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Round Table: Managed Futures / CTA

Report: Systematic Strategies

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Stockholm (HedgeNordic) – There was plenty to talk about at HedgeNordic’s CTA round table. After two years of hosting the event in digital format, it was a treat to once again gather CTA managers from the Nordics and beyond in flesh and blood around a physical table.

Joining us for this year’s event were Jeremy Taylor (ISAM), Razvan Remsing (Aspect Capital), Patrik Säfvenblad (Volt Capital), Martin Källström (Lynx), Harold de Boer (Transtrend) and Mikael Stenbom (RPM). Christoph Junge, a first-time CTA investor from Danish pension fund Velliv, also traveled to Stockholm to join in the discussion.

While many equity and fixed income strategies, even in the hedge fund space, are still digesting the punches they had blown to their stomach, managed futures are feasting at the set table.

Many managers are telling us that in near unprecedented manners, they were able to generate positive returns across all asset classes and timelines year to date. Trend followers enjoyed gains in commodities, especially the energy sector, but also currencies, and equities. Even in the fixed-income space, where many had predicted it not possible for CTAs to make money in an environment of falling bond prices, there were profits for grabs for those who had done their homework.

Managed futures once again made the case that they should be a part of every well-diversified, institutional portfolio. Trend-followers offered tail hedge, diversification, crisis alpha (a term not popular with everyone around the table), but should also be seen as a performance engine and as being able to deliver positive returns in any market environment.

There was optimism in the room though. In contrast to 2008, the events in 2022 (and indeed, some time running up to this year’s moves) may provide a more long-term return to normality. While there will continue to be leaner years and fatter years ahead, the setting is promising for the CTA space. The macroeconomic environment, geopolitical uncertainties as well as the likelihood of central banks moving at different paces and directions in their efforts to combat inflation are promising to be a suitable habitat for systematic trend-followers.

Topics we addressed included “The Return to Normality,” “The Old Guard” where we consider what type of manager excelled in 2022, “First-Time Investors,” “Customization and ESG,” the question of “Can One Trend Follow a Trend- Follower?” The discussion also covers “Performance Dispersion and Evolution,” and “Expectations Going Forward.”

We hope you enjoy reading through this summary of the round table discussion which you can find here.

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Kamran Ghalitschi
Kamran Ghalitschi
Kamran has been working in the financial industry since 1994 and has specialized on client relations and marketing. Having worked with retail clients in asset management and brokerage the first ten years of his career for major European banks, he joined a CTA / Managed Futures fund with 1,5 Billion USD under management where he was responsible for sales, client relations and operations in the BeNeLux and Nordic countries. Kamran joined a multi-family office managing their own fund of hedgefunds with 400 million USD AuM in 2009. Kamran has worked and lived in Vienna, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Stockholm. Born in 1974, Kamran today again lives in Vienna, Austria.

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