Event Highlights: Bloomberg Invest | June 6-8, 2023

Bloomberg Invest
June 6-8, 2023 

The hunt for opportunity remains a daunting challenge amid recession fears and historic volatility. That’s why Bloomberg Invest New York has become the premier destination for all market participants. Every investor in attendance, from institutional and high-net worth to private and retail, leaves with fresh perspective and crucial insight for 2023 and beyond.

Click here to view the June 7  Morning Sessions of Bloomberg Invest
Click here to view the June 7  Afternoon Sessions of Bloomberg Invest
Click here to view the June 8 Morning Session of Bloomberg Invest
Click here to view the June 8 Afternoon Sessions of Bloomberg Invest
Click here  to view the Allspring breakfast: Recessions, Recoveries and the Opportunities in Between
Click here to view the Principal Asset Management lunch: Building a Portfolio with Solid Infrastructure
Click here to view the Invesco QQQ lunch: Tools of the Trade with ETFs  and Options


Speakers included:

  • Anu Aiyengar, Global Head Mergers & Acquisitions, J.P. Morgan
  • Dr. Manar Al Moneef, Chief Investment Officer, NEOM Investment Office
  • Brian Armstrong, Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO, Coinbase
  • Charles Baillie, Co-President, Quantum
  • Rashad Bilal, CEO, Earn Your Leisure
  • Amy Cappellazzo, Founding Partner, Art Intelligence Global
  • Marty Chavez, Vice Chairman & Partner, Sixth Street
  • Winnie Cisar, Global Head of Strategy, CreditSights
  • Jay Clayton, Former Chairman, SEC & Senior Policy Advisor and Of Counsel, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
  • Ray Dalio, Founder, Bridgewater 
  • Mary Ann Deignan, Head of Capital Markets Advisory, Lazard
  • Sonal Desai, Chief Investment Officer, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income
  • Raj Dhanda, Global Head of Wealth Management, Ares
  • Brian Donlin, Head of Options & Equity Derivative Strategy, Stifel 
  • Stanley Druckenmiller, Chairman & CEO, Duquesne Family Office
  • Thasunda Brown Duckett, President & CEO, TIAA
  • Steve Eisman, Senior Portfolio Manager, Neuberger Berman
  • Catherine Engelbert, Commissioner, WNBA
  • Dawn Fitzpatrick, CEO & Chief Investment Officer, Soros Fund Management
  • Emily Foshag, Portfolio Manager Listed Infrastructure, Principal Asset Management
  • Adena Friedman, Chair & CEO, Nasdaq 
  • Randy Gerardes, Managing Director of Public Finance, Assured Guaranty
  • Pooja Goyal, Partner & Chief Investment Officer Infrastructure Group, Carlyle
  • John Graham, President & CEO, CPP Investments 
  • Stephanie Guild, Head of Investment Strategy, Robinhood 
  • Art Hogan, Chief Market Strategist, B. Riley Wealth
  • Bill Huffman, President Equities & Fixed Income, Nuveen
  • David Hunt, CEO, PGIM
  • Rebecca Kaden, Managing Partner, Union Square Ventures
  • David Kelly, Chief Global Strategist, J.P. Morgan Asset Management 
  • JJ Kinahan, CEO, IG North America
  • Ethan Klingsberg, Partner & Co-Head of US Corporate and M&A, Freshfields
  • Katie Koch, CEO, TCW
  • Henry Kravis, Co-Founder & Co-Executive Chairman, KKR
  • Marc Lasry, Chairman & CEO, Avenue Capital Group
  • Ida Liu, Global Head, Citi Private Bank
  • Saira Malik, Chief Investment Officer, Nuveen
  • Joe Mazzola, Director of Trading & Education, Charles Schwab 
  • Ben McKenzie, Actor & Author, “Easy Money: Cryptocurrency, Casino Capitalism, and the Golden Age of Fraud
  • Ann Miletti, Head of Active Equity & Chief Diversity Officer, Allspring Global Investments
  • Troy Millings, CEO, Earn Your Leisure  
  • Dan Morehead, Founder & Managing Partner, Pantera Capital
  • Brian Moynihan, Chairman & CEO, Bank of America 
  • Kristin Olson, Alternative Capital Markets Group Global Head, Goldman Sachs
  • Mark Patricof, Founder & CEO, Patricof Co
  • Sherry Paul, Senior Portfolio Manager Director, Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management
  • Onay Payne, Managing Director of Real Estate, Lafayette Square
  • Verdun Perry, Global Head of Strategic Partners, Blackstone
  • Amanda Rebello, Head of Sales US Onshore, Xtrackers  
  • Admiral Mike Rogers, Former Director, National Security Agency 
  • Alisa Rusanoff, Head of Credit, Crescendo Asset Management
  • Kyla Scanlon, Author, Educator & Contributor, Bloomberg Opinion
  • Paul Schroeder, QQQ Equity Product Strategist, Invesco
  • Seema Shah, Chief Global Strategist, Principal Asset Management
  • Deena Shakir, General Partner, Lux Capital
  • David Siegel, Co-Founder & Co-Chairman, Two Sigma
  • Hanneke Smits, CEO, BNY Mellon Investment Management 
  • Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Distinguished Scientific Advisor, Universa
  • John Waldron, President & Chief Operating Officer, Goldman Sachs
  • Anne Walsh, Chief Investment Officer, Guggenheim Partners Investment Management
  • Olivia Wassenaar, Partner and Head of Sustainable Investing, Apollo
  • Boaz Weinstein, Founder & Chief Investment Officer, Saba Capital Management
  • Michelle Wie West, Professional Golfer 
  • Amanda Wilson, Managing Director & Head of U.S. & Canada Institutional and Global Consultant Relations 

