Struggling, Small R.I. Funds Pursue Strategies to Improve Funding Status

While a number of New England pension funds, which aggregate some $2.5 billion in assets under management across 20 open and 14 closed plans, remain critically underfunded, one fund has turned around its misfortune using conservative investment strategies. Others, such as the 24.2%-funded Central Falls, Rhode Island police and fire pensions, are still in rough …

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 …

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 …

Wilshire Associates Hires Two Executives

Wilshire Associates, an investment consultant firm, has hired Suehyun Kim and Rebekah Chow to the team at Wilshire Funds Management. Kim joins as vice president of Wilshire Associates and portfolio manager at Wilshire Funds Management, based in Santa Monica. She will be responsible for creating multi-asset class and multi-manager investment solutions for financial intermediary clients.  …

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, …

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 …