Presented by NYSSA's Alternative Investments Committee

Investing in Liquid Alternatives: Opportunities and Challenges

Wednesday June 17, 2015 5:45 PM - 8:00 PM
NYSSA Conference Center
Available as: Live Session;
Categories: Conference, Global Investing, Programs for Members

Liquid alternatives are one of the fastest-growing segments among investment vehicles, quickly expanding by any measure including assets under management, diversity of strategies and number of funds to choose from.  The use of alternatives has been widespread among institutions but with the adaptation of the 40 Act Mutual fund structure, the “democratization” of alternatives is undeniably gaining pace.  This panel will address the opportunity embedded in the rise of liquid alternative funds as risk diversifiers and the implications and challenges of these alternative retail structures.    

This program will answer:

  • What is the current scope and growth in the Liquid Alternatives space?
  • How is the space defined, who are the key players and what are the opportunities for hedge funds or other institutional investors?
  • What are the risks and legal challenges of investing in these vehicles?

After this event you will:

  • Have a better understanding about the approach of leading institutional investors and specialists in evaluating alternative strategies in retail channels
  • Determine the business opportunity in entering this segment of investing


6:00 PM: Introduction
Deepika Sharma, CFA,
Portfolio Manager at Astor Investment Management

6:05-6:30 PM: Keynote Address
Chris Felstedt, CAIA,  Director and Member, Blackrock Alternative Specialists at BlackRock

6:30-7:30 PM.: Speaking Panel
David C. Saunders, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, K2 Advisors LLC
David Katz, President and COO,  Larch Lane Advisors
Keith Black, CAIA, CFA Managing Director, CAIA Association
Deron Kennedy, CFA, Financial Consultant at AXA Advisors
Julie Abbett, Director at Deutsche Bank (Moderator) 

Who should attend?

CIOs; Strategists; alternative portfolio managers and analysts; consultants, advisors, RIAs; family office investors    

NYSSA expects all attendees to comply with NYSSA’s Code of Conduct while attending NYSSA events or meetings. NYSSA expressly reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to grant or deny access to any individual, or to expel any individual from any NYSSA event or meeting.

Chris Felstedt, CAIA, Director, is a member of BlackRock Alternatives Specialists (BAS). He serves as a product strategist for alternative investments, focusing on the retail channel. Mr. Felstedt's service with the firm dates back to 2003, including his years with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM), which merged with BlackRock in 2006. At MLIM, he was a product specialist for the firm's proprietary hedge fund of funds team. Prior to joining MLIM, he served as Regional Sales Manager for Merrill Lynch marketing alternative investments. Mr. Felstedt began his career at Merrill Lynch in 1987, serving as a senior strategist for the Merrill Lynch Options/Futures Product Group. Mr. Felstedt earned a BS degree in Finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1982.

Keith Black, CAIA, CFA 
has over twenty years of financial market experience, serving approximately half of that time as an academic and half as a trader and consultant to institutional investors. He currently serves as Managing Director of Curriculum and Exams for the CAIA Association. During his most recent role at Ennis Knupp + Associates, Keith advised foundations, endowments and pension funds on their asset allocation and manager selection strategies in hedge funds, commodities and managed futures. Prior experience includes commodities derivatives trading at First Chicago Capital Markets, stock options research and CBOE market-making for Hull Trading Company, and building quantitative stock selection models for mutual funds and hedge funds for Chicago Investment Analytics. Dr. Black previously served as an assistant professor and senior lecturer at the Illinois Institute of Technology's Stuart school, where he taught courses in both traditional and alternative investments. He contributes regularly to The CFA Digest, and has published in a number of journals, including The Journal of Trading, The Journal of Investing, The Journal of Alternative Investments, and The Journal of Derivatives and Hedge Funds. He is the author of the book "Managing a Hedge Fund," as well as a contributor to the second of edition of the CAIA Level I and Level II textbooks. Dr. Black was named to Institutional Investor magazine's list of "Rising Stars of Hedge Funds" in 2010. Dr. Black earned a BA from Whittier College, an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University, and a PhD from the Illinois Institute of Technology. He has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and was a member of the inaugural class of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) candidates.

