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Bailard promotes Sokoloff to oversee market neutral strategies

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Bailard has announced that George Y.

Bailard has announced that George Y. Sokoloff will assume the role of director of quantitative research and lead portfolio manager for Bailard’s long/short and market neutral strategies.

He enters the role following colleague Dana Hobson’s departure from the investment management industry.

Sokoloff has played a key role in the development and management of a portion of Bailard’s equity and market neutral strategies since he joined the firm in 2006.

‘We’re extremely confident in George’s ability to extend the strong track records of Bailard’s market neutral strategies and look forward to exploiting new opportunities in this rapidly evolving market environment’, says Sonya Thadhani, chief investment officer.

Among Bailard’s successful long/short strategies is Tower Lane, a systematically implemented market neutral Reit strategy. The strategy posted a net return of 8.8 per cent for 2008 year. Since its inception in August 2004, Tower Lane has delivered annualized net of fee returns in excess of ten per cent with approximately half the volatility of the broader equity market.

The firm is making the strategy available to clients in the form of a fully-transparent, separate account with a USD5m investment minimum.

While Sokoloff has no immediate plans to modify the strategy, he will continue to draw on the insights of Bailard’s commercial real estate team to make further enhancements to the model used in the management of Tower Lane.

‘Bailard has worked to create a robust investment process by coupling its knowledge of trends and valuations in commercial real estate with its quantitative approach to managing long/short equities,’ says Sokoloff. ‘Our 30 years of direct real estate experience give us a unique perspective to identify investment themes in real estate which can be quantified, tested and incorporated if we find they prove beneficial to our approach.’

Bailard views the market neutral Reit strategy as an attractive alternative to a long-only investment in publicly-traded Reits and beneficial to those seeking uncorrelated alpha.

Additionally, the firm believes that market neutral strategies such as Tower Lane can have an important role in portfolios given the uncertainty and increased volatility in the equity markets.

Capacity is limited to an additional USD125m in assets. The strategy is offered as a separate account with a one per cent management fee and 20 per cent performance-based fee structure.

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