Welcome to the FIS Digital June 2020 content hub

The Fiduciary Investors Symposium June 2020  program addressred the pertinent issues for investors in navigating a crisis environment. It explored the leadership and investment issues in the short and long term including the changing nature of the global economy, the disruption to portfolio construction, liquidity and risk management issues, and the need to fast-track purpose before profit.

articleCOVID-19

Europe’s response to COVID-19

European real GDP is now projected to contract by 7 per cent in 2020, its biggest decline since World War II, followed by a rebound of 4.7 per cent in 2021. But the recovery’s strength will depend crucially on the course of the pandemic, people’s behavior, and the degree of continued economic policy support. 
articleCOVID-19

COVID-19 hits retirement system adequacy

COVID-19 has exacerbated retirement insecurity and governments need to use this as an opportunity to examine their system inadequacies and make improvements according to David Knox, partner at Mercer and author of the annual Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension index which measures adequacy, sustainability and integrity of 39 retirement systems.
articleCOVID-19

Economic future very precarious: IMF

The global macro-economic future remains precarious amongst huge uncertainties according to the head of the capital markets department at the IMF, Tobias Adrian, who warns of fragilities including the disconnection between the real economy and financial markets, and growing debt, as potential interruption to future growth.
articleMacro-economic outlook

Florida: Opportunities in a crisis

The Florida State Board of Administration has made some strategic moves to take advantage of opportunities in the dislocation, including in private equity, distressed debt and active listed equities.. But CIO, Ash Williams, is concerned about the underlying real economy.
articleStakeholder capitalism

Companies actions at odds with purpose

Being a signatory to the Business Roundtable’s statement of the purpose of a corporation did not bear fruit when it came to a company’s responsiveness to COVID-19 pandemic and inequality issues, a groundbreaking new initiative has revealed.
articleCOVID-19

Asset owners adapt and respond to COVID

The Responsible Asset Allocator Initiative finds that 25 leading public pension and sovereign wealth funds, with assets of $6 trillion, are investing tens of billions of dollars in COVID-19 solutions and in funds to support stricken companies. Here they look at what the leading asset allocators around the world are doing to respond to the pandemic.
articleCOVID-19

Investors outline actions for resilience

Global economic activities will not be back to pre-COVID levels until 2022 according to CPP Investments’ outlook, with the giant Canadian investor expecting the situation to get worse before it gets better.
articleCOVID-19

Five lessons from the COVID-19 crisis

The coronavirus pandemic sparked a surge of volatility across global financial markets. In this paper, MSCI looks at five key lessons for investors from the crisis, including that managing factors was more critical than picking stocks.
articleCOVID-19

COVID-19 impact far from over

New research looking at the impact of COVID-19 under different scenarios – from opening of economies to no vaccine – suggests the economic consequences of COVID-19 under all scenarios is substantial and the ongoing economic adjustment is far from over.
articleCOVID-19

IMCO uses nimbleness to advantage

Meticulous planning for the next market crash, and an eye on liquidity, meant IMCO was well positioned to invest, particularly in credit, when the opportunity arose. The fund continues to use its agility to its advantage and is now looking for opportunities in private markets.
articleCOVID-19

Alternative data as a market predictor

It is critical to analyse how much COVID-19 could impact the US economy and stock markets but most of the traditional factors or economic indicators will lag the market movement. Therefore, alternative datasets other than the financial data show their explanation power to provide insights into the pandemic. This article, by academics at Tsinghua University, University of Illinois and Carnegie Mellon University, looks at the pattern of the market fluctuation from the perspective of alternative data.
articleCOVID-19

Pandemic, recession, economic crisis

COVID-19 has delivered an enormous global shock, leading to steep recessions in many countries. The baseline forecast by the World Bank envisions a 5.2 per cent contraction in global GDP in 2020—the deepest global recession in decades.
articleCOVID-19

Building better retirement systems

The global COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for better risk management tools to handle longevity and ageing. This paper by Wharton's Olivia Mitchell, offers an assessment of the status quo prior the coronavirus; evaluates how retirement systems are faring in the wake of the shock; examines insurance and financial market products that may render retirement systems more resilient for the world’s ageing population; and looks at the potential role for policymakers.
ArticleCOVID-19

Building back better

For the economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis to be durable and resilient, a return to ‘business as usual’ and environmentally destructive investment patterns and activities must be avoided. To avoid this, economic recovery packages should be designed to “build back better”.
articleFIS Digital 2020

