With a background in math and an inclination to embrace complexity, Puneet Kohli has always found managing capital in the derivatives market both interesting and challenging. And at the Health Care of Ontario Pension Plan, Puneet is also finding meaning and purpose in his work. Sitting within the Fixed Income and Derivatives team at HOOPP, Puneet helps play a role in delivering the pension promise for hundreds of thousands of front-line workers within the 110 billion dollar defined benefit plan.
In pursuing this, HOOPP employs a derivatives-centric risk management process that is quite sophisticated, more resembling a US hedge fund than a US pension fund. Through our conversation, we learn more about how Puneet thinks about capitalizing on risk dislocations, utilizing the edge in HOOPPs long-dated capital and strong balance sheet but also incorporating the lessons provided by markets that are subject to episodes of extreme volatility that result in a significant liquidity shortfalls. With this in mind, we talk about liquidity management and also about playing defense through the search for negatively correlated assets. Here Puneet discusses rate contingent puts on the S&P 500, a trade that embeds short equity, short bond and long volatility exposures, all while achieving a healthy discount to vanilla put structures.
Lastly, we reflect on market vol episodes including the global financial crisis, the blowups experienced during March 2020 and also the Meme stock up-crash of early 2021. I hope you enjoy this episode of the Alpha Exchange, my conversation with Puneet Kohli.