Briefings

  • Costs of asset management for UK DB schemes
    Features

    Briefing: New benchmark to reduce cost of FX transactions

    July/August 2021 (Magazine)

    Among the areas of focus for a pension fund looking to cut costs are the fees charged by its asset managers, usually as an annual percentage of assets under management, plus costs for other services. As part of a cost-cutting exercise, however, foreign exchange (FX) is often neglected. But as funds increasingly invest outside their home country, FX transactions are acquiring more significance because of the need to hedge foreign currency fluctuations. And these deals can carry hidden costs.

  • Dan Aylott, Cambridge Associates
    Features

    Briefing - Growth private equity: From margin to multiple

    July/August 2021 (Magazine)

    Private equity may have a reputation for buying cheap, levering up and selling high. But with a record $30bn (€25bn) sitting in European growth vehicles, true business growth is expected to play a greater role in coming years.

  • Total energy supply in the IEA’s new net-zero by 2050 scenario
    Features

    Briefing - Energy: IEA sets net-zero target

    July/August 2021 (Magazine)

     The energy sector is the source of about three-quarters of greenhouse gas emissions at present and yet until only recently, the influential International Energy Agency (IEA), an inter-governmental group, had not produced a fully-fledged aligned pathway with the goal of limiting the rise in global temperatures to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

  • Fornasari_Francesca_C1-Hires
    Features

    Briefing: Central bank digital currencies take shape

    July/August 2021 (Magazine)

    Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), also sometimes called govcoins, have suddenly become a subject of public discussion. Until recently the topic was mainly the preserve of a coterie of technical experts working for central banks and niche technology firms. But now there seems to be immense excitement about their potential to transform finance. There are even some who suggest the new technology could allow the renminbi to overtake the dollar as the world’s leading cross-border currency.

  • Justin Chapman
    Features

    Briefing: Bonds on the blockchain

    July/August 2021 (Magazine)

    Bitcoin’s wild ride has been hard to ignore this past year. However, it has mainly attracted its stalwart audience of retail investors, family offices and hedge funds. Institutional investors mostly sat on the sidelines, although interest has been piqued. Digital assets, most notably bonds and not cryptocurrencies, are likely to garner the inflows owing to the comfort of regulation and established market infrastructure. 

  • Features

    Briefing: Credit-risk niche gains interest

    June 2021 (Magazine)

    In a world of prolonged low interest rates, institutional investors are scouring different pockets of the investment landscape to generate additional returns. One area is capital regulatory transactions, which are far from new but are being put under the microscope for their potential as part of an alternative credit portfolio. However, these transactions can be more complex than other alternative credit asset classes and require specialist expertise, skills and understanding.

  • Jason Pang N663704_c
    Features

    Briefing: China bonding with the world

    June 2021 (Magazine)

    It is tantalising to imagine the concept – that the standard global fixed-income portfolio, which has stood the test of time for so long, may be about to unravel. The standard bearers – US Treasuries, the UK Gilts, German Bunds and Japanese government bonds (JGBs) – may soon have to share the stage with a brash newcomer: Chinese government bonds (CGBs).

  • Chris Redmond
    Features

    Active management: More than just a stopped clock

    May 2021 (Magazine)

    When most active managers underperform, how can investors identify the few who are likely to consistently outperform?

  • Global green momentum boosts prospect of a mining super cycle
    Features

    Net-zero opportunities: Global green momentum boosts prospect of a mining super cycle

    May 2021 (Magazine)

    The Covid-19 pandemic has given everyone pause for thought. It has also been a catalyst for action. For some, global warming seemed like a nebulous, distant concern. But the fragility of life on earth has been laid bare.

  • Peter at APG.
    Features

    Inflation strategy: Conditions look ripe for a new commodities supercycle

    April 2021 (Magazine)

    The media briefly got excited when the followers of Reddit – a social news website often used by political activists – ineffectually attempted to ramp up silver prices in February. But news about commodity prices other than oil and gold rarely make headlines. For most institutional investors, commodities are a Cinderella asset class. A fleeting moment in fashion before the 2008 global financial crisis (GFC) has been superseded by widespread indifference. 

  • Michael Cembalest
    Features

    Selectivity is key in SPAC market

    April 2021 (Magazine)

    The vogue for special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) has something in common with many other fashions, whether in investment or in the shops. Just when you think the trend cannot get even hotter, the temperature rises yet further. 

  • pexels photo
    Features

    Long term assets: Proposed vehicle aims to help DC funds access private asset classes

    April 2021 (Magazine)

    The UK’s chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has set an ambitious timetable for the launch of a new UK-authorised fund vehicle, the Long-Term Asset Fund (LTAF), by the end of 2021. The LTAF is envisaged to simultaneously help achieve several policy goals by directing pension savings into alternative investments.

  • Cora Jungbluth
    Features

    China: Caught in the crossfire

    March 2021 (Magazine)

    The investment world is at risk of being caught in the midst of a ‘geoeconomic’ conflict between the world’s main economic blocs

  • Features

    Rising interest in EM debt

    March 2021 (Magazine)

    The weak dollar and low US interest rates are pushing governments and companies in emerging markets (EMs) to issue growing volumes of dollar-denominated debt.

  • Spiking interest rates
    Features

    Hedge funds: Coping with low interest rates

    March 2021 (Magazine)

    Historical analysis suggests portfolios of certain quant hedge fund strategies may offset some of the risk of rising interest rates

  • Active tends to underperform on average
    Features

    Briefing: Active ways to prosper in EMs

    February 2021 (Magazine)

    On the battlefield on which active managers fought their passive enemies for investors’ custom, there was one patch of higher ground that seemed easier to defend – emerging market equities.

  • Impact of MiFID II
    Features

    Briefing: The sum of all fears

    February 2021 (Magazine)

    Three years on from the onset of MiFID II, market participants, governments and regulators are assessing its outcomes and considering adjustments. 

  • Tide turning for ESG fixed-income
    Features

    Briefing: Tide turning for ESG fixed-income

    February 2021 (Magazine)

    The supply of ESG-aligned bonds is increasingly underpinned by regulatory pressures and client demand for products targeting non-financial objectives. As the investable universe grows, so the number of funds and assets will increasingly find their way towards fixed-income ESG solutions. However, to strike the right balance between financial and non-financial returns investors should look for ESG-authentic leaders with good risk-return capabilities

  • Benchmark Risk - February 2021
    Features

    Qontigo Riskwatch - February 2021

    February 2021 (Magazine)

    * Data as of 31 December 2020.

  • Masayuki Kichikawa
    Features

    Briefing: Japan emerging from its invisible lockdown

    January 2021 (Magazine)

    Japan is all too often portrayed as being different from other countries. Not just distinctive in the obvious sense that every country has its own national peculiarities. Instead, somehow unique in a way that makes it stand out from every other country.