articleFeatured Story

How CalSTRS’ CEO achieved funded status

The legacy of Jack Ehnes, chief executive of CalSTRS for nearly 20 years, is the embedded long-term view in the culture of the organisation which impacts everything from investments to benefit planning strategy. He talks to Amanda White about managing multiple, complex and competing stakeholders for the good of California's teachers.
articleFeatured Story

12 months of innovation at the CFA

In the past 12 months the CFA Institute has innovated to adapt to meet member and industry needs. CEO Marg Franklin talks to Amanda White about the benefits of computer-based testing, the CFA's standards around ESG and diversity and its upcoming project around the future of work in the investment industry.
Sustainability

Asset owners’ role in blended finance

The challenge of matching long-term investing with development needs in emerging and developing countries is discussed by Georg Inderst who suggests it might be time for asset owners to look at their role in blended finance.
Sustainability

Investors need to act now on climate

Last week’s Biden Summit marked an important moment in the global battle to combat climate change and has reset the clock on what can be achieved at COP26 this November. But investors should act now to protect value and back the zero-carbon transition.
Investor Profile

NEST’s PE challenge to the industry

The UK defined contribution fund, NEST has added a number of new asset classes to its portfolio over the past year – including infrastructure with a focus on renewables – but the fund is still missing an allocation to private equity. CIO Mark Fawcett spoke to Amanda White about the fund’s challenge to the industry on private equity fees, its focus on climate-aware portfolios and innovative approaches to portfolio management.
Sustainable Capitalism

The Road to Net Zero

How the pandemic has sharpened the focus of energy companies on the low-carbon energy transition.
Sustainable Capitalism

Spotlight on sustainable fixed income

The sustainable-bond market is growing fast but there are many different sub-sectors to consider. Fixed-income portfolio managers Scott Freedman and Trevor Holder discuss the options and the opportunities with the investment communications team’s Matt Goodburn.
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.
Sustainability
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Sustainability

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.
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.
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.
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)

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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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articleAsset Allocation

CalPERS CEO on the ALM challenge

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. Frost speaks to Amanda White about the challenges of the top job at the largest fund in the US and how she works to make sure the “real story” of CalPERS gets told.
FIDUCIARY INVESTORS PODCAST SERIES
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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
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
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
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

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.
Asset Allocation

Concern about hidden inflation risk: AP4

Driven by active return, AP4 produced a stellar 9.6 per cent in 2020. But its chief executive, Niklas Ekvall remains cautious about the economic outlook and its impact on the portfolio, especially with regard to inflation.
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.
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.