bfinance Asset-Owner Survey Finds More Complex, Diverse Portfolios; Lower AM fees

Over the last three years, extending a trend that began in the wake of the financial crisis, the average institutional investor has transitioned its investment portfolio to one that is not only more complex and diverse, but which features a greater proportion of illiquid investments, according to the findings of the 2018 Global Asset Owner …

Consultants Grapple with Private Debt Benchmarking

Private credit, a relatively new asset class, offers investors a large multi-asset class that encompasses a variety of niche strategies. Yet, institutional investors and consultants continue to grapple with an important question: how does one benchmark private debt, especially when  trying to measure performance for an opportunity set that is so diverse, both by collateral type …

IA Strategy: CIO of Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations Reimagines Investment Structure  

Wei Huang, chief investment officer of the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations, knew changes had to be made when 15 months ago he took over the fund from Jack Pohl, who had been CIO for nearly 32 years. The almost 80-year-old foundation, with $1.5 billion in assets under management, was over-diversified and outdated, in Huang’s opinion. …

Asset Owners Must Reconsider Business Models to Succeed in the Future: Consultant’s Report

Asset owners looking to succeed in a world of substantial changes in technology, demography, globalization, environment and social norms will need to significantly reposition their business, operating and investment models, according to new research from global advisory broking and solutions company, Willis Towers Watson. In a just-released paper, titled The Asset Owner of Tomorrow, the …

Plan Sponsors’ Downward Pressure on AM Fees May Come at a Cost

The much discussed push by institutional investors to reduce their asset management costs, which has taken hold in earnest since the financial crisis, is now bringing a new question to the fore: will lower fees lead to lower-quality asset management services and to the insolvency of asset managers, some of whom will be forced to …

Inadequate Deal Structures Said to be Slowing Pensions’ Entrée to Impact Investing

Impact investing has piqued the interest of many forward-thinking pension funds, as a way to contribute to positive environmental and social change while also reaping significant returns.  But a lack of appropriately structured and sized investment vehicles may be holding many of them back from doing so. “One reason why impact investing has not drawn more …

Sexual Harassment is Institutions’ Top Emerging Due Diligence Target: IA Survey

Institutional investors surveyed by IA recently on the importance they attach to four ascendant asset-manager engagement due-diligence criteria indicated that they place the most importance on managers’ records on sexual harassment, followed in descending order of importance by their records on environmental, social and governance (ESG), cybersecurity and diversity. In response to a brief thought …

No Place Yet for Cryptocurrency in Institutional Portfolios

Most market practitioners agree that institutional investors, in general, have still not yet warmed up to cryptocurrencies due in part to the lack of regulation governing the new class and volatility in the asset class. Yet, change could be on the horizon. “There are a whole series of specialist investment possibilities that investors could consider, and …

MSBI CIO Mansco Perry Brings Investments Back to the Basics

Reporter Kaitlyn Mitchell recently spoke with Mansco Perry, longtime executive director and chief investment officer (CIO) of the $93.5 billion Minnesota State Board of Investment (MSBI). Perry has had a long career in financial analysis, and has overseen MSBI through excellent returns in his time with the fund—in 2017, the fund had a 15.1% return, …

E&F’s Moving to Make Investments More Impactful

Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) investing is all the rage in the institutional investor community. Increasingly, pension funds, endowments and foundations (E&Fs) and asset managers are demanding that the companies in which they invest start implementing ESG guidelines and policies, from the board level to management and all the way down to supply chain operations. …