Bloomberg participants:

  • Lisa Abramowicz, Anchor, Bloomberg Television
  • Tracy Alloway, Co-Host Odd Lots, Bloomberg
  • Sonali Basak, Global Finance Correspondent, Bloomberg Television
  • Romaine Bostick, Anchor, Bloomberg Television
  • Amanda Cantrell, US Investing Team Leader, Bloomberg
  • Scarlet Fu, Anchor & Reporter, Bloomberg Television
  • Emilie Gallagher, Global Head of FX, Commodities & Economics Product, Bloomberg
  • Katie Greifeld, Anchor & Reporter, Bloomberg
  • Kriti Gupta, Anchor & Markets Correspondent, Bloomberg Television & Radio
  • Ed Hammond, Senior Deals Reporter, Bloomberg  
  • Brandon Harris, Global Head of Marketing Management & Strategy, Bloomberg
  • AnnMarie Hordern, Washington Correspondent, Bloomberg Television & Radio
  • Caroline Hyde, Anchor, Bloomberg Television
  • Ira Jersey, US Interest Rate Strategist, Bloomberg Intelligence
  • Tom Keene, Anchor, Bloomberg Television
  • Jason Kelly, Host & Executive Producer, Bloomberg Originals 
  • Kailey Leinz, Anchor & Reporter, Bloomberg Television
  • Michelle Lynn, Global Head Data & Insights, Bloomberg Media 
  • Matt Miller, Anchor, Bloomberg Television & Radio
  • Norah Mulinda, Equities Reporter, Bloomberg
  • Claire Obusan, Program Manager, Bloomberg New Voices
  • Erik Schatzker, Editorial Director, Bloomberg New Economy
  • Alexandra Semenova, Equities Reporter, Bloomberg
  • Alix Steel, Anchor, Bloomberg
  • James Tarmy, Arts Columnist, Bloomberg
  • Joe Weisenthal, Co-Host Odd Lots, Bloomberg
  • David Westin, Anchor & Reporter, Bloomberg Television
  • Skylar Woodhouse, Reporter, Bloomberg
  • Janet Wu, Anchor & Reporter, Bloomberg Radio

Event highlights:


Recessions, Recoveries and the Opportunities in Between

 Riding the Curve 

“Contractions and cyclicality” is how Winnie Cisar, Global Head of Strategy, CreditSights, describes the “rolling recession narrative,” noting that the U.S. economy continued to “trundle along quite nicely.” What’s next is transportation’s global diversification patterns taking a big shift to east coast ports. In the next six to 12 months, long-end treasury yields will move higher and offer a great investment opportunity.

Going forward, Alisa Rusanoff, Head of Credit, Crescendo Asset Management sees great opportunity in private debt, the SMB world and the trade industry, in general. Technology will drive it. “Trade finance has not been an attractive investment because people don’t understand what it is. But when you integrate it with the client’s bank accounts, via open banking systems, when we’re getting data from so many different sources, you actually build the tool that helps you mitigate the fraud risk. I do see the trade finance and private debt industry exploding because of that.” 

“The most important thing in this economy is it just refuses to go gently into the good night,” said Art Hogan, Chief Market Strategist, B. Riley Wealth. Over-indexed goods consumption and under-indexed service consumption for the last two years caused a lot of demand, supply chain disruptions, and too much “stuff.” Back to consuming mainly services, things will even out. “I think there’s more good news than bad news in front of us.” The industry has gotten better at packaging opportunities, but needs to get a lot better at explaining and educating investors.

Allspring Global Investments Sponsor Spotlight: Allspring Allview – Listening for the Quiet in Equities

“Listen for the quiet.” That lesson has guided Ann Miletti, Head of Active Equity & Chief Diversity Officer, Allspring Global Investments, through her life and career. It started with her newborn son’s severe heart condition and surgery. Taking their son home without the beeping of monitors left them wondering how they would know if something went wrong, especially as an infant’s heart symptoms tend to be quiet. It took paying attention to the little things that most would ignore. In asset management, “listening for the quiet became my superpower. Instead of always being focused on what everyone else liked, I looked for what they might like next. When there was a lot of fear centered around something, I forced myself to consider what might already be priced into the market.”


Surviving and Thriving in Recessions and Market Turbulence 

Within a market revolution, we’re experiencing a mindset revolution,” said Sherry Paul, Senior Portfolio Manager Director, Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management. Shifting wealth demographics means dealing with different cultures and relationships people have with their money. She recalled a manager telling her as she entered the industry in 1998 to not seek female clients, because they’re indecisive. “And I thought to myself, I just made a decision. I don’t think I’m ever going to listen to another word you have to say.”

Today, 60% of their ultra-high-net-worth clients are women; mostly first-generation wealth-builders, and she has an all-female team. She noted that the rise of female investing coincides with an increase in ESG investing, with women more apt to support the greater good.


Positioning for a Recession  

Looking at the disparities between the market and the Federal Reserve System, David Kelly, Chief Global Strategist, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, said the Fed is fighting a battle it’s already won. “Watching inflation come down is kind of like watching a slinky go down the stairs. It just has to come down at a certain, slow pace. You can drop the slinky over the bannister so it gets there faster, but it’s not a good way to do it.” All of his firm’s modeling shows inflation hitting 2% by the end of 2024. On recession, “We may be one banana skin away, but I’m not calling it yet.” The biggest worries are real estate and commercial banks, a potential “slow-burning disaster,” but other economic pressures could ease before that becomes a major issue.

Timing dictates alternative asset management. Kristin Olson, Alternative Capital Markets Group Global Head, Goldman Sachs said they are advising clients to stay the course, and put blinders on to everything that’s going on in the background. “You can’t let the various risks that are swirling affect your plan at the strategic level.” That’s what’s playing out, indicated by record commitment flows and allocations from ultra-high-net-worth investors that continue at the same pace this year. “Below the surface, you’re looking at what’s happening in the environment. You see pivots in terms of strategies within alternatives.”

Bloomberg Invest Morning Sessions

Opportunities, Outlooks and Warnings  

Having focused for the last 10 years on entitlements and the long-term implications, Stanley Druckenmiller, Chairman & CEO, Duquesne Family Office, said “The last thing you should  do is run out of this conference and think there’s a trade to be made on it.” Decades ago, predictions were being made about a “demographic storm” that would hit in the 2020s. That would coincide with a major reduction in workers from a subsequent and dramatic drop in the birth rate, resulting in reduced entitlement funding. When it comes to dealing with the crisis, “The statement by both parties that entitlements are off the table? It’s like 70% of the federal budget, and rising. And now that interest rates have come up, it’s a fantasy. In fact, it’s a lie. We are definitely going to cut entitlements. It’s just a matter of when.”


New Technology & the Future of Financial Systems

Adena Friedman, Chair & CEO, Nasdaq commented on the process of seeking FCC approval for generative AI. “It’s a self-learning mechanism, but a very defined package of AI algorithms, so we are able to show explainability of the model. That’s going to be a core of early AI, underpinning early AI implementation in the markets.” Its potential needs to be unlocked to manage financial crime. Otherwise, criminals will be using more advanced tools. “We are asking regulators to look more broadly about leveraging the next generation of AI to be able to find patterns and root out criminal behavior.” About $4 trillion is laundered through the global financial system annually, with only about 1% detected.


In Conversation With Henry Kravis

Henry Kravis, Co-Founder & Co-Executive Chairman, KKR, described how he feels investing right now; relaxing on a sunny beach, having read a tsunami is coming. He expects inflation to remain “stickier” overall, due to the tight labor market, the enormous investment in the energy transition and geopolitical tensions. Business is seeing hikes in earnings and revenue, and that is expected to continue as long as the cost side is managed.

As to the high-net-worth sector, he called it a huge opportunity, with about $178 trillion of value. “Today, 1% is invested in the alternative space. So, think about that. If you just got to 3-5%, what does that mean?”

Kravis offered a look at the beginnings of the partnership, and his assessment of his beloved New York City, where he’s lived for 56 years. He worries about crime, advocating for stricter penalties, and the slow rate of people coming back into the workplace. “I’m happy to say that at KKR, we got people back about two years ago. “What we said was, we’re an apprentice model, people learn from each other and we expect you to come back in, and they did.”


The Retirement Crisis and Wealth Inequality

Thasunda Brown Duckett, President & CEO, TIAA tossed into the mix a prediction of a mild recession toward the latter part of the year, and into the first quarter. More concerning is that they are seeing that 25% of Americans have reduced their retirement contribution, with half of them taking it down to zero. “And, so, in an environment where rates and inflation are so high, it has real short-term, but also long-term impacts as we think about what that will mean for millions of Americans on the path to confidence in retirement.”

Her call-to-action for employers, workers and regulators; aggregate the data to make sure the plan is working, auto enroll to maximize contributions, educate employees about securing their retirement and enact policy that assures government operates in a bipartisan way toward the goal.


In Conversation With Dawn Fitzpatrick 

The most interesting asset class right now, “a typically boring one,” is agency mortgage backed securities, because two-thirds of current holders – central banks and banks – have become sellers. Extraordinary interest rate volatility has made the valuations “disproportionately cheap,” according to Dawn Fitzpatrick, CEO & Chief Investment Officer, Soros Fund Management.  Add to that auctions of sizable portfolios from bank failures. “By the way, I think you’re going to see more bank failures, likely in the small banks. So, it’s not going to be big headlines and the size of the failures that we had so far. But I think there are more problems under the surface. You’ll see continued sales.” Also undeniable is that banks have to reduce balance sheets and shorten the duration of portfolios. “There is regulation coming that’s going to be pretty punitive.”

 NEOM Sponsor Spotlight: Redefining Sustainability, Livability and Business Amid Current Global Challenges

“Giving time back to people,” and redefining business are just two of the intriguing pillars of NEOM, which is building the world’s first zero-carbon, zero-gravity vertical city, THE LINE, in northwestern Saudi Arabia. Dr. Manar Al Moneef, Chief Investment Officer, NEOM Investment Office said 20% of its essential infrastructure is in place, and 95% of its land will be untouched by urbanization, despite it being able to accommodate nine million people. “When NEOM was created, it wasn’t only to create a better life for Saudi Arabia. It was simply designed as a living laboratory where you can create new ideas and new innovation to create a more sustainable future for all of us, and those ideas that can be exported around the world.”


AI & the Future of Finance 

On AI hype versus reality, David Siegel, Co-Founder & Co-Chairman, Two Sigma, said he’s never seen anything quite like the hype. “Chat GBP really captured people’s imagination, in a way that surprised absolutely everyone. But what I think people don’t widely recognize is that AI has been having an impact for decades.” It’s not about the interaction with AI models and deep learning, but the awareness, and surprise at the behaviors emerging from large language models. “People are reading a little too much into it right now. It’s an experiment in human psychology.”

“It’s just more software,” according to Marty Chavez, Vice Chairman & Partner, Sixth Street. “There’s been all kinds of breakthroughs and all kinds of problems,” he said, referring back to the very beginning. While it’s extremely powerful and interesting, “I do not see AI achieving what some would call the holy grail. Everybody wants to know what the S&P is going to be in six months. I can’t say, and neither can AI.” All of the brilliant successes of AI come from one, profound realization; dichotomizing large data sets.


Leveling the Playing Field in Women’s Sports

After 26 seasons, 2022 was a breakthrough year for the popularity of professional women’s basketball, providing it the human and financial capital to scale. Catherine Engelbert, Commissioner, WNBA spoke about coming onboard in 2019, on the threshold of collective bargaining that recognized the players’ value. Scaling includes the addition of two teams by 2025. It may not sound transformative, but the process is highly complex. “A lot goes into it, and we don’t want to desecrate the quality of the game.” 

The league is gaining global traction, popular in places like India, where it was shown for the first time last year. Things like media rights will drive growth with funding, and help overcome gender disparity. “We’re a microcosm of larger society.”

Coinbase Responds

Brian Armstrong, Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO, Coinbase took the stage to respond to the SEC’s complaint filed the day prior, alleging Coinbase operates as a unregistered securities exchange broker and clearing agency, including its staking-as-a-service program. He called it “the regulation by enforcement approach,” described the SEC chair as an “outlier” in the regulatory landscape and noted President Biden’s directive for a regulatory framework. “It’s really about debating the issue of, ‘Are these commodity or security assets’.”

With $5 billion on its balance sheet, Armstrong said it will continue to be business as usual, and he’s not concerned about the impacts of going to court. “The majority of the company won’t be affected. We don’t want to lose sight of building great products for our customers.” Staking will continue, and with funds backed one-to-one, customers will be able to continue to make withdrawals.

Building a Portfolio with Solid Infrastructure

Proudly Sponsored By Principal Asset Management

Realizing Returns from Infrastructure Investments

Randy Gerardes, Managing Director of Public Finance, Assured Guaranty said it’s always a great time to get involved with infrastructure. “It performs well in many market settings, aside from when we have the random shock. But even under that scenario, a lot of these operators have a tremendous amount of cash on their balance sheets, they’re very conservative, and their ability to pass through price increases is usually very high.” Asked what keeps him up at night, Gerardes named global tensions and the destruction of infrastructure, and transit systems whose revenue streams are suffering from lack of ridership.

From an inflation perspective, overall thought is conceptual about infrastructure as providing a hedge, according to Emily Foshag, Portfolio Manager Listed Infrastructure, Principal Asset Management. “It’s important to remember why that is. Ultimately, these are businesses that are providing essential services that are critical to the functioning of our economies, whether we’re in a booming period of growth, or a recession. Their contractual and regulatory protections allow them to pass inflation on to the end users.” The theory of inflation as a key selling point of infrastructure has proven out over the last two years.


How New Capital Creates Better Communities

“The gap between owning and renting is as high as it’s ever been, ” said Onay Payne, Managing Director of Real Estate, Lafayette Square. Her firm differs by creating investment opportunities in overlooked places and underserved markets. The “pandemic baby” is still a startup. “We invest in both financial capital and services, which are effectively investments in human and social capital in ways that support more equitable outcomes.” The focus on raising the levels of access to capital for areas that are far from the major cities that typically get the most attention. Mixed income housing is a “tool” that supports mobility. It provides “real economic connectedness between social classes. “From a data-driven perspective, it’s demonstrated to yield high levels of mobility.”

 Bloomberg Invest Afternoon Sessions

Making a Buck in Sports

“I think it’s fascinating,” Marc Lasry, Chairman & CEO, Avenue Capital Group said about the PGA Tour/LIV Golf merger. “What I’d love to understand is the details of the deal, like, why did the PGA do this? It’s clear why LIV did it. A week ago, a day ago, a year ago, that was the devil, and now they’re your partner.” From the perspective of the sport, he said he can make an argument from both perspectives; having a monopoly, which is better for business, or competition, which is better for fans.  

Explaining why he started investing in sports, Lasry said it’s like buying a media company, “cheap.” It’s the only thing today that you can’t record and anyone will want to watch later. “That live aspect is fabulous.” He spoke about investing in pickleball, buying a franchise for $100K and seeing its value quickly rise to “$5 or 10 million.” The value proposition extends to opportunities like media rights.


The Looming Credit Crunch

Boaz Weinstein, Founder & Chief Investment Officer, Saba Capital Management talked about gravitating toward arbitration strategies to make convictions. “Not about predicting what will happen, but just ‘security A’ or ‘security B’ is mispriced.” He is most interested today in closed front end arbitrage, “because you can actually control your destiny.” The current opportunity comes from those investments having the ability to sit at huge discounts for a very long time. 

Responding to the assertion that Saba has declared war on BlackRock, he described three live campaigns that, if turned into open-ended funds, would unlock $580 million for shareholders. “They are a thought-leader, but what they are doing to entrench with respect to stripping shareholder rights, banning shareholder proposals, puts them on the governance side as the worst company in the S&P 500.”

Today’s Assets: From Safe & Secure to Risky & Untouchable 

Discussing what is untouchable right now, Hanneke Smits, CEO, BNY Mellon Investment Management, said it’s all about context, as we enter a new normal of a higher rate environment. “Historians will look back on the previous decade and a half and realize it was not a normal environment.” As for private credit, with the banking crisis, there’s been a surge in demand. “I don’t think there is yet a bubble, but it always depends on whether you’re on the buy side or how much exposure you have to loans that you’ve already expended.”

