Sustainability

Gender bias starts at home

The gender gap in modern day companies begins in the preferences of CEOs developed during their own seminal years and produces significant real effects including reduced productivity and company performance according to a new academic study. It gives institutional investors another lever for managing bias, and monitoring company performance.
Private Equity

ILPA’s Model LPA sets the standard again

The Institutional Limited Partners Association's new Model Limited Partnership Agreement is beneficial for the industry as well as individual GPs and LPs. Samantha Anders explains.
Sustainability

Modern slavery needs investor action

Asset owners and managers can help solve modern slavery and invest to stem the suffering of the 40.3 million workers in the world trapped in some form of labour abuse.
Investor Profile

Hawaii expands CRO strategy

The new CIO at the Hawaii state pension fund is looking for additional sources of uncorrelated return, including hedge funds, and will look to add new managers to the lineup. Sarah Rundell talks to Elizabeth Burton.
Investor Profile

Belgium’s KBC boosts alternative beta

One of Belgium’s biggest pension funds, the fund for employees of KBC, Belgium’s banking and insurance group, has recently increased its allocation to real assets and switched more of its equity allocation to alternative beta.
Asset Allocation

Ignore diversification: BCI’s Dunatov

Stefan Dunatov, head of investment strategy and risk at Canada’s $170 billion British Columbia Investment Management, says long term investors should forget about diversification at the strategic level and instead focus on buying growth beta assets.
FIS Harvard 2019

Impact investment continues to evolve

Impact investment and its combination of financial returns and social or environmental purpose is beginning to move from fringe to the financial mainstream in part because the long-held concept that investment should only maximise shareholder value is beginning to fade.
Podcasts

The Curious Quant

The Curious Quant series, hosted by Michael Kollo, is a discussion between technically-minded professionals in the financial services, technology and data science fields. It carefully examines the application of new data and new methodologies to common problems in financial markets. The aim is to promote better discussions about these emerging areas, and a better understanding of new technologies.
INVESTOR PROFILE
View all
Investor Profile

Air Canada’s TCC prepares for take off

Air Canada, the pension fund for Canada’s flagship carrier, is preparing to manage external assets in a bid to let other pension funds and institutions tap into its top decile performance and 65-strong expert internal team.
Manager Relationships
View all
Manager Relationships

Nest picks managers most able to adapt

More than 40 asset managers were shortlisted for a private credit mandate for the £8 billion UK DC plan, NEST. It chose three. Sarah Rundell looks at the process and structures, and what the fund looked for in a manager.
Manager Relationships

Looking less at the scoreboard

Traditional performance monitoring reports do more harm than good, argues Phil Edwards, who suggests a more effective monitoring framework shifts the focus away from performance numbers and towards the fundamental characteristics of the stocks held in the portfolio, perhaps borrowing some elements from private markets.
Manager Relationships

The reason behind fee falls

Fees have declined significantly in a number of asset classes since 2016. Fund of hedge fund fees for example have fallen by more than a quarter in that time. Kathryn Saklatvala from bfinance discusses why.
Manager Relationships

South Carolina ramps up PE

The $31.3 billion South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission has launched a co-investment private equity program in a bid to reduce risk and enhance returns. Partnering with Chicago-headquartered GCM Grosvenor, RSIC will tap Grosvenor’s own private equity deal flow, as well as introductions to the manager’s GP network.
Sustainability
View all
Sustainability

SDG 16: How to invest in peace

Investment in the 17 SDGs is growing, but SDG 16, and its call to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, gets the least investor attention. Yet the idea that investors can mobilise their capital to nurture peace is wholly possible.
Sustainability

Past returns: don’t even guide the past

The Thinking Ahead Institute's Tim Hodgson argues that past returns were over-stated, and future returns will be lower. More accurately, total value created will need to increase for shareholders to retain the same amount of value as previously.
Sustainability

TCorp launches sustainability bond

The investment arm of one of Australia’s state governments, TCorp, has issued a A$1.8 billion sustainability bond reflecting the appetite of investors which are increasingly hungry for bonds that are issued to fund social and environmental projects.
Sustainability

Railpen and Nest warn on cyber risk

Two of the United Kingdom’s largest pension funds have launched a guide to cyber risk for asset owners highlighting key cyber dangers asset owners should watch, and rules of engagement with investee companies and reticent asset managers.
Equities
View all
Equities

Active US large cap adds nothing

Active investing in US large caps has detracted value from US pension fund portfolios and exposures should be indexed, according to new research by CEM Benchmarking. This could result in huge cost savings and have implications for how pension funds spend their active budget.
Equities

Strategic factor investing

Institutional investors should consider factor investing as a strategic decision, according to a new paper from Dirk Broeders at Maastricht University and Kristy Jansen from Tilburg University.
Equities

Is factor investing still working?

