Investor Profile

Texas Teachers revamps AA, adds leverage

The board of the $154 billion Teacher Retirement System of Texas has approved changes to its strategic asset allocation as a result of its latest five-year study, increasing its allocation to private markets, risk parity and introducing leverage.
Risk

Navigating two decades of funded status

The funded status of corporate DB pension plans has experienced unprecedented volatility in the 21st century. This article examines the sources of funded status volatility seen over the past two decades and discusses how plan sponsors of DB pension plans have adapted. It argues it is important to exercise care in the strategy that is chosen and in the timing of implementation.
Organisational Design

Diversity means embracing whole identity

Why even good inclusion and diversity policies will miss their mark unless corporates have a better understanding of their employees.
Investor Profile

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

Plastic pollution: A call to arms

Plastic production is projected to triple by 2050, yet only 14 per cent of plastic packaging is now collected for recycling. Consumers are beginning to reject the use of single use plastic and if this continues the financial impacts could be significant. So what is the role of asset owners in bringing this to light?
Real Estate

UTC and AEW build recipe for RE success

Industrial group UTC and global real estate manager AEW have structured a joint-venture investing in value-add real estate. In a relationship forged on trust and friendship, the allocation has grown to become the corporate pension fund’s best performing asset class.
Private Equity

Is PE a superior form of ownership?

Almost exactly 30 years ago, a famous article by Michael Jensen in the Harvard Business Review predicted that private equity would “eclipse” the public corporation because it was a superior form of corporate ownership. Academics at Oxford's Said Business School examine whether this prediction has played out.
Investor Profile

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.
INVESTOR PROFILE
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Investor Profile

The impact of technology on investments

Harshal Chaudhari recently sidestepped from his role as company-wide CIO at IBM, looking after $150 billion in pension assets, to a new role as the tech giant’s chief analytics officer. He spoke to Top1000Funds about the strategy he ran at the pension fund, his wider thoughts on the global economy and the impact of technology on the investment world.
Sustainability
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Sustainability

PRI announces awards shortlist

The PRI will announce the winners of its inaugural awards at the PRI in Person in Paris in September. The awards are one of two new initiatives aimed at showcasing leadership and increasing accountability as part of its Blueprint for responsible investment.
Sustainability

Investors’ role in sustainable food

Rising consumer awareness of health and environmental concerns has coincided with a boom in innovation and technology in the food sector. Investors have an important role to play in encouraging their investee companies to understand the scale of the shift and to adopt a strategy to leverage innovation and new technologies to drive long-term value creation.
Sustainability

A sustainability taxonomy for investors

The EU expert group for sustainable finance has published a taxonomy, or green encyclopedia, that gives guidance to investors looking to finance the transition to an economy in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. PGGM’s Brenda Kramer, who is a member of the EC’s sustainable finance technical expert group, explains how this could be a game changer in the long term.
Sustainability

NY Common allocation review

The $210 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund is considering pushing its return target below 7 per cent as it embarks on a deep dive review of its asset allocation, a practice that comes around every five years.
Asset Classes
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Asset Classes

Are US co. profit margins sustainable?

US companies have some defensible profitability advantages but elevated margin levels may be poised for a reversal of fortune. The tide appears to be turning on some of the secular trends that have supported high US profit margins.
Asset Classes

Rediscovering FI at Nebraska

The $27 billion Nebraska Investment Council is conducting a deep dive into its fixed income portfolio, inviting up to 25 current and potential external managers to pitch their best ideas. The process begins by wiping any preconceived notions around the allocation’s role in the overall portfolio and justifying its place as if from scratch. It ends two years later with the issuing of mandates.
Asset Classes

Size matters: diversity across factors

The size factor has recently come under attack from smart beta providers because its performance has lagged behind other factors. A common recommendation is to remove size from the factor menu, to give more weight to factors with better performance. But due to its low correlation with other factors, size offers substantial diversification benefits.
Asset Classes

SWFs get creative in infrastructure

SWFs are struggling to source deals in infrastructure as the demand is much stronger than the supply, so they are relying on new ways of investing in the asset class, mainly accelerating early-stage investments in renewable technologies, and with novel partnerships and co-investment structures.
FIDUCIARY INVESTORS SYMPOSIUM CAMBRIDGE
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FIS Cambridge '19

What can the past teach us?

Institutional investors' investment strategy should be serving the China middle class and the dislocation from within Asia, according to Stephen Kotkin,Professor of History and International Affairs at Princeton University speaking at the Fiduciary Investors Symposium at Cambridge University. He explored what the geopolitical conflicts of the past can teach us about the future. He looked at some of the key points in history, how China, the European Union and the US have survived, and what it means for the future.
FIS Stanford

FIS Stanford Photo Gallery

View photos from the 2018 Fiduciary Investors Symposium, held at Stanford University, United States.
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

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.
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.
Asset Allocation
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Asset Allocation

Caisse Geneva’s approach to risk

The pension fund for the Swiss Canton of Geneva runs a fundamental investment strategy shaped around harvesting the premia. The fund's CIO, Gregoire Haenni, mindful of heightened risk in the equity allocation because of the late cycle.
Asset Allocation

Evolving the City of Austin pension fund

Amanda White sat down for an hour-long fireside chat with David Veal, CIO of the $3 billion City of Austin Employees Retirement System. They discussed private equity, managing strategic relationships, internalisation and adopting Norwegian investment beliefs.
Asset Allocation

Winter is coming

Investors are preparing for the future and the inevitability that 'winter is coming' by reducing exposure to risky assets, the delegates at the RFK Human Rights Compass conference heard.
Asset Allocation

CalPERS prepares for market dislocation

CalPERS' CIO Ben Meng is preparing for a market dislocation by ensuring the $354 billion pension fund has enough dry powder on hand to take advantage of a drawdown. A liquidity management action plan is a top priority for the fund.
Strategy
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Strategy

Risk aversion matters: life-cycle design

A key issue in life-cycle fund design is setting the right ‘glide path’ for switching from growth to defensive assets over time. As it turns out, risk aversion is far more important than pension fund balance. New research raises a note of caution over offering a single, one-size-fits-all life-cycle fund.
Strategy

Tough times greet new CalPERS CIO

Ben Meng isn’t easing into his role. The new CIO of CalPERS faces three new board members, a stressed private equity program and executive turnover, all under the pressure of a 70 per cent funded status and a maturing membership at the $340 billion fund.
Strategy

Value lies where precious data is stored

Organisations across the globe are collecting data, analysing and re-analysing it more and more every day. As this trend continues, data infrastructure – tangible or intangible – becomes increasingly attractive. Canada’s OPTrust cites this reality as the rationale behind the EdgeCore partnership. It thinks data is its own asset class.
Strategy

Asset owners’ climate-change advice

A new guide, Climate Change for Asset Owners, provides case studies and other practical advice for how to get investor organisations focused on climate change, how to craft a related investment strategy and how to implement it. The publication includes content from 10 asset owners.