From the March 01, 2010 issue of Futures Magazine • Subscribe!

Investment education gets boost

In February the Institute for Global Asset and Risk Management (INGARM) opened its doors and announced the launch of an online library and continuing education center featuring current research on investment management, risk management, economic trends and regulatory frameworks.

In many ways INGARM looks to be much more, especially considering its impressive group of founders. INGARM founding directors include Thomas Schneeweis, co-founder of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association; Florence Lombard, founding member of the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) and Gary Crowder, founder of Ursa Capital LLC and Lyra Capital LLC.

One of the goals of INGARM is to be a resource for inventors, managers and regulators, says Schneeweis.

Schneeweis says that they hope to make INGARM a clearinghouse of information that provides the latest research papers on global investing and risk management with a focus on alternative investments. Schneeweis points out that it is not uncommon to see people referring to research papers that are dated, sometimes even 10 to 15 years old. INGARM will produce fresh research and update and offer analysis on existing research.

“There are a lot of myths in the industry,” Crowder says. “Knowledge changes and evolves but the myths don’t change. You are still making decisions based on these beliefs that have not been updated or challenged.”

INGARM will challenge those myths. In fact, their Web site already has a section that lists numerous myths regarding hedge funds and managed futures. But the not-for-profit group is independent and hopes to improve the environment of economic research that too often produces work simply to validate the investment philosophy of the sponsor of such studies.

“We don’t do contract research,” Schneeweis says, adding that they will produce research on a broad range of topics, the first of which should be released within six months.

Crowder adds that INGARM will be “Absolutely independent, absolutely not tied to any firm or any organization.”

“If there is anything that I want to get out of this, it is to challenge established [norms] and make people reflect on their belief systems and open up a genuine discourse about what is real and what is not real in the financial services industry,” Crowder says, “That flows into regulation and how we shape regulation and the type of transparency that matters in protecting investors and protecting the overall financial system.”

INGARM will offer training courses on various investing disciplines that will finance their research studies.

Crowder says that it is a shame there is no realistic history of the alternative investment business. Creating one is just one of the goals of INGARM.

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