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 The almost 80-year-old foundation, with $1.5 billion in assets under management, was over-diversified and outdated, in Huang’s opinion.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. …

Public Pension Funds Hesitate to Combine Executive Positions

Of late, many U.S. public pension funds have been actively seeking ways to boost the compensation of their chief investment officers (CIO). But most are hesitant to combine the roles of executive director (ED) and CIO, according to investment professionals, because the skills required for each position can be very different. Alaska Dips a Toe …

Seth Magaziner, General Treasurer of R.I., Poster Child for Pension Plan Transparency

This week, IA reporter Kaitlyn Mitchell had an in-depth conversation with Seth Magaziner, the General Treasurer of Rhode Island. A young man at age 35, Magaziner, who is responsible for the administration of $8.3 billion in assets at the Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island (ERSRI), is running for re-election this fall, after making improvements to the …