Search This Blog

26 Jan 2009

Hedge Fund Operational Due Diligence - Book Review

Informative book by Jason Scharfman on, well, pretty much everything you need to run a hedge fund, from risk management to disaster recovery, all need-to-know material for both investors and hedge fund analysts.

Included are examples of past hedge fund management mistakes, showing exactly where the managers went wrong, and how to avoid downfalls such as the ‘but everyone is doing it’ excuse, among others.

Technical though understandable, Scharfman also expains the reliance on technology that is becoming ever more apparent in hedge funds, the dangers of phantomware, and questions that should be asked before commiting to any new technology.

I liked this book for the simple reason that it explains just about everything, almost like a handbook, the index makes an excellent resource.

Since writing the book he has left his position at Morgan Stanley and now runs an operational due diligence consulting firm called Corgentum Consulting. Corgentum works with hedge funds and investors to diagnose and mitigate operational risk at hedge funds and improve upon the of the operational due diligence process.

Available at Amazon

Gates Donates Despite Economic Distress

In a letter scheduled to be released today, January 26th, Bill Gates is offering insight to the world both about the current financial crisis as well as what his foundation has been able to do despite it.

Matthew Bishop, New York Bureau Chief and American Business Editor for The Economist conducted the interview, where Gates said his foundation’s assets may be shrinking, but it is increasing its giving in 2009, from $3.3 billion last year to $3.8 billion—the biggest ever annual budget for a charitable foundation.

Much of this will go towards finding ways to reduce deaths from the 20 diseases that kill the most people in poor countries, according to the Economist. Gates has high hopes that the number of children who die each year can be cut by half, to 5m, within 20 years, just as it was cut by half in the past half-century. Polio will soon be eradicated, he believes, and deaths from malaria can fall by half by 2015.

In a year of economic distress and record losses, optimism and generosity are still central to Gates, he says in the interview. With projected increases in giving in 2009, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will continue to focus on healthcare issues around the world as well as education reforms.

Similarly, he says he is optimistic that Barack Obama’s administration will make progress on school reform, pointing to the extra spending on schools contained in Mr Obama’s economic stimulus package and the fact that the new education secretary, Arne Duncan, welcomed Gates-funded charter schools in Chicago.