INVESTOR PROFILE

A strategy to believe in

Nevada’s public pension plan only pays 11 bps in total costs due to 80 per cent of the fund being indexed. But CIO Steve Edmundson says low fees are a byproduct, not the reason for the strategy.
ANALYSIS

CalPERS ups transparency

CalPERS has expanded its tracking of strategic metrics in its ongoing review of performance, which could lead to some tough queries making their way into online recordings of board sessions.
ANALYSIS

CalPERS mulls leverage

The board of the United States’ largest pension fund calls in the experts as it considers applying leverage in its portfolio, part of efforts to improve a 68 per cent liability-funding ratio.
ANALYSIS

Equity risk premium appears intact

The equity risk premium will reflect long-term averages, based in part on a Financial Analysts Journal article that shows buybacks are now top drivers of equity returns, replacing dividends.
ANALYSIS

Return targets head downward

The challenging market environment is putting pressure on pension funds. In response, many are lowering return targets, rather than taking on more risk or requesting larger contributions.
INVESTOR PROFILE

QSuper’s value beyond a balance

With the transition from a closed fund to one that anyone can join, QSuper chair Karl Morris discusses how the delivery of financial advice will have the biggest impact on the lives of members
FIS HARVARD

Concerns over private equity leave pension funds wary

Institutional investors are clearly attracted to private equity, but remain wary of the sector for its perceived lack of transparency and ability to be measured, high fees and a sense that they cannot invest into the sector as truly equal partners. “It’s clear that now is a time with a lot of flux in private... Read more »
FIS HARVARD

All aboard the change express as Railpen leaves the station

At the end of a corporate review process that lasted eight months, involved 23 meetings of a steering committee and produced 60 working papers, the UK railways pension fund Railpen was left with 422 action items. “We’ve done 224 of them,” Chris Hitchen, Railpen chief executive, told the Fiduciary Investors Symposium (FIS) at Harvard University.... Read more »
FIS HARVARD

Using a ‘foreign language shield’ to improve investment decision making

Introducing a “foreign language shield” into a decision-making process is a proven way of making better decisions, according to Cass Sunstein, the Robert Walmsey University Professor at Harvard Law School. Sunstein, a former administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), told the Fiduciary Investors Symposium (FIS) at Harvard University that... Read more »
FIS HARVARD

ESG factors take centre stage in the evolving world of the fiduciary

The modern responsibilities of the fiduciary investor extend beyond what are perceived as the “mainstream” investment issues to those related to environment, society and governance (ESG) factors. But there is a growing understanding among fiduciaries that ESG considerations are now equally important in discharging their obligations. David Wood, adjunct lecturer in public policy and director of the Initiative for Responsible... Read more »
ANALYSIS

The biggest risk for investors is misunderstanding uncertainty

As the focus of retirees shifts ever-further towards objectives-based outcomes, those entrusted with achieving those objectives will have to rethink a traditional approach to managing money involving risk and return trade-offs. Speaking at the Fiduciary Investors Symposium (FIS) at Harvard University, Abdallah Nauphal, chief executive and chief investment officer of Insight Investment, a BNY Mellon... Read more »
FIS HARVARD

Good for Harvard, good for the world: Why HMC embraced ESG with a passion

Harvard Management Corporation (HMC) signed up to the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) less than a year ago, but the company that manages the $36 billion Harvard University endowment is already moving rapidly to build environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into every investment decision it makes. Jane Mendillo, president and chief executive of... Read more »