Browsing: Institutional Investing

Institutional Investing

Outsourced assets under management up 18% year-over-year

Oct 18th, 2017 | Filed under: Consultants, Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles Skorina With 76 firms heard from, we’re now reporting $1.62 trillion in full-discretion assets under management by outsourced chief investment officer firms. That’s a year-over-year jump of $292 billion – or 18 percent – since September, 2016. The number of reported RFPs is also rising as institutions seek better returnsRead More


The State of Alternative Investments in Australia and New Zealand 

Oct 8th, 2017 | Filed under: Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

A new Preqin paper presents the state of the alternatives investment industry in Australia and New Zealand. Mark O’Hare, the CEