Corporate Finance

The fractal nature of asset-liability matching

What type of asset-liability matching am I talking about Asset-liability matching means different things to different people, even when you think you’re dealing with a specific situation and therefore talking about the same thing. Painting with broad strokes, there’s asset-liability matching (ALM) when managing a pension fund, an insurance business, or a corporation’s balance sheet. …

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What’s the expected return on buybacks (a theoretical view)

Realized return of buybacks When we think about returns on buyback programs, we normally look back and estimate the realized return of holding the company’s stock. For example, company X has the following characteristics: Stock price (beginning of period) → Pb=$100 Stock price (end of period) → Pe=$150 Dividends → D=$10 Buybacks: 1 share repurchased …

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How to think about swaps

Swaps is one of those topics that is perceived to be basic, easy, and intuitive. But not really. We study them briefly in business school and in the CFA curriculum, but that happens in a vacuum. We cannot see the thing*. Later on in life, we find ourselves in meetings with financial advisors discussing swaps. …

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How is VWAP calculated?

When equity brokers pitch their share repurchase capabilities to corporations, they never fail to mention their ability to outperform VWAP. When asked how they outperform so consistently, the answers tend to be non-answers: “we have proprietary algorithms” “our traders are top notch” “we can see the flow”. They forget to mention that in many cases …

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Nuances of the Barclays Fixed Income Indices

Most corporate investors use benchmarks to express their desired asset allocation, to guide their asset managers’ portfolio construction process and, on an ex-post basis, to measure their performance. Well known indices such as the S&P 500 or the Barclays U.S. Aggregate are generally used as benchmarks. In BS (balance sheet) fixed income investing, the most …

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