A large number of long-only multi-factor strategies have performed disappointingly over the past three years. Some have called into question the usefulness of solutions based on factor diversification but recent research by EDHEC suggests this doesn’t hold up against an even remotely serious investigation.
Equities

Danish fund cuts managers for better ESG

The €9.5 billion DanishPædagogernes Pension, PBU, is in the process of consolidating the number of managers in its listed equity portfolio. The decision at the fund - which has around 10 large, focused equity mandates - is linked to an ambition to reduce the number of companies in the portfolio in the belief that fewer companies in the 42 per cent actively-managed equity allocation allows greater ESG oversight.
FIDUCIARY INVESTORS SYMPOSIUM HARVARD
View all
FIS Harvard 2019

Biomedicine’s long and risky road

Startlingly few institutional investors have allocations to life sciences. An informal poll of 85 asset owners from 20 countries responsible for a combined $9 trillion assets under management gathered at the Fiduciary Investors’ Symposium at Harvard University, found only a tiny handful active in the sector. Yet allocating to biotech makes an important contribution to society - investing in the sector can help change lives.
FIS Harvard 2019

CalPERS hunts for third pillar PE teams

CalPERS is conducting searches for outside partners to run its new Pillar III private equity program focused on venture capital investment in life sciences, technology and healthcare.
FIS Harvard 2019

Disruption in demographic trends

Demographic trends will have a profound impact on pension funds’ investment returns, argued Patrick Zweifel, chief economist at Pictet Asset Management speaking at the Fiduciary Investors’ Symposium at Harvard University. He said ageing populations mean retirement ages need to rise and will see pension funds increase risk to stretch for returns.
FIS Harvard 2019

The dangers of MMT: A counter argument

Look no further than the economic travails of Italy and Japan to see the perils of Modern Monetary Theory, MMT, said Sonal Desai, CIO, fixed income at Franklin Templeton. Speaking at the Fiduciary Investors’ Symposium at Harvard University, she countered the arguments of Stephanie Kelton, a leading MMT scholar at Stony Brook University and senior economic advisor to presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders who espoused the virtues of MMT in a previous session MMT: A solution to broken policy?
FIS Harvard 2019

FIS Harvard 2019 podcasts

The Fiduciary Investors Symposium at Harvard University brought together more than 85 asset owners from 20 countries to discuss globalisation, human capital, inequality, longevity, technology, medicine and ethics, and the role of institutional capital in creating real change in the world. We were joined by many distinguished speakers and have put together a podcast series of our favourite sessions.
Asset Allocation
View all
Asset Allocation

Prince says diversify east and west

Bob Prince, co-chief investment officer of Bridgewater, says that institutional investors should consider diversification in the context of different economic exposures which could manifest in splitting portfolio allocations to the east and west. He advocates looking at diversification through the lens of macroeconomic conditions and cashflows related to the differences in economic regimes around the world.
Asset Allocation

Future Fund adds risk and liquidity

The Future Fund is adding risk to its portfolio, and focusing on liquidity, as part of a part of an ongoing strategy to free up more capital in the portfolio in the event of a drawdown. It is in the midst of selling off a “large slice” of private equity assets on the secondary market and has bought listed equities in emerging markets in the past year.
Asset Allocation

Alaska focuses on risk, cautious outlook

A year ago, the Alaska Permanent Fund appointed its first chief risk and compliance officer, Sebastian Vadakumcherry. With current investment conditions, and a move to a more conservative outlook, the relationship between Vadakumcherry and CIO, Marcus Frampton is proving its worth. We look at the fund’s approach to risk, its outlook for capital markets, and how data will give it an edge.
Asset Allocation

NZ Super reviews reference portfolio

The NZ$43 billion ($27 billion) New Zealand Super Fund is undergoing its five-yearly review of its reference portfolio, an innovative and unique asset allocation reference point that allows the fund to benchmark the performance of its actual portfolio and any value added through active management.