Vikas Shah MBE Interviews the world's leading thinkers, and the people shaping the century.

The Role of Brands in Human Culture

In these exclusive interviews, we speak to Professor Philip Kotler (S.C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management and described as ‘the most influential marketer of all time’) and Martin Lindstrom (Chairman and founder of Buyology Inc, who was voted one of the World’s 100 Most Influential people by Time magazine). We discuss the nature of ‘brand’ and ‘branding’ together with the role branding plays in our economic and social world.

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The Role of Addictions in Human Culture

In this exclusive interview, we speak to Professor Griffith Edwards, CBE (A world expert in alcohol and drug addiction) who founded the National Addiction Centre, served as Editor in Chief of the Addiction journal and is Professor Emeritus of Addiction Behaviour at Kings College London. We discuss the role of drugs in society, and examine the social, economic and political implications of drugs use for the future of our world.

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Do Hedge Funds Work?

Guest article written for AllAboutAlpha.com – the official publication of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association Originally posted at: http://allaboutalpha.com/blog/2012/01/26/do-hedge-funds-work/ “…If all the money that’s ever been invested in hedge funds had been put in treasury bills instead, the results would have been twice as good…” This is the astonishing finding of Simon Lack in his book “The Hedge Fund Mirage“. With almost $2 trillion in assets under management (AUM), the hedge fund industry…

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The State of Global Ultra-Wealth

Guest article written for AllAboutAlpha.com – the official publication of the  Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association Originally posted at: http://allaboutalpha.com/blog/2012/01/12/the-state-of-global-ultra-wealth/ The 2011 World Ultra Wealth Report (published by intelligence provider Wealth-X) describes how, “…the fortunes of the world’s ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals have surpassed $25 trillion“.  This is an astonishing figure, made even more so when  contextualised against the value of the entire world’s economic output (GDP) which, in 2010, was ‘just‘ $63…

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Investing in The .Com Giants

Guest article written for AllAboutAlpha.com – the official publication of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association originally posted at: http://allaboutalpha.com/blog/2012/01/05/alpha-hunters-generating-alpha-from-com-giants/ The internet has changed the face of commerce. Online businesses are booming and the digital landscape is growing on a daily basis. Consequently, it is also no surprise that eCommerce sites are experiencing record breaking amounts of traffic. If you run an online business that has experienced a rapid growth in traffic, you might…

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Solving the Euro Zone Crisis

In my June 2011 article “Is it Time to Rethink Sovereign Debt” I described how, “…in our globalised economy, no country is an island.  Every nation has internal debt (owed to lenders within a country- often that countries citizens or banks) and external debt (owed to foreign lenders- often other countries, or large international financial institutions) and the numbers are staggering.  According to figures published in the CIA world fact-book, the USA has external debts…

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North Korea – What Happens Next?

“..It is hard to overestimate how much is at stake for the world after the sudden death of Kim Jong Il, the North Korean despot, on December 17th…” wrote the Economist.  Political leaders (particularly those in the West) looked on as this poverty stricken failed state (armed with nuclear weapons) went largely silent- releasing only token-propaganda. This is a country who are known to be one of the most brutal and systemic abusers of human…

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Investing in Global Development

Guest article written for AllAboutAlpha.com – the official publication of the  Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association originally posted at: http://allaboutalpha.com/blog/2011/12/15/alpha-hunters-investing-in-global-development/ From our ‘developed world viewpoint‘ it is sometimes easy for us to forget that there was a time when the United States and Europe were (as we would classify them now) ‘developing’ economies- largely based around agriculture, with some limited trade, and huge income inequality.  The industrial revolution changed everything, and began a series…

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New Techniques to Manage Sovereign Credit Risk

Guest article written for AllAboutAlpha.com – the official publication of the  Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association originally posted at: http://allaboutalpha.com/blog/2011/12/01/new-techniques-to-manage-sovereign-credit-risk/ In a recent paper entitled Managing Sovereign Credit Risk in Bond Portfolios (Bruder, Hereil & Roncalli October 2011) the writers assert that, “…with the recent development of the European debt crisis, traditional index bond management has severely called into question….”. Traditionally, sovereign bond indices use the level of outstanding debt each country has to…

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Generating Alpha in Alternative Markets

Guest article written for AllAboutAlpha.com – the official publication of the  Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association originally posted at: http://allaboutalpha.com/blog/2011/11/03/generating-alpha-in-alternative-markets/ Even against the backdrop of a global recession, the top 50 fastest growing companies in the USA averaged growth rates between 3,893% and 40,882% in the three years to the start of 2011.  These are rates of return which more than compensate the investor for the risk of making high-growth-young-company-investments.  For some investors, alternative…

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