David Hunt, CEO, PGIM said real estate markets have not come down sufficiently, predicting an “important” move downward soon. “The elephant in the room is office.” Winning are new offices built since 2016 in prime locations, fetching some amazingly high rents. “In purgatory” is a group, comprising about 60%, of rundown buildings and others not upgraded to meet climate standards or the hospitality that’s desirable today. “There is a true reset in value in real estate, and now is a great time to be with an active manager and not buy in the index.”


Wall Street Week With Ray Dalio

“This isn’t the classic recession where the unemployment rate goes up,” said Ray Dalio, Founder, Bridgewater. Unemployment remains low because of wealth transfer and higher wage gauges. Factoring in is the inefficiency of the global supply chains. “That means you have this stubbornly high inflation. We’re not going to go down to our targets. And then there has to be the real interest rates, remaining high. That creates a stagflation kind of environment.”

He spoke to addressing climate change, potentially finding some common ground with China. Those efforts, he predicted, will be superficial, while other conflicts remain. What about working as a nation? “I’m not optimistic, particularly because it’s so very expensive. What do you do when there’s also the social issues, education, poverty? We have so many expenditures and problems we can not agree on how to handle.”


Principal Asset Management Sponsor Spotlight: Investment Trends Shaping Asset Management Today

On risks we’re not talking about and how investors brace for the volatility of a recession, Seema Shah, Chief Global Strategist, Principal Asset Management, said there is absolutely no consensus on timing, duration and magnitude. She is intrigued by the forecast for Europe. “This is the one that has continuously disappointed. They’ve struggled to have really strong, positive growth. Yet, if you go to your Terminal, there is not one forecast out there with negative quarters of growth next year. That is a bit of a risk on the horizon, in terms of the things that people are not talking about.”

General consensus is that the U.S. banking crisis is behind us. Shah disagreed, noting three failures out of 770 regional banks. “Are you telling me that only three of them have mismanaged their duration?”


In Conversation With Brian Moynihan

Brian Moynihan, Chairman & CEO, Bank of America offered a look at getting Erica, its generative AI virtual banking assistant, off the ground five years ago. It required several years of development because existing language processing used predictive modeling that was not written for banking. It also needed to be aligned with their own data. Now, 20 million users, and growing, use voice prompts to do their banking through Erica, or for many, to ask for the banks’ routing number. “Five million times a year they used to call us for that.” 

As to the risks of deploying AI for banking, he described a very controlled environment. “This is our data, this is our processing, this is our predictive language and our artificial intelligence feeding off of our Q&As that we’ve edited. We don’t have the problems of dealing with everybody’s data, and everybody’s answers.”


The Young Investor’s Guide to Markets 

Kyla Scanlon, Author, Educator & Contributor, Bloomberg Opinion took viewers on a fast-paced tour of charts filled with surveys, volatility and other data, taking a look at the gap between expectations, theory and reality. She explored the labor market disconnect, falsely reported corporate earnings and a survey showing 73% of respondents feel good about their own financial situation, but badly for those around them.


Earn Your Leisure

Those guys from that incredibly innovative financial literacy podcast were on hand to talk about shaking things up, breaking down barriers and the upcoming Invest Fest in Atlanta.

“Financial conferences are boring, no offense,” said Rashad Bilal, CEO, Earn Your Leisure, and former financial advisor. “It’s a very unusual vibe, like a music festival, only it’s three days of learning” is how he summed up the combination of investing, entrepreneurship, pop culture, and entertainment at Invest Fest. It’s modeled after music festivals, with stages, DJs, celebrities, vendors and food trucks. The first event attracted 4,500 people. Last year, 14,000 came, with 20,000 expected this August. “Our platform started in a classroom here in New York, and now it has grown all over the world, including shows in Ghana and selling out Royal Albert Hall.”

Troy Millings, CEO, Earn Your Leisure, a former teacher, said their approach is to highlight people who are doing things that can help the everyday person, like CPAs, accountants and real estate brokers, increasing their value and connecting them with an online community that’s up to 1.3 million. “Being inside the educational system, you realize, these things aren’t taught. We didn’t know how to buy a house when we left high school. We didn’t know how to pay taxes. We didn’t even know what it was to fill out a resume.” The platform is inspiring success from every perspective.


The State of Dealmaking

It’s a tough market that requires courage and experience with cycles, said Anu Aiyengar, Global Head Mergers & Acquisitions, J.P. Morgan. Deals now take a different route from the old method of seeking legal advice in the boardroom. It’s now about thinking strategically and preparing for regulatory hurdles. “So, how do you prepare? When you knock on the door of the counterparty, one of the questions they’re going to ask is, ‘How much work have you done?’ ‘Why should I believe that you can get this deal to the finish line?’ Likewise, she advised those approached with offers to know the right questions to ask.

Ethan Klingsberg, Partner & Co-Head of US Corporate and M&A, Freshfields noted that in the last several months, there are still a lot of companies with stock shifts. “As far as the gap on valuation, time is not on their side. Time is on the side of private equity. So, those companies are ripe for sales.” For many, stock prices are dropping because of R&D and marketing spends. When their margins finally expand, it all fits in very nicely with the private equity formula. “I think we’re going to see a lot more private equity take privates in the next six months.”