Deron Kennedy, CFA, is a financial consultant with AXA Advisors. His team of planning professionals works with families and business owners to develop financial planning strategies from both a risk- and investment management perspective. Deron’s institutional background as a Vice President in Global Investment Research at Goldman Sachs has proved invaluable in assessing investment opportunities for retail investors. In part through his involvement in the Alternative Investments Committee at NYSSA, he stays on top of developments in the field of liquid alternatives as a wave of increasingly sophisticated instruments are coming available to the public. Deron graduated from Rutgers College in 1994 with a B.S. in Finance and a B.A. in English and has been a CFA Charterholder since 1999.

David C. Saunders
, Founding Managing Director, K2 Advisors LLC, graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1981 with a B.S. degree in Business. He has been involved in the financial industry since 1983.  Mr. Saunders has worked at a few investment banks including Tucker Anthony, First Boston Corp. and ABN Amro.  He has also worked as a Head Trader at hedge funds WaterStreet Capital and Tiger Management.   Mr. Saunders co-founded K2 Advisors in 1994. Mr. Saunders serves on a number of Boards, among them; Tiger Foundation, University of Maryland where he Chairs the Investment Committee; The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation and The Windham Chapter of the Catskill Mountain Foundation. 

David Katz
is the President and Chief Operating Officer at Larch Lane. Mr. Katz was previously a co-founder and Partner of Rocaton Investment Advisors, an institutional investment consulting firm with $300 billion of assets under advisement. Prior to founding Rocaton, Mr. Katz was a Managing Director at BARRA RogersCasey, also an institutional investment consulting firm. He began his career at Goldman Sachs. Mr. Katz has more than 20 years of investment, business development, marketing, client service, product development, operations, and management experience. Mr. Katz received his B.A from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.B.A. from New York University’s Stern School of Business. He currently serves on the Board of Overseers of the Annenberg Center of the University of Pennsylvania and as a member of the Investment Committee of the Westport (CT) Public Library Endowment 

Julie Abbett focuses on building out Deutsche Bank’s ETF execution sales model through strategic partnership with key clients. Prior to Deutsche Bank, Julie was Senior Vice President and Head of Portfolio Management at IndexIQ running a suite of liquid alternative exchange traded funds. Prior to joining IndexIQ, Julie was a Portfolio Manager at Deutsche Asset Management (DeAM)/DB Advisors for over 9 years. Julie was a Director and Portfolio Manager for various U.S. and Global strategies, which included the DWS Disciplined Market Neutral Fund, the DWS Blue Chip Fund, both the DWS Disciplined Long Short Growth and Value Funds, as well as a number of other institutional and sub-advised funds. The funds’ strategies used multi-factor quantitative models based on comparing companies on fundamental value and growth, as well as market sentiment signals in a disciplined risk managed process. Julie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Connecticut and an MBA in Quantitative Finance and Economics from New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

Educational Partner



 Program Details

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 

5:45 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. l Check-In
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. l Presentation
7:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. l Networking

NYSSA Conference Center
1540 Broadway, Suite 1010 
(45th Street Entrance)
New York, NY 10036

Member $10
Nonmember $40
Student members not permitted
($10 surcharge for walk-ins)

This program is not a career event. It is an event for working professionals. Individuals soliciting employment may be asked to leave.

Registration Deadline
Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Chris Felstedt, CAIA, Director at Blackrock
Keith Black, CAIA, CFA, Managing Director at CAIA Association 
Deron Kennedy, CFA, Financial Consultant at AXA Advisors
David C. Saunders, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of K2 Advisors L.L.C
David Katz, President and COO, Larch Lane Advisors

Julie Abbett, Director at Deutsche Bank

Deepika Sharma, CFA
Deron Kennedy

Additional Information
If you are unable to register for this event online, please call (212) 541-4530 for assistance.

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