Investor Profile

Debt concerns drive Ohio allocations

Farouki Majeed is worried about the future. His concerns are centred around the implications of the enormous US federal debt; the global competitiveness of the US and Chinese economies; inflation; and the potential erosion of the value of the US dollar.
Risk

Seeing systemic risks

William Burckart and Brian Tomlinson discuss why systems-level thinking and evolving portfolio management beyond conventional approaches is the way of the future.
Organisational Design

CalPERS CIO comp under review

The CalPERS board will make a decision next week on whether to include a long-term incentive compensation element as part of an incoming CIO’s remuneration package, something that the fund's chief executive, Marcie Frost, said is a contributing factor to the fund putting its search for a new investment head on hold.
Investor Profile

Coal moves to holistic management

The COVID crisis and the volatility of 2020 has revealed some lessons for the investment team at Coal Pension Trustees (CPT). It has taken a more top down view of managing its portfolio looking at economic themes, risk exposures, cashflows and its manager roster holistically. Amanda White talks to CIO Mark Walker about where it sees return opportunities, the prospect of manager consolidation and how it has embraced technology for better investment practices.
Sustainability

PRI sets strategic vision

This week the PRI launched its new three-year strategy which enables continued delivery of its 10-year Blueprint for Responsible Investment. Martin Skancke and Fiona Reynolds discuss the strategy which comes at a significant moment for the organisation and its global signatories as well as for the wider responsible investment movement.
Technology

How AI can help investors manage risk

The C$23 billion Canadian fund, OPTrust is embracing the power of technology to improve investment outcomes. Wei Xie and Brandon Da Silva explain the fund's focus on two subdomains of machine learning and how they can be used together: reinforcement learning and uncertainty modelling.
Fiduciary Investors Series

Steinem calls for urgent action on diversity

Speaking at the Top1000funds.com event, Sustainability: A planet in trouble, renowned feminist Gloria Steinem tells institutional investors it is time to ditch the labels that describe our gender, class or ethnicity and urged the investment community to l
Fiduciary Investors Series

The spirit of green: how corporates can reduce externalities at no cost to shareholders

Nobel Prize winner Professor William Nordhaus, Sterling Professor of Economics and Professor of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University, explains his theory of ‘No Regrets’ whereby companies can integrate ESG at a level that brings real bene
Sustainability
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Sustainability

Managers’ impact reaches tipping point

Asset managers have a chance to really impact the real economy with their commitment to net zero. The Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative now has 73 signatories and one third of assets in the industry committed. It’s reached tipping point, says one of the initiatives’ founders Ed Mason.
articleSustainability Digital 2021

Climate the No.1 priority for 2021

Climate is by far the number one sustainability priority for investors in 2021 according to a poll of asset owners from more than 32 countries which came together for the Top1000funds.com online Sustainability event in March.
articleEngagement

The dangers of funding sedition

Scott Kalb and CalSTRS' Aeisha Mastagni discuss what is next for investor action in sustainability. They reflect on the dangers of funding sedition following the 6th January riots. Investors rarely consider the risk of investee companies financing extreme groups, but it threatens the very system on which institutional investment relies.
articleDiversity and inclusion

Steinem: No more labels, just humanity

Gloria Steinem tells institutional investors it is time to ditch the labels that describe our gender, class or ethnicity and urged the investment community to look at investments through the lens of gender, class and racial equality.
Top1000funds.com celebrates 1000 newsletters. This is what our readers had to say
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“Top1000funds.com is a breath of fresh air in terms circulating stories that encompass new ideas and original thinking to keep us all abreast of the ideas that matters to us in the asset management industry in general and asset allocation spheres. I thank you for that.”

Hareb Masood Al-Darmaki

deputy chair of investment committee; advisor to the managing director, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority

“Congratulations to Amanda and the team on this milestone. Your timely and relevant articles consistently offer thoughtful insights about the industry, and I look forward to seeing what the next era of investing will bring.”

Rebecca Fender

head of the Future of Finance Initiative, CFA Institute

“Accurate, authoritative, informative and readable. Top1000funds.com is everything a specialised industry publication should be. Congratulations on your 1000th issue.”

Fiona Reynolds

chief executive, PRI

“Top1000funds is the pre-eminent source for news and analysis on global issues of consequence to long-term investors. The focus is spot on. It is my go-to reference for what’s happening in our industry and what’s to come.”

Barbara Zvan

former chief risk and strategy officer, Ontario Teachers Pension Plan

“Top1000funds.com is one of the best on-line sources for learning what my peers around the world are thinking and doing to allocate capital. It’s essential reading!”

Mark Walker

CIO, Coal Pension Trustees (United Kingdom)

“I find Top1000funds.com to be a useful, must-read source of information regarding developments within the institutional investment industry. Its global reach provides a variety of perspectives which aids the practitioner to navigate the challenges faced when managing a portfolio.”

Mansco Perry

executive director and chief investment officer, Minnesota State Board of Investment (United States)

“The Top1000funds.com newsletter is an excellent read for CIOs. From my perspective, the newsletter provides important insights on how our global peers are innovating and changing the way they go about investing in order to drive better outcomes for stakeholders.”

Kristian Fok

chief investment officer, Cbus (Australia)

“Top1000funds.com always provides a thorough analysis of the best practices in the investment industry around the planet. This is a unique way to have such a perspective and there is always some insights we can all benefit from. The publication deserves a lot of credit for such work.”

Frederic Samama

head of responsible investment, Amundi (France)

“Top1000funds.com consistently provides thorough, reliable and insightful information about how global assets owners are navigating an increasingly complex investment landscape.”

