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Dimitris Melas

Dimitris Melas
Managing Director, MSCI Research

About the Contributor

Dimitris Melas is responsible for equity research and strategic product development across both equity indexes and equity analytics. Dimitris leads a global team of research specialists. Prior to joining MSCI in 2006, Dimitris worked at HSBC Asset Management as Head of Research and Head of Quantitative Strategies. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and holds an MSc in Electrical Engineering, an MBA in Finance, and a PhD in Applied Probability from the London School of Economics. He has published research papers in peer-reviewed journals and serves as Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Portfolio Management.

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Blog posts by Dimitris Melas


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  1. BLOG

    Investor Reaction to US Elections and COVID-Vaccine Progress 

    Nov 18, 2020 Dimitris Melas , David Lunsford , Andy Sparks

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    To gauge investor expectations after Joe Biden was declared winner of the U.S. election and good news broke about COVID vaccines, we surveyed 151 U.S.-based financial advisers. We examine the advisers’ views on the next 12 months and markets’ reaction since Election Day.

  2. BLOG

    Five lessons for investors from the COVID-19 crisis 

    May 19, 2020 Dimitris Melas

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    COVID-19 unleashed a torrent of sharp movements across global financial markets. We highlight five key lessons for investors regarding global investing, managing factors, active management, indexed investing and ESG investing.

  3. BLOG

    Coronavirus and oil hit equities — how low can we go? 

    Mar 12, 2020 Dimitris Melas

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    We compare the market turmoil sparked by the coronavirus pandemic with levels of volatility, drawdown and recovery after 9/11 and the global financial crisis (the two other similarly severe economic and market shocks of the last 20 years).

  4. BLOG

    The state of global investing 

    Nov 12, 2019 Dimitris Melas

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    Financial markets are inherently unpredictable, while structural forces such as shifts in monetary policy, trade conflicts and climate change compound the challenges facing investors. Read our analysis commissioned by Norway’s Ministry of Finance.

  5. BLOG

    Lessons from Woodford: Shutting the barn door after the horses have bolted 

    Jun 14, 2019 András Bohák , Roman Kouzmenko , Dimitris Melas

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    The suspension of the U.K.’s Woodford Equity Income Fund highlights the value of regularly reviewing a portfolio’s factor exposures and liquidity characteristics for signs of style drift or deteriorating ability to redeem shares.

  6. BLOG

    How can active managers add factors to the portfolio? 

    Oct 2, 2018 Dimitris Melas

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    Discretionary managers use fundamental analysis to select stocks and construct portfolios that seek to beat the market. These managers face substantial headwinds in the current environment. From a business perspective, they are under pressure to reduce cost and improve performance. The market environment has also been challenging, as high correlations between stocks and the dominance of a handful of large technology companies have made it harder to generate alpha from stock selection.

  7. BLOG

    Why is Tesla a Short-Selling Target? 

    Aug 13, 2018 Dimitris Melas , George Bonne

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    Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla, suggested in a series of tweets that going private could help Tesla avoid the scrutiny of quarterly reporting and pressure from short selling. Do companies targeted by short sellers share common characteristics? Could factor analysis help investors identify stocks that may become short-selling targets?

  8. BLOG

    How Can Active Managers Put ESG to Work? 

    May 15, 2018 Dimitris Melas

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    Our research shows how favorable ESG characteristics have historically had a positive impact on equity valuation, risk and performance. But many active managers may have concerns that using ESG data could disrupt their investment process and introduce unintended biases to the portfolio.

  9. BLOG

    Why index funds promote market efficiency 

    Apr 26, 2018 Dimitris Melas

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    Institutions and individuals increasingly invest through funds that track indexes. While index funds bring transparency and low cost, their critics claim that they allocate capital indiscriminately, hurting market efficiency. Is this claim supported by the evidence? It is not. Our analysis shows that, far from damaging market efficiency, index funds1 facilitate active portfolio management by offering investors diverse and efficient tools to express investment views and implement active investment decisions.

  10. BLOG

    Putting the spotlight on Spotify: Why have stocks with unequal voting rights outperformed? 

    Apr 3, 2018 Dimitris Melas

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    Nearly 15 years after Google’s initial public offering, the debate about listed companies that offer unequal voting rights to outside investors rages on. A number of high-profile technology companies including Dropbox Inc., Spotify and Snap Inc. have recently listed shares with unequal voting rights, adding fuel to the debate. Meanwhile, investors are trying to determine if they should shun the stock issued by these companies or include them in equity portfolios.

  11. BLOG

    Do Factors Stand Up to FAANG? 

    Feb 21, 2018 Dimitris Melas

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    Large U.S. technology companies, the so-called FAANG, dominated the U.S. stock market in the last few years and had a significant impact on many investment strategies. These companies have been underrepresented in most factor-based strategies due to their unattractive factor characteristics. Have factor investors suffered from not investing in these stocks?

  12. BLOG

    Dissecting the Stock Market Sell-Off 

    Feb 6, 2018 Dimitris Melas

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    Growing fears about rising inflation and interest rates sparked a decline across equity markets in the last few days.

