As Investors Embrace ESG, Inconsistent Analysis Questioned

As socially responsible investing continues an inexorable march toward the investment mainstream, some institutions are questioning the consistency or uniformity of environmental, social and governance (ESG) analysis, and how this analysis is adopted across investment managers. Some are questioning more deeply, also, the degree to which asset management firms meet certain ESG criteria for themselves …

CalPERS’ New ESG Investment Boss Presents Vision for Program

Beth Richtman, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s (CalPERS) first managing investment director of its sustainable investment program, on July 16, delivered her first presentation to the system’s board of trustees, outlining her vision and initial steps for implementing ESG principles across the pension fund’s portfolio.  She said in the presentation that her overriding vision …

Pension Practitioners Weigh in on Looming Retirement-Income Crisis

Increasing longevity and population aging are global trends that are placing increasing financial strain on social security safety nets as well as employee benefits such as defined benefit (DB) retirement plans. In the U.S., Americans entering retirement are in worse financial shape than the prior generation for the first time since Harry Truman was president, …

Paltry Rates Perplex Life Insurers as Pre-Crisis Debt Matures

Investment executives at U.S. life insurance companies continue to lose sleep over identifying the best reinvestment opportunities for maturing debt in which they invested a decade ago. With interest rates much lower now than before the financial crisis, the challenge for life insurers is to find new investment classes that meet their yield requirements without …

CalSTRS Taps New CFO 

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System has hired Julie Underwood as its chief financial officer. Underwood, who replaces Robin Madsen who retired at the end of March, will start on July 16. Underwood joins CalSTRS from the $9.9 billion San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Association, a multiple-employer defined benefit pension plan, where she had been the …

OCIO Assets on Track to Climb by One-Third in One Year

Total reported outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) assets managed by U.S.-domiciled firms, listed by Tucson, Ariz.-based executive recruitment firm Charles Skorina & Company, have grown 16% in just six months (October 2017 – March 2018) to now total approximately $1.97 trillion. By extrapolation, those assets under management are tracking to grow one-third over a full …

How to Build an All-Season, Real-Assets Portfolio: Practitioners Opine    

Volatile equity markets and inadequate bond yields have driven a spike in investor interest in real assets this year. Investors are building larger and more diversified real-assets allocations, or considering doing so, by adding global and sector exposure, including infrastructure, maritime and international real estate to their real asset mainstay, domestic core real estate. IA …

Alaska’s Comp. Plan: A Fitting Model for Public Fund In-House Asset Management?  

The recent approval of new incentive compensation guidelines for investment and other staff by the board of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (APFC) runs the risk of critical news headlines—a perennial risk faced by publicly funded investing institutions when they move to compensate financial-market professionals on staff competitively.  But so far criticism of the initiative …

AIC Taps New Chairman; Mass PRIT Tops 2018 Public Pension Study

The American Investment Council (AIC) has elected Steve Klinsky as chairman of its board of directors. Klinsky is the founder and chief executive officer of New York-based New Mountain Capital, a growth-oriented private equity firm that manages more than $20 billion of assets. Separately, AIC recently released its 2018 Public Pension Study, with the Massachusetts …