Governance

Diversity: The data challenge of 2020s

Assessing, managing and changing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is set to become the data issue of the 2020s, as asset owners turn their attention to the power they have to advocate for change in the companies they invest in, and the firms that manage their money.
Sustainability

What to expect with US ESG policies

Charles Millard, former director of the US Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, expects more ESG-favourable regulation in the US under President Biden. But the path to get there is not so easy.
Governance

Trustee standards set by Rest case

Earlier this month the Australian fund, Rest, settled a case with one of its members, Mark McVeigh, who claimed the fund breached its duty by not properly considering the risks posed by climate change. Here, McVeigh's lawyers write exclusively for Top1000funds.com and explain the significance of the case for pension funds around the globe.
Organisational Design

COVID-19: How do pension systems fare?

Rhodri Preece, senior head, industry research at CFA Institute, looks at how COVID-19 has highlighted the areas of improvement in pension systems around the globe.
Sustainability

Merger progresses company ESG reporting

SASB and IIRC merge to form the Value Reporting Foundation, a move that is in direct response to calls from global investors and corporates to simplify the corporate reporting landscape.
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.
Analysis

Democracy intact: Kotkin

The victory of Joe Biden over Donald Trump in the US general election is a “double repudiation” not just of Trump but of the “democracy in crisis crowd” who thought American democracy was under threat, argues historian and author Stephen Kotkin, Professor in History and International Affairs at Princeton University.
Sustainability

Investors need to get behind materiality

Oxford University professors Richard Barker and Bob Eccles explain why they are calling for investor support for an IFRS Foundation Sustainability Standards Board, which would focus its efforts on the sustainability information most relevant to investors.
Sustainability
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Sustainability

Looking forward with the PRI

Encouraging investors to integrate impact into their decision making will be a key priority for the PRI over the next three years. The organisation wants its signatories to increasingly shift their thinking to incorporate risk, return and impact, says CEO Fiona Reynolds.
Sustainability

Pension transparency needs a benchmark

A new Global Pension Transparency Benchmark – the first formal collaboration between Top1000funds.com and CEM Benchmarking - will launch in February 2021 ranking countries, via their underlying pension funds, on four factors: governance and organization; performance; costs; and responsible investing.
articleMacro-economic outlook

Investors wary of a fragmented world

As geopolitical risks increasingly stalk developed markets, asset owners sifting through the noise for long-term trends believe a fragmented world is here to stay. We spoke to CalSTRS, OPTrust, PFA and USS about the impact on their portfolios.
Sustainability

Climate risk is investment risk: Fink

The reallocation of capital towards sustainable companies is happening in real time and will accelerate, according to Larry Fink who is investing in technology and people to develop systems that can prove “climate risk is investment risk”.
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

Total portfolio approach benefits Cbus

Organising teams to develop thinking outside of investment silos has helped Cbus navigate recent liquidity challenges and devote deeper thinking to structural trends, the A$54 billion fund’s CIO Kristian Fok says.
FIDUCIARY INVESTORS PODCAST SERIES
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Fiduciary Investors Series

Liability driven investing 2.0: How HOOPP is evolving its investment strategy

In this Fiduciary Investors Series podcast, Amanda White talks to Jeff Wendling, chief executive of HOOPP – the C$94 billion Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan. In 2007, HOOPP moved to a liability driven investing approach, which included a large allocation to bonds and internal management. In a very different interest rate environment it is now exploring if that is still a relevant approach.
articleGeopolitics

Can America be great again?

With only a few days before the US election Amanda White speaks with Stephen Kotkin, the John P Birkelund Professor in History and International Affairs at Princeton University, about what it would take to actually make America great again.
Fiduciary Investors Series

Improving alternative investment industry practices: John Claisse

In this Fiduciary Investors Series podcast, Amanda White speaks with John Claisse, the chief executive of Albourne Partners. Albourne, which is a leading consultant focused on alternative investments, has been advocating for better practice within the alt
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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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.
articleAsset allocation

Scenario analysis tool predicts U-shape

A U-shaped recovery is the most likely economic outcome in the US for the next two years, but stagflation has a higher than anticipated chance of occurring according to a new paper about scenario analysis co-authored by State Street and GIC researchers. The study revolutionises scenario analysis by reorienting it towards a path.
Asset Allocation

Canadians more complex than first glance

The Canadian model, revered world over for its supreme pension management, is not low cost despite that being one of its oft-described traits. New research by CEM Benchmarking and McGill University shows that these funds are cost efficient, rather than being low cost. Their aim is to be high net performers, not low cost.
articleGeopolitics

IMCO uses nimbleness to advantage

Meticulous planning for the next market crash, and an eye on liquidity, meant IMCO was well positioned to invest, particularly in credit, when the opportunity arose. The fund continues to use its agility to its advantage and is now looking for opportunities in private markets.
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.