Asset Allocation, Asset Managers, Emerging Managers, Institutional Investors, Uncategorized

Saudi EMI Inclusion Already a Boon to Country-Focused Investors

The announcement at the end of June of the upcoming addition of Saudi Arabia to the MSCI Emerging Market (EM) Index was not only a win for Saudi Arabian companies, but also a win for investors who took advantage of the news to invest in BlackRock’s Saudi Arabia ETF (KSA)—which is up 17% year to date, …

Consultants, Defined Benefit, Pension Funds, Uncategorized

Reports: Pension Funding Up by $23 Billion; Funded Status Flat in June

Milliman, an investment consultant, has released the results of its latest Pension Funding Index, which analyzes the 100 largest U.S. corporate pension plans. In June, these pensions experienced a $23 billion increase in funded status, with the deficit of the Milliman 100 PFI plans falling from $141 billion at the end of May to $118 …

Alternatives, Asset Allocation, Consultants, Defined Benefit, Endowments/Foundations, Institutional Investors, Pension Funds, Uncategorized

Investors Eye Diversification Potential in Asian Private Debt Mart

Interest in Asian private debt is growing. But while there are opportunities to be had, consultants suggest that investors proceed with caution. “We have observed more interest in Asia private credit than in previous years, as investors look to diversify their credit portfolios and gain access to a region which is regarded as having compelling …

Defined Benefit, Institutional Investors, Pension Funds

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 …

Consultants, Defined Benefit

Principal Unveils Retirement Platform to Service Minnows

Principal Financial Group, a Des Moines, Iowa-based investment management firm, service provider of defined benefit (DB) pension plans and defined contribution plans (DC) and an insurance company, with a total of $674 billion in assets under management (AUM), (including over $200 billion in retirement assets) is touting a new platform for retirement plans with assets …

Alternatives, Asset Allocation, Asset Managers, Defined Benefit, Institutional Investors, Pension Funds, Public Funds

Hawaii’s Controversial Options Strategy Looking Good Even after CIO’s Departure

The options strategy implemented by Vijoy Chattergy, the former chief investment officer of the $17 billion Honolulu-based Employees’ Retirement System of the State of Hawaii (HIERS), which targets equity like returns with 2/3 the volatility of equities over a full market cycle, is still performing well, even after his departure. “Today the strategy remains fully collateralized, and …

Asset Managers, Governance, Institutional Investors, OCIO

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 …

Alternatives, Asset Allocation, Consultants, Endowments/Foundations, Pension Funds, Private Equity

Consultants Address Key Concerns in Developing a Private Debt Allocation

When its clients are considering investment in private debt, investment consultant Mercer suggests to them broad diversification, both globally and within the type of private debt they are seeking, according to Bill Muysken, the firm’s global chief investment officer for alternatives. Consultants at Aon recommend using private debt to diversify a portfolio heavily weighted in …

Alternatives, Asset Allocation, Asset Managers, Consultants, Institutional Investors

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 …

Alternatives, Asset Allocation, Defined Benefit, ETF, Institutional Investors, Pension Funds, Public Funds

Illinois U. System to Replicate $5 Bn in Equities with Exchange-listed Options  

The Champaign, Illinois–based State Universities Retirement System of Illinois (SURS), with approximately $20 billion in assets under management (AUM), is using an exchange-listed options strategy to hedge what some observers perceive as a U.S. equities market on the cusp of a painful tumble, in order to beat the market. “Some option strategies can trail. But …