In Conversation With John Graham 

Taking a look at pension plan investing in Canada, John Graham, President & CEO, CPP Investments, said the decision was made early on to invest globally, moving 20% of their $570 billion in managed assets beyond the country’s relatively small economy. That includes larger emerging markets like China, India and Brazil. Geopolitical tensions have not been cause for reconsideration. “We’re very comfortable where we are, but it’s certainly gotten more complicated. We do believe it’s important to continue to invest in China. About 9% of the portfolio is there.” He said, it’s important to understand the world’s second largest economy and the role it plays. 

“Some of the best decisions are the things you don’t do,” Graham said, noting they had not invested in crypto or Russia.

    Bloomberg “Odd Lots” LIVE

Bloomberg Odd Lots Co-Hosts Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal sat down with Steve Eisman, Senior Portfolio Manager at Neuberger Berman for a live podcast recording. Eisman shot to fame after his bets against collateralized debt obligations during the 2008 financial crisis were profiled in the 2015 film, The Big Short. He gave his updated views on banks, commercial real estate and AI. He called the recent regional bank failures in the U.S., less risky saying “I said a long time ago, when J.P. Morgan goes down, planet Earth burns, when Silicon Valley Bank goes down, it’s a match.”

The event was proudly sponsored by Principal Asset Management and Amanda Wilson, Managing Director & Head of U.S. & Canada Institutional and Global Consultant Relations gave opening remarks.

 Bloomberg Invest Morning Sessions

 In Conversation With John Waldron

John Waldron, President & Chief Operating Officer, Goldman Sachs talked about needing to prepare for the scenario of sluggish growth and stagflation. More productivity is needed and there are impulses that could provide that, such as in AI and life sciences. “There’s plenty of innovation we could point to and say there’s enormous opportunity to have another industrial revolution. It just might be more of a digital revolution, a science revolution.” The firm has been very forward leaning on technology for a long time, taking an adaptive stance and a leadership role. “We’ve been using AI, but the real, new developments here are the power and strength of these new, large language models and what they can do.”

On preparing for potential changes after the elections, Waldron said they focus on policy, not the candidates. “Policy implications will be significant. There’s plenty you could debate between the two parties. I think that the 2024 election will crystallize a lot of those debates, and we will be working on our side to be engaged and planning.”

Next Generation Wealth 

An “incredibly important” market is NextGen and millennials, with $15 trillion of wealth passed to them by the end of this decade, according to Ida Liu, Global Head, Citi Private Bank. That wealth is coming from disruptive innovations.We aim to do three things for those clients; to educate, to empower and to elevate. We actually have NextGen advisory boards around the world where we solicit direct feedback.” Three directives are emerging. They want to be able to easily and digitally onboard in an institution, they care about being educated and learning to become leaders, and they want to invest with purpose and impact. 

Saira Malik, Chief Investment Officer, Nuveen spoke to what has changed structurally with alternatives, and discussed the changing rate scenario and its implications. “I think we’re going back to what we saw before the global financial crisis, rather than what we’ve seen for the last decade or so. Clients need to get used to positioning portfolios to make sure they can beat these higher levels of inflation, and also deal with higher levels of interest rates.”

On those history-making wealth inheritors, Raj Dhanda, Global Head of Wealth Management, Ares said they are seeing that time in the market is incredibly valuable. “They’re fascinated by the breadth of the private markets, whether it’s agriculture, infrastructure or traditional private equity, and so, the investment solutions that are available today in private markets have really changed the landscape.” It will be much different from prior generations, when the lack of alternatives meant focusing mainly on stocks and bonds.

Invesco QQQ Sponsor Spotlight: The Influence of Innovation

Paul Schroeder, QQQ Equity Product Strategist, Invesco offered a look at the company’s journey that is nearing 25 years, growing to nearly $200 billion in assets. “From a fee standpoint, it’s 20 basis points and has a lower fee than 78% of all other large cap funds. It’s been a primary way for individual investors to access innovative companies throughout the years.


Geopolitics & What It Means For Your Portfolio

Governments around the world are expanding significantly, taking on more regulatory and global positions, and that will be very important to consider when investing, said Admiral Mike Rogers, Former Director, National Security Agency. “The definition of national security is really expanding, and there’s a huge economic dimension to this now.” 

Lessons learned from the war in Ukraine can be applied to China, even though it’s a very different dynamic. Those lessons included a realization of the power of a multinational approach to a framework of action, a feel for how warfare is changing, and how its impacts proliferate. “The idea that conflict is an inherently governmental or military dynamic and that the corporate world or the commercial sector has no role,” has been shown to be the opposite.

In Conversation With Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“At no point in time were we more connected,” Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Distinguished Scientific Advisor, Universa said of the pandemic culture. “That connectivity caused tail events. We never had such shortages than we did after covid, and then huge droughts. We had too much reactivity coming from such connectedness.” The author noted that it took 333 years for the plague to travel from Constantinople to England, and “one, single weekend covid traveled around the world.” 

His analysis of the Credit Suisse collapse is that it was caused by a move from a no-risk model. Somebody got bored and came to the U.S. to dabble in derivatives. “That was when the Swiss ceased to be Swiss bankers.” Add to that the requirement for more data transparency – and the elimination of “money laundering and a lot of people hiding funds there” – and it was forced to take on more risk.


Effectively Navigating Through Volatility

TCW believes a recession is imminent, and the landing will not be soft. “There’s a lot of excess to work out of the system. We are following the general arc of a recession now,” said Katie Koch, CEO, TCW. She added that when capital re-sources this aggressively, things break. “We’ve seen some signs of that, and there’s more to dislocate ahead.” Value, right now, comes from private credit. “Epic opportunity, manager selection matters,” because 96% of managers started after the global financial crisis, in a low-to-zero-rate environment, “and we all get to be geniuses in that environment.” TCW’s private credit team, she said, is led by Rick Miller, who has the experience of investing during three recessions.

