Workshop 2, week 3 Syndicate 1 1. The collapse of Trio Capital demonstrated the way in which hedge funds and funds of hedge funds can be overly complex, unclear and lacking in transparency, particularly for retail investors. a. Briefly summarise what has happened in the case of Trio Capital last year in 2012 in Australia The collapse of Trio Capital is the biggest superannuation fraud in Australian history. Trio Capital was the trustee of a numbers of super funds governed by the APRA (Ryan, S. , 2011).
It also had a number of managed investment schemes, like ARP Growth Fund and Astarra Strategic Fund. An American lawyer, Jack Flader, controlled the hedge funds in the Caribbean in behalf of the company with the $180 million from Trio Capital’s schemes (Ryan, S. , 2011). When those funds collapsed, Australian investors funds disappeared. The company had very poor corporate governance, and at least one of the directors had fraudulent conduct and has gone to jail (Ryan, S. , 2011). Liquidators have record $300 million assets, but more than $ 200million are still missing (Ryan, S. 2011). More than 6000 investors lost money and some of them lost their entire retirement savings (Ryan, S. , 2011). And 5000 of those investors share $55 million taxpayer-funded levy to compensate the loss (Ryan, S. , 2011). However more than 600 investors will not get any compensation because the hedged funds they invested were self- managed and not governed by the APRA (Ryan, S. , 2011). 2. Discuss the regulations that were in place with regard to hedge funds in Australia and what the changes that are in place are.
Firstly, Lacking of universal definition of “hedge funds” has been a problem. Hedge funds have five unique characteristics defined by the regulations. According to Class Order [CO 12/749] Relief from the shorter PDS regime, a responsible entity using expression of “hedge funds” must exhibit two or more characteristics from the following list: (i) Use of investment strategies intended to generate returns with low correlation to equity and bond indices and/or complex investment structures (ASIC, 2012) (ii) Use of everage to increase returns (ASIC, 2012); (iii) Use of derivatives for speculative purposes (ASIC, 2012); (iv) Use of short selling (ASIC, 2012); or (v) Performance fees (in contrast to fees based on funds under management (FUM)) (ASIC, 2012). However, after the scale collapse of Trio Capital and other funds, hedge funds mangers might try to avoid labelled as hedge funds due to poor reputation.
Secondly, improving disclosure promote more efficient capital market, help disclosure relevant information, reduce the possibility of omitting important information, concentrated on the information need of the investors, and be flexible to adapt investors’ information needs changes (ASIC, 2012). Under Corporations Act. 3 Pt 7. 9 requires the Product Disclosure Statement need to be prepared to the offer of interests, and ongoing disclosure obligation and requirements on advertising and publicity for the offer of interests(ASIC, 2012) .
In detail, PDS must: (a) Be worded and presented in a clear, concise and effective manner (s1013C(3)) (ASIC, 2012); (b) Make specific disclosures (s1013D), including among other things about the significant risks associated with holding the product (ASIC, 2012); and (c) Include all other information that might reasonably be expected to have a material influence on the decision of a reasonable person (when investing as a retail client) about whether or not to invest in the product (s1013E) (ASIC, 2012).
In addition, Ch 5C has further requirements on hedge funds, including the registration need to be label as a managed investment scheme operated by a responsible entity which holds an Australian financial services (AFS) licence, and to have a scheme constitution and compliance plan (ASIC, 2012). 3. Describe the roles of investment banks and merchant banks, with an emphasis on the nature of their off -balance-sheet business, in particular mergers and acquisitions. The merge and acquisition services income of the investment banks and merchant banks are large.
In 2003 the total amount of advisory fees that charged exceeded $596 million in USA, suggesting that investment banks earned a significant amount of income for providing M&A advice (Walter, Yawson & Yeung, 2007). The advisory services offered by investment banks usually related to various aspects of the acquisition and sale of company and assets such as business valuation, negotiation, pricing and structuring of transactions, and procedure and implementation (Water, et al. , 2007).
