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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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, …

Political Patter and Investment Srvcs: Benign Banter or Briar Patch!?

Some argue that the political landscape in the U.S.—if not the world—has never been more polarized than since the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President. And according to some senior institutional investment consultants contacted last week, sensitivities and strong feelings one way or the other regarding the Trump administration and its policy agenda are …

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 …