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  • Pascal Blanque
    Features

    Research: Resilience is the new watchword

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    In the first of two articles, Pascal Blanqué and Amin Rajan ask whether the current volatility in asset prices is a buying opportunity or the halfway stage in a prolonged bear market? 

  • Joseph Mariathasan
    Features

    Is sustainability mispriced?

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    Living in the developed world over the past 50 years, life has been stable, even idyllic, for most people. That is certainly compared with their grandparents and previous generations who lived through two world wars and the Spanish flu. But, as COVID-19 has shown so cruelly, there are existential dangers that can lie hidden. These can rip the established world order asunder if not tackled beforehand. 

  • Markowitz is still modern
    Features

    Perspective: Markowitz is still modern

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    Thirty years after he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, Harry Markowitz’s groundbreaking work from the 1950s still powers financial innovation

  • Sir Ronald Cohen
    Features

    Guest viewpoint: Sir Ronald Cohen

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    We are on the threshold of another major shift in institutional portfolios. Impact transparency is changing the rules for both investors and businesses.

  • Lorraine Specketer
    Features

    Briefing: Feast or famine

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    With the end of the COVID-19 pandemic still out of sight, any forecast of the size of economic damage it will inflict has to be viewed with caution. Yet there seems to be a consensus that default rates on leveraged loans will stay elevated throughout 2021 and beyond. 

  • Yale Campus - Success bteeds success
    Features

    US endowments: Success breeds success

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    Perhaps no single group of institutional investors elicits as much fascination and admiration as US university endowments – in particular those of the Ivy League, and among that elite group the Yale and Harvard endowments in particular. 

  • A bumpy ride
    Features

    Fixed Income, Rates, Currencies: Vaccine boosts bullish markets

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    The swings in outcome predictions as the vote counting began in the US election were large. From the realisation that there was no blue wave of Democrat success, to a possible re-election for Donald Trump, to a Joe Biden win but with a Republican Senate, it was tricky to comprehend the investment implications. 

  • Substantial tail of underperforming accumulation choice options
    Features

    Letter from Australia: Reforms not super for default funds

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    A string of government reforms due to come into effect from July 2021 has caught the superannuation sector off-guard.  

  • Mark Dowding
    Features

    Strategically Speaking: BlueBay Asset Management

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    Nowadays, it seems fair to ask asset managers whether they believe they can fulfil their clients’ needs while at the same time doing their bit to fight COVID-19. 

  • Capital market structure
    Features

    Briefing: An unfortunate lack of ambition

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    The second Capital Markets Union (CMU) Action Plan of the EU Commission lacks ambition. This at a time when the EU Commission wants to set an industrial policy for the EU to bolster competitiveness in key sectors. It also comes shortly before the UK’s departure from the EU. Yet a vision of what the EU wants to achieve, by when and how, is missing.

  • Evolution of on and off-balance sheet assets relative to total assets
    Features

    Ahead of the curve: Grasping intangible assets

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    Even the name hints at the challenge: intangible assets are hard to value. Recently, investors have looked to these assets to explain a decade of underperformance by value stocks. But new research suggests no tangible performance benefit from adjusting for intangibles.

  • Raj Thamotheram
    Features

    Long term matters: A time to be hopeful and active?

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    Jaap van Dam, principal director of investment strategy at PGGM, is right: pension funds need to understand politics. We have two additions. First, the ‘outside-in’ focus – how politics affects portfolios – is a great starting point. But investors cannot stop there, they have considerable influence on politics whether for good or bad. 

  • Lynda Whitney
    Features

    Accounting Matters: Accounting for the Wedge

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    The reason why defined benefit (DB) scheme sponsors account for inflation is because International Accounting Standard 19, Employee Benefits, tells them that if they make a benefit promise that is linked to price increases, the effect of that commitment has to be accounted for. The starting point for what by any standards is a gargantuan actuarial task is to look at yields on inflation-linked bonds. 

  • Benchmark Risk - December 2020
    Features

    Qontigo Riskwatch - December 2020

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    * Data as of 30 October 2020.

  • Trade flow ratio - developed markets December 2020
    Features

    Virtu Global Tradewatch - December 2020

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    October 2020 data as of 12 November 2020

  • Net sentiment equities - December 2020
    Features

    IPE Quest Expectations Indicator - December 2020

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    US COVID-19 case numbers were rising rapidly at the time of writing. Western European figures suggest that the lockdowns are repelling the second wave. Japan’s statistics suggest a third wave is coming. Only an efficient vaccination and a high participation in inoculation programmes can end the threat posed by COVID-19.

  • Jon Pliner
    Features

    Letter from US: COVID-19 places new demands on university endowments

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    COVID-19 has hit a special category of institutional investors in the US hard – college and university endowments. In fact, higher education institutions are facing a decline in revenues because of fewer students enrolling and paying tuition, as well as current students asking for more financial aid. Colleges and universities are withdrawing substantial amounts from their endowments to cover these extra expenses. How is this affecting endowments’ investment strategies? 

  • Joe Biden
    Features

    Biden signal is green for ESG

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    For many, US president-elect Joe Biden spells hope. From an ESG-perspective, there are two main aspects to this phenomenon.

  • Graham Long
    Features

    Perspective: Manager selection in a pandemic

    November 2020 (Magazine)

    The social distancing restrictions imposed to contain COVID-19 have made external asset manager selection more demanding, but investors are adapting

  • Adam Jones
    Features

    Guest Viewpoint: Five reasons to invest in pensions technology

    November 2020 (Magazine)

    The world has changed exponentially in 2020, leading many multinationals to ask valid questions about how they can enhance their global operations.