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 …

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 …

Canada Leads the ETF Charge

Canadian institutions are at the forefront of a growing move by institutions worldwide to integrate exchange-traded funds (ETFs) into their portfolios, according to the 2017 Canadian Exchange-Traded Funds Study, recently released by Greenwich Associates. In fact, the 52 Canadian institutions that participated in the study currently allocate an average 18.8% of their total assets to …

Amid Rising Interest Rates, Investors See Liquidity Benefit in Fixed-Income ETFs

Institutional investors are moving in increasing numbers into fixed-income exchange-traded funds (ETFs), according to a recently released Greenwich Associates study, ETFs: Valuable Versatility in a Newly Volatile Market. The heightened demand for these products is derived from insufficient liquidity in the fixed-income market as well as institutional portfolios adjusting to an environment of rising interest rates, …

Colorado’s FPPA Reaps Rewards of Long Investment Governance Revamp

Staff members of the approximately $4.5 billion Fire & Police Pension Association of Colorado (FPPA) are feeling pretty good about themselves currently. Why? In 2009, an informal level of questioning, second-guessing and  hypothesizing among board and staff members regarding the fund’s longstanding, heavily-consultant-driven asset manager hiring process coalesced into formal action to change that process …

Investors Avoid Options Due to Outdated Mandates, Fear of Market Timing and Perceived Risk

Just 16% of the pension plans and endowments that were interviewed for a recent Greenwich Associates’ survey, How Institutional Investors Use and Think About Exchange-Listed Options, are considering investing in exchange-listed options or increasing their allocation to them, compared with 48% of money managers. “It appears that the use of listed options has come in …

Is Risk Parity Ready For Rocky, Roiled Market?

Risk-parity investing, which ballooned in popularity in the aftermath of the financial crisis, may be entering the latest test of its efficacy.  According to some investment market practitioners, peculiar market dynamics have raised questions about the performance potential of the strategy, for this year at least. “Risk parity has enjoyed an unusually good environment for …

MOSERS Board to New Consultant: “Show Me”

The Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System (MOSERS) has hired Verus Investments as a Board Investment Consultant (BIC) to provide investment advisory and oversight services directly to its Board of Trustees. MOSERS has asked the BIC to present a proposed asset allocation/policy portfolio to the fund’s investment committee, which the fund says Verus has done. According …