Kaizen Asset Management – a South African multi-strategy fund.

I will post from time to time some videos by the Opalesque TV. These are excellent videos about the Asset & Fund Management industry; informative, instructive and insightful interviews with the leading and emerging managers and companies operating in the field.

Kaizen Asset Management runs a South African multi-strategy fund, investing in a diversified portfolio of securities, commodities, derivatives, gilts and cash. The core focus is long-short equities, with alternative assets classes used predominantly for hedging of risk and / or speculation.

Mark Witten, a CFA charterholder with an MBA and a BComm (Honours) cum laude, is Managing Director of Kaizen. In this Opalesque.TV BACKSTAGE video he explains the factors that are behind his fund’s strong outperformance of the benchmark : 214% net return since fund launch in July 2010 versus a gross gain of 93% of the JSE Top 40 Index. A “multi-modal” concentrated approach on top 20 ideas, together with specific portfolio and risk management frameworks, make Kaizen very unique. The fund uses three buckets – fundamental, trading & opportunities – and also develops “mini portfolios”. Hear Witten speak about:

– Idiosyncratic drivers of the South African Markets
– Macro as the first level of risk: Effective hedging with derivatives
– 2nd level of risk: Why it’s important to get the sectors right
– What should managers do in a market sell-off?
– What Mark Witten learned being a chef in his family’s restaurants
– Why a strong team needs debates more than a “yes”-culture
– Why South Africa’s drift to the left could be a boon for investors
– Outlook and macro themes: make sure to make good money on the short side

Mark O. Witten is a CFA charterholder with an MBA and a BComm (Honours) cum laude, in Law and Finance. He started my career at RMB Asset Management in 2000 before joining Goldman Sachs Asset Management in London. Witten also completed a masters credit at London School of Economics before backpacking through the USA, Fiji and Australia. After completing an MBA at UCT’s GSB, he moved to Johannesburg and joined Peregrine Capital as an analyst, covering the construction, energy and infrastructure sectors. He then re moving to Praesidium Capital in 2008 as a Fund Manager. Prior to setting up Kaizen, he spent a year with ex-Peregrine Capital director Shane Watkins in 2009 assisting him to set up Silk Road Fund Managers in Cape Town.


Quant at Risk – Risk Management with Pawel Lachowicz

A post today about Pawel Lachowicz and his Website Quant at Risk. The important topic of Risk Management now and then here at the Digital Edge.


This is a picture of Pawel’s book: Applied Portfolio Optimization with Risk Management using MATLAB.

Repost – Exchange Traded Derivatives in an Automated World

A repost from the Blog The Bull Run. Worth the read, especially this paragraph:

The potential benefits of outsourcing middle and back-office functions to assist in the ETD trading process have been well documented over the years. However, the financial crisis and changing regulations that are still being discussed have forced financial services firms to reassess their operations and outsourcing plans. It is no longer just about cost savings and flexibility, but also about complying with regulations and improving competitive positions in difficult business conditions. Those that adopt new, more sophisticated and automated solutions can differentiate their offering from their competitors.”

Exchange Traded Derivatives in an Automated World.

via Exchange Traded Derivatives in an Automated World.

The Alpha Interface Blog

Recently I stumble upon, do not confuse here with a social media site, with this blog from a LinkedIn Financial Engineering Group member of which I’ve got the privilege to be a member and was impressed. Jeff Mishlove is a PhD in Finance and Financial Engineering and is an advocate of a Scientific approach to Investing and trading.  It is quite interesting the Blog that presents us with Jeff’s books on the subject called The Alpha Interface.

We can also find books and references to other authors in these fields like David Aronson and his Evidence-based Technical Analysis and a very promising subject for the future of Scientific and Technological based Investing and trading like Machine Learning for Algorithmic Trading of Financial Instruments.

The Blog is filled with posts featuring videos (the one below from the blog) with Jeff explaining the concepts that structure The Alpha Interface, and talking with David Aronson and contributors.

A terrific contribution to the world of Algorithmic Trading which certainly will please all the enthusiasts as well as providing an opportunity to learning, comment and feedback with the experts and experienced.


Future reform for the FX markets…?

The huge 4 trillion dollar forex markets may well be in the spotlight on matters concerning proper regulation and transparency. As FT’s Patrick Jenkings tells the chief editor of Financial Times, this market might be overhauled following the most recent scandals of manipulation like the Libor scandal, and a proper scrutiny of moral hazard issues arising from the big bonus payed to top traders in this Market. For me this development might be good for the Markets specially fro retail traders which normally find themselves in a vulnerable and disadvantaged position.

The OTC Space weekly round-up

This week round up from The OTC Space. As always it is a great source of good posts on matters related to cutting edge Financial Markets, platforms derivatives and all the Risk Management, technological, regulatory and scientific issues related with Finance. Worthy….!!

Single-Dealer Platforms evolve and remain relevant

Excellent blog on trading platforms, dealing in the markets and the modern era of Digital Investment Management!


The evolving global regulatory landscape is fundamentally changing how banks operate, the returns available, the business lines and markets in which they can effectively compete, and the way in which they interact with and service their clients via their Single-Dealer Platforms.

For example, under Dodd Frank, standardised swaps trading with clients will migrate from OTC bilateral trading, over to regulated venues such as SEFs. This will see the value proposition and revenue generated for banks likewise shift from a

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