Renewable Energy Investments Taking Hold in Institutional Portfolios

Many institutional investors are looking for opportunities to invest in the renewable energy asset class.  That may explain why 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, …

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 …

CalSTRS Taps New CFO 

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System has hired Julie Underwood as its chief financial officer. Underwood, who replaces Robin Madsen who retired at the end of March, will start on July 16. Underwood joins CalSTRS from the $9.9 billion San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Association, a multiple-employer defined benefit pension plan, where she had been the …

Hawaii’s Controversial Options Strategy Looking Good Even after CIO’s Departure

The options strategy implemented by Vijoy Chattergy, the former chief investment officer of the $17 billion Honolulu-based Employees’ Retirement System of the State of Hawaii (HIERS), which targets equity like returns with 2/3 the volatility of equities over a full market cycle, is still performing well, even after his departure. “Today the strategy remains fully collateralized, and …

OCIO Assets on Track to Climb by One-Third in One Year

Total reported outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) assets managed by U.S.-domiciled firms, listed by Tucson, Ariz.-based executive recruitment firm Charles Skorina & Company, have grown 16% in just six months (October 2017 – March 2018) to now total approximately $1.97 trillion. By extrapolation, those assets under management are tracking to grow one-third over a full …

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 …

Illinois U. System to Replicate $5 Bn in Equities with Exchange-listed Options  

The Champaign, Illinois–based State Universities Retirement System of Illinois (SURS), with approximately $20 billion in assets under management (AUM), is using an exchange-listed options strategy to hedge what some observers perceive as a U.S. equities market on the cusp of a painful tumble, in order to beat the market. “Some option strategies can trail. But …

Alaska’s Comp. Plan: A Fitting Model for Public Fund In-House Asset Management?  

The recent approval of new incentive compensation guidelines for investment and other staff by the board of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (APFC) runs the risk of critical news headlines—a perennial risk faced by publicly funded investing institutions when they move to compensate financial-market professionals on staff competitively.  But so far criticism of the initiative …