Three Institutional Investors Share Their Real-Assets Strategies

A majority of 224 institutional clients (58%) surveyed by asset management behemoth BlackRock earlier in the year, for its 2018 Global Real Assets Outlook, said they intend to increase their real-assets allocations this year, following a record fundraising year for the class in 2017. Also, closed-end private real estate funds and unlisted infrastructure funds collectively raised …

Epoch’s New COO Values Left and Right Brain in Seeking Alpha

Philipp Hensler, who last week joined New York City–based equity manager Epoch Investment Partners, as president and chief operating officer, has alpha on his mind—on the left and right side of his brain, to be clinical. Hensler was previously president and CEO of Vontobel Asset Management. Delivering a presentation based on doctoral research he conducted …

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 …

Stamford Police Pension Board Reaps Payoff from Securitized Products

The Stamford Police Pension Board has gradually shifted its $37 million traditional fixed-income allocation to multi-strategy-securitized credit and hedge funds. The move is continuing to pay off.  On a year-to-date basis, through March 31, Stamford pension’s securitized credit exposure was up 8.5%, while its standard fixed income index, the BloombergBarclays US Aggregate Index was down …

Are OCIOs Closing in on Elusive Public Pension Pot of Gold?

Moves by public pension funds this year to entrust outsourced chief investment officers (OCIOs) with discretionary oversight of substantial portions of their portfolios have industry insiders asking: Have OCIOs finally cracked the code to access public pension plan accounts? In particular, news in the summer that the $18.4 billion Illinois State Board of Investment (ISBI) voted to …

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 …

CIOs Passing on Pricey European Infrastructure, In Favor of “New World” Opportunities

Europe has, for some time, been the sweet spot for institutional investors seeking infrastructure exposure, but with so many investors chasing the same deals, supply-demand pressures have depressed returns in the asset class there. As such, some market participants are questioning why more North American institutional investment officers aren’t seeking newer or less-trodden paths to …

Renewable Energy Investments Taking Hold in Institutional Portfolios

Institutional investors are looking for opportunities to invest in renewable energy, and the markets have taken note.  In fact, more than half (54%) of the number of infrastructure deals completed in Q2 2018 were for renewable energy assets, while energy assets and utilities assets each accounted for 11% of all infrastructure deals, according to a …

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 …

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, …