“…the reports posted by Oregon and other public pension funds routinely understate these risks, new research has found. The new findings are from Michael Markov, a mathematician who heads MPI, a financial technology company. He provided early warnings about the fraudulently consistent returns in Bernard L. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. I’ve known Mr. Markov for years. And he now says that, on average, the risks being carried by public pension funds are at least 20 percent greater than they are reporting, largely because they aren’t taking account of the true risks embedded in private equity,” writes Jeff Sommer in his weekly column about MPI research focused on uncovering risks of public pensions. “His company uses proprietary statistical techniques to adjust for these lags and posts the results for individual pension funds on its website for everyone to see,” writes Sommer underscoring the importance of the MPI Transparency Lab.
The New York Times
“What is an investor to do when the long view of the market changes, not because of anything happening now, but because of events that took place a decade or more ago?… Michael Markov, a founder of the research firm Markov Processes International, whose studies brought the significance of the fluctuating 10-year returns to my attention, said that nothing had happened lately to make investing a better long-term bet.” Read the full article here. (subscription required)
“Bowdoin posted an 8.8 percent average annual return over the 10 years that ended June 30, handily beating the 6 percent average for all college endowments with assets of more than $1 billion, according to a national study. The school also outperformed all eight Ivy League endowments, none of which managed to beat the 8.1 percent average annual performance of a plain vanilla portfolio consisting of stock and bond indexes, according to Markov Processes International, a research firm.” Read the full article here. (subscription required)
“With $136 billion in assets and enviable access to exclusive investment opportunities, Ivy League universities have long boasted that their endowments earn higher returns than other investors. Not anymore. This year the 10-year returns achieved by the endowments for all the Ivy League schools lagged a plain-vanilla portfolio of stocks and bonds, according to a new study by Markov Processes International, which closely monitors the performance of Ivy League endowments. It’s the first time that has happened in the 16 years for which Markov has data on all the Ivy League endowments.” Read the full article here. (subscription required)
“Harvard’s returns topped the 8.4 percent gain that a typical 60-40 portfolio of Standard & Poor’s 500-stock and aggregate bond index equities would have delivered over the same period, said Jeff Schwartz, president of Markov Processes International, a quantitative research and technology firm. But the endowment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for example, posted a 13.5 percent gain, bringing it to $16.4 billion; Notre Dame’s increased 12.2 percent, to $13.1 billion; and the University of Pennsylvania’s rose 12.9 percent, to $13.8 billion.” Read the full article here. (subscription required)
“We’re talking about true believers in the value of alternatives,” MPI President, Jeff Schwartz, tells the New York Times Columnist James B. Stewart. “It’s hard to take an embedded belief system like that and say, just because we’ve had an outstanding bull market, that you should move to 60-40.” Read our full 2017 Ivy League endowment performance report.
“Strategies” columnist Jeff Sommer features exclusive analysis and commentary from Michael Markov in a story posted on The New York Times looking at Pimco in the wake of recent underperformance and management changes at the $1.91 trillion fund manager. View MPI’s Research Corner for an analysis of Pimco Total Return, “The Taper at the Beach: Pimco, the Fed and a Quantitative Look at the World’s Largest Bond Fund”.
“Michael Markov, C.E.O. of MPI, a quantitative research firm, said calculations using daily prices of AXA Rosenberg’s mutual fund portfolios suggest that by early 2009, there was “an apparent aberration” in the funds.” The New York Times’ Jeff Sommer features MPI’s analysis in a story “The Tremors From a Coding Error”.
“…(MPI) was hired by a fund two years ago to look into Fairfield Sentry’s returns and found that it was “statistically impossible to replicate them.” New York Times article “In Fraud Case, Middlemen in Spotlight” discusses how MPI found warning signs in Madoff’s returns.