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20 May 2009
Cotsen Hall: The American School of Classical Studies at Athens.
54 Souidias Street,
106 76, Kolonaki (Athens)

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  1. What's new? The changing face of mutual funds in Europe, Grassano Pietro
  2. The Role of Liability Modeling In Pension Fund Asset Management, Zimbidis Alexandros, Ph.D.
  3. The Latest Dynamics in the Private Equity Fund & Venture Capital Industry, Siokos Stavros, Ph.D.
  4. The Critical Role of Sovereign Wealth Funds in the New Era,
    Kern Steffen, Ph.D.
  5. Alternative Investments/Managed Futures/CTAs/Global Titan Original Program, Tzanetatos George, MBA. (CTA)

Topic: What's new? The changing face of mutual funds in Europe
Speaker: Grassano Pietro

The Asset Management Industry experiences a new phase all over the world. With a vast number of financial products worldwide, it has become more challenging for institutional and retail investors to make the best decision. In 1988, across all of Europe, there were just 6 Emerging Markets funds. In 2008 their number expanded to the surprising 309. Are things getting more or less complicated in the next phase?

The industry is changing dynamically and it is a prerequisite to understand the new drivers in order to be a leader. What is new now? What are the current trends and what is ahead? Are there any advantages of multi-asset funds? Are there new opportunities and in what regions? How Total and Absolute Return Funds compare to traditional funds?

Over and above, the focus should be placed on how to create value for the customers, despite from the fact this means to beat a benchmark or create an absolute return.

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Topic: The Role of Liability Modeling In Pension Fund Asset Management
Speaker: Zimbidis Alexandros, Ph.D.

The idea of Asset - Liability management was initially proposed by the British actuary Frank M. Redington in his seminal work in 1952. Up to that year, actuaries were heavy concentrating in the liability part of an actuarial balance sheet while were letting without serious questions the asset valuation and management process.

Redington was the first who argued that actuarial valuations should pay equal attention to the treatment of assets and liabilities. He spotted that a successful valuation should consider not only the difference between the net present values of assets and liabilities (i.e. the economic value of business) but also the corresponding future cash flows. That approach led him to the creation of the immunization theory by using the concept of duration that had been initially proposed by Macaulay in 1938 and reintroduced a few years later, by Samuelson, in 1945.

Therefore, immunization theory became the inspiring concept that gave rise to all of the modern asset-liability management techniques. All these techniques aim not only to a successful asset management process but aim to the maximization of the economic value of business (assets minus liabilities) conditioned on the constraints of future cash flow, desired level of risk and regulatory requirements.

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Topic: The Latest Dynamics In The Private Equity Fund & Venture Capital Industry
Speaker: Siokos Stavros, Ph.D.

After the unprecedented financial events of the past year - the economic and market collapse that devastated institutional investments - the Private Equity and Venture Capital industry is operating in an environment where cash is in short supply and fundraising more competitive. The industry has to adapt to a new environment of tighter credit, lower economic growth and an increase in government intervention. In an era where financial regulation is rapidly evolving, understanding the role and consequences of private equity has never been more important.

One of the biggest challenges for the Private Equity industry is to embark on a new stage where they need to look long and solid at the creation of value and to act responsibly with the enormous amount of capital entrusted to in the past several years. With a less supportive capital market environment, the industry has few options other than to achieve performance via improving the "buy and build" strategy - the business in which they invest .

As macroeconomic and capital market conditions change, so opportunities emerge for a range of sectors for long-term earnings performance. This year's acquisitions will generally be made at lower multiples and as such will average down the overall acquisition price. Hence, the industry has the prospect to diversify its investments via introducing a whole new set of management and control challenges.

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Topic: The Critical Role of Sovereign Wealth Funds in the New Era.
Speaker: Kern Steffen, Ph.D.

Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) have attracted great attention lately, and have busied policymakers and markets since 2007 when the scale of the SWFs' business and their potential influence in conjunction with the emergence of new players, mainly in emerging markets, were fully realised by the wider public. Since then, the perception of SWFs has evolved in complex ways ranging initially from a potential threat to national security and the independence of businesses in the US and Europe, to saviours of failing banks during the financial crisis, and lately to rescuers of their home economies as the global economic crisis has taken its toll in the emerging markets. Clearly, SWFs have been overloaded with concerns and expectations. A realistic assessment is needed, especially with a view to the political responses this emerging class of sovereign investors has triggered. Thus, an intense debate has evolved over increasing the transparency of SWFs and strengthening their governance. In recipient economies, governments have revised their investment policies. Given the recent policy advances, SWFs seem headed for a new state of normality. But protectionism in the recipient economies remains a serious concern.

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Topic: Alternative Investments/Managed Futures/CTAs*/Global Titan Original Program
(*Commodity Trading Advisor)

Speaker: Tzanetatos George, MBA. (CTA)

An insight into the philosophy and trading discipline of Managed Futures Global Macro-trader Mr. George Tzanetatos (CTA) as he deploys his strategies and Global Titan Original Program in the volatile global markets.

In the financial collapse of world markets in 2008 The BarclayHedge CTA index for Managed Futures posted an increase of 14.11% while the firm's Hedge Fund Index lost 21.53%. The Credit Suisse Tremont Hedge Index, Managed Futures Category was up 18.33%. Why did this alternative investments category managed to deliver such positive returns while the Hedge Fund industry suffered sharp declines and outflows? Will Managed futures be the next financial vehicle of notice in the next decade?

Managed Futures refers to a 30 year old industry made up of professional money managers who are known as "Commodity Trading Advisors" (CTAs) and trade mostly in exchange traded global futures markets. CTAs are required to register with the US government's Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the National Futures Association (NFA).

Of major significance in the trading industry in the past few months has been the substantial outperformance of these Commodity Trading Advisors (CTAs) relative to most other traditional and alternative investment managers.

In the eye of the storm, how can you manage futures in order to outperform the markets and harvest substantial rewards? What kind of strategies can a fund manager deploy in the volatile global markets?

Global Titan Original Program was created by Mr. Tzanetatos. The effects of his macroeconomic management and trading discipline helped him to skillfully negotiate the historical adverse market of 2008. He seeks to identify, leverage and trade positive as well as negative trends at the macroeconomic level on the domestic and global capital markets. The investment process is discretionary and constitutes the synthesis of fundamental, macroeconomic, internal market dynamics, technical quantitative and risk management analysis of capital market conditions. The purpose is to capitalize on price movements through the deployment of thematic driven strategies and to implement strategic and tactical allocation decisions.

[Futures trading is speculative and involves a high degree of risk. For a complete description of the Global Titan Original Program and its associated risks, review the Disclosure Document of Tzanetatos Capital Management LLC at


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