Organisational Design

New CIOs at NZ Super, NYC and CalPERS

NZ Super, New York City’s Bureau of Asset Management and CalPERS have all named new CIOs. Here's what you need to know about them.
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.
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.
Governance

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.
Featured Story

ESG investing 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.
Infrastructure

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.
Featured Story

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.
INVESTOR PROFILE
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Investor Profile

CalPERS’ PE reform uses familiar model

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System decides to stick with a traditional approach to direct investment within its private equity portfolio, planning to use a model that features ‘captive’ general partners that will operate independently but with a clear mandate from the fund for long-term value and benefit to society.
Sustainability
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Sustainability

PRI pushes for just transition

The move to a low-carbon world may leave entire communities stranded if investors don’t incorporate its impact on workers into their climate-change models, the PRI says.
Sustainability

CalSTRS CIO backs long-haul investment

The investment community’s obsession with short-term earnings is detrimental but convincing investors to back the slow, patient money is a tough sell, according to the CIO of one of the largest US pension funds, Chris Ailman, speaking at the annual SASB conference.
Sustainability

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.
Sustainability

Climate disclosure a bumpy road

Implementing the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures is challenging, fortunately some investors are paving the way, a PRI climate conference heard.
Asset Classes
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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.
Asset Classes

Don’t let fear keep Africa off limits

Investment in African infrastructure has the potential to provide favourable returns, along with opportunities to make a big social impact. Study up and look past the headlines, Mercer writes.
Asset Classes

South Dakota takes risk to bottom rung

The $14.2 billion South Dakota retirement system is sitting on cash and T-bills to hedge against equity-type risk seeping into its portfolio. The fund remains opportunistic and won’t rule out fossil fuels.
Asset Classes

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.
FIDUCIARY INVESTORS SYMPOSIUM STANFORD
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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

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.
FIS Stanford

Taiwan epicentre of geopolitical risk

The China-US trade war is the latest development in a tense relationship that threatens to bubble over into war over Taiwan, “incinerating” portfolios, Stephen Kotkin said.
Asset Allocation
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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.
Asset Allocation

UK’s BTPS forges independent identity

Since splitting from its former inhouse manager, Hermes, the £50 billion British Telecom Pension Scheme has set about redefining itself. With a self-reliance borne of technology, the fund has brought portfolios and functions inhouse and started a bigger push into mature infrastructure.
Asset Allocation

FRR won’t add risk, ending trend

The $41 billion French pension reserve fund had upped the return-seeking proportion of its portfolio every year since 2010 but inflation fears and expensive equities have halted the streak.
Asset Allocation

Hostplus wins with illiquid assets

The $25 billion Australian retirement fund for hospitality workers is able to invest in illiquid assets such as infrastructure due to its young membership. The approach has led to top-ranked returns.
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

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.
Strategy

Private capital opportunities grow

It’s been said the “public market is quickly becoming a holding pen for massive sleepy corporations”. This has investors taking more late-stage stakes in private companies as perceived risks ebb.