Advisory Board - June 21, 2006

Interview with the new members of the EDHEC Risk and Asset Management Research Centre's International Advisory Board

Jean-François Lepetit, Chairman of the EDHEC Risk and Asset Management Research Centre's International Advisory Board

The EDHEC Risk and Asset Management Research Centre's international advisory board has been strengthened by the arrival of seven new members.

The board, which brings together distinguished scholars, representatives of regulatory bodies and senior executives from business partners and other leading institutions, held its second annual meeting in Beaulieu-sur-Mer on the French Riviera on May 12th, 2006.

The role of the international advisory board is to validate the relevance and goals of the research programme proposals presented by the centre’s management and evaluate research outcomes with respect to their potential impact on industry practices. The board also advises on the objectives and contents of projects deriving from the expertise of the research centre, thereby ensuring that graduate and executive programmes remain at the forefront of developments in the marketplace.

The new members are as follows:

  • Mr David Blackwood, Group Treasurer, Imperial Chemical Industries, plc.

    David Blackwood qualified with Touche Ross before joining ICI’s Colours and Fine Chemicals division in 1985. In 1996 he moved to London as Deputy Group Financial Controller, in 1998 he was appointed Group Financial Controller and then in 2001 he became Group Treasurer. He is also currently project director for the group’s cross divisional finance function excellence project.

  • Mr Louis Chaillet, Global Risk Manager, ABP Investments.

    In 2005, Louis Chaillet was appointed Global Risk Manager within ABP Investments, Europe’s largest pension fund and the second largest pension fund in the world. He is responsible for risk management of the investment portfolio, including the overall risk policy. Mr Chaillet joined ABP Investments in 2003 as senior controller.

  • Mr Theo Jeurissen, Director, Investments, PMT.

    Theo Jeurissen is Director of Investments at PMT, a Dutch industry-wide pension fund which is the largest pension fund in the market sector. He is responsible for the fund’s investment policies and he oversees the investments handled by PMT’s management company. Theo Jeurissen is also chairman of the investors committee of the Dutch association of pension funds.

  • Mr Philip Lambert, Group Head of Corporate Pensions, Unilever.

    Philip Lambert was appointed Pension Officer and Head of Corporate Pensions Division of Unilever with responsibility for pension schemes and pension fund investments worldwide in 1993. He is a former chairman of the Dutch National Association of Company Pension Funds (OPF) and the European Federation for Retirement Provision (EFRP).

  • Mr Peter Reitz, Member of the Executive Board, Eurex.

    Peter Reitz is one of four executive board members of Eurex and is responsible for Eurex’s Global Business Development. He is also currently a Managing Director with Deutsche Börse AG. Mr. Reitz received a degree in mathematics from the Technical University of Braunschweig in Germany in 1991.

  • Mr Günther Schiendl, Head of Investments, APK Pensionskasse.

    Günther Schiendl is Head of Investments with APK in Austria, where his responsibilities include risk management, strategic and tactical asset allocation and performance measurement and attribution. He was also in charge of implementing an investment monitoring system for which APK won the IPE Awards in 2002 and 2001.

  • Mr Erik Valtonen, Head of Risk Management, AP3.

    Erik Valtonen has been working at AP3 (the Third National Swedish Pension Fund) since the spring of 2000. He is a member of the management committee of the fund and has been head of the Quantitative Analysis and Risk Management group since 2002. Mr Valtonen has a PhD in Mathematics from Stockholm University.

When asked about his reasons for joining the board, Philip Lambert, Group Head of Corporate Pensions with Unilever, underlined the value of close ties between the industry and the academic world:

"I think it’s extremely important that there is a reconciliation between the academic world and what it delivers in terms of the practical needs of the industry. I think that EDHEC is very pragmatic. It tries to develop programmes and to deliver programmes which are really usable by the industry. It tries to understand what is going on the industry.

On the other hand, it is also the task of industry to educate itself and to see to what extent it can use the latest academic developments in terms of new ideas in general and particularly models, which help them to get a better insight into what the effects are of the behaviours that are prevailing in the industry. I think that EDHEC are doing a great job to that extent and I think there’s a lot of room for further communication between the academic world and the industry.

