Barclays Global Investors | Stan Beckers | Hedge Fund Notes

Barclays Global Investors

Barclays Global Investors | Hedge Fund Notes


The following piece on Barclays Global Investors is being published as part of our daily effort to track hedge funds in the industry. To review other hedge fund research notes please see our Hedge Fund Tracker Tool.

Resource #1 (1.7.07) Great, great Bloomberg piece out describing how Barclay's Global Investors [BGI] has used Ph.D.s and technology to reshape the hedge fund business.

BGI is one of the most powerful forces in money management today. It's a den of finance Ph.D.s, mathematicians and other disciples of quantitative analysis, or quants. BGI quants design investing strategies for thousands of stocks, bonds and currencies and then use computers to pick which ones to buy and sell.

BGI manages almost $1.7 trillion in assets and has a finger in 65 of the world's 100 largest pension plans. Its iShares exchange-traded funds, which are low-cost index trackers that can be traded like stocks, have made the firm the Wal-Mart of the $383 billion ETF world. Lately, BGI's size and reach have helped fan speculation that its parent, London-based Barclays Plc, is headed for a megamerger with a big U.S. bank. Barclays is the third-largest U.K. bank by assets.

Blake Grossman, the Stanford University-educated economist who runs BGI, has used his quants to quietly transform a firm built on index investing into one of the world's largest hedge fund managers. source

Resource #2 (6.29.06) Asriel Levin, a principal at the hedge-fund business of Barclays Global Investors, has left the giant asset-management firm, a spokesman said Thursday.

Levin was part of a team of portfolio managers, analysts and strategists overseeing BGI's big market-neutral hedge funds, said Tom Taggart, a spokesman for the firm, which is a unit of Barclays Plc (UK:BARC: news, chart, profile).

BGI uses quantitative strategies to run hedge funds. It's now the sixth-largest manager of hedge funds in the world, with more than $14 billion in assets, according to a survey earlier this month by Institutional Investor's Alpha magazine.

Levin departed recently, Taggart said. The spokesman added that he didn't know what Levin planned to do next. source

Resource #3 (6.26.06) Barclays Global Investors is the world's largest institutional investment manager, and the world's largest provider of structured investment strategies such as indexing, tactical asset allocation, and quantitative active strategies . BGI managed more than $769 billion in assets as of 12/31/01, and over 2,000 funds, which track over 250 global indexes, for nearly 2,000 clients in 41 countries around the world. As the creator of the first index strategy 30 years ago, BGI is an innovator in investment management, applying science and technology to the investment process. BGI has over 2,000 employees worldwide and is owned by Barclays PLC, one of the UK's largest companies, and one of the world's leading global financial services providers, with operations in over 60 countries worldwide. source

Resource #4 (5.2.05) Barclays Global Investors (BGI) has appointed four new senior members to its European fixed income team in advance of new product launches.

The expansion will support both BGI's existing active strategies and the development of new long/short fixed income products to meet the increasing demand from institutional investors for hedge funds.

The new long/short products will, alongside BGI's existing index fixed income funds, provide investors with the opportunity to capture independently both alpha (returns in excess of market returns) and beta (the return of the market), which is a growing requirement in institutional investment strategies, particularly liability driven investing, where BGI is a recognised market leader.

"With the largest index operation in the world and an existing hedge fund business that is a global leader in institutional assets, BGI is uniquely positioned to meet investors' increasingly complex fixed income needs," said Peter Knez, BGI's global head of fixed income. "Better still, investors who know BGI, will see in our evolving fixed income capability our continued emphasis on scientific investing and leveraging top investment talent through the application of quantitative investment technology and analytics". source

Resource #5 (11.15.02) Barclays Global Investors (BGI), has launched a market neutral hedge fund.

The European Equity Market Neutral Fund is aimed at hedge fund of fund providers, institutional investors and family offices, and it is the second market neutral strategy to be launched by BGI Europe.

It follows the success of the UK Equity Market Neutral Fund, which returned 12.3% and 23% on its two funds, one of which is geared.The European Fund will be managed using the same investment process that has seen BGI's European long-only strategy outperform its benchmark by 2.84% a year ... source

Resource #6 (6.15.06) Barclays Global Investors believe that hedge fund managers do not deserve their high fees more often. The statement is based on a recent research report prepared by the organization. Hedge funds do have some structural advantages. However, traditional investment firms also attract talented managers and provide their own set of advantages to institutional clients. BGI report says that the current hedge fund boom has not increased the overall supply of investment.

According to BGI, the high pay structure for hedge funds is based on the perception that it helps the hedge fund managers in attracting more investments. Hedge funds have always seen large asset inflows. The hedge fund industry witnessed an increase in the number of hedge funds and the flow of investment managers into hedge funds has also risen. BGI report reveals that there has been a significant rise in average hedge fund fees. The report also says that while hedge funds avoid constraints and have greater flexibility to invest in many non-traditional assets, they also fail more quickly than institutional funds. source

Resource #7 (5.1.07) Great, great Bloomberg piece out describing how Barclay's Global Investors (BGI) has used Ph.D.s and technology to reshape the hedge fund business.

BGI is one of the most powerful forces in money management today. It's a den of finance Ph.D.s, mathematicians and other disciples of quantitative analysis, or quants. BGI quants design investing strategies for thousands of stocks, bonds and currencies and then use computers to pick which ones to buy and sell.

BGI manages almost $1.7 trillion in assets and has a finger in 65 of the world's 100 largest pension plans. Its iShares exchange-traded funds, which are low-cost index trackers that can be traded like stocks, have made the firm the Wal-Mart of the $383 billion ETF world. Lately, BGI's size and reach have helped fan speculation that its parent, London-based Barclays Plc, is headed for a megamerger with a big U.S. bank. Barclays is the third-largest U.K. bank by assets.

Blake Grossman, the Stanford University-educated economist who runs BGI, has used his quants to quietly transform a firm built on index investing into one of the world's largest hedge fund managers. source

Resource #8 Stan Beckers is responsible for the investment process of BGI's Alpha Management Group. Stan has a long and distinguished career in quantitative asset management and is one of the most highly respected people in this field in Europe. Prior to joining BGI in June 2004 he worked for BARRA for almost twenty years, establishing and managing their non-US operations and running their London office. He then became Global Head of Investments for West LB Asset Management and more recently established and ran Kedge Capital, a wealth management organisation belonging to a Swiss family. Alongside his business career Stan has also maintained strong links with academia. His work has been widely published and he remains Visiting Professor of Finance at the University of Leuven in Belgium. source

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