Session recordingGlobal risks

Investor fireside chat

How are investors positioning portfolios and managing short and-long term risks in the current environment?

Speakers

Yu (Ben) Meng rejoined CalPERS in January 2019 as chief investment officer (CIO). He oversees an investment office of nearly 400 employees and manages investment portfolios of roughly $400 billion, including the Public Employees’ Retirement Fund and affiliate funds.
Yu, a US citizen born in China, returned to CalPERS after more than three years as the deputy CIO at the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), the largest asset pool in the world with assets under management of over $3 trillion.
Prior to his time at SAFE, he served at CalPERS for seven years with his last role as the investment director of asset allocation. He also was a portfolio manager in fixed income.
Before joining CalPERS in 2008, Yu worked at Barclays Global Investors as a senior portfolio manager, Lehman Brothers as a risk officer, and Morgan Stanley as a fixed-income trader.
He also serves as a member of the Future of Finance Advisory Council (CFA Institute) and is an associate editor for the Journal of Investment Management.
In 2014 Yu was the recipient of the Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Haas School of Business. He holds a master's degree in financial engineering from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and a doctorate in civil engineering from the University of California, Davis.

Ronald Wuijster has been appointed as executive board member of APG Group NV as of March 2018, and has also been a member of the APG AM Management board since February 2010 and CEO APG AM since May 2017.
Wuijster has 30 years of experience in the investment world, including 20 years in executive and managing director roles. He has held a number of top positions at APG since 2006, including managing director strategic portfolio management and chief investment officer.
He is responsible for the asset management portfolio and as such is ultimately responsible for advising on and implementing the investment policy of the pension funds serviced by APG. The APG Group manages €475 billion in pension assets and ensures that over 4.5 million people can be confident that their accrued pension rights are being invested, administered, and paid out correctly.
Before joining APG, he held various managing directorships at Robeco, in the areas of corporate strategy, development, equities, private equity and research, among other positions.
Ronald Wuijster is currently a board member of DUFAS (Dutch Fund and Asset Management Association) and a member of the MSCI Advisory Council (Morgan Stanley Capital International).
Ronald Wuijster studied business economics and law at Erasmus University in Rotterdam and psychology in Leiden. He is married and has three children.

Moderator

Amanda White is responsible for the content across all Conexus Financial’s institutional media and events. In addition to being the editor of Top1000funds.com, she is responsible for directing the global bi-annual Fiduciary Investors Symposium which challenges global investors on investment best practice and aims to place the responsibilities of investors in wider societal, and political contexts. She holds a Bachelor of Economics and a Masters of Art in Journalism and has been an investment journalist for more than 25 years. She is currently a fellow in the Finance Leaders Fellowship at the Aspen Institute. The two-year program seeks to develop the next generation of responsible, community-spirited leaders in the global finance industry.

Key takeaways

Ben

  • Going forward, private equity will represent the best opportunity to exceed our target return. We are exploring unique ways to increase our exposure.
  • We cannot hide from risks if we want to hit the target return.
  • We have invested time in building a balance sheet liquidity management framework
  • Not all uses of liquidity are equal, nor are the sources (in terms of costs or reliability for example).
  • Our pre-emptive planning work around 10 pathways to liquidity on demand helped up keep calm and carry on.
  • We see the greatest opportunity in private markets.

Ronald

  • In the first 8 weeks of the crisis we focused on modelling 3 scenarios – ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’.
  • High inflation rate would be a surprise but a possible scenario (for example price rises in petrol or medicines due to high consumption).
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