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Rating:Over Lunch, Hailer Shifts the Conversation From Alts, Per Se, to Risk Not Rated 5.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, October 24, 2013

Over Lunch, Hailer Shifts the Conversation From Alts, Per Se, to Risk

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

With alternatives on the rise, it's more important than ever for fundsters, advisors and reporters to help investors properly understand risk and the different ways of dealing with it.

John Hailer, president and CEO for the Americas and Asia for Natixis Global Asset Management [profile], used that key message to frame the discussion at the firm's third annual press lunch at the exclusive Per Se restaurant in New York City's Columbus Circle, overlooking Central Park. Hailer and the Natixis team gathered four bigwig PMs from Natixis subsidiaries to speak to a packed room of about 50 journalists. Publications represented included trade press like FinancialAdvisorIQ and InvestmentNews, personal finance publications like Money, and wire services like Dow Jones and Reuters.

Hailer and the rest of the Natixis crowd mingled with reporters over champagne and hors d'oeuvres before sitting down for a meticulous, four-course meal that included duck breast, roasted figs and a crepe soufflee. Hailer kicked off the speeches with his opening remarks on the rise of alternatives.

"This whole idea of alternatives is kind of getting more confusing going forward, not less," Hailer said. "Individual investors are starting to get confused."

Hailer stressed refocusing investors' attentions on issues like their own risk tolerance and needs to come up with personal benchmarks, in the same way that institutional investors come up with their own benchmarks.

"The clients really don't know what's the benchmark," Hailer said. "It should be based on their knowledge of what they need to live on."

"Risk and volatility are two very different things." Hailer added:
Risk has never left the marketplace. It's always there. Risk equals return.
Hailer urged the propagation of a principal of building portfolios based on individual clients' comfortable levels of risk.

Also speaking at the event were: Michael Buckius, chief investment officer, senior vice president and PM at Cincinnati-based hedged equity shop Gateway Investment Advisers [profile]; Dawn Mangerson, vice president and senior PM at Illinois-based fixed income shop McDonnell Investment Management; Win Murray, partner and director of U.S. equity research for Chicago-based value shop Harris Associates [profile]; and Scott Schweighauser, partner, president and PM for Chicago-based hedge-fund-of-fund shop Aurora Investment Management. Hailer handed off the MC duties to David Snowden, vice president of public relations for Natixis. 

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