Investor Profile

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.

Asset owners apply pressure on managers for net zero integration

The David Rockefeller Fund and Wespath Institutional Investors explain how they are engaging managers, and holding them to account, in the drive to net zero integration.

PRI signatories outperform non-signatories

Asset owners that are PRI signatories had higher returns and lower costs than non-PRI signatories over a five-year period according to analysis by CEM Benchmarking.
Investor Profile

Energy opportunities dry up at TRS

The $160 billion Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) has a long and celebrated prowess when it comes to investing in energy yet enduring underperformance in the asset class was a key focus during a recent board meeting.
Investor Profile

CalPERS’ board mulls CIO hunt ahead

A detailed analysis of the largest 100 asset owner CIOs, plus a wishlist of characteristics and skills of the right candidate were front and centre of the latest CalPERS board meeting as the fund still searches for a permanent CIO.

Legal report gives impact investors confidence

A review of the legal barriers to investing for sustainability impact in 11 jurisdictions gives confidence to investors wanting to re-think old investment paradigms and include impact alongside risk and return.

TCFD disclosures are not hitting the mark

G7 nations have endorsed mandatory climate-related financial disclosures based TCFD framework recommendations, but a survey of Canadian investors found the TCFD disclosures are less insightful than most had anticipated.

Fiona Reynolds joins Conexus as CEO

Conexus Financial, publisher of, further cements its position as a global influencer with the appointment of Fiona Reynolds as chief executive.
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Norges Bank examines impact of climate on asset prices

New research by Norges Bank, which manages the assets of the $1.39 trillion Norwegian sovereign wealth fund, examines how the increased focus on ESG issue can affect asset prices.

What does it mean to invest sustainably?

As more and more investors make net zero commitments in the lead up to COP26, sustainability is at the forefront of investors’ minds. But what does it mean to invest sustainably? The Sustainability in Practice event will interrogate the subject in a way that allows institutional investors to overcome the challenges of implementation.

If you want to improve the environment, invest in companies that are improving

Charles E.F. Millard, the former Director of the U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp, says the real difference to the environment will come with companies that improve how well they perform. Investors should be looking at those.

The net-zero challenge

As more asset owners and managers commit to net-zero strategies, Roger Urwin outlines the challenges for investors including these additional tasks adding to the already stretched asset owner governance budgets. 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. 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

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Mark Walker

CIO, Coal Pension Trustees (United Kingdom)

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Mansco Perry

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

“The 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)

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Frederic Samama

head of responsible investment, Amundi (France)

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Janine Guillot

chief executive, SASB (United States)

“ 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 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 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)

“ produces high quality and thoughtful journalism that frequently aids my thinking”

Tim Hodgson

co-head, Thinking Ahead Group

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Investor Profile

Cbus Super delivers lower fees, higher returns

The past year has seen Cbus Super bolster its team and systems - adding to its internalisation of investments - continue down the journey of fee reduction and deliver the best return of the fund’s 37-year history. Amanda White spoke to CIO, Kristian Fok.
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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 west, with its growing debt, is not out of the woods either. What does the global economy look like post-crisis?
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 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
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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

AIMCo enhances top down strategy function

In October 2020 AIMCo, the C$118 billion Canadian fund appointed its first chief investment strategy officer splitting the investment function between the top down strategy and bottom up implementation responsibilities. Amanda White talks to Amit Prakash about how the new function will add valuable investment insights to clients.
articlePost-COVID economy

Bridgewater’s Prince: Time to think differently in an MP3 world

Bridgewater’s co-CIO Bob Prince explains the perils of MP3 and suggests investors need to think differently, shaping strategies around cash-flow yields - connecting equity cash flows to stable sources of spending in the economy.
Asset Allocation

Biases: COVID-19 vaccines and investing in China

Liang Yin from the Thinking Ahead Institute examines omission bias as an explanation for vaccine resistance, and underweighting investments to China. He suggests a framework for overcoming this bias.
Asset Allocation

Future Fund sceptical on correlations

The Future Fund, Australia’s A$226 billion sovereign wealth fund, has embarked on an ambitious project instigated during the crisis which includes re-examining its investment assumptions, risk tolerance and the way it allocates capital. Amanda White talks to the fund’s new CIO, Sue Brake about where the fund will be allocating in the future including alternatives and active management.
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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.

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.

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.

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.