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CurAlea Associates LLC is an independent risk and due diligence advisory firm focused on hedge funds and family offices.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

CurAlea Associates LLC Wins Four Prestigious Industry Awards in Past Six Months




CurAlea Associates LLC Wins Four Prestigious Industry Awards In Past Six Months

PRINCETON – CurAlea Associates LLC has been named the winner of four prestigious hedge fund industry awards in the past six months by Acquisition International and Corporate LiveWire. 

Princeton, New Jersey based CurAlea Associates LLC was established in 2010 to provide customized risk advisory and software services to hedge funds and family offices.  The firm delivers high touch, high value-added services to clients via quantitative portfolio risk analyses and qualitative interpretations of portfolio risk.

CurAlea's hedge fund clients are principally fundamentally based and have aggregate AUM of approximately $45 billion.  While hedge funds remain the primary area of the firm’s focus, CurAlea has also been retained by banks and family offices for hedge fund due diligence, risk analysis, and asset allocation consulting.  CurAlea works with clients on a project specific basis and on an ongoing retainer basis.

As part of its customized risk consulting and software services, CurAlea helps hedge fund managers better understand both aggregate portfolio risks as well as risk contribution at the sector and position level.  CurAlea also offers perspective on whether client portfolio risk levels are consistent with their long term return objectives.  Importantly, CurAlea customizes its analyses and software to meet specific client needs and requests.

On winning these four awards, co-founder Pete Ort said: “We are delighted to be recognized by Acquisition International, Corporate LiveWire, and our clients.  We are proud of the customized risk advisory and software solutions that we provide to our clients and it is rewarding to be recognized as leaders in our industry."

Additional information is available at www.curaleaassociates.com
Acquisition International - Best for Hedge Fund Focused Risk Management – New York


In March 2015, CurAlea Associates was named Best for Hedge Fund Focused Risk Management – New York in the 2015 Acquisition International Business Excellence Awards.

Voted for by a worldwide network of professionals, advisers, clients, peers and business insiders, the Acquisition International Business Excellence Awards celebrate the individuals and firms whose commitment to excellence sees them exceeding clients’ expectations on a daily basis while setting the bar for others in their industry.

Through these awards, Acquisition International looks to identify and honor the most respected companies and their C-level executives, while recognizing and rewarding outstanding success, innovation and ethics across international business communities.

Corporate LiveWire - Most Outstanding Risk Management Software Firm – USA
In March 2015, CurAlea Associates was named Most Outstanding Risk Management Software Firm - USA in the 2015 Corporate LiveWire M&A Awards.

The Corporate LiveWire Awards represent the pinnacle of business achievement, championing the best in their respective fields. All winners of the International M&A awards are subject to the same rigorous assessment criteria, carried out by experienced in-house professionals. This ensures that only the most deserving firms and individuals walk away with one of these prestigious accolades and gain a place in the awards winners’ guide, which is distributed to over 400,000 M&A professionals.

Corporate LiveWire - Excellence in Hedge Fund Risk & Due Diligence – USA
In February 2015, CurAlea Associates was recognized for Excellence in Hedge Fund Risk & Due Diligence - USA in the 2015 Corporate LiveWire Innovation & Excellence Awards.

The Corporate LiveWire Awards represent the pinnacle of business achievement, championing the best in their respective fields. All winners of the Innovation & Excellence awards are subject to the same rigorous assessment criteria, carried out by experienced in-house professionals. This ensures that only the most deserving firms and individuals walk away with one of these prestigious accolades and gain a place in the awards winners’ guide, which is distributed to over 1.5 million business executives.


Acquisition International - Best for Risk Management – New Jersey

In November 2014, CurAlea Associates was named Best for Risk Management – New Jersey in the 2015 Acquisition International Hedge Fund Awards.

