Ballot Enclosed for Voting in NFA’s Annual Election in the CPO/CTA Category
This year, NFA has two contested elections to elect representatives in the CPO/CTA category on NFA’s Board of Directors. Enclosed is your ballot for voting in this election. No write-in votes will be accepted. NFA is a membership organization and each Member’s vote is very important.

NFA board battle heats up
CTA Intelligence
The battle for the NFA boardroom descended into further acrimony as one potential candidate refused a nomination from members to stand against Citadel’s legal chief, and another is considering legal action over a “hit article” backing his rivals.

Vote Doug Bry and Ernest Jaffarian for NFA Board, CTA/CPO Category
Editorial by John Lothian
With the permission of Doug Bry, Ernest Jaffarian and NFA election guidelines, I am writing you to urge your support of Doug and Ernest in the current NFA Board of Directors election. You should be receiving your ballots shortly. Doug Bry and Ernest Jaffarian deserve the votes of NFA member Commodity Trading Advisors and Commodity Pool Operators in the upcoming contested election for the Board of Directors of the National Futures Association. They have worked …

Lead Stories

Illinois TRS commits $235m to Crabel trend fund
HFM Week
The Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) has approved a $235m allocation to Crabel Capital’s low fee trend-following offering. Trustees approved the investment in Crabel’s AlphaTerra Advanced Trend Program at board meeting yesterday, making it the pension plan’s fourth CTA allocation this year. The initial allocation will be $100m

**JK – Can anyone lift Illinois’ pension funds out of oblivion? Toby, your turn.

Managed futures funds capitalizing on junk-bond fallout
Investment News
The carnage unfolding in the high-yield bond market has paved the way for a serious rally among managed futures strategies that are designed to take advantage of precisely these kinds of trends.

More money enters hedge funds in December
Investors pumped money into the $3 trillion hedge fund industry in December, data from the world’s second-biggest hedge fund administrator showed on Thursday, seeking to capitalise on an increase in market volatility.

Hedge funds lick wounds after tough year
Miles Johnson – FT
What was meant to be the big comeback year for the beleaguered hedge fund industry has instead been one of its toughest since the financial crisis.

Griffin’s Citadel Said to Build Up Distressed-Debt Investing
Sridhar Natarajan, Simone Foxman – Bloomberg
Ken Griffin’s $25 billion hedge fund Citadel LLC is building a team that wagers on the debt of distressed borrowers just as the number of companies reeling under the weight of such obligations has soared to levels last seen during the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, according to people familiar with the matter.

**JK – Distressing news.

Managed Futures/Managed Funds

High-Yield Fund Blocks Investor Withdrawals
The New York Times
A large mutual fund specializing in risky, high-yielding bonds has blocked investors from getting their money back, citing difficult trading conditions for its securities. The move, announced Thursday by Third Avenue Management funds, was a troubling sign of the recent deterioration in junk bonds, a category that has been hurt in particular by the debt of energy companies struggling with the slump in oil and gas prices.

Aqr Managed Futures Fund Filing. Bradley D Asness Submitted Dec 11 D Form
The Connecticut-based Aqr Managed Futures Fund, L.P. released FormD about $405.65 million offering. The date of first sale was 2009-09-01. The Limited Partnership raised $405.65 million. The offering is still open. The total offering amount was $405.65 million. The private offering document was filed on 2015-12-11.

Hedge Funds Burned by Commodities Lose $40 Billion Since ’08
Bloomberg Business
The biggest commodities meltdown in a generation has cost hedge funds more than $40 billion in seven years.
Losses due to poor performance and investor withdrawals have left assets at the top 10 commodities hedge funds at less than $10 billion, compared with more than $50 billion in 2008, according to estimates from Trafigura Pte Ltd.’s annual report.

Hedge fund hiring trends from Barclays report
Business Insider
Hedge funds are increasingly finding it difficult to hire good people. That’s according a big report on hedge fund hiring trends that Barclays sent out to clients last month.

Hedge fund hiring trends from Barclays report
Business Insider
Hedge funds are increasingly finding it difficult to hire good people. That’s according a big report on hedge fund hiring trends that Barclays sent out to clients last month.

Schroders commodity fund fights for survival
Madison Marriage – FT
A Schroders commodity fund that was once the largest of its kind in Europe has suffered substantial outflows from US investors on the back of poor performance, raising questions about the fund’s survival.

Schroders BlueTrend Ucits launches with $75m
CTA Intelligence
Schroders has launched its trend-following Ucits with Systematica Investments with $75m in assets. The Schroder GAIA BlueTrend fund, which sits on the $6.3bn GAIA Ucits platform, will aim to deliver long-term net returns of 10 – 15% per annum. The Luxembourg registered fund, which is listed as having a capacity of $1bn

Pensions & Institutions

Illinois TRS allocates $100m to Crabel trend fund
CTA Intelligence
Illinois TRS commits $235m to Crabel trend fund
Teachers’ pension plan makes fourth CTA investment this year

Bill Gross’s Investors Pulled $74 Million From Fund in November
John Gittelsohn – Bloomberg
Redemptions follow Soros’s $490 million account withdrawal
Fund is down 1.8% this year, beating 56% of bond peers
Investors resumed redemptions from Bill Gross’s Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund in November, taking out about $74 million, the largest monthly outflow since the erstwhile bond king took over the fund last year.

US pension funds raise the bar in low carbon investment – FT.com
The falling oil price is helping fund managers deal with a difficult conundrum. Pressure to divest from polluting companies, especially those that deal in fossil fuels, is intense. But so is the pressure to maintain investment returns in an unforgiving investment environment.


Fund managers brace for SEC proposal on derivatives
A potential move by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to broaden regulation of derivatives use has industry officials worried it could hamper the ability of exchange-traded funds and mutual funds to amp up returns.

Counting the cost of EU regulation for commodity firms
Reuters, via Yahoo! News
The European Commission said a delay is needed as regulators are not ready for an original January 2017 start for the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II). MiFID II will significantly increase reporting requirements for banks and brokers but final rules have yet to be published, meaning time is too short to get computer systems ready.

Ten EU countries agree on aspects of a financial-transaction tax
By Jan Strupczewski – Reuters
Ten euro zone countries agreed on Tuesday on some aspects of a harmonized tax on financial transactions and gave themselves until the middle of next year to reach agreement on remaining issues, including tax rates, the group said in a statement.

Wall Street Mounts Final Push to Kill Tougher U.S. Broker Rules
David Michaels – Bloomberg
Wall Street may get one more shot to derail rules championed by the White House that would put tighter restrictions on brokers who advise Americans on saving for retirement.

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