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About Vik

USA

+20 year(s) experience

Vik Srimurthy, Consultant, headshot
Vik Srimurthy, Consultant at EPFR, an Informa Financial Intelligence business, conducts quantitative research behind all of EPFR’s current products, focusing primarily on FX and stock flows, to help financial services firms detect money movements and seize market opportunities.

Specifically, he helps clients understand how they can gain a competitive edge by using EPFR data to expose market conditions with tools such as the “Bear Detector,” designed to predict bear markets two to three weeks before they arrive.

Additionally, Vikram built the quantitative capabilities of the EPFR research infrastructure, allowing him to revamp all its fund flow models. He demonstrates the efficacy of EPFR data in peer-reviewed journals, educates clients on new research, and uses client feedback to drive further research.

Previously, Vikram worked as a portfolio manager for LMCG Investments, LLC, managing over $1 billion in emerging markets assets as part of the quantitative equity investment management group. He also served on the buy-side quantitative team at Evergreen Investments.

Outside the office, Vikram, a native of India, spends time training his terrier mix, Koko, and playing bridge competitively.

  • B.A., Mathematics; Dartmouth College
  • Ph.D., Mathematics; University of California, San Diego

“I build the tools that help people outperform the markets. We know our tools help people outperform the markets because we have the data to show it. With our fund flows and country allocations, we can isolate FX trends and understand what’s driving them. And with a clear view, we have predictive power.”


Analyst Articles

Articles by Vik

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner - Inflation: A mythical beast of antiquity?

    Quants Corner

    When readers of this blog were young, their bedtime fare probably included tales featuring dragons and the people who either slew or bonded with them. As they grew older, their parents likely told them tales about a mythical sounding but real scourge: inflation and its evil twin stagflation. Read more here…

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner - In 2021, backing those closest to the light

    Quants Corner

    Mapping fund flows to the progression of a truly global pandemic is something that EPFR – thankfully – has not had to deal with for most of its existence. But that changed with a vengeance last year, bringing with it lockdowns, stimulus checks, social distancing, closed borders and remote working. In this new social and economic environment different dots need to be connected to unlock value. This blog will explore one topical avenue, the link between individual country’s progress vaccinating their populations against COVID-19 – with the leaders presumed to be closer to a return to economic normality – and the flows into and returns for countries. The current poster child for this thesis is Israel, which is not only the leader in the global vaccination race but offers a secondary cyber-security expertise story that is playing well given recent revelations of hacking on an international scale...

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner - Animal spirits arise in retail investors

    Quants Corner

    After years of pulling money out of equity funds, retail investors are starting to step back in. EPFR-tracked Equity Funds ended 2020 with eight straight weeks of retail inflows, their longest such run since 2Q06. In this, retail investors are several years behind the institutional money and, as a result, have missed out on strong market returns four of the past five years. Global Equity Funds have been the biggest beneficiaries of this latest surge in retail interest. During 2019 this group recorded retail inflows 19 of the year’s 52 weeks. In 2020 they posted retail inflows 44 times. The last time there was such a concentration of retail money going into a single fund category was 2016, and before that 2015. In both cases, the rush into Australia and China Equity Funds ended badly for retail investors. Are Global Funds headed for the same comeuppance? Have they missed the bus? Prior to 2020, the chance of a positive retail flow into Equity Funds ranged from one week in every nine during 2014 to one in 25 during 2016. Last year this group attracted retail money two out of every five weeks...

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner - EPFR’s 2020 wrap: signing off on a crazy year

    Quants Corner

    Signing off on a crazy year After more than two decades of tracking mutual fund flows and allocation data, we’ve come to believe that each year, or indeed each time period, has its own special “data signature”. If, for instance, you plot the cumulative weekly flow into EPFR-tracked equity funds against those into bond funds -- expressing both as a percentage of assets under management -- you end up with a random trail that reflects the uncertainty or confidence felt by markets over a given period of time. By that measure, 2020 has been a crazy one indeed, as befits a year that has seen the COVID-19 pandemic and the swansong of Donald Trump’s presidency. In contrast to most of the blogs that appear on Quant’s Corner, this one will spend more time looking at the writing on the 2020 wall than trying to translate it through quantitative analysis into actionable strategies, signals and models...

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner - The run-up to election day: Reading the fund tea leaves

    Quant Corner

    With less than a week to go before America chooses a president, what are the flow and return numbers saying? The flows and returns for EPFR-tracked funds, that is. Will incumbent Donald J Trump be re-elected? Or Joe Biden voted into office as the 46th President of the United States? Quantitative analysis of fund flows and returns allows us to craft a new factor, which we are calling the Trump Sensitivity Factor, that unlocks political and future performance signals from the data...

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner - Factor flow: Augmenting the toolkit.

    Quant Corner

    EPFR subscribers have traditionally looked at the kinds of funds money is moving into. Active or passive? ETF or mutual fund? Equity or Bond? Energy or Technology? They have also looked at where: Pacific or Europe, Global or GEM. They have usually overlooked factors. Based on their prospectus, EPFR’s data team classifies funds by Style (Growth/Value/Blend), Size (Large/Mid/Small) and Social Responsibility (ESG/not ESG). However, merely by looking at past returns, it is also possible to also classify funds by Momentum, Reversal, Volatility, Beta and Oil Sensitivity. Finally, to add icing to the cake, it is possible to classify funds based on Flow. This blog details what happens, both in terms of additional information and for returns, when you break down money flow in terms of these factors.