Dangers in the next policy response

FIS 2020 Digital delegates heard how the monetary response has successfully managed many elements of the crisis so far. Getting the next phase of the policy response right, particularly navigating fiscal policy, will be more challenging.
articleFIS Digital 2020

Prepare for new Asia-led regionalism

Globalisation will be replaced by a new regionalism with Asia at its heart. Coupled with automation and AI increasingly replacing traditional labour-intensive production, emerging economies with a youth bulge face challenging time ahead, according to Ian Goldin, professor of globalisation and development, Oxford University.
articleCOVID-19

Sustainable and inclusive: recovery

As policymakers consider policy interventions to support the recovery, investors should be engaging policymakers by providing technical expertise and allocating capital to sustainable investments. A new report by PRI presents a series of recommendations for investor policy engagement and indicative proposals for action.
ArticleGeopolitics

Kotkin’s mega trends: Deadends & despair

Political regimes around the world are stuck in a series of dead-ends and despair. Most importantly, the China-US relationship has hit a brick wall as their fundamentally different values and interests clash. Deterrents and robust policy is the only way forward, says Stephen Kotkin, professor in history and international affairs, Princeton University.
ArticleInequality

Duflo says credit ratings punish poor

Nobel prize winner Esther Duflo suggests institutional investors can help alleviate poverty by fostering new supply chains and looking beyond a country's credit rating. She said there is an "unacceptable" level of poverty amongst Africa Americans and Latinos who are keeping the US economy going but dying for it.
ArticleStewardship

Robeco hails the power of stewardship

Global asset manager Robeco has found proactive stewardship triggers important changes in corporate behaviour. Chief executive Gilbert van Hassel urges FIS 2020 Digital delegates to do the same.
articleGlobal risks

Meng talks CalPERS leverage plan

In a fireside chat, CIO of CalPERS Ben Meng talks about how the fund wants to use leverage to push deeper into private assets, while Ronald Wuijster, chief executive officer, APG Asset Management said the policy response has made taking advantage of buying opportunities difficult.
articleSustainability

Purpose set to drive investment

Investors should use stewardship to encourage purposeful companies that provide long-term value by meeting the needs of multiple stakeholders and helping improve society. But what is a purposeful company?
articleChina

China’s growth conundrum: Debt vs GDP

Understanding the two policy making camps in China - one which is concerned about debt and one which is worried about a slowdown in growth - is key to understanding China's position in the global economy, says professor of finance at Peking University, Michael Pettis.
articleChina

Emerging economies: Rich opportunities

Investment opportunities in emerging markets include high yields on local government debt and cheap currencies, while China's Renminbi has proven its resilience and is now considered a safe asset currency according to chief economist at Pictet Asset Management, Patrick Zweifel.
articleGlobal risks

COVID-19 vaccination by year-end: Oxford

The only solution to the problem of COVID-19 is a vaccination. Oxford University's Jenner Institute is one of the organization's racing to provide a vaccine, and it's director Adrian Hill believes the Institute could have cracked it by year-end.
articleGlobal risks

Distressed debt: No repeat of 2008

Founder of SVPGlobal, Victor Khosla tells FIS 2020 delegates that although the opportunities in distressed debt are significant, investors should pick and choose. It's not like 2008.
articleReal Estate

Real estate: The winners and losers

Real estate is one of the asset classes hardest hit by the pandemic. Although FIS 2020 experts warn that some companies may never return to the office, opportunities are already appearing in smaller, regional hubs while listed real estate will recover quicker than private investments.
articlePurposeful companies

Asset management’s new purpose

CEO of Franklin Templeton, Jenny Johnson, said asset managers need to do more, particularly in boosting diversity and inclusion in the underlying companies they own. She said the industry needed to do more to ensure capital is available to black-run and female-run businesses.
articleGlobal risks

MP3 dangerous but necessary

Current fiscal and monetary policies are taking the world down a necessary, but dangerous path, according to co-CIO of Bridgewater Greg Jensen. He told investors asset allocations should focus on diversification, and assets that benefit from fiscal and monetary policy moving together.
articlePolicy

FIS 2020: Global Policy Response

Two ex-central bankers, Randy Kroszner and Lucrezia Reichlin, said that central banks were doing everything they could to ensure markets continue to function. They said inflation was unlikely.