Prudent PE Investors Itching to Jump on Better Pricing

The news that private equity investment in the U.S. fell by almost 50% to $41 billion in the second quarter, compared to investments totaling $80 billion in Q2 2017, may have startled some market observers, who had watched the segment hit record heights in 2017. But keen observers remain unfazed, confident that investors will soon be …

Investors are Missing Out on EM Infrastructure

There are many reasons North American investors are taking a pass on buying emerging market infrastructure: compliance, due diligence, unfamiliarity with those markets, to name three. But is their caution warranted, or are attractive opportunities being missed?  Kamal Suppal, chief investment auditor at Emerging Markets Alternatives, an investment auditor, and former senior research consultant at …

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 …

Struggling, Small R.I. Funds Pursue Strategies to Improve Funding Status

While a number of New England pension funds, which aggregate some $2.5 billion in assets under management across 20 open and 14 closed plans, remain critically underfunded, one fund has turned around its misfortune using conservative investment strategies. Others, such as the 24.2%-funded Central Falls, Rhode Island police and fire pensions, are still in rough …

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 …

SSGA Votes Against Directors at 500 Companies that Won’t Add Women to Board

State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) voted against reinstating board directors of more than 500 companies in the United Kingdom, U.S. and Australia that have no women on their boards and have taken no action to improve board diversity, despite engagement by the asset manager, according to Rakhi Kumar, senior managing director, head of ESG investments …

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 …

Wilshire Associates Hires Two Executives

Wilshire Associates, an investment consultant firm, has hired Suehyun Kim and Rebekah Chow to the team at Wilshire Funds Management. Kim joins as vice president of Wilshire Associates and portfolio manager at Wilshire Funds Management, based in Santa Monica. She will be responsible for creating multi-asset class and multi-manager investment solutions for financial intermediary clients.  …

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 …