Analysis and opinion

  • Liam Kennnedy
    Opinion Pieces

    Equities to the fore as an inflation hedge

    April 2021 (Magazine)

    At a time when institutions can deploy billions swiftly at the touch of a few buttons, there is increasing focus on deploying capital well. A notable buzzword of late has been ‘resilience’ as pension funds look to downside risks. 

  • susanna sue rust
    Opinion Pieces

    Hopes for coherence in sustainability disclosures regulations

    April 2021 (Magazine)

    It could have been done differently, but, nonetheless, a clear path is emerging as to how EU sustainable finance regulations will become more of a coherent whole. The problem that has been perceived and outlined time and time again by investor groups is that disclosures are being asked of their constituencies – asset managers, pension funds – for which the data is not really available, or only at a significant cost. Tough, some may say, get on with it. 

  • Venilia
    Opinion Pieces

    Green ambitions to drive recovery

    April 2021 (Magazine)

    Last month, Italy announced its first foray into the hot market of green bonds by raising a record €8.5bn (see page 9).

  • Joseph Mariathasan
    Features

    Sustainability: A purpose-driven stock exchange

    April 2021 (Magazine)

    The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have caught the imagination of the investment world. For many in the millennial generation the idea that its investments should fulfil positive social or environmental impacts seems self-evident. Yet many asset managers still struggle to incorporate SDGs into their strategies. Nor do they hesitate to trumpet questionable ESG credentials to investors. 

  • Liam Kennnedy
    Opinion Pieces

    Capital will drive best practice in reporting

    March 2021 (Magazine)

    The European Commission’s review of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD), scheduled for publication shortly, comes at a time of increased scrutiny of both corporates and those who supply them with debt and equity.

  • Daniel
    Opinion Pieces

    Culture wars pose the greatest dangers

    March 2021 (Magazine)

    What areas within the increasingly bitter conflict between China and the West are most likely to hit asset owners?

  • ‘Whatever it takes’ may not be enough
    Opinion Pieces

    ‘Whatever it takes’ may not be enough

    March 2021 (Magazine)

    Italy has another new government; the 67th since 1946. An argument over the management of EU COVID-19 recovery funds led to the appointment of Mario Draghi, the former president of the European Central Bank (ECB), as prime minister. He is after all credited with saving the euro-zone by pledging to do “whatever it takes” during the 2012 debt crisis. 

  • Venilia
    Opinion Pieces

    ‘Urgency’ necessary for adequate provision

    March 2021 (Magazine)

    The IORP II Directive seeks to “improve the way occupational pension funds are governed”, to “enhance information transparency” to pension savers and to “clarify the procedures for carrying out cross-border transfers and activities”, according to EIOPA.

  • Joseph Mariathasan
    Features

    FX Reserves: The ‘rainy day’ has arrived

    March 2021 (Magazine)

    The world is facing a short-term health and economic crisis with COVID-19. In the longer term it is threatened by an existential crisis with global warming caused by burning fossil fuels.

  • Liam Kennnedy
    Opinion Pieces

    Infra must adapt to meet pension goals

    February 2021 (Magazine)

    Looked at collectively, or even individually, the cashflow needs of Europe’s defined benefit (DB) and hybrid pension schemes are huge and potentially challenging given the scale of income generating assets needed to help service them.

  • Daniel Ben-Ami
    Opinion Pieces

    The world is approaching an inflection point

    February 2021 (Magazine)

    Domestic challenges and US political developments have proved such a preoccupation recently that it has been all too easy to miss a key global shift. China’s rise to global prominence has accelerated markedly as a result of the past year’s events.

  • Carlo Svaluto Moreolo
    Opinion Pieces

    COVID-19 barely tested the financial system

    February 2021 (Magazine)

    The financial system seems to have coped well with COVID-19. This is despite the repeated recent warnings about a build-up of systemic risk. In turn this has been linked to the abundance of cheap debt and the growth of the asset management industry. 

  • Venilia
    Opinion Pieces

    ‘Close contact’ needed amid pandemic

    February 2021 (Magazine)

    Multiple lockdown restrictions have brought about a simpler way of working for some – remotely from home for most – but for institutional investors it also meant coming up with strategic models that could maintain the quality of asset managers’ due diligence – existing or potential.

  • Joseph Mariathasan
    Features

    The pandemic end-game

    February 2021 (Magazine)

    Overcoming COVID-19 and ensuring no recurrence is proving to be a formidable challenge for the global economy. The worst may still lie ahead. Even health systems in developed markets are creaking at the seams with the second and third waves of the pandemic. More transmissible mutations of the virus are making the task even harder. 

  • Liam Kennnedy
    Opinion Pieces

    Social purpose: the new dimension

    January 2021 (Magazine)

    Investors’ attention turned to human capital issues in 2020 as COVID-19 took hold – including the treatment of staff and other stakeholders, as well as dividend policy and executive pay in cases where companies have received taxpayer support.upport.

  • Daniel Ben-Ami
    Opinion Pieces

    Japan is not that different

    January 2021 (Magazine)

    One of the abiding myths about Japan is that it is different from everywhere else. Not just distinctive in the sense that all countries have peculiarities but uniquely different.

  • carlo svaluto moreolo
    Opinion Pieces

    The real meaning of engagement

    January 2021 (Magazine)

    Empirical evidence suggests that individuals are unengaged with DC pensions. This is demonstrated by the vast majority of DC members remaining in default funds and reluctant to increase contributions.

  • Venilia
    Opinion Pieces

    Uncertain conditions call for a steady course

    January 2021 (Magazine)

    The impact of COVID-19 has made long-term strategies that embrace resilience a high priority for pension funds to ensure there is a smoother ride during turbulent times.

  • Joseph Mariathasan
    Features

    Biodiversity can be measured

    January 2021 (Magazine)

    Last year was clearly the year of the pandemic. Perhaps the connection between zoonotic disease and biodiversity loss may explain why it has also been the year that biodiversity has become a theme of great interest for investors. Yet current environmental, social and governance (ESG) data and metrics do not cover biodiversity adequately. 

  • Liam Kennnedy
    Opinion Pieces

    Resilience: how investors can secure it

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    Back in March 2020 as the extent of the coronavirus in western Europe was becoming clear, Risto Murto, president and CEO of the €49bn Finnish pension insurer Varma, called for the creation of “healthcare buffers” to mitigate the effects of future pandemics.