In early January 2008, a senior VP with LAAMCO, a fund of hedge funds known for alternative investments, was conducting due diligence on an equity market-neutral hedge fund. The hedge fund used an option strategy known as a collar (also known as a bull spread or split-strike conversion). The track record of the hedge fund had been stellar. The fund's performance had not only beaten that of the S&P 500 Index over the same period but had done so with much lower monthly return volatility. As part of the due diligence, it was necessary to backtest the collar strategy and try to quantify how much value the manager, BLM Investment Securities, LLC, (BLM) had added. The case is a disguised representation of an actual hedge fund—the true identity of BLM is revealed to students at the end of the case discussion.
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