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner - Fund Flows as Currency Allocator: Predicting the fall of the dollar?

    Quants Corner

    Can quantitative lightning strike twice? Srimurthy et al.[1] demonstrated the utility of fund flows as a predictor for equity markets at the country level. The model discussed in that paper uses flows into countries -- expressed as a percentage of assets invested by EPFR-tracked equity funds in those countries -- from funds that have a mandate to invest in more than one market, compounded over the latest available four weeks. What happens when you apply the same approach at the currency level? Interestingly, it works. The only change required is that the Eurozone be treated as one big country. To illustrate, we’ll look at the behavior of the US dollar over a period running from mid-June to mid-August. For the four weeks ending July 8, America’s currency enjoyed the highest cross-border equity flows among G10 currencies. Five weeks later, by August 12, the dollar had plummeted to the bottom bucket. This blog explores why this happened and what it might portend for the dollar in future...

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner - ESG: Comparing organic apples to oranges

    Quants Corner

    A rising tide, they say, lifts all boats and the tide has been rising aggressively for EPFR-tracked Equity and Bond Funds with socially responsible (SRI) or environmental, social and governance (ESG) mandates so far this year. The reasons for this influx of money range widely from the desire to do good to the desire to put as many layers of due diligence as possible between the buyer and their investment. Because there are a multitude of not always compatible goals inherent in ESG mandates, and a wide range of indexes, standards and other yardsticks for measuring outcomes, extracting clear signals from the SRI/ESG universe of funds can be tricky. In this blog we look at this trend through regional and country lenses to see what can be gleaned...

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner - Stock flows: Building the best mouse trap

    Quants Corner

    EPFR has a long history of helping clients understand where money is moving and how fund managers are investing that money. These insights started at the regional, country and sector level. In recent years, this coverage has been extended to the industry and single security level...

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner - South Korea: Success containing pandemic not translating into flows

    Quants Corner

    The first case of the virus now designated COVID-19 was detected last December. The epidemic, which became a global pandemic during 1Q20, had an immediate impact on nearby South Korea. At first markets viewed Korea, whose response to the pandemic garnered widespread accolades, as a haven. By late March, however, the bloom had come off the Korean rose with Korean Equity Funds compiling a 12-week, $10 billion outflow streak that ran into mid-June...

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner - When it comes to stock values, ESG Funds count for more

    Quant Corner

    Corporations have found value in catering to the needs and tastes of Generations X, Y and Z, identifying and understanding their values and embracing socially responsible (SRI) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria goals. Tech giants such as Google claims they are “Raising the bar in making smart use of the Earth’s resources, expecting the highest ethical standards throughout our supply chain and creating products with people and the planet in mind”. These sentiments certainly mesh with large segments of their customer base, which is not shy about demanding that they strive for these standards.

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner - Getting the right balance on commodities exposure

    Quant Corner

    It is an article of investible faith that geopolitical and financials crisis, natural disasters and epidemics translate into greater demand for gold and other precious metals. The coronavirus outbreak centered in Wuhan, China certainly fits these criteria and has generated a predictable flight to gold in its various forms. Fund flow data has, over the years, proved useful in confirming surges in demand, measuring the relative strength of that demand and identifying the inflection points that signal a shift in sentiment towards gold (see chart below). But using this information leaves investors making largely qualitative decisions about the optimum exposure to this asset class.  

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Quants Corner

    Quants Corner

    In the small hours of January 3, the United States carried out a drone strike on a convoy traveling near Baghdad International Airport. Among the seven people killed instantly was Major General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards of Iran. Days later, missiles fired from Iran hit the U.S. Al Asad airbase in Iraq and a civilian aircraft taking off from Tehran was mistaken for a US intruder and engaged by local air defenses, going down in flames with 100% casualties. Geopolitical events such as this have a long history of jolting energy markets. But, with the buffer created over the past decade by US shale oil production muting the classic correlation between events and markets, it requires new quantitative tools to capture the full range of market signals. A tool that we have developed in recent months is a fund-level oil sensitivity factor (OSF), one of many which can be constructed from the EPFR data.

    Topic Industry News

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    Energy Sector: The yin and yang of SRI/ESG

    ESG

    Energy Sector: The yin and yang of SRI/ESG If you use social media and the entertainment industry as your filter, it doesn’t take long to identify the two dominant conceptions of what it means to be an energy company. One is the classic, extractive behemoth whose mining, drilling and transportation actives destroy the environment and displace communities and whose business operations are punctuated by explosions, spills and the release of greenhouse gases. The other is technologically cutting edge, focused on renewable sources such as wind, solar and tidal and directed by socially conscious management. 

    Topic Industry News ESG

  • EPFR - fund flow & allocations data

    ESG/SRI Investing in the Digital Age for Gen XYZ

    ESG

    ESG/SRI Investing in the Digital Age for Gen XYZ Today’s digital age has changed industries. Leading that charge is the technology sector, whose business model depends on harnessing the needs and tastes of Generations XYZ. Doing so involves identifying and understanding their values. These include the growing embrace by these generations of socially responsible (SRI) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria goals. Tech giants such as Google claims they are “Raising the bar in making smart use of the Earth’s resources, expecting the highest ethical standards throughout our supply chain and creating products with people and the planet in mind”. A corner of Amazon’s website talks about how the online retail giant is “driving carbon out of our business”. These sentiments certainly mesh with large segments of their customer base, which is not shy about demanding that they strive for these standards.

    Topic Industry News