As Investors Embrace ESG, Inconsistent Analysis Questioned

As socially responsible investing continues an inexorable march toward the investment mainstream, some institutions are questioning the consistency or uniformity of environmental, social and governance (ESG) analysis, and how this analysis is adopted across investment managers. Some are questioning more deeply, also, the degree to which asset management firms meet certain ESG criteria for themselves …

SSGA Votes Against Directors at 500 Companies that Won’t Add Women to Board

State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) voted against reinstating board directors of more than 500 companies in the United Kingdom, U.S. and Australia that have no women on their boards and have taken no action to improve board diversity, despite engagement by the asset manager, according to Rakhi Kumar, senior managing director, head of ESG investments …

Stamford Police Pension Board Reaps Payoff from Securitized Products

The Stamford Police Pension Board has gradually shifted its $37 million traditional fixed-income allocation to multi-strategy-securitized credit and hedge funds. The move is continuing to pay off.  On a year-to-date basis, through March 31, Stamford pension’s securitized credit exposure was up 8.5%, while its standard fixed income index, the BloombergBarclays US Aggregate Index was down …

Cambridge Hires Diversity Manager To Boost Women and Minority Manager Offerings

Cambridge Associates has hired Jasmine Richards as senior investment director, manager diversity, based in the firm’s Boston headquarters. Richards joined the consultancy to lead its ongoing initiatives to identify and research institutional investment managers in all public and private asset classes that have diverse owners or leaders, including women and people of color. The goal is to increase …

Are OCIOs Closing in on Elusive Public Pension Pot of Gold?

Moves by public pension funds this year to entrust outsourced chief investment officers (OCIOs) with discretionary oversight of substantial portions of their portfolios have industry insiders asking: Have OCIOs finally cracked the code to access public pension plan accounts? In particular, news in the summer that the $18.4 billion Illinois State Board of Investment (ISBI) voted to …

CalPERS’ New ESG Investment Boss Presents Vision for Program

Beth Richtman, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s (CalPERS) first managing investment director of its sustainable investment program, on July 16, delivered her first presentation to the system’s board of trustees, outlining her vision and initial steps for implementing ESG principles across the pension fund’s portfolio.  She said in the presentation that her overriding vision …

CIOs Passing on Pricey European Infrastructure, In Favor of “New World” Opportunities

Europe has, for some time, been the sweet spot for institutional investors seeking infrastructure exposure, but with so many investors chasing the same deals, supply-demand pressures have depressed returns in the asset class there. As such, some market participants are questioning why more North American institutional investment officers aren’t seeking newer or less-trodden paths to …

Renewable Energy Investments Taking Hold in Institutional Portfolios

Institutional investors are looking for opportunities to invest in renewable energy, and the markets have taken note.  In fact, 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, …