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An investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis, promises safety of principal and an adequate return. Operations not meeting these requirements are speculative.”

Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor (1949)


As a mission, Phocion sets out to elevate operating control standards within the investment industry. It accomplishes this by focusing on three core areas:

  • Performance
  • Compliance
  • Due Diligence

Phocion authors meaningful articles that enlighten and educate the investment industry. The articles influence the industry towards greater integrity and away from the “speculative” nature of operations that Ben Graham referred to in his opus magnum.

February 28, 2018

Customize Your Fixed Income Attribution Model to Your Audience

Fixed Income Attribution is a mechanism used to identify whether the fixed income manager achieved excess return relative to a predetermined benchmark in a manner that was consistent with ex-ante positioning. This article provides an introduction to fixed income attribution and is heavily based on the findings of Giguère and Kophamel (2014). These authors identified
January 31, 2018

Two Years Post Regulatory Adoption: CRM2 Implementation Deficiencies Remain

The 2017 year-end investment statements will represent Canadian investors’ second set following the industry-wide adoption of the CRM2 transparency requirements that came into force on July 15 2016. Investors should once again pay attention to increased detail regarding total compensation paid to their investment professional in addition to the dollar-weighted performance returns that they achieved.
January 23, 2018

Hedge Fund Managers Looking to Grow AUM Must Ensure That Marketing Materials Adhere to Sound Industry Practices

The hedge fund industry is cut-throat competitive and it is therefore intuitive as to why these firms would go to great lengths in order to provide prospective and existing investors with as many favorable differentiating factors as possible. To this point, sound practices, if implemented properly, can assist hedge fund managers to distinguish themselves from
January 17, 2018

Is Your Firm a Leader at Detecting Money Laundering?

As each year goes by the world becomes more and more complex. ‎With respect to the investment management industry we can point to many topics. Included in that list is the topic of money laundering. Regulators have made inroads at heightening prevention. However, they have no time to rest on their laurels as criminals will
January 11, 2018

Shhhhhhh…..the Big Secret: What the Industry Does Not Want to Divulge About Custodian, Administrator Output Accuracy

The degree of profitability for custodian and administrator service providers is predicated on keeping costs low and scaling the business with volume. Typically, many of these firms’ employees are tainted by certain stigmas: insufficiently trained, underpaid, poorly incented and over-worked. This is especially true in the case of public entities obsessed with meeting or exceeding
January 4, 2018

Considerations to Replace Portfolio Managers Run Aplenty – Investors Must Be Mindful Not to Pull Trigger Without Following Thoughtful Process

Heisler and Nipp (2017) produced a solid text that touches on the broad topic of investment manager selection inclusive of considerations and process about changing managers. In essence, they make the point of there being costs associated with switching investment managers, and that changes should only take place following a thorough process that incorporates both
December 31, 2017

Some Investment Proposals Produce Nightmares as Opposed to Providing Sound Solutions

High net worth investors are highly sought by investment professionals and are often presented with a slew of solutions, which can be overwhelming for them. Though a preponderance of professionals do make proper recommendations, several do not. This article will explore examples of sub-optimal investment recommendations. Beware of Poorly Performing‎, Highly-Conflicted Investment Offerings ‎When it
December 12, 2017

Private Equity Nuisances Require Ongoing Reassessment

The demand for Private Equity investment since the Financial Crisis has been nothing short of insatiable. Without question this segment of equity provides welcome portfolio diversification. Having said that, from time-to-time, it is most prudent to review a few of the items on Private Equity’s long list of nuisances. This article does just that. ‎‎Fees
December 6, 2017

GIPS Adoption Ensures That Managers Properly Select and Present Their Benchmarks

The adoption of GIPS standardizes performance measurement and reporting across the industry. One may argue that GIPS goes too far while others may say that it does not go far enough. This kind of debate is constructive and provides excellent feedback to the industry. Within the North American context we commend US-based managers’ GIPS adoption