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Stars align for arbitrage specialist's three key strategies -- but analyst calls for caution

Topping its 2020 Morningstar category, AQR Principal Todd Pulvino calls the environment for his diversified arbitrage fund the brightest since he left academia to pioneer arbitrage investing 20 years ago. Morningstar analyst, however, says investors should temper expectations.

"From an arbitragers perspective, it's an unusually good environment because usually you don't have all three strategies providing opportunities at the same time," AQR Principle Todd Pulvino says in an interview. | Photo: PR / AQR Capital Management

In 2001, Todd Pulvino, then a finance professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, teamed up with like-minded academics to co-found the arbitrage investment firm CNH Partners, in a joint venture with quantitative investment firm AQR Capital Management.

The reason was that there was very little academic research on merger arbitrage at the time.

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