One of our defining characteristics, and main objectives, at Top1000funds.com, is to provide behind-the-scenes insight into the strategy and implementation of the world’s largest investors. In 2022 we introduced some new projects aimed at providing a deeper understanding of best practice and driving the industry to produce better outcomes for stakeholders.
We now have readers at asset owners from 95 countries, with combined assets of $48 trillion, and we are also pleased to say that our readers are spending more time on our site and there are more people visiting, so thank you to all our interview subjects, readers and supporters over the last year. Below is a look at the most popular stories of 2022.
This year we launched the Asset Owner Directory which is an interactive tool to give readers an insight into the world of global asset owners. It includes key information for the largest asset owners around the world such as key personnel, asset allocation and performance. (All the information collected is from publicly available sources and is accurate as per the fund’s most recent annual report.)
Importantly, for context and depth, the Asset Owner Directory also includes an archive of all the stories that have been written by Top1000funds.com about these investors over a period of more than 12 years, allowing readers to better understand the strategy, governance and investment decisions of these important asset owners. This new initiative was very well received by the industry and is now the most visited part of our site.
In 2022 we were at last back in person hosting our events for the global investor community. Needless to say all our delegates were thrilled to see each other again. It was actually like a big party. We hosted events at Cambridge University, Chicago Booth University, Harvard University and Maastricht University.
Thankyou to all our speakers, spsonsors and delegates that made those events such a massive success, and we truly hope we are doing our bit to prompt the industry to shift to best practice behaviours as they take on their big responsibilities of managing other people’s money. We’re going to do it all again next year and kick off our event calendar with the Fiduciary Investors Symposium in Singapore from March 7-9 which we are very excited about.
In February 2021 we launched the Global Pension Transparency Benchmark which is a collaboration between Top1000funds.com and Toronto-based CEM Benchmarking. In that first year we ranked 15 countries on public disclosures of key value generation elements for the five largest pension fund organisations within each country. The overall country benchmark scores look at four factors: governance and organisation; performance; costs; and responsible investing; which are measured by assessing hundreds of underlying components. We focused on transparency because we believe transparency and accountability go hand in hand and lead to better decision making, and ultimately better outcomes.
In 2022 we expanded the GPTB and publicly disclosed the individual scores for 75 of the largest funds in the world. The idea is that by publishing the underlying scores of the funds we will show really what best practice looks like and give the industry and individual funds a North Star to aim for in their quest to improve transparency and ultimately improve outcomes for their stakeholders. We’re very proud of this initiative and grateful to CEM for their partnership.
ESG remained a key focus for institutional investors this year (a reminder that ESG is topic du jour for the industry but Top1000funds.com has been reporting on ESG since 2009). An article by Fiona Reynolds, who was long-time CEO of the PRI, responded to the rising denunciation of ESG investing. She claims that over-thinking, over-regulation and over-standardisation is complicating what is actually a very simple investment philosophy.
We can’t look back at 2022 without acknowledging the pain and disruption caused by the war in Ukraine. Our resident academic, Professor Stephen Kotkin, warned us back in February, before the war had broken out, that it is not the war itself between Russia and Ukraine that investors should be concerned about, but the destabilising effects of Russia’s actions that could impact globalisation and harm the west. The energy and living crisis in Europe is testament to his warning and we hope things can improve very quickly.
As always we thank you for your readership, your loyalty and your continued interest in our media and events. Happy holidays and see you in 2023.