I like EDHEC’s attitude of trying to create a platform and a meeting point between the two worlds."

Theo Jeurissen, Director of Investments with PMT, also highlighted the importance of links between academia and practice.

“When I started my career in investing, the assets of Dutch institutional investors were basically invested in private loans and to a limited extent in stocks with a large home bias. Today those investments are worldwide and in a variety of assets ranging from listed stocks to hedge funds and commodities. A development that has taken place in less then two decades.

Academic research led the way in that development by showing the importance of the asset mix decision, the merits of international diversification and so on. So I feel that academic work has enriched my life as a professional investor and that the link between academia and practice is and will be of utmost importance for the quality of investments decisions, which in turn are driving pension results, the basis for the quality of life for many people in their retired life.

Becoming a member of the advisory board is my small contribution to this all important link between the academic work of EDHEC and the world of institutional investing.”

Erik Valtonen, Head of Risk Management at AP3, concurred on the relevance of academic research for investment management:

"I have been following the research, in particular on hedge funds, that Edhec-Risk has been doing during the past few years with great interest. The research programme is of high academic quality but is nevertheless always relevant and applicable from a practitioner's point of view.

I believe frankly that one of the key elements to successful investment management is the knowledge of relevant academic research. Therefore, when the invitation to join the Edhec-Risk Advisory Board turned up, I saw this as an interesting opportunity to get insight in the ongoing and planned research projects. Also, given my background as a risk manager in the pension fund industry I can hopefully contribute with useful input from my side of the industry to the work of the Advisory Board."

David Blackwood, Group Treasurer with ICI, hopes to be able to contribute to the EDHEC research programmes by passing on the benefits of his corporate perspective and his knowledge of pensions requirements:

"The company I work for, ICI, is an old international UK based group. In part, because of its history, it currently has pension liabilities under IAS of two and a half times its market cap, and when I took over as Group Treasurer five years ago, we were on the cusp between investment grade and sub-investment grade - and that at a time rating agencies didn't look at pensions too closely! Understanding risk therefore, both financial and operational, has been of vital importance to myself and the Group. In that capacity I came across the EDHEC work a couple of years ago when we were looking at hedge funds. The work I have seen has been very impressive, and helpful. I am not sure if other business schools are seen as "competition" - but certainly the "competition" I know in London are very complimentary about the work of EDHEC.

I was delighted to be asked to join the Advisory Board. Through my work worrying about the corporate balance sheet, and my involvement in pensions, I really hope I can contribute to the work programme of EDHEC from a corporate perspective and provide a helpful balance to the input from the financial sector. At a personal level of course, I will also get to be more closely involved with some excellent work and some extremely good people."

Günther Schiendl, Head of Investments with the APK pension fund in Austria, offered some practical examples of the questions that researchers could be addressing:

"I made my first contact with EDHEC-Risk in 2005 at the Geneva asset management days. Instantly I recognized that the research they were doing was so different from so many others – and it was original. The results presented were as well – as they were pointing into the same direction as our thinking: hedge funds are no new asset class, they are just more active, and sometimes much more intelligent trading and/or quasi arbitrage strategies; thus not every hedge fund strategy fits into every “traditional” portfolio.

I deem EDHEC Risk an extremely important research institution as it does original research that shall be of practical help by producing thought-provoking and possibly attitude- or process-changing results. The qualitative and quantitative attendance to their conferences speaks for itself.

We practitioners need to engage in a sometimes speculative dialogue that shall try to sketch out the future world of investing. EDHEC is offering such a platform and I am delighted to be able to contribute in helping to find out new research areas. I use an egoistic approach to this by telling them what I am interested in and what I would like to be researched by brilliant people.

To the young researchers we can give the experience of developing an understanding of problems beyond the textbook, complex problems that typically are best described by their conflicting simultaneous goals:

  • What are the best long-term wealth accumulation strategies – when the pensions funds’ room to manoeuvre is constrained by annually measured funding levels?
  • How can optimal short-term currency management (hedging) strategies of global portfolios be combined with long-term ones?
  • How to achieve value added by tactical asset allocation? What models might be useful? Might new research challenge the seemingly well-established findings of the late last decade?
  • What are the real social costs of liability matching investment strategies?
  • Can a thorough analysis of institutional investing in the context of principal agent theory and risk sharing give a measure of the appropriateness and efficiency of the regulatory framework?