Janine Guillot

chief executive, SASB (United States)

“Top1000funds.com provides a great mix of stories that are of interest to asset owners and those who work with them, covering both investment topics and organisational ones. While aimed at “the world’s largest institutional investors,” the articles are relevant to all kinds of asset owners, as well as professionals at other investment organisations.”

Tom Brakke

TJB Research (United States)

“The Top1000funds.com newsletter has become a very powerful source of information for the community of asset owners around the world. It is relevant and deep. I’ve known Amanda White for more than a decade now, she probably has the deepest understanding of the topics that are of interest to asset owners in the field globally.”

Jaap van Dam

principal director investment strategy, PGGM; and author of Achieving Investment Excellence (The Netherlands)

“I really enjoy reading Top1000funds.com articles for my reference in investment. I would describe it as a kind of lighthouse when I was lost in turbulent market situation.”

Dong Hun Jang

CIO, POBA (Korea)

“Top1000funds.com produces high quality and thoughtful journalism that frequently aids my thinking”

Tim Hodgson

co-head, Thinking Ahead Group

INVESTOR PROFILE
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Investor Profile

Simplicity rules in South Carolina AA

Executives at the South Carolina Retirement System pulled off a previously unimaginable task in 2020, conducting a complete review of the fund’s asset allocation, simplifying its portfolio, negotiating with suppliers, and gaining approval from the commission, all while working entirely remotely. Amanda White speaks to executive director Michael Hitchcock about the new portfolio and the process of getting there.
FIDUCIARY INVESTORS PODCAST SERIES
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Fiduciary Investors Series

The labour market is broken: why investors should care

Sharan Burrow is calling on investors to do more to fix what she calls a broken labour market. In an impassioned call to delegates at “Sustainability Digital; A Planet in Trouble,” Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confeder
Fiduciary Investors Series

Climate change impacts already here: investors need to act now

The impact of climate change is already material, said Woodwell Climate Research Center’s president and executive director, Philip Duffy. Speaking at the Top1000funds.com event, Sustainability: A planet in trouble, he warns that thawing permafrost could m
Fiduciary Investors Series

USS on a sustainable sustainability program

In this Fiduciary Investors Series podcast Amanda White speaks to Simon Pilcher the chief executive of USS Investment Management, which manages assets for USS, the largest private pension scheme in the UK about the complexity of a sustainable strategy – i
SUSTAINABILITY 2020 DIGITAL EVENT: A PLANET IN TROUBLE
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articleSustainability Digital 2020

China ESG risk: the next unknown

One of the most important, upcoming challenges at CalSTRS is how the fund should evaluate Chinese investments from a human capital and environmental standpoint, says Chris Ailman, chief investment officer at the giant pension fund.
articleSustainability Digital 2020

AO talk manager selection and data gap

Discussing how they integrate sustainability across their portfolios investors at New York State Common Fund, PKA, and TCorp, highlight the importance of manager selection and the challenge of the data gap.
articleSustainability Digital 2020

PRI and the road ahead

The PRI will focus on a number of key areas in the years ahead including helping signatories invest in line with the SDGs and social issues, and pushing for more engagement. But it will also be asking for increased accountability amongst its signatories.
articleSustainability Digital 2020

Prepare portfolios for tipping point

Political and social systems, like physical landscapes, have non-linear dynamics that suddenly reach tipping points after which there is no going back. Investors should ready their portfolios, urges Professor Cameron Hepburn, Professor of Environmental Economics at the University of Oxford.
articleSustainability Digital 2020

CEOs: Don’t ignore sustainability

Unilever’s former CEO Paul Polman advises CEOs pushing sustainability to treat investors and the financial markets as allies – and ignore sustainability at their peril. "You will be voted out", he warns.
Asset Allocation
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Asset Allocation

USS takes advantage of dislocations

The largest single pension scheme in the United Kingdom, USS, took advantage of the dislocation due to COVID in 2020 and has bought credit assets and increased inflation and interest rate hedging.
articleAsset allocation

OTPP, SSGA and USS reflect on the future

Three investors reflect on the what lies ahead highlighting a buoyant 2021 but challenges beyond. Their suggestions include allocations to real assets and diversifying out of traditional fixed income as they navigate portfolio construction considerations in a new investment paradigm.
articleMacro-economic outlook

NZ Super debates currency risk

NZ Super's recent five-year reference portfolio review saw much debate over currency risk, with the discussion elevating to the board - an unusual situation for the fund whose internal IC usually makes recommendations to the board.
articleAsset allocation

Students show how to integrate impact

As impact investing gains momentum, the winning entries of a McGill University international investment challenge have shown the pension industry a thing or two about how to holistically tackle a triple mandate that includes impact.
Equities
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Equities

Has your value definition just expired?

Is book-to-price still a suitable definition of the value factor? Researchers at Scientific Beta explore the arguments for different definitions including how to account for intangible capital.
Equities

Markets remain fragile

A risk management strategy that measures resilience and fragility of markets, protected portfolios from the wild February downswing in equity markets, and predicts more fragility to come.
Equities

The importance of governance in a crisis

From December to mid-March of this year New Zealand Super lost 20 per cent of its assets. It’s the second time in less than 18 months the fund has experienced a significant drop in assets but in an example of how good governance and process can allow for counter cyclical behaviour the fund is now buying equities.
Equities

A new route to minimising volatility

Defensive equity investment strategies are nothing new, but a key issue with many is that defensive does not necessarily mean low volatility. Scientific Beta looks at a strategy to target both goals, using robust low volatility controls to create a new defensive index for the volatility-averse investor.