Investor Profile

CERN risk appetite keeps assets liquid

The CHf4 billion pension fund for Switzerland’s CERN nuclear research centre maintains a dynamic, tactical strategy that takes into account the market environment and the fund’s liabilities. Once risk levels are set, CIO Manola-Bonthond tweaks and adjusts to stay on target, employing particularly strict due diligence in areas such as private equity and hedge funds.
Sustainability

Water makes mark in investors’ minds

As the demand for water rises across many sectors and the potential for strained supply increases, its perceived value is rising to a level more in line with its great economic and political importance. As a result, investors are taking steps to measure water risk in their portfolios and engage with companies to promote responsible stewardship.
Featured Story

Austrian APK smells equity opportunities

Top-performing APK Pensionskasse is examining different regions and sectors, looking to increase its allocation to equity if markets decline in the second quarter. Chief executive Christian Boehm expects technological developments and geopolitical influences to affect markets, including in Europe’s financial sector.
News

UK reforms have pension schemes in mind

The UK’s Competition and Market Authority has put forward several changes to the investment consultant and fiduciary manager markets designed to ensure competition improves outcomes for pension schemes and other institutional investors. A competitive tender process would be required, as would clear distinctions between advice and marketing.
Insider

Cost-templates pilot begins in UK

The Cost Transparency Initiative has entered its pilot phase, in which five of its templates will be tested in coming weeks. Data from the testing will be used to rationalise templates across the industry. The idea is to provide consistency of clarity of fees and costs, so trustees can compare funds easily.
Featured Story

Illinois looks inward for new portfolio

The $42 billion Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund is using its enhanced internal management capabilities to start a quantitative portfolio applying multifactor strategies. The strategy is designed to build some downside protection into the fund’s equities allocation.
Fees

Seeing pension costs should be easy

How much does it cost? It should be the most basic of questions from pension fund trustees when decisions are made about how to invest members’ assets, yet it appears this is often not the case. A lawsuit originating in the US state of Kentucky has the potential to change matters for the better.
Investor Profile

PMT’s new index shakes up its equities

The €72 billion Dutch metal industry pension fund has developed its own benchmark that combines ESG, long-term returns and current beneficiaries’ sensibilities with its previous passive strategy. The index’s various criteria have screened out many companies PMT previously held and reduced its allocation to US equities.
INVESTOR PROFILE
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Investor Profile

Washington works to be the best LP

Private equity has been a stand out for the $130 billion Washington State Investment Board and CIO Gary Bruebaker says the real trick is attracting the top general partners. That means making sharp investments, being true to your word and nurturing the relationship.
Sustainability
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Sustainability

Income inequality a global threat

From human rights to executive pay, the list of factors adding to global income inequality is growing, as is investor concern over the rising potential for financial and economic destabilisation.
Sustainability

REST case to set climate risk precedent

An Australian case brought by a millennial against his pension fund is a world first and will make law on whether trustees breach their fiduciary duties when they ignore climate change.
Sustainability

ESG obligations a recipe for disaster

Hardly a day goes by without some communication on ESG investing. It seems everyone is getting on the bandwagon. But peers that Paul Bevin speaks to have concerns that virtue may come at a price.
Sustainability

Climate group calls for investor power

Climate Change 100+, a five-year initiative to help carbon emitters navigate the move to clean energy, has built momentum and needs fund managers and investors to propel it even further.
Asset Classes
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Asset Classes

African infrastructure gets needed index

RisCura has partnered with Africa investor (Ai) Capital to launch the continent’s first infrastructure performance index. The new benchmark will cover the whole of Africa and will provide a critical tool for evaluating the risk/return profile of investments in this asset class. It should help fill a damaging shortfall in infrastructure development.
Asset Classes

G20 investor group wants reform

Convincing policymakers to reform laws around infrastructure, carbon emissions and other aspects of long-term, sustainable economic growth may not be easy but a G20 group has started the dialogue.
Asset Classes

Nuance the name of the low carbon game

The £30 billion ($38 billion) Brunel Pension Partnership, the asset pool comprising 10 of the United Kingdom’s local authority pension schemes, is finding significant investment opportunities in private-sector renewables infrastructure.
Asset Classes

Fixed income, ESG start to bond

ESG integration in fixed income is finally starting to happen but the challenges it presents aren’t the same as in equities; for example, bondholder rights and shareholder rights aren’t the same. Have a look at what’s necessary to further blend ESG and fixed income.
FIDUCIARY INVESTORS SYMPOSIUM STANFORD
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FIS Stanford

Rise of the unicorns: venture capital

The increase in privately held start-ups has piqued interest in venture-capital markets. The opportunities are there but investors must realise that technological innovation has changed the game.
FIS Stanford

Protecting human capital helps everyone

Investors have plenty to gain from helping to protect human rights in supply chains and managing the human costs during technological disruption and the transition to a low-carbon economy.
FIS Stanford

How to follow megatrends to success

The big themes that will fuel growth in coming decades are interconnected and subject to change. An expert panel gave advice on riding societal change to outperformance.
FIS Stanford

How the active complements the passive

Investors discuss the various ways that two styles often presented as if they are enemies in fact work hand in hand across portfolios to produce returns.
FIS Stanford

CalPERS shake-up may delay PE plans

The surprise ousting of CalPERS board president Priya Mathur heralds a leadership shake-up that could place final approval of an expanded private equity program on hold.
Asset Allocation
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Asset Allocation

Australia’s rethink for the Future Fund

The CIO of Australia’s A$175 billion sovereign wealth fund, Raphael Arndt, sees a time on the not-too-distant horizon when the assumptions that have shaped investment strategy will no longer hold true. He’s working on a more comprehensive process for this challenging new world.
Asset Allocation

When multi-asset makes sense

Core multi-asset strategies provide access to a collection of market betas without a heavy governance burden. Idiosyncratic multi-asset strategies introduce a variety of return drivers into a portfolio. Mercer takes a look at the costs of each of these subcategories and when they’re justified.
Asset Allocation

New economy needs big public sector

Widgets are on the wane and disruption is the new normal, creating a need for a larger public sector with more market power, according to the former US Treasury Secretary, Larry Summers.
Asset Allocation

UMR will add to private assets, more

France’s Union Mutualiste Retraite is planning slight increases to its allocation to cash, private equity, private debt and infrastructure, in the face of high valuations and the late cycle. The fund has already added to its direct real-estate investments this year and is bracing for incoming regulations.
Strategy
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Strategy

First State: superannuation’s evolution

Most of Australia’s retirement system is still just heading towards investing with scale for both accumulation and pension phase. The A$70 billion First State Super and CIO Damian Graham are already there. So what do its investments look like?
Strategy

Pensions must brace for Brexit impact

The chances of Britain leaving the EU without a withdrawal deal seem greater than ever. Retirement systems need to prepare for changing valuations and disruptions to how they do business.
Strategy

China’s enticing, challenging market

Inefficient markets and an explosion of technological innovation fuelled by Millennial consumers make China a tantalising prospect but accessing strong returns there isn’t as simple as it looks.
Strategy

Sometimes, you can trust a hunch

Whether you call it a ‘gut feeling’ or ‘expert intuition’, under the right circumstances and in the right investment environment, it can take you in the right direction.