Finally, Peter Reitz, Head of Global Business Development with Eurex, expressed his satisfaction with the results of the current and recent projects carried out with EDHEC:

"In recent years managers have increasingly employed derivative strategies to improve their returns. To keep up with this level of sophistication, Eurex needed an academic partner that could provide the expertise and objectivity to satisfy the market’s demand; EDHEC stood out as the perfect fit for us.

With this cooperation, Eurex, as well as the entire futures and options industry, have benefited greatly from EDHEC’s analysis of how to use exchange traded derivatives to make the management of traditional and alternative money management more efficient. The quality of the material produced and the distribution network and support that EDHEC has now established across Europe has provided exactly what Eurex required.

We are convinced by our experience that we have chosen the right partner and look forward to furthering what we believe has been much more than a mutually beneficial relationship.

Executive involvement in the research centre's advisory board is the natural continuation of our relation and I am delighted to be given the opportunity to evaluate the centre's projects and to contribute to suggesting new areas and new angles for research."

The full list of members of the international advisory board can be found below.

Members of the EDHEC Risk and Asset Management Research Centre Advisory Board
  • Chairman: Mr Jean-François Lepetit, Associate Professor, EDHEC Business School, former Chairman of the French Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • Mr Noël Amenc, Professor of Finance, Director of the EDHEC Risk and Asset Management Research Centre.

  • Mr Mark Anson, Chief Executive Officer, Hermes Pension Management.

  • Mr David Blackwood, Group Treasurer, Imperial Chemical Industries, plc.

  • Mr Sid Browne, Chief Investment Officer for Quantitative Trading Strategies, Brevan Howard US Asset Management LP.

  • Mr Louis Chaillet, Global Risk Manager, ABP Investments.

  • Mr Fabrice Demarigny, Secretary General, Committee of European Securities Regulators.

  • Mr Alain Dubois, Chairman, Lyxor Asset Management.

  • Mr Patrick Fenal, Chief Executive Officer, Unigestion.

  • Mr Pierre Fleuriot, Chairman, ABN AMRO (France), Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Country Coverage for Europe, Middle East & Africa.

  • Mr Jean-René Giraud, Chief Executive Officer, EDHEC-Risk Advisory.

  • Mr Gilles Glicenstein, Chief Executive Officer, BNP Paribas Asset Management.

  • Mr Alain Hindié, Advisor to the President, Detroyat et associés, member of the Manager Selection Committee, Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites.

  • Mr Theo Jeurissen, Director, Investments, PMT.

  • Mr Philippe Keime, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley.

  • Mr Philip Lambert, Group Head of Corporate Pensions, Unilever.

  • Mr François-Serge Lhabitant, Associate Professor, EDHEC Business School, Head of Research, Kedge Capital.

  • Mr Wolfgang Mansfeld, Managing Director, Union-Fonds-Holding AG.

  • Mr Barry Marshall, Former Chief Operating Officer, Investment Division, Gartmore.

  • Mr Lionel Martellini, Professor of Finance, Scientific Director of the EDHEC Risk and Asset Management Research Centre.

  • Mr George Möller, Chief Executive Officer, Robeco.

  • Mr Nicolas Moreau, Chief Executive Officer, Axa Investment Managers.

  • Mr Laurence O’Connell, Director of Strategy and Development, Man Financial.

  • Mr Bruno de Pampelonne, Managing Director, Merrill Lynch (France).

  • Mr Peter Reitz, Member of the Executive Board, Eurex.

  • Mr Günther Schiendl, Head of Investments, APK Pensionskasse.

  • Mr Lindsay Tomlinson, Chief Executive Officer Europe, Barclays Global Investors.

  • Mr Erik Valtonen, Head of Risk Management, AP3.

  • Mr William de Vijlder, Managing Director and Global Chief Investment Officer, Fortis Investments.

  • Mr Dan Waters, Director of Retail Policy and Asset Management Sector Leader, Financial Services Authority.

  • Mr Christopher J. Woods, Director, Hedge Fund Strategies Group, State Street Global Advisors.

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