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Sustainability

Largest investors need governance change

Governance and culture considerations among the largest 100 asset owners need to be improved according to the Willis Towers Watson Thinking Ahead Institute second Asset Owner 100 study. These asset owners account for 35 per cent of total asset owner capital with combined assets of $19 trillion.
Risk

Alaska focuses on risk, cautious outlook

A year ago, the Alaska Permanent Fund appointed its first chief risk and compliance officer, Sebastian Vadakumcherry. With current investment conditions, and a move to a more conservative outlook, the relationship between Vadakumcherry and CIO, Marcus Frampton is proving its worth. We look at the fund’s approach to risk, its outlook for capital markets, and how data will give it an edge.
Featured Story

Global critique calls for Aussie reform

A global working group of pension experts critiqued the Australian system at the recent ICPM meeting in Sydney. They emphasised a desperate need for the system to move from accumulation to retirement income, reduce complexity, focus on retirees (not 40-year olds) and be holistic. After all, they said, the purpose of a pension system is about paying pensions not investment.
Investor Profile

Washington State’s secret sauce

A big contributor to the long-term top decile performance of the Washington State Investment Board has been its high allocation to private markets. But it is not just the high allocation that sets the fund apart from its peers, it’s also the nature of the relationships with its GPs. Amanda White speaks to retiring CIO Gary Bruebaker about the fund's secret sauce.
Asset Allocation

NZ Super reviews reference portfolio

The NZ$43 billion ($27 billion) New Zealand Super Fund is undergoing its five-yearly review of its reference portfolio, an innovative and unique asset allocation reference point that allows the fund to benchmark the performance of its actual portfolio and any value added through active management.
Investor Profile

Wisconsin’s data solution

David Villa, CIO of the $110 billion State of Wisconsin Investment Board is worried about the outlook for returns. As a result he’s significantly underweight sovereign bonds in favour of cash. But he’s also positioning the organisation to do better analytics for more complicated portfolios, another result of a low return environment. The fund is working on at least five data and technology projects and has hired a chief technology and operations officer.
Equities

Strategic factor investing

Institutional investors should consider factor investing as a strategic decision, according to a new paper from Dirk Broeders at Maastricht University and Kristy Jansen from Tilburg University.
Asset Allocation

CalPERS benefits from income allocation

CalPERS traded $55 billion in fixed income securites last financial year as it implemented its new internal structure apportioning fixed income assets across three groups: treasuries, spread and high yield. The asset class returned 9.6 per cent for the year.
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