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 …

Reports: Pension Funding Up by $23 Billion; Funded Status Flat in June

Milliman, an investment consultant, has released the results of its latest Pension Funding Index, which analyzes the 100 largest U.S. corporate pension plans. In June, these pensions experienced a $23 billion increase in funded status, with the deficit of the Milliman 100 PFI plans falling from $141 billion at the end of May to $118 …

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 …

Consultants Address Key Concerns in Developing a Private Debt Allocation

When its clients are considering investment in private debt, investment consultant Mercer suggests to them broad diversification, both globally and within the type of private debt they are seeking, according to Bill Muysken, the firm’s global chief investment officer for alternatives. Consultants at Aon recommend using private debt to diversify a portfolio heavily weighted in …

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 …