Briefings

  • Patrick Cunningham
    Features

    Briefing: UK fiduciary management

    November 2021 (Magazine)

    In 2019, the UK government introduced reforms to the investment consultancy and fiduciary management sector. That followed a review by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that identified competition problems. 

  • Wilse Graveland
    Features

    Briefing: Dutch fiduciary management

    November 2021 (Magazine)

    A new pensions agreement between the Dutch cabinet and social partners last year requires nearly all Dutch pension funds to switch to a new defined contribution (DC) contract. It includes a lifecycle system and personal pension pots. The idea is to combine collective and individual components in one pension agreement. 

  • Romano Gruber
    Features

    Briefing: Insurance-linked securities

    November 2021 (Magazine)

    Hurricane Ida in late August and early September caused great damage to the southern coast of the US. Fortunately, for people in this area, insurance policies often cover destructions to their properties. Since covering such damage can lead to severe losses for insurance companies, they are keen to reinsure themselves.

  • Peter Fitzgerald
    Features

    Briefing: Is equity duration risk about to step into the limelight?

    October 2021 (Magazine)

    In his memoirs, Sir Laurence Olivier tells how, in 1967, he was suddenly taken ill during a National Theatre production of August Strindberg’s Dance of Death. His understudy stepped into the role for just four nights, but in that short time, “.…walked away with the part of Edgar like a cat with a mouse between its teeth”.  A star was born. Fifty-five years later, Sir Anthony Hopkins, with a career just as stellar as his one-time mentor, was the oldest-ever recipient of an Oscar for best actor.  

  • Paul_Jayasingha_6 - high res
    Features

    Briefing: Private market fees

    October 2021 (Magazine)

    In today’s low-interest-rate and low-return environment, investing in private markets has become a requirement for virtually every institutional investor. Private markets are where investors can obtain the extra returns they need and can no longer earn from listed assets, thanks to the liquidity premium and higher risk/return profile of non-listed assets.  

  • breakdown by industry
    Features

    Briefing: Germany’s Spezialfonds are weathering the crisis well

    October 2021 (Magazine)

    Institutional investors in Germany continue to invest in funds despite the challenging conditions. In the middle of 2021, the volume of Spezialfonds – Germany’s vehicle for professional investors – on the Universal-Investment platform stood at almost €474bn. This represents an increase of 36% over the past 12 months. According to most observers, it has been one of the most exceptional periods in a long time. 

  • John Howchin
    Features

    Briefing: The sustainability missing link

    September 2021 (Magazine)

    Love him or loathe him, no one can doubt that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has a penchant for self-publicity and a talent for disruption in industries from automobiles to space. He has lately taken an interest in the metals and mining sector. In June, he tweeted that he would provide a “giant contract for a long period of time if you mine nickel efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way”.

  • Nitesh Shah
    Features

    Briefing: Why gold is different

    September 2021 (Magazine)

    Why does gold behave so differently from industrial metals and, indeed, most commodities in general? Despite the obvious contrasts – such as its shininess and its use in jewellery – it is not immediately clear why this should be the case. 

  • 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.