  13. BLOG

    Are Market Valuations in Nosebleed Territory? 

    Aug 22, 2017 Dimitris Melas

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    Markets have enjoyed a relatively long period of positive returns and low volatility, making some investors wonder if a correction is imminent. One possible trigger for a correction would be investors concluding that market valuations have become extreme, which could lower future returns.

  14. BLOG

    Integrating ESG into Factor Portfolios 

    Nov 30, 2016 Dimitris Melas

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    Over the past decade, many long-term institutional investors have incorporated Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations into their portfolios, by creating segregated ESG mandates or by incorporating ESG criteria across the entire portfolio.

  15. BLOG

    Which Factors Are More Time-Sensitive? 

    Sep 28, 2016 Dimitris Melas

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    Hedge funds and other investors who manage portfolios that rebalance frequently face a challenge when it comes to the use of factors for trading, hedging and risk monitoring: Which factors tend to break down over time?

  16. BLOG

    Why Economic Exposure Matters 

    Jul 21, 2016 Dimitris Melas

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    Investors with global portfolios need to know where the companies they invest in are domiciled. It is equally important, however, for them to know where those companies earn their revenue. Data from MSCI shows that the geographic distribution of companies’ revenues can have a significant impact on their stock prices.

  17. BLOG

    How the Brexit Vote may Impact your Portfolio 

    Jun 24, 2016 Dimitris Melas

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    While the long-term consequences for investors of the decision by U.K. voters to leave the European Union may take time to unfold, our analysis of the months that preceded the referendum shows that tremors from Brexit already have stirred up markets and upped systemic risk for Britain compared with developed markets generally. The question now is whether the waves will continue and how they may (or may not) intensify.

  18. BLOG

    Using Systematic Equity Strategies 

    Apr 18, 2016 Dimitris Melas

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    Top-down managers assess the economic outlook and translate macro views into country and industry portfolio positions. In contrast, bottom-up managers select securities based on a set of common criteria, for example valuations, profitability, growth, quality, yield, as well as company-specific attributes.

  19. BLOG

    Is Momentum Crashing? 

    Apr 8, 2016 Dimitris Melas

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    Momentum, the tendency of past winners to continue to do well in the near future, is a pervasive return regularity in equities and across asset classes. It is used both as a signal in alpha models and as a factor in risk models.

  20. BLOG

    Multi-Factor Strategies Highlight Benefits of Diversification 

    Mar 14, 2016 Dimitris Melas

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    The cyclicality of factor strategies means that individual factors can deliver a premium against the market over time but that any one factor can experience periods of underperformance.

  21. BLOG

    Unpacking the Volatility so Far 

    Feb 18, 2016 Dimitris Melas

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    The year that began in January stands out for the uncertainty that has rocked the global economy. The search for growth, the prospect of deflation and a slowdown in China have combined to roil financial markets and challenge asset owners and managers worldwide

  22. BLOG

    Constructing Low Volatility Strategies 

    Jan 25, 2016 Dimitris Melas

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    Low volatility is one of the few factors that have historically performed well in turbulent markets.

  23. BLOG

    Riding on Momentum 

    Dec 15, 2015 Dimitris Melas

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    Momentum, the tendency of past winners to continue to do well in the near future, is used widely in risk models and in quantitative strategies. Recently, momentum has also been the basis for factor indexes aiming to replicate the performance of this pervasive factor.

  24. BLOG

    Selecting the Blend of Factor Indexes 

    Dec 9, 2014 Dimitris Melas

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    Many institutional investors have struggled to determine the appropriateness of factors for their own plan, what role these allocations might play, which factors should be adopted and how factor indexes can be used.

  25. BLOG

    Factor Index Performance in Changing Economic Environments 

    Apr 11, 2014 Dimitris Melas

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    Institutional investors have historically been concerned over the changing state of the economy and its impact on their investments whether it was about "Abenomics" or "taper tantrums." As a result, we are noting that they are increasingly taking changing macroeconomic conditions into consideration for their asset allocations.

  26. BLOG

    The Different Ways Macro Risk Impacts Factors Index 

    Apr 11, 2014 Dimitris Melas

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    As we recently said in our post, systematic factors have historically been sensitive to macroeconomic and market forces but not in the same way. For example, some, such as Value, Momentum and Size have been pro-cyclical, meaning they outperformed when economic growth and volatility were rising.

  27. BLOG

    40 Years of History - With Deeper History Comes New Insights 

    Apr 11, 2014 Dimitris Melas

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    We recently extended our simulated index factor history to 40 years, providing a unique set of data compared to others available in the marketplace. This extended history, combined with IndexMetrics, MSCI’s analytical framework, offers investors sharper tools for creating and analyzing portfolios.

  28. BLOG


    Dec 3, 2013 Dimitris Melas

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    Let’s look at how factor allocations fit in the traditional institutional portfolio setting. Factor investing utilizing indexes can be viewed as active decisions implemented through passive replication. As such, factor allocations should be tailored to each institution.