BI Presents: Fed Pause Doesn’t Mean Imminent Cuts

Ira Jersey, U.S. Interest Rate Strategist, Bloomberg Intelligence shared Bloomberg’s view of the economy, and where it’s headed. “Indicators are already pointing to a recession in six to nine months.” Ongoing inflation will make the Fed reluctant to cut interest rates. Looking at the jobs market, “In an environment where service sector prices continue to be one of the large drivers of the inflationary impulse that we’ve seen over the past 18 months, the jobs market winds up being a key driver of inflation.”


Bonds at the Crossroads

On the Fed’s reaction function going forward and the terminal floor, Sonal Desai, Chief Investment Officer, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income, said market pricing at two and a half is too low. From 1950 until the GFC, if you look at what the average, real Fed fund rate was, around two, or two and a half. If we’re looking at a Fed terminal rate of 2.5, you’re basically saying that the real rate dropped 50 basis points.” On rationing of credit, she challenged the numbers and called it a “wait and see moment.”

Anne Walsh, Chief Investment Officer, Guggenheim Partners Investment Management spoke to sector valuations, “In terms of the crowding out effect of treasuries, the good news is that there is likely to be, at least in the short run, a fairly good performance from credit. But because you don’t want your fixed fund manager to be an optimist, I tend to look very much forward into the risks in the marketplace.” At this part of the cycle, with indicators of coming rolling recessions or slowdowns, it lends itself to asking if there is proper reward for taking more risk into the portfolios, “and our answer is, No.”

Tools of the Trade with ETFs and Options

Welcome & Opening Remarks

Paul Schroeder, QQQ Equity Product Strategist, Invesco said the lunch topics of ETFs and options are among his biggest finance passions. “ETFs have played a very pivotal role in getting access to the everyday investor.” As the fifth largest large cap ETF in the world, QQQ holds about 27% of all assets in that category.

The Institutionalization of ETF Ownership

JJ Kinahan, CEO, IG North America described its client base as very active. “One of the really interesting things about it is a lot of people have turned to them in the last year and a half because of uncertainty in the market. We saw from June to November of last year this incredible growth rate,” although it has flattened out somewhat since. Underrated is the interest in ETFs, particularly those like Spider IWM and QQQ, and one-day expirations and options. “That’s put a whole new interest into these products.”

On building individual indexes, Amanda Rebello, Head of Sales US Onshore, Xtrackers     said “I’m all for giving investors choice, but sometimes, when you give them too much choice, they’re like a rabbit in headlights.” It makes more sense for more sophisticated and high-net- worth investors. “But let’s be honest. There are thousands of ETFs on the market. They already have a lot of choice.” Referencing a recent survey, she noted that direct indexing is often proposed as a tax-minimization tool. “In reality, very little tax loss harvesting actually took place.”

Stephanie Guild, Head of Investment Strategy, Robinhood spoke to ESG investing, saying retail cares. Based on her previous role with high-net-worth at J. P. Morgan, the broad generalization is that it’s a generational thing. “I felt the older generation would say, ‘Yes, I care about that, but I don’t care about it for my money,” while the younger generation wants to put their money into that arena. The same pattern shows up in their research. She spoke about their growing customer base and its interest in ETFs.

The Evolving Ecosystem of Options Trading

Addressing uncertainty and sentiment in the market, and the difference between retail and institutional investors, Joe Mazzola, Director of Trading & Education, Charles Schwab talked about a lot of protective hedges, and skew that was a multiyear high. “A lot of that pulled back after the debt deal announcement, and you’re seeing a lot of positioning on the retail side. I wouldn’t say it’s at a level where it is outrageous, but you are seeing a little bit more of some call upside buying, especially if you look at some of the tech names.”

Brian Donlin, Head of Options & Equity Derivative Strategy, Stifel said he speaks to a lot of very frustrated investors. “What I see is more people than ever that haven’t traditionally used options, both on the retail side and the institutional side, using them to get into areas that they normally wouldn’t.” A long short tech PM isn’t trying to forecast interest rate policy, but he’s forced to have a macro view from a risk perspective. “Using options is a really good way to be there without having to be overexposed and involved in areas that aren’t your core expertise.”

Bloomberg Invest Afternoon Sessions

Going for the Green in Sports 

Reactions to the PGA Tour/LIV Golf merger? Michelle Wie West, Professional Golfer, was so shocked, she thought it was a fake tweet. Mark Patricof, Founder, Patricof Co, quoted James Carville from 1992, “It’s the economy, stupid.” He added his disappointment about the players not having a voice in it.

On assessing a potential deal, West said she learned from working with Patricof how much goes into it. “The most important thing for me is, do I believe in it? When I first created my portfolio, I invested a lot in women-owned companies and companies that try to make a difference in the world, whether it’s climate or reducing barriers in true sport.” Although she has expanded her investments since, she always comes back to her mission. On what needs to happen to elevate women’s golf, she began with “a lot,” but praised it for its journey, going back to when 13 women “came together and started the tour, from nothing.”

Speaking to valuations and access to women’s sports, Patricof said at their genesis four years ago, it was a struggle to find players and brands that were interested. “It really does start with the public wrapping their arms around it. It’s a complicated combination of things that would lead to the kind of success that women’s sports deserves.” But with the popularity of golf overall, he called it “shocking that women’s golf is so far behind in terms of the purses and the courses they’re able to play on, and ultimately, in terms of the broadcast.”

