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About Steven

USA

+8 year(s) experience

Steven Xinlei Shen, Manager of  Quantitative Strategies, EPFR, headshot
Steven Xinlei Shen, Manager of Quantitative Strategies at EPFR, an Informa Financial Intelligence business, uses quantitative analysis to extract value from fund flow and allocations data to help asset managers identify new strategies and detect market opportunities.

Steven works primarily with clients in Asia-Pacific (APAC) markets and U.S. clients investing in APAC markets, helping them mine the firm’s EPFR database of mutual fund and exchange-traded fund flows and positioning data across global markets. He illustrates the predictive power of the data through modeling, based on the distinct mandates of clients.

He specializes in fund flow quantitative strategy development, new data product development, maintenance of all asset allocation strategies, and fund flow product and research consultation. Previously, he maintained all global asset allocation strategies as well as developed Asia dedicated country and sector strategies from the firm’s Shanghai office.

Steven, a native of China, is a recreational race car driver outside the office whose record speed is 200 mph at the track.

  • B.S., International Business and Economics; Shanghai University of International Business and Economics
  • Master of Finance; Northeastern University
  • Certificate in Quantitative Finance (CQF); Fitch Learning

“Most people think quantitative analysis is extremely complex. And it is. But sometimes, it’s beautiful in its simplicity. Sometimes, a simple dataset exposes an extraordinary condition lurking just below the surface. And a whole new market strategy emerges.”

Analyst Articles

Articles by Steven

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner - When Beijing squeezes, where does the money go?

    By Steven Xinlei Shen 24 Aug 2021

    Quants Corner

    The cancellation of Ant Financials’ scheduled IPO last November signaled the start of a sustained push by Chinese regulators to clip the wings of major technology plays. That push expanded to other businesses seen as out of line with official goals and policies. In their latest move, those regulators are proposing new rules requiring any Chinese company seeking to list on a foreign stock exchanges to carry out a cybersecurity review, Not surprisingly, given these official actions, foreign investors are running shy of Chinese equity. Flows for China Equity Funds were negative eight of the past 11 weeks going into mid-August and fund allocations to foreign listed China share classes – ADR, N Share and S chip – continues to fall. Read more...

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    A rising tide lifts some (Japanese) boats: The Bank of Japan’s ETF purchases and their impact on market signals for individual stocks

    By Steven Xinlei Shen 29 Mar 2021

    Quants Corner

    A rising tide lifts some (Japanese) boats “Purchases [of Japanese ETFs] by the Bank of Japan have been increasing. Such large and longstanding purchases of stocks by a central bank are rare in the world. It must be important to examine the effects of purchases of ETFs by the central bank,” Hideki Hanaeda, and Toshio Serita observed in the preamble to their paper, Effects of Nikkei 225 ETFs on Stock Markets: Impacts of Purchases by Bank of Japan, that was presented at the 30th Australasian Finance and Banking Conference in 2017. At the time of their presentation the BOJ was seven years into its ETF Purchasing Program, launched in early 4Q10 and expanded in 2013 as part of the “three arrows” policy launched by then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to snap Japan out of the deflationary slowdown that started in 1991 and came to be known as the lost decades. It’s ETF holdings at the end of the year totaled some $175 billion with unrealized gains that added another $50 billion to the value of those holdings...

    Topic Global Investment Flows

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Q1 ChartBook

    By Steven Xinlei Shen 18 Mar 2021

    Chartbook

    The EPFR Chartbook is our single report comprising of numerical and qualitative snapshots of the major fund groups tracked by EPFR. Flows are illustrated over several timescales with charts and statistical tables, and the pages are annotated with analysis of key factors driving current flow trends.

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner - ESG: The climate has changed

    By Steven Xinlei Shen 09 Dec 2020

    Quants Corner

    EPFR started tracking equity fund flows in the first quarter of 1996. It started tracking its first funds with socially responsible (SRI) or environmental, social and governance (ESG) mandates in 2000. But it was not until late 2016 when flows into SRI/ESG Equity Funds really took off. That take off has been followed by astonishing acceleration, both in terms of flows to these funds and the assets they manage. After more than a decade of being incidental, the AUM of SRI/ESG Equity Funds has grown to the point where they represent approximately 4.17% of all the assets managed by all EPFR-tracked Equity Funds...

    Topic Industry News ESG

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner - Japan: ex-Asia but not ex-Alpha

    By Steven Xinlei Shen 21 Oct 2020

    Quant Corner

    For decades, global investors have become conditioned to the term Asia ex(cluding) Japan. It’s a term that reflects Japan’s individual place in the current investment universe. In this week’s Quants Corner, we illustrate how Japan’s stock market is different - from a fund flow perspective – compared to the rest of Asia, and how we can generate alpha at a stock level in such a unique market.

