Fiduciary investor think tank – delegate profile

Three finance professors from Stanford University presented their latest papers on active management, private equity and financial regulation, which were debated and work-shopped by US institutional investors in a one-day investment think tank. Chief investment officers from US public and corporate pension funds, endowments and foundations convened at Menlo Park, the home of Stanford University,... Read more »

2013 Nobel Prize in economics split three ways

There is no way to predict whether the price of stocks and bonds will go up or down over the next few days or weeks. However, it is quite possible to foresee the broad course of the prices of these assets over longer time periods, such as the next three-to-five years. These findings, which may... Read more »

Stress scenarios for 
Japanese bond yields

Oleg Ruban at MSCI finds that the stories behind yield rises in Japanese government bonds matter greatly. They influence the correlation between Japanese equities and government bonds, which is crucial in determining the size and direction of the impact of these scenarios on representative portfolios in different geographical segments and asset classes. Why does this... Read more »

Union take on Walmart divestment

The following article is a letter from United Food and Commercial Workers’ John Marshall in response to our recent article, Walmart takes divestment blows to the body.   I read with interest the excellent article on the Swedish AP funds’ recent divestment from Walmart based on concerns about the company’s systematic abuses of workers’ rights in the... Read more »

Push the reset button at PRI in Person

At the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment conference Cape Town on October 1, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation Sharan Burrow delivered a speech entitled Push the Reset Button – a Line Between Speculation and Investment. She discussed the stability of the global economy, the necessity for investors to shift to long-term... Read more »

New way for Norway’s investments

The Norwegian government should establish a new fund, the Government Pension Fund – Growth, to invest in developing countries, resulting in the dual benefits of jobs creation and investment returns for the fund, recommends a report by Re-define, commissioned by Norwegian Church Aid. The NCA, which is a member of the humanitarian alliance, Act Alliance,... Read more »

Pension issues with Chinese characteristics

This policy memorandum from the Paulson Institute describes the current state of the Chinese pension system and offers some suggestions to address a range of issues. The author, veteran academic and policy wonk Robert Pozen, discusses the key challenges facing the Chinese pension system, examines the causes of each of these challenges and puts forward... Read more »

Deconstructing risk parity portfolios

In this paper MSCI applies its framework for defining macroeconomic risk to strategic asset allocation, labelling assets as either risk premium or risk hedging. It applies the analysis to arisk-parity portfolio, showing how its relatively high exposure to inflation shocks makes it a risk premium portfolio.   To access the paper click here    

Investment consultants: the heart of systemic failure?

In this engaging Edmond J Safra Research Lab Working Paper, Investment consultants and institutional corruption, lawyer Jay Youngdahl looks candidly at investment consultants in the United States. Describing them as gatekeepers between institutional investors and the peddlers of financial products, the author identifies ethically dodgy and widespread practices, and suggests they are at the heart... Read more »

Managing Japan’s public pension reserve

Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) has $1.4 trillion in assets and is the world’s largest pension fund. The institutional structure and the investment style of GPIF differ from those of other public pension reserve funds. This article describes how GPIF is structured and how it works,then compares it with Canadian and American public pension... Read more »

Public pension governance and asset allocation

This paper from Matt Dobra and Bruce Lubich, of the Methodist University in North Carolina and the University of Maryland University College, respectively, analyses the relationship between governance, asset allocation, and risk among state and local government-operated pension systems in the United States of America. It is argued that governance influences investment decisions and risk profiles of public... Read more »