Investment Opportunities in Energy Transition 

In light of the wildfire smoke engulfing New York City, it was a good time to address immediate needs and how investing may or may not be addressing them.

Olivia Wassenaar, Partner and Head of Sustainable Investing, Apollo described explaining it to her concerned children that morning, before arriving at her office to give it thought from an investment angle. She wonders if there are more investment opportunities, like climate change adaptation. “I do think there are other areas beyond what most of us look at today that could potentially be interesting.

Pooja Goyal, Partner & Chief Investment Officer Infrastructure Group, Carlyle saw in the topic a risk management question. “How do you think about risk to your businesses as a result of what’s happening in the environment right now? Today, we’re talking about air quality. It could be floods, it could be storms, it could be anything like that.” Investing in energy transition is not just about the commercial opportunity, it’s also about resilience to these particular changes.

Charles Baillie, Co-President, Quantum noted how people call for action when the issue impacts them. “But the fact of the matter is, if you look at where most of the carbon emissions are coming from, just under two-thirds are coming from Asia right now. So, the U.S. has actually brought down carbon emissions by a pretty substantial amount.” It’s a global issue that needs  solutions through technology that can be applied around the world, and he believes venture capitalism can achieve it.

Stressed Out Markets: Banking, Crypto and Lending 

Also addressing the day’s major environment issue, Jay Clayton, Former Chairman, SEC & Senior Policy Advisor and Of Counsel, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP noted property and casualty insurers have been modeling climate for years. “What do today’s events show us? This is a global issue, and we are unfortunately, right now, trying to tackle a lot of global issues with local regulation; incredibly inefficient, likely ineffective.” It’s not a Canadian problem, it’s a Canadian-sourced problem that is manifesting in the U.S.

On the risk to the investment environment, Dan Morehead, Founder & Managing Partner, Pantera Capital was only partly going for the joke when he immediately brought up blockchain technology. But he was serious in his assertion that it can be effective in problem-solving when numerous parties are involved, “because you need to track things like energy credits, and there’s a huge desire to cost out the impacts. It would be really amazing to have central credits where you could be trading those, where you know the actual provenance. Are you really buying a renewable resource?”


From Picasso to Pollock in Your Portfolio

“Patchy,” was how Amy Cappellazzo, Founding Partner, Art Intelligence Global described the May art auction market. For those thinking about investing in high-end art, she advised looking for opportunities in the softening, or dips, and being prepared to be active on a moment’s notice. Where are the opportunities? “In general, the market has been focused on the masterpiece category.” It remains a sellers’ market. On the other end of the spectrum the emerging level has been a highly speculative market. News around new, hot artists did not always translate to the auction bidding.


New Views on Venture Capital

Jumping right into the topic of AI, Rebecca Kaden, Managing Partner, Union Square Ventures  said she is an optimist. “The opportunities set to unlock and the efficiencies set to create, and the skills and abilities that we can’t think of yet are going to outweigh the risks, which are relevant, but manageable.” As for adopting AI in fintech, “The incumbents across industries, in healthcare and fintech and education, have a big opportunity here, less because of their industry specific nature and more that the idea that where there’s efficiencies to be created, it’s adding value into the stack that’s already there.”

Deena Shakir, General Partner, Lux Capital noted they have been investing in AI for years, but there does seem to be a paradigm shift right now, with a lot that’s new. “We’re looking at where the really big platform shifts will be, and I think any tech company right now needs to take a really close and deep look at how they’re using AI to make themselves more efficient, particularly in healthcare.” There is so much opportunity, latency and bureaucracy in that industry, “and it’s a very different world when you’re still talking about fax machines in the same sentence as Chat GPT.”

Managing Pressure with Alternative Perspectives

The pressures in this market are, obviously, in alternatives, coming out of the pandemic and simultaneous collapses, according to Bill Huffman, President Equities & Fixed Income, Nuveen. After a delayed response, the alts market is seeing pressures around credit defaults and cash flows in terms of deals. “So you have to have an organization that has scale, that has globalization, so they can come up with different types of strategies.” He defended it as a pandemic hangover because alternatives have been on such a growth trajectory for a decade or more.

Mary Ann Deignan, Head of Capital Markets Advisory, Lazard offered a somewhat different perspective on pressures, seeing it in public company boardrooms and C-suites. “The investing and operating environment has changed so dramatically in the last 18 months, and arguably since the very end of 2021. Unfortunately, there are many business plans and strategic paths to value creation that have not been refreshed,” against dramatically higher capital costs, and disrupted labor markets and supply chains. There is a lot of pressure from activists and unhappy shareholders. 

Addressing the pressure in issuance in primary and secondary markets, Verdun Perry, Global Head of Strategic Partners, Blackstone, said lots of large investors and private equity funds are over-allocated to private equity, in part because of the denominator effect, which translates to a lack of capital for large investors and PE funds that want to commit to new funds. As for a pandemic hangover, he was noncommittal, but looked back to 2008-09, when that denominator effect also occurred. “Investors did one of two things. They sold older funds to free up allocation to invest in newer funds, or just stopped investing, and that’s not good.”

Bloomberg Odd Lots LIVE

Bloomberg Odd Lots Co-Hosts Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal sat down this time with Ben McKenzie, Actor, Activist & Author, “Easy Money: Cryptocurrency, Casino Capitalism, and the Golden Age of Fraud for a live podcast recording. McKenzie talked about a “mini midlife crisis” and FOMO, which led him down a rabbit hole of research into the vast crypto industry. He dusted off his economics degree and jumped in. “The book is really about money and lying. I know about money, because I have an econ degree, and I know about lying, because I’m an actor and I do it for a living.”

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