So Far, So Good with RE Debt Market: Verus’ Nicolini

John Nicolini, a managing director and senior consultant with Verus, sees no signs that the real estate lending market is declining.  “Lots of capital is still chasing deals from insurance, banks and private capital, he said, adding that “It will likely take a valuation incident to scare debt capital from the markets.” Nicolini, who is …

NJ HF Cut Just Latest Action in Industry’s Value-For-Fees Pursuit

The New Jersey Division of Investment’s decision at the close of May to halve the state’s pension funds’ hedge fund allocation to 3% from 6% to save on asset management fees raised nary an eyebrow, viewed by the industry as just business as usual—just another fund in a long and growing list of institutional asset owners …

CIOs Mix It Up on Myriad Questions, Concerns

What are the interesting trends in 2019? What does the future of private equity investment hold? Where are returns to be found at the close of a bull market?  And where does the search begin for strategies that can provide solid returns while delivering protection across asset classes?  These were just some of the questions …

Consultants Give Nod to Planned SEC Market-Competitiveness Review

Growing concerns about the potentially negative effects of fund manager consolidation, including downward fee pressure and rising technology costs on smaller- and medium-sized fund providers has gotten the Securities and Exchange Commission’s attention; The SEC’s Division of Investment Management now plans a review of the impact of this trend this year that will include an …

The Future of Obligations-Based Investing, Preserving DB Benefit Plans

Panelists at Markets Group’s Sixth Annual Texas Institutional Forum, in Austin, gathered together to tackle the pros and cons of implementing obligation-based or liability-driven investment (LDI) policies at pension funds. The discussion was predicated on the idea that the typically complicated process of administering the investments of a pension plan can be simplified, somewhat, by focusing on a fund’s …

MOSERS Seeks Consultant for Illiquid Alternatives

The $8.5 billion Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System (MOSERS) has issued a request for proposals seeking a specialty consultant for illiquid alternatives. The system’s current allocation to illiquid alternatives is approximately 25% of assets, or about $2 billion, according to MOSERS’ CIO Seth Kelly. MOSERS hired a Board Investment Consultant, Verus, to fill the general …

Pension, E&F Investment Pros Cautiously Optimistic on Hedge Funds

Though just five percent (or 400) of 8,000 hedge funds (HFs) are even considered investable, according to Joe Marenda, a managing director and hedge fund specialist at Cambridge Associates, “the beauty [of hedge funds] is really in the eye of the beholder—based on portfolio need,” he said. Though institutional investors are currently holding their allocations …

Use of Disparate Benchmarks by Public Pensions Muddies Fee Comparisons

There is little uniformity in the use of benchmarks for different asset classes among public pension plans, according to a new report from the Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE) and the Boston College Center for Retirement Research (CRR). Given that pension plans pay their asset managers based on the expectation that they will beat …

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 …