Natixis Global Asset Management Funds $1 Million Investor Behavior Project at MIT

Research focused on laying the groundwork for customized, outcome-based investing

BOSTON--()--Investors worldwide are caught between a desire to achieve greater investment returns and an aversion to taking risk. To help individuals overcome these traditional investment challenges, Natixis Global Asset Management today announced a commitment to fund a three-year, $1 million research project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology focused on investor behavior and personal benchmarks to be led by industry thought leader Andrew W. Lo, Ph.D., Charles E. and Susan T. Harris Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and director of the Laboratory for Financial Engineering (LFE) where the research will be conducted.

In addition, Natixis will provide Lo and LFE researchers with access to data from its global Investor Insights surveys of individuals, financial advisors, and institutions, now in the fifth year and containing responses to more than 500 survey questions by more than 30,000 participants.

“The research we’re funding at MIT will lay the foundation necessary to revolutionize traditional investment strategies designed to help investors build better portfolios and increase their chances of long-term success,” said John Hailer, chief executive officer of Natixis Global Asset Management in the Americas and Asia. “Our firm has been on the forefront of innovative strategies for many years, advocating for a durable portfolio construction model with a recently added focus on helping investors develop a personal, outcome-based approach to achieve success. It’s time to introduce a new paradigm for investing.”

With almost $900 billion in assets under management, Natixis is one of the world’s largest investment companies and was named the #1 fund family for 2013 performance in the annual Barron’s/Lipper Fund Family Ranking.

This new research program will begin by studying the industry practice of using an index as a benchmark and developing a more modern approach to benchmarking based on an individual’s unique circumstances as well as current market dynamics. As part of this effort, LFE researchers will be developing algorithms to mimic irrational but common investor behavior (e.g. buying high, selling low, and moving to cash for extended periods of time) in an attempt to quantify the systematic mistakes made by investors. This will lead to the third phase of the research involving the creation of new customizable benchmarks and indexes that adapt to changing market conditions and behavioral challenges.

“The Holy Grail of developing automated, customized processes for making better investment decisions is not unique to our times or the financial industry,” said Lo. “But what is unique is the confluence of breakthroughs in financial technology, computer technology and institutional infrastructure that, for the first time in the history of modern civilization, makes automated personalized investment management a practical possibility.”

MIT Sloan Prof. Lo is the Director of the MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering, a partnership between academia and industry created to drive advances in capital markets, risk management, and financial technology research. He is also a Principal Investigator at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and an affiliated faculty member of the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

“Many companies and experts have been talking about the need for change for years now,” said Lo. “I’m grateful to Natixis Global Asset Management for taking on this challenge by investing in research designed to benefit investors globally.”

Outside of academia, he is the founder, Chairman and Chief Investment Strategist of AlphaSimplex, a Cambridge-based investment advisor focused on the dynamic relationship between risk and return in the financial markets. The firm manages more than $4 billion in assets for institutional and mutual fund investors.

The $1 million grant will be made to MIT as a part of Natixis Global Asset Management’s ongoing commitment to providing investors, financial advisors and policymakers with valuable insights to assist all investors over the long term.

About Natixis Global Asset Management, S.A.

Natixis Global Asset Management, S.A. is one of the largest asset managers in the world based on assets under management.1 Its affiliated asset management companies provide investment products that seek to enhance and protect the wealth and retirement assets of both institutional and individual investor clients. Its proprietary distribution network helps package and deliver its affiliates’ products around the world. Recognized as the #1 U.S. mutual fund family for 2013 performance in the annual Barron’s/Lipper Fund Family Ranking,2 Natixis Global Asset Management, S.A. brings together the expertise of multiple specialized investment managers based in Europe, the United States and Asia to offer a wide spectrum of equity, fixed-income and alternative investment strategies.

Headquartered in Paris and Boston, Natixis Global Asset Management, S.A.’s assets under management totaled $899.9 billion (€652.9 billion) as of March 31, 2014.3 Natixis Global Asset Management, S.A. is part of Natixis. Listed on the Paris Stock Exchange, Natixis is a subsidiary of BPCE, the second-largest banking group in France. Natixis Global Asset Management, S.A.’s affiliated investment management firms and distribution and service groups include Absolute Asia Asset Management; AEW Capital Management; AEW Europe; AlphaSimplex Group; Aurora Investment Management; Capital Growth Management; Darius Capital Partners; Gateway Investment Advisers; H2O Asset Management; Hansberger Global Investors; Harris Associates; IDFC Asset Management Company; Loomis, Sayles & Company; McDonnell Investment Management; Mirova Asset Management; Natixis Asset Management; Ossiam; Natixis Environnement & Infrastructure Luxembourg; Reich & Tang Asset Management; Snyder Capital Management; Vaughan Nelson Investment Management; Vega Investment Managers; and Natixis Global Asset Management Private Equity, which includes Seventure Partners, Naxicap Partners, Alliance Entreprendre, Euro Private Equity, Caspian Private Equity and Eagle Asia Partners. Visit ngam.natixis.com for more information.

1 Cerulli Quantitative Update: Global Markets 2014 ranked Natixis Global Asset Management, S.A. as the 16th largest asset manager in the world based on assets under management as of December 31, 2013.
2 Barron's/Lipper 2013 one-year fund family ranking based on 64 qualifying U.S. fund companies. Each fund family must have at least three funds in Lipper's general U.S.-stock category, one world (global and international), one mixed-asset/balanced (stocks and bonds), two taxable bond and one tax-exempt bond fund. Natixis was not ranked for the 5- and 10- year periods. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
3 Assets under management (AUM) may include assets for which non-regulatory AUM services are provided. Non-regulatory AUM includes assets which do not fall within the SEC’s definition of ‘regulatory AUM’ in Form ADV, Part 1.

About MIT Sloan School of Management

MIT Sloan School of Management, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is one of the world's leading academic sources of innovation in management theory and practice. With students from more than 60 countries, it develops effective, innovative, and principled leaders who advance the global economy. Please visit http://mitsloan.mit.edu/.

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Contacts

Natixis Global Asset Management
David Snowden, 617-449-2507
David.Snowden@ngam.natixis.com
or
MIT Sloan School of Management
Patricia Favreau, 617-253-3492
Office of Media Relations
pfavreau@mit.edu

Release Summary

Natixis Global Asset Management Funds $1 Million Investor Behavior Project at MIT: Research focused on laying the groundwork for customized, outcome-based investing

Contacts

Natixis Global Asset Management
David Snowden, 617-449-2507
David.Snowden@ngam.natixis.com
or
MIT Sloan School of Management
Patricia Favreau, 617-253-3492
Office of Media Relations
pfavreau@mit.edu