).
47 Episodes
In this episode we are speaking with a major Canadian pension plan and a service provider to institutional investors - and the latter just happens to head one of the longest-running masters of mathematical finance courses on the planet.  We speak on artificial intelligence and machine learning as well as where these areas are used by and affecting the realm of finance and facets of everyday life that touch all of our lives.
In this episode we are lucky enough to see three sides to the blockchain and cryptocurrency coin with experts situated in Canada, the United States, and United Arab Emirates.   You will hear them weigh in on what this technology is, its history, and where it is headed in fulfilling its promise to provide a unified, immutable record of things while adapting to the dynamic world that we live in.
In this episode we are speaking about ESG, with a bit of a focus on the S or Social as you’ll surmise as we get into this.  I’m joined by two from the ESG and impact area: one with decades of grassroots ESG quant background and a platform, now, to determine if as many as 30,000 companies are doing what they say they are.  The other has a broad view of ESG from a chair at a major global association that creates standards that can be used across a variety of industries and fulfilling requirements by many stakeholders.
In this episode we are speaking with a private lender whose clientele is fairly eclectic, that is to say diversified, and his shop has been able to carve out a few interesting niches in the space.  We also have a high-energy and experienced investment advisor who has some real home-spun advice on how to manage one’s money and emotions in volatile markets in this increasingly complex financial system we find ourselves in.
In this episode we are speaking with two data professionals, one with decades of experience with impact and socially responsible investing and the metrics around this and the other from the Canadian mutual fund data industry and chair of the Canadian Investment Funds Standard Committee that determines the guidelines and placement of fund types in Canadian databases. Both have a passion for numbers and social issues that will shine in this interview, I’m sure.
In this episode we are speaking with a financial planner that has a great deal of experience in the institutional investing scene and is now applying his knowledge from that area to individuals’ portfolios.  We also have a friend of mine from a major hedge fund solutions shop that has experience in allocating to managers and running their own strategies in-house and now, as part of a larger asset management complex, brings its capabilities to bear on a range of clients around the world.
In this episode we are speaking with a serial entrepreneur who had a hand in steering his family’s company from newspapers and radio and on to spirits and healthcare as well as promoting the many advantages of Québec, its people, and businesses.  We also chat with a medical doctor turned alternative investment professional who has a global view of both public and private markets in North America and globally.Both have a common passion of becoming expert in their respective specialties as they evolve over their careers and seeing things from a unique perspective.
In this episode we are speaking with two commensurate traders with long experience in the buy side and the sell side - both focusing on getting the best execution for their respective shops and their clients.  We speak to how the COVID crisis has tested the business continuity plans of all market participants and where the future is in trading now as we settle into this new regime and, later, move forward with what will likely be a different trading desk and office infrastructure.
In this episode we are talking health and wellness with two experts in the space who ‘eat what they cook’ and have some great tips for everyone about how to achieve and maintain peak health regardless of whether we are in this COVID-19 crisis or not.
In this episode we are speaking private lending with two practioners in the field as they talk to the different types of private lending aka private debt aka private yield, and where they see this market going in the COVID and post COVID era.
In this episode we are speaking with a commensurate alts junkie, so to speak, with experience in virtually all areas of alternatives and whose role now gives him a great view of all things alternative.  We also have the head of a growing multi-family office who has a different view of 60/40 and sees crypto-currency as a new asset class that perhaps all investors should have a disciplined allocation to - it’s all in the rebalancing.This will prove to be a fun trip down the side-paths of alternatives and family office allocations.
In this episode we are speaking with a significant investor in real estate and lending on properties as well as to corporations, and a well-known investment advisor who knows his way around alternatives, having had a segment on what is now Bloomberg TV for some time.They will speak to how the coronavirus has affected the real estate equity and lending market and the factors that have and will continue to affect this area of investment and many people’s personal wealth for years to come.
In this episode we speak with a scion of Bay Street with experience as a lawyer and president of a hedge fund company and now a hedge fund platform that provides infrastructure to fledgling as well as very large hedge fund managers located in Canada and elsewhere.We also feature one of his emerging managers in the area of life settlements, an asset class that is decades old in the institutional realm and continuing to gain more acceptance in HNW portfolios.We talk about what it takes to launch a fund, ways to ameliorate the cost and time involved, and what this area of life settles can do for investor portfolios.
Harneys & Carne Group

Harneys & Carne Group


In this episode we are speaking with two experts in offshore funds - one focused on the legal side and origination of these vehicles and the other involved in the ongoing governance of offshore structures.Both have a great deal of experience in their respective fields and share details of all areas of offshore investments and even personal and corporate taxation - an area quite orthogonal to many listeners who might be in the typical income, interest, dividend, and capital gains taxation regimes.  Of course, these funds are designed to be tax neutral and not tax dodging, so governance and prudent planning is a must to ensure the aims of investors and other stakeholders are met.
In this episode we discuss both sides of the family office coin  with a G3, or third generation, family member and a professional from a significant family office.The former would actually not describe his situation as a traditional family office as he and his siblings each are active participants in the ventures they invest in, while the latter has been with his employer for many years, working with the investment team and family to guide the investment plan.Both have deep and varied experience and expertise in a number of areas, which is key to propelling wealth and thoughtful impact to, for, and from successive generations. 
In this episode we are speaking with a seasoned credit manager in the Toronto area and a very experienced investment advisor located in Montreal.Both are proud proponents of the private lending area and alternatives in general and how they can be a stabilizer as well as an area of growth for client portfolio - be it Retail, High Net Worth, or Institutional.
In this episode we have eight hours of time zones between our two participants, one in London, UK, and the other in Calgary, Canada, and they share a keen interest in real estate located in, for the former, in Europe and in the case of the latter, in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico.We will speak on the real estate markets in general and their areas of expertise as well as where they see these investments going in the future as the world navigates the coronavirus crisis.
In this episode we are speaking with two market veterans, one described by the other as the most seasoned executive on Bay Street and both having decades of experience in asset management, mergers and acquisitions in the industry, and strategic positioning of their respective companies.We will speak on how the market infrastructure has changed over the years, the rise of factor investing and quantitative methods in modelling and trading, liquid alternatives, and creating products to deliver on investor preferences and needs.
In this episode we are speaking with two friends from the industry who have been friends themselves for many decades, one with a major fund administration and custody provider and the other with an ETF provider - and interestingly, both of their employers have an international component to their ownership.They will be speaking to the ETF and broader Canadian and global capital markets as well as innovations such as the Liquid Alts legislation that continues to create opportunities for investors to take advantage of alternative investment strategies.
In this episode we are speaking with two veterans of the Canadian and global asset management scene - one with a legal background who works with a diverse fund management platform and specializes in working with family offices and institutional investors looking into alternative investments.  The other has decades of experience in futures and other derivatives trading, regulatory submissions and rule-making, and providing managed account platforms for significant institutional investors.  They both give insights into how they are bridging the gap between emerging alternative managers and investors who can benefit from their compelling performance metrics.
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