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News

Why investors employ smart beta strategies

The common view is smart beta is used to side step expensive active equity managers or hedge fund managers whose processes are on the surface opaque, but on close investigation turn out to be largely beta like in approach. As investors have gained experience and familiarity they have also learnt about how it offers greater […]
Analysis

Quality factor explained by profitability: Robert Novy-Marx

Among academic classifications, and the subsequent implementation of factor investing, “quality” is one of the newer areas of investigation. Robert Novy-Marx, the Lori and Alan S. Zekelman Professor of Finance at the University of Rochester, is leading the charge on the academic justification of quality as a factor, although he has a “jaded scepticism” about […]
Analysis

How to use smart beta

While smart beta is a much-talked about concept, implementation is slow. Part of the reluctance of investors is the risk of sustained underperformance, but that can be overcome by matching portfolio liquidity requirements with factor cycle duration. Amanda White speaks to Michael Hunstad, head of quantitative equity research, global equity management, at Northern Trust. Sustained […]
Research

The real factor exposures in “smart beta” indexes

Investors relying on nomenclature of smart beta indexes as an accurate reflection of their factor exposures should take a closer look. New research, using a “factor efficiency ratio”, finds that most smart beta indexes are unable to provide desired factor exposures without taking on substantial unintended exposures. Importantly the paper finds that some smart beta […]
Investor Profile

Japan’s GPIF allocates to smart beta

The $1.3 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan will use factor investing, or smart beta, as a third way of implementing equity mandates, alongside active and passive, following a six-month research project conducted by MSCI that investigated how to best implement the growing interest in factor exposures.   The research project conducted by MSCI […]
In Conversation

APG’s Wuijster refines asset management

APG, which manages €314 billion ($480 billion), has always been innovative. Ronald Wuijster earned a reputation as somewhat of a pension rockstar when he introduced the idea of intellectual property rights as an asset class and bought the music rights to a number of high profile musicians from the contemporary to classical. That investment, which […]