Welcome to the FIS Digital – December 2020 content hub

The Fiduciary Investors Symposium December 2020 program specifically looked at the fallout of the US election, the impact on markets and the long-term effects of geopolitical risk.

The program addressed the pertinent issues for investors in navigating a fundamentally changed US, what it means for international trade, the future of globalisation and the growth of the economy. It  also looked at the impact of 2020 on the medium and long-term outlook.

You can view the full program here.

articleAsset allocation

APG’s view on accelerated change

APG's CIO Peter Branner explains how the pandemic has accelerated key trends already underway around digitization, central bank policy and action to combat climate change. It all points to fierce competition for private assets.
articleAsset allocation

OTPP: Prepare for tough times ahead

Canadian pension fund OTPP's chief economist forecasts tough times ahead: COVID spending has papered of the cracks of existing problems; it yields nothing but there are few alternatives to fixed income and inflation is on the way
articleAsset allocation

USS: how to manage inflation risk

USS's head of dynamic asset allocation Bruno Serfaty reflects on the inflation risk coming down the track, and suggests ways investors can build alternative liability matching portfolios beyond government bonds.
articleStakeholder capitalism

Carothers’ view: Democracy in trouble

Celebrated expert and author on democracy Thomas Carothers speaks to Stephen Kotkin on the reasons why democracy is in crisis. The solutions involve meeting the needs of alienated middle classes, strengthening institutions and policies that foster equality rather than enable elite capture, he said.
articleAsset allocation

ESG data not fit for purpose

A cohort of ESG experts argued that the current data and research available for investors is lacking. Elsewhere they urged investors to engage with corporate boards to encourage change.
articleAsset allocation

Investors eye consumer opportunities

Protected by furlough schemes and mortgage holidays and saving money working from home, many consumers have come through the pandemic in better financial health than they were before. It could pose an exciting investment opportunity, say a panel of FIS 2020 Digital experts.
articleAsset allocation

OTPP, SSGA and USS reflect on the future

Three investors reflect on the what lies ahead highlighting a buoyant 2021 but challenges beyond. Their suggestions include allocations to real assets and diversifying out of traditional fixed income as they navigate portfolio construction considerations in a new investment paradigm.
articleGeopolitics

Biden’s focus: Climate, China and Jobs

PGIM's chief economist and head of global macroeconomic research, Nathan Sheets, outlines what Biden's priorities will be and how his key appointees will lead their departments. He also explains why he believes inflation will remain low and that investors will increasingly move into risk assets.
articleGeopolitics

Biden’s headwinds; Trump phenomena fades

Joe Biden has come to the presidency with all the ingredients for success however there are a number of sweeping global trends underway that will continue whoever is in the White House. Professor Stephen Kotkin examines these trends and looks at where there may be geopolitical risk under a Biden presidency.
articleCOVID-19

Atleast 2023 until ‘normal’ returns

It will take at least an additional two years from now to eradicate the COVID-19 health pandemic despite various coronavirus vaccines being rolled out warned health experts at the FIS Digital 2020. Dr Ian Norton, former global head of WHO’s Emergency Medical Team Initiative, said a long road to normal still lies ahead.
articleMacro-economic outlook

NZ Super debates currency risk

NZ Super's recent five-year reference portfolio review saw much debate over currency risk, with the discussion elevating to the board - an unusual situation for the fund whose internal IC usually makes recommendations to the board.
articleGeopolitics

Investors wary of a fragmented world

As geopolitical risks increasingly stalk developed markets, asset owners sifting through the noise for long-term trends believe a fragmented world is here to stay. We spoke to CalSTRS, OPTrust, PFA and USS about the impact on their portfolios.
articleAsset allocation

Is LDI fit for purpose?

An LDI approach, which included a large allocation to bonds and a lot of internal investment management, helped HOOPP survive the GFC and has served it well for the past 13 years. But now – with the COVID crisis and a very low interest rate environment – that approach is being revisited and the fund is looking to invest more in alpha generating assets, and external management.
articleAsset allocation

Students show how to integrate impact

As impact investing gains momentum, the winning entries of a McGill University international investment challenge have shown the pension industry a thing or two about how to holistically tackle a triple mandate that includes impact.
articleAsset allocation

Scenario analysis tool predicts U-shape

A U-shaped recovery is the most likely economic outcome in the US for the next two years, but stagflation has a higher than anticipated chance of occurring according to a new paper about scenario analysis co-authored by State Street and GIC researchers. The study revolutionises scenario analysis by reorienting it towards a path.
articleGeopolitics

Can America be great (again) ?

An erosion in social cohesion, lack of trust in institutions and lack of social mobility have weakened the fabric of society in the US; and it is these issues that are on trial as the country goes to the polls not who wins or loses, according to Stephen Kotkin, the John P Birkelund Professor in History and International Affairs at Princeton University.
Session recordingCOVID-19

The vaccine

This session looks at the development of a vaccine for COVID-19 and what cooperation is needed to fight the virus.
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.
articleStakeholder capitalism

The qualities of successful stewardship

The Investor Mining & Tailings Safety Initiative, chaired by the Church of England Pensions Board and the Swedish Council of Ethics of the AP Funds has won the PRI Stewardship Project of the Year Award. The initiative reveals the qualities of successful stewardship.
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.
articleStakeholder capitalism

Engagement and divestment: a mighty team

The empirical results of academic studies indicate that both engagement and divestment approaches can be effective in achieving desired ESG outcomes. So, far from being mutually exclusive, both engagement and divestment are mutually reinforcing.
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

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.