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    China: should it be in an asset class of its own?

    By Steven Xinlei Shen 12 Oct 2020

    CSC Tech Paper

    Our latest technical paper discusses China as an asset class from the perspective of the EPFR China Flows and Positioning datasets. China Share Class Allocations (CSCA) is the latest in a progression of datasets offered by EPFR that shed light on China, stretching back to Emerging Markets Equity Fund flows in 1995. CSCA data, and EPFR Fund and Country Flow data, illustrates the desire of many investors - and some fund managers - to get exposure to China’s growth story with a minimum of direct involvement in China’s retail-driven domestic markets. Foreign listed Chinese shares remain the only group where EPFR-tracked managers are overweight the benchmark and, at times this year, flows have bypassed dedicated China Equity Funds in favor of Greater China and Taiwan Equity Funds.

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Q3 ChartBook

    By Steven Xinlei Shen 28 Aug 2020

    EPFR

    The EPFR Chartbook is our single report comprising of numerical and qualitative snapshots of the major fund groups tracked by EPFR. Flows are illustrated over several timescales with charts and statistical tables, and the pages are annotated with analysis of key factors driving current flow trends.

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner - China Share Classes: Keep calm and watch Letter A

    By Steven Xinlei Shen 10 Jul 2020

    Quants Corner

    In the previous quants corner piece released in May, Chinese Share Classes: Getting past the letter A, we noted the increasing allocation by active fund managers to Hong Kong listed Chinese securities (H shares, Red chips and P chips) and, as a result, the steady drop in their underweight relative to the benchmark...

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Q2 ChartBook

    By Steven Xinlei Shen 26 Jun 2020

    EPFR

    The EPFR Chartbook is our single report comprising of numerical and qualitative snapshots of the major fund groups tracked by EPFR. Flows are illustrated over several timescales with charts and statistical tables, and the pages are annotated with analysis of key factors driving current flow trends.

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner - A strategy for times when the flow needle is stuck

    By Steven Xinlei Shen 16 Jun 2020

    Quants Corner

    The COVID-19 pandemic, a resurgence of Sino US trade tensions and protests against police brutality in the US have not stopped global equity markets from zigzagging higher. From a mutual fund perspective, the correlation between equity fund flows to and from developed markets and benchmark performance remains relatively stable – 38.4% YTD -- and recent inflows are pushing the markets back to where it was four months ago...

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner - Chinese share classes: Getting past the letter A

    By Steven Xinlei Shen 06 May 2020

    Quant Corner

    Over the past two decades China has been steadily increased foreign access to its domestic A and B Share markets. This process started in 2002 with the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) program – greatly expanded in 2012 – and was followed by the Hong Kong-Shanghai and Hong Kong-Shenzhen connect program for qualified investors in 2014 and 2016.

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner - Knowing when to jump: risk management in extraordinary times - Crossing to safety in extraordinary market conditions

    By Steven Xinlei Shen 17 Mar 2020

    Quant Corner

    What had been a relatively measured response to the coronavirus outbreak that started in China around the New Year became an increasingly disorderly stampede for the exits in late February. As COVID-19 spread across the globe, US stock market took a series of hits culminating in a 7% drop on March 6 that triggered the so-called “circuit breaker” – suspension of trading – for only the third time since its adoption.  

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner

    By Steven Xinlei Shen 27 Jan 2020

    Quants Corner

    When EPFR announced last November that the assets managed by the Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) it tracks had crossed the $6 trillion mark, it came as a limited surprise to most investors and financial professionals. Flows into these vehicles, which generally track an index or other benchmark and aim to replicate its performance, have surged since the 2008-09 financial crisis and the subsequent compression of yields as policymakers struggled to contain the damage. Both institutional and retail investors have warmed to the combination of transparency, liquidity and low fees offered by ETFs (see Chart 1).  

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner

    By Steven Xinlei Shen 11 Dec 2019

    Quants Corner

    Trade Wars: US vs China Trade talks between the world’s two dominant economies, China and the US, have proceeded inconclusively for the better part of three years. Going into December a firm agreement to resolve the numerous issues dividing the two countries remained elusive, leaving investors scratching their heads as they try to figure out how to extract meaningful signals from the oceans of data, tweets, diplomatic communiques, commentary and news that the Sino-US trade war generates on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner

    By Steven Xinlei Shen 11 Sep 2019

    Quants Corner 0911

    Sino-US trade tensions and slower growth in the world’s second largest economy have dominated the headlines for much of this year. But, behind the sound and fury, many mutual fund managers have – with varying degrees of enthusiasm – been increasing their fund’s exposure to China.

    Topic Industry News