articleSustainability in Practice - September 2021

The challenge of scenario analysis

Scenario analysis shows that the ability of pension funds to pay their pensions will be severely impacted by climate. But a discussion between asset owners at Sustainability in Practice revealed the challenges in the process.
articleSustainability in Practice - September 2021

Renewable portfolios outperform fossil fuels

A joint report by the International Energy Agency and the Centre for Climate Finance & Investment at Imperial College examines the risk and return proposition in energy transitions. Across all portfolios examined, renewable power generated higher total returns relative to fossil fuel.
articleSustainability in Practice - September 2021

How AP4 integrates sustainability in alternatives

AP4’s head of alternatives Jenny Askfelt Ruud discusses how the pension fund integrates sustainability in its alternatives portfolio which includes avoiding investments in some sectors in line with its decarbonisation strategy and investing in sustainability themes by finding companies that are driving the transition with new technologies and services.
articleSustainability in Practice - September 2021

Robeco eyes policy response

Policy makers response is the next pivotal step in sustainable investmen according to Victor Verberk, CIO fixed income and sustainability at Robeco. He predicts that policy makers reaction will appear via taxes or import tariffs with a “devastating impact” on companies that will create winners and losers.
articleSustainability in Practice - September 2021

Portfolio alignment metrics: Investor scepticism

Portfolio alignment is a hot topic and key area of focus for the TCFD and COP26 private finance team. But what is it really telling us and how will it influence investment decisions?
articleSustainability in Practice - September 2021

Asset owners talk sustainability in infrastructure

Asset owners’ seeking to achieve net zero in their infrastructure allocations should embark on detailed strategic planning, set interim targets and ensure transparent insight and regular reporting. Strong leadership and clear governance frameworks are also essential - all the while fulfilling fiduciary responsibility to seek superior long-term returns.
articleSustainability in Practice - September 2021

Net zero pledge creates opportunity in China

China’s pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 will require radical change and formidable challenges lie ahead. But as delegates at the Sustainability in Practice event heard, investment opportunities include renewables, electric vehicles and energy storage.
articleSustainability in Practice - September 2021

The value in natural capital

Nature is increasingly viewed as an economic asset, or natural capital. Identifying the natural capital assets that can be used most effectively to offset carbon, such as land and forestry, can provide a real advantage in the path to decarbonising investment portfolios.
Sustainability
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articleSustainability in Practice - September 2021

Real estate’s net zero challenge

Real estate accounts for nearly 40 per cent of energy-related carbon emissions but cutting emissions to net zero in the sector is highly complex. Investors should focus instead on cutting emissions by refurbishing properties and avoiding new builds.
articleSustainability in Practice - September 2021

Bridgewater and PGGM discuss ESG’s need for better communication

Bridgewater’s Carsten Stendevad and PGGM’s Jaap van Dam discuss the need for more clarity and better communication in sustainability and explore how investing for impact is re-shaping investment strategies.
articleSustainability in Practice - September 2021

APG develops ESG indexes

A new set of responsible investing indexes, developed by APG and Qontigo, allow investors to measure and report on the impact on risk and return of individual ESG criteria.
Sustainability

AP2 continues sustainability journey with stellar returns and costs

Swedish buffer fund, AP2, has incorporated Paris-aligned rules into its benchmark construction for global and emerging market equities. This year it turns its attention to Swedish and Chinese equities. The moves come on the back of the best-ever half year return for the SEK421.2 billion fund and its lowest ever costs.
Top1000funds.com celebrates 1000 newsletters. This is what our readers had to say
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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.”

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chief executive, PRI

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former chief risk and strategy officer, Ontario Teachers Pension Plan

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CIO, Coal Pension Trustees (United Kingdom)

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

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chief investment officer, Cbus (Australia)

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head of responsible investment, Amundi (France)

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chief executive, SASB (United States)

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TJB Research (United States)

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

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Tim Hodgson

co-head, Thinking Ahead Group

INVESTOR PROFILE
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Investor Profile

Maryland’s record year prompts actuarial rate reduction

Maryland State Retirement  and Pension System is the latest fund to record an historical performance for the 2021 financial year, returning a best ever 26.7 per cent. Again public and private equities were the star performers with an exceptional 51.85 per cent return in private equity and 44.54 per cent in public equities  But in recognition there might be a bill to pay for those higher returns in the future the fund has lowered its actuarial rate of return.
FIDUCIARY INVESTORS PODCAST SERIES
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Fiduciary Investors Series

Is China’s growing influence a threat or opportunity?

China is a simultaneous threat and an opportunity for investors. This discussion looks at how to navigate a worsening geopolitical situation and what it means for economic growth. Is the current course a steady state, or are big shocks, for the better or for the worse, possible and even likely? Geopolitical expert, Professor Stephen Kotkin, examines what lies ahead for investors.
Fiduciary Investors Series

A post-COVID economy

The big difference between the vaccine rollouts and the scale of the stimulus measures across the world could result in a K-shaped global economic recovery, with much of the developed world booming but poorer countries continuing to struggle. However the
Fiduciary Investors Series

The year ahead at CalPERS: Marcie Frost on the ALM study and hiring a new CIO

The CEO of CalPERS Marcie Frost has a big year ahead. Not only is the fund still searching for a CIO, but it will also conduct its four-yearly asset liability study this year. In this Fiduciary Investors Series episode, Marcie Frost speaks to Amanda White
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
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

Future Fund adds risk and generates best-ever return

The Future Fund, Australia’s A$196.8 billion sovereign wealth fund raised its risk profile in the year to June 30, resulting in the fund’s best-ever one-year result of 22.2 per cent.
articleSustainability in Practice - September 2021

APG positions for a digital future

APG, the biggest pension provider in Europe, is positioning itself as a digital pioneer with investment in the large-scale use of data, workflow automation and digital analytical platforms. A leader in funds management, most notably sustainability, it is once again a frontrunner by embracing technology.
articleNet zero portfolios

Finding alpha: Church Commissioners outperform

The £9.2 billion portfolio managed for the Church Commissioners for England has returned 9.7 per cent over 10 years through a focus on sustainability and a willingness to try things early, such as forestry and venture capital. Amanda White spoke to CIO Tom Joy about where the fund looks for alpha and the need for a non-traditional allocation.
articleNet zero portfolios

CalSTRS outperforms in every asset class

CalSTRS outperformed its custom benchmark in every single asset class  to deliver a historic fund performance of 27.2 per cent for the year. Amanda White spoke to CIO, Chris Ailman.
Equities
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Equities

Fiduciary duty in dysfunctional markets

Phil Edwards and Paul Woolley argue that if asset owners exhibit a more effective application of fiduciary duty to curb performance-chasing by verifying the implicit time horizon of the strategies adopted by the asset managers they employ, they could incentivise a shift towards longer horizons within financial markets with both private and social benefits.
Equities

Large tech companies must be broken up

Concentrated power by monopolistic companies is a systemic problem in the US economy, according to Matt Stoller, director of research at the American Liberties Project, but investors have little power to change it.
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.