Analysis and opinion

  • Liam Kennnedy
    Opinion Pieces

    Getting ahead of the skill curve

    December 2021 (Magazine)

    Twenty years ago, in December 2001, Denmark’s giant labour market pension fund ATP implemented an interest-rate swap. That doesn’t seem too shocking now as liability-driven investment (LDI) is a mature and well-understood concept that is embedded in pension risk-management and regulatory practice.

  • Carlo
    Opinion Pieces

    No right side to the inflation debate

    December 2021 (Magazine)

    The question of whether the current trend of rising inflation is a transitory or permanent one is not trivial. It is forcing the institutional investor community to reflect on their long-term investment strategies. Investors have to review their current approaches and get ready to make significant changes if their views prove incorrect.

  • Screenshot 2021-11-26 at 15.31.06
    Opinion Pieces

    Notes from the Netherlands: Too eager to index

    December 2021 (Magazine)

    Most Dutch pensioners have been craving indexation ever since the financial crisis in 2008-09. Understandably, patience is running thin, especially now that inflation has reached its highest level since the introduction of the euro. 

  • Liam Kennnedy
    Opinion Pieces

    Engagement, divestment and emerging alternatives

    November 2021 (Magazine)

    Investment analysts make contrasting buy and sell recommendations for individual securities based on identical financial information – down to the last decimal point. The differential is judgement.

  • Joseph Mariathasan
    Opinion Pieces

    Co-investment newcomers need to be selective

    November 2021 (Magazine)

    The US and UK are seeing a diminishing number of companies in the listed markets whilst the private equity (PE) markets are booming. For investors, that raises a number of issues, of which fees are an important one. Private equity fees are much higher than those of listed equity managers. 

  • Luigi Serenelli
    Opinion Pieces

    Notes from Germany: Parties mull pensions

    November 2021 (Magazine)

    It all started with a selfie posted on social media. The leaders of the Green party Annalena Baerbock, candidate to be chancellor, and Robert Habeck posed with the Free Democrats’ Christian Lindner and Volker Wissing to show how serious they were to bridge the divide to form a new government coalition, prior to meeting with the winner of the election, the SDP’s Olaf Scholz. 

  • Liam Kennnedy
    Opinion Pieces

    An alternative pensions future

    October 2021 (Magazine)

    It’s no real news that ageing is changing our society in numerous ways – from simple things like product design (making smart phones for older eyes and fingers to use) to more generationally diverse workplaces.

  • carlo svaluto moreolo
    Opinion Pieces

    Pension funds should seek fee reductions in private markets

    October 2021 (Magazine)

    Pension fund investment in non-listed assets has grown considerably since the 2008 global financial crisis. 

  • Rachel Fixsen
    Opinion Pieces

    Notes on the Nordics: Moves may set up net-zero goal for GPFG

    October 2021 (Magazine)

    Two events have happened in quick succession that increase the chances of Norway instructing its huge sovereign wealth fund to push for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in its investment portfolio. 

  • Venilia
    Opinion Pieces

    Consultants’ education role in net-zero world

    October 2021 (Magazine)

    Investment consultants play a crucial role within the savings and investments arena. They provide strategic advice to asset owners (pension funds, sovereign funds, endowments, insurers, and others) relating to strategy, asset allocation, asset manager selection and – now more importantly than ever – investment beliefs.

  • Joseph Mariathasan
    Features

    Agriculture: Time to rethink farming

    October 2021 (Magazine)

    The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released in August, provides grim reading. According to the summary for policymakers: “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred.”

  • Venilia
    Opinion Pieces

    Norway SWF’s net-zero plans under scrutiny

    September 2021 (Magazine)

    Last month the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund – Government Pension Fund Global – was reprimanded by several industry experts and economists for not having yet joined the United Nations-convened Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance.

  • Liam Kennnedy
    Opinion Pieces

    Policy underpins action

    September 2021 (Magazine)

    Politicians in a variety of different places understandably want to harness the capital of institutional investors. Dutch and UK politicians in particular have made no secret of their desire for local pension funds to invest for domestic ends. 

  • Joseph Mariathasan
    Opinion Pieces

    Opportunities beyond the traditional approach to PE

    September 2021 (Magazine)

    The many thousands of fast-growing small and mid-sized companies globally represent the potential giants of tomorrow, and also provide a fertile hunting ground for those seeking superior investment opportunities. 

  • Joseph Mariathasan
    Features

    Africa’s challenge for Europe

    September 2021 (Magazine)

    “Europe needs to create a new ‘spice route’ through Africa to the markets of Asia”. That was what Martin Schoeller, managing director of the Schoeller Group, a diversified services company with a focus on sustainability, told me in a discussion on the need for greater European investment in Africa. 

  • Susanna Rust
    Opinion Pieces

    ESG: progress but still much road to travel

    July/August 2021 (Magazine)

    Good things are happening in the land of ESG. Aspects of the European Commission’s sustainable finance action plan regulation have certainly been frustrating, but the sustainable finance disclosure regulation (SFDR), for example, does look like it could end up having a beneficial effect, even though there are still problems associated with it and the effect is perhaps not the one that was envisaged for the SFDR.

  • Luigi Serenelli
    Opinion Pieces

    Notes from Switzerland: Work in progress

    July/August 2021 (Magazine)

    History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce: now another referendum result in Switzerland is poised to obstruct changes designed for a long-term impact. 

  • venilia amorim
    Opinion Pieces

    Social risks impact on employer covenant

    July/August 2021 (Magazine)

    The UK’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) recent consultation – Consideration of social risks and opportunities by occupational pension schemes – seeks to assess how trustees understand ‘social’ factors and how they aim to integrate financially material social factors into investment and stewardship activities.

  • Liam Kennnedy
    Opinion Pieces

    Governance must be the embedded solution

    July/August 2021 (Magazine)

    Europe now has approaching two decades of experience with the investment outsourcing that is loosely called fiduciary management, or sometimes outsourced CIO (OCIO), to use the US terminology.

  • Liam Kennnedy
    Opinion Pieces

    The rising tide of corporate governance

    June 2021 (Magazine)

    In the last year, there has been a broad shift in corporate governance focus towards social issues, including human capital management – the ‘S’ of ESG.