Now in their third year, the Acquisition International Hedge Fund Awards were created to highlight excellence, best practice and innovation across the asset class, and to win one of these prestigious awards is a stamp of business excellence, integrity and leadership. Acquisition International receives thousands of nominations from industry experts, clients, and peers and spends months gathering votes, painstakingly researching all nominees, and collating all relevant information so that they can fairly and accurately determine the winners.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

March 2015 - Monthly Market Commentary


March was a mixed month for global risk assets.  Global equity markets were mixed, US small caps outperformed large caps, energy commodities retreated, credit spreads widened, and US Treasuries gained.  The Federal Reserve surprised investors with a more dovish than expected statement; while the Fed removed the word ‘patient’ from its plans to increase interest rates, Chairwoman Yellen explained that this “doesn’t mean we’re going to be impatient”.  Earlier in the month, the US monthly jobs report showed continued strong hiring in February with a 295,000 advance in payrolls; the unemployment rate fell to 5.5%, the lowest level since March 2008.  This was the 12th straight month that more than 200,000 jobs were added, the longest such streak since 1995.  In Europe, the ECB launched its long-awaited quantitative easing program with monthly purchases of 60 billion euros; European equities outperformed in March.  Not to be outdone, Sweden’s Riksbank lowered its benchmark rate to minus 0.25% and said it would buy 30 billion Swedish kronor; the kronor fell 3.4% against the USD on the month.

Global M&A activity continued apace in March.  Notable announced deals included NXP Semiconductors’ acquisition of Freescale Semiconductor for $11.8 billion, Hewlett-Packard’s purchase of Aruba Networks for $2.7 billion, Springleaf Holdings’ acquisition of Citigroup’s OneMain Financial unit for $4.25 billion, AbbVie’s $21 billion purchase of Pharmacyclics, Alcoa’s acquisition of RTI International Metals for $1.26 billion, Verisk Analytics’s $2.8 billion purchase of Wood Mackenzie from Hellman & Friedman, the $6.26 billion purchase of GE Capital’s consumer lending business in Australia and New Zealand by an investor group including KKR and Deutsche Bank, Lexmark’s acquisition of Kofax for $1 billion, the $49 billion merger of Kraft and Heinz, Dow Chemical’s $5 billion split off of a significant portion of its chlorine business and merger with Olin, Dufry’s $3.9 billion purchase of World Duty Free, UnitedHealth’s $12.8 billion acquisition of Catamaran, and Charter Communications’ $10.4 billion purchase of Bright House Networks.

Developed market equity markets were mixed March (see page 8).  Germany (+4.8%), Spain (+3.6%), and Italy (+2.9%) saw the biggest gains, while the UK (-2%), Canada (-1.9%) and the S&P 500 (-1.6%) saw the biggest losses.  US small caps outperformed, with the Russell 2000 up 1.7% (see page 2).  Healthcare (+0.9%) was the only US sector in positive territory in March, while Materials (-4.7%), Telecom (-3.7%), and IT (-3.3%) were the worst performing (see page 2).  Large cap growth (-1.1%) slightly outperformed large cap value (-1.4%) in March (see page 3).  Emerging Market equities were also mixed in March (see page 9), with the biggest gains in Argentina (+9.7%), the Philippines (+2.7%), and Indonesia (+2.6%); Russia (-7.4%), India (-2.9%), and Taiwan (-1.1%) were the worst performing.  

In currencies, the USD Index strengthened 3.2% in March (see page 10).  The weakest developed market currencies against the USD were the Norwegian Krone (-4.6%), Euro (-4.2%), and British Pound (-4%).  The USD was also stronger against most emerging market currencies with the biggest gains against the Brazilian Real (-10.7%), Turkish Lira (-3.4%), and Malaysian Ringgit (-2.4%); the Russian Ruble (+8.3%), Chinese Yuan (+1.1%), and Taiwan Dollar (+0.6%) strengthened against the USD (see page 10).

The US Treasury yield curve flattened in March (see page 12).  10 year rates closed the month at 1.92%, down from 1.99% at February month end.  Investment grade and high yield credit spreads widened in February (see page 13).

In commodities, the GSCI index fell 6.8% in March (see page 11), with gains in Livestock (+3.1%) and losses in Energy (-10%), Agriculture (-4.3%), Precious Metals (-2.2%) and Industrial Metals (-0.1%).  Within individual commodities, Feeder Cattle led gains (+9%), followed by Live Cattle (+6.1%), and Copper (+2.6%); Sugar (-13.4%), Brent Crude (-12.3%), Heating Oil (-12.3%), Cocoa (-10.5%), and Gasoline (-10.3%) moved lower.  Gold was down 2.6% in March.

Contact CurAlea Associates for a Daily Market Review.