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 …

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, …

Colorado’s FPPA Reaps Rewards of Long Investment Governance Revamp

Staff members of the approximately $4.5 billion Fire & Police Pension Association of Colorado (FPPA) are feeling pretty good about themselves currently. Why? In 2009, an informal level of questioning, second-guessing and  hypothesizing among board and staff members regarding the fund’s longstanding, heavily-consultant-driven asset manager hiring process coalesced into formal action to change that process …

E&Fs Eye Volatility as US/Sino Trade War Threat Looms

Endowments and foundations are addressing concerns about how a looming trade war between China and the U.S. could affect their investment strategies. Volatility in the markets, created by the tit-for-tat tariff pronouncements, coming from both President Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping, has many investors on edge, with no clear end to the disputes in sight. …

More Power to the CEO!

Governance Guru Applauds CalPERS’ Move The decision last week by the board of the $350 billion California Public State Retirement System (CalPERS) to change its governance policy to make the CEO solely responsible for hiring, evaluating and, if necessary, terminating the chief investment officer, sits very well with Rick Funston, managing partner at Funston Advisory …

Investors Avoid Options Due to Outdated Mandates, Fear of Market Timing and Perceived Risk

Just 16% of the pension plans and endowments that were interviewed for a recent Greenwich Associates’ survey, How Institutional Investors Use and Think About Exchange-Listed Options, are considering investing in exchange-listed options or increasing their allocation to them, compared with 48% of money managers. “It appears that the use of listed options has come in …

U.S. Investor Delegation Kicks Tires of Africa Infrastructure Opportunities  

Though most of the U.S. institutional investors that were part of a delegation that travelled to Senegal and South Africa in early March invest in emerging or frontier markets (EFM), less than half of the funds invest in Africa, and fewer than one fifth invest in infrastructure there, with their EFM holdings primarily in private …

PE Surveys: Investors, Managers Diverge on Due Diligence; Firms Target Divestment  

Fund managers and asset owners are not totally aligned in their views of what factors about managers are important in a private market due diligence process, according to eVestment’s recently released Private Markets Due Diligence Survey 2018. Meanwhile, EY’s Global Private Equity Divestment Study, released last week, finds that PE firms continue to focus on …

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 …