One of the most important analyses is called dilution analysis, which requires updated skills about M & A accounting. Investment banks also provide “fairness opinions” which usually involved documents attesting to the fairness of a transaction (Water, et al. , 2007). In some cases, firms interested in M & A advice will contact an investment bank directly to process a transaction in mind. However, in the majority cases, investment banks will pitch ideas to potential clients.
After a general introduction of investment banks services in merger and acquisition, the specific roles will be provided below: First, investment bank plays an advisory role for both buyers and sellers. When investment bank takes the role of an advisor to potential sellers, this is named as a sell-side engagement (Water, et al. , 2007). On another hand, when investment banks act as an advisor to the acquirers, this is called a buy-side assignment (Water, et al. , 2007). Other services include advising clients on hostile takeovers, joint ventures, h, buyouts and takeover defense.
Secondly, investment bank also plays a due diligence role. Due diligence means gathering, analyzing and interpreting the target company’s financial information, compared with its historical and projected financial results, assessing potential synergies and evaluating operations to identify opportunities and challenges (Water, et al. , 2007). Due diligence is used to investigate the risk and give client a true financial picture of the acquiring company. Clear the benefits and challenges of the transaction.
Off balance sheet business means the business involved an asset or debt or financing activity is not record on the company’s balance sheet (Wikipedia, 2013). For example, financial institutions have business like asset management or brokage service to their clients. The assets (often securities) usually belong to the clients directly or in trust, the company has no direct claim to these assets or has no direct obligation to these liabilities (Wikipedia, 2013). The company usually has responsible for some fiduciary duties to the client.
Financial institutions may report off –balance sheet items in their accounting statements or may also refer to “assets under management” on off balance sheet items. Under current accounting rules, the accounting distinction between on and off-balance sheet items are quiet detailed and depend on the degree of management (Wikipedia, 2013). In this case, investment banks help buyers and sellers to process the transaction in merge and acquisition. The assets and liabilities involved in merge and acquisition is directly controlled by the buyers and sellers rather than the investment banks.
Hence these assets or liabilities should be recorded on the off-balance sheet of the investment banks. Syndicate 2 1. Describe the key factors, strategies that led to and the lessons learned from the demise of Long Term capital Management. Provide a brief summary of what happened and what were the strategies used by the fund. (?????????? ,reference???? reading??? , ?????? reading???? ) Summary of what happened: Long-Term Capital Management was a hedge fund management company that involves absolute-return trading strategies accompany with high leverage nature.
The firm’s key hedge fund which called Long-Term Capital Portfolio initially succussed with after fees yearly returns over 40% in its first years. However due to the influences from Russia financial crisis and its high leverage, in 1998 it lost $4. 6 billion in less than four months. There were a wide range of companies and individuals affected by LTCM’s loss. In order to prevent chain reaction, Federal Reserve’s financial intervention and other companies taken over required and the company closed down in early 2000. The strategies:
Initially, the company use complex mathematical model to analyse fined income bond to demonstrate arbitrary trade (usually pick up American, Japan and European government bond) Government bond is a term contract, which means in the future, at a fixed time, they will receive a fixed amount money. When the bond firstly issued, the difference of price has been minimised. Hence, according to economic theory, any price gasp will be fulfilled by arbitrary. The price difference between 30 years government bond and 29 times 9 month bind should be very small. And both of them will be mature about 30years later.
However these two bonds will have slightly difference due to liquidity difference. So through a serious of financial techniques, buy 29 year 9 month bond and sell 30 years bond before the 30 years bond just issued, the profit becomes possible (Edwards, F. R. , 1999). But using the price difference and arbitrary was not sustainable. Hence the LTCM must use high leverage to generate more returns. In 1998, the company only had 47. 2 billion by them self, but financed funds about 1245 to 1290 billion, which means the leverage ratio exceed 25 (Edwards, F. R. , 1999).
And the majority of the funds are invested in derivatives which is extremely risky (Edwards, 1999). Lessons: Limited leverage should be required for companies to reduce solvency risk. Arbitrary will not sustainable for the long period. The company lack of sustainable strategy. Disclosure of information is quiet important. This will reduce the investors gambling act and let them realise the true risk. 2. Refer to the case of LTCM. Imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery. What problems does this create in financial markets? Does this cause financial market crises or is it only a problem when a crisis occurs?
Problems: Leverage ratio exceeds to 25, which is too high. Arbitrary is not sustainable, hence the long term investment strategy is absent. The funds amount is large; hence it is difficult to recover the loss. This will increase the possibility of the financial crisis to happen. Because LTCM is extremely high risk company, even though all the company’s partners are graduated from world’s leading universities like MIT Harvard, and they have complex mathematic model, but its high leverage financing structure and business activity nature (e. g. edge, derivative) determined LTCM is an extremely high risk company. Those high-educated partners use other person’s money to take risk without nominating the true risk. If the principal knows the risk, they might not invest in this company. As one company failure will cause others loss money. If the same investment strategies apply to all the companies in this industry, then the failure will expand to the whole industry, and have various chain reactions. Hence it is not only a problem when financial crisis occur, it actually will becomes the perpetrator to cause the financial crisis. . Explain the structure, roles and operation of managed funds and identify factors that have influenced their rapid growth. Structure: the variety of assets is wider same as the management styles range. Some portfolios are conservative and some are aggressive. Different structure is aim to achieve different portfolio goals, timeframe and risk tolerance (ASX, 2013). Roles: A management fund is a tool for investors to accumulate wealth. Managed funds can invest in a portfolio rather than a single security.
The portfolio assets include wide range of financial products like domestic shared, international shares, fixed income securities, unlisted private companies and specialist sectors (ASX, 2013). Thereby the diversification of the portfolio reducing the risk of single security falls. Also managed funds can provide professionally managed portfolio to meet the need of customers who do not have time or the skill to manage (ANZ, 2013). Also managed funds can be bought and sold freely on ASX like share, hence the liquidity risk is low, and if you need money you can immediate trade at current price (ASX, 2013).
What is more, it could help start at small, which means investor can invest a small amount of money and reach the same diversification as the large amount money (ANZ, 2013). Operation: Managed funds invest client’s money on the behalf of clients. They generally put same appetite clients’ money together to the selected portfolio (ANZ, 2013). The portfolio assets include wide range of financial products like domestic shared, international shares, fixed income securities, unlisted private companies and specialist sectors (ANZ, 2013). Factors influence their rapid growth:
There are four factors influence its rapid growth. Firstly, entry, exit and ongoing management fees reduce the return (ANZ, 2013). Secondly, diversification can limit portfolio risk but it may also dilute profits (ANZ, 2013). Thirdly, there might be more tax payment compared with funds managed by client themselves, or more adjustments made by the portfolio manager, more tax applies (ANZ, 2013). Fourthly, the owner lost control of the money (ANZ, 2013). Losing control of your money – others may be involved in making decisions regarding where your money is invested. Reference List:
ANZ. (2013, March 15th). Managed Funds. Retrieved from: http://www. anz. com/personal/ways-bank/work-life-financial/personal-finance/managed-funds/ ASIC (2012, September). Hedge funds: Improving disclosure. Retrieved from:http://www. asic. gov. au/asic/pdflib. nsf/LookupByFileName/RIS-hedge-funds-published-18-September-2012. pdf/$file/RIS-hedge-funds-published-18-September-2012. pdf ASX. (2013) Managed Funds. Retrieved from http://www. asx. com. au/products/managed-funds. htm Edwards, F. R. (1999) Hedge Funds and the Collapse of Long Term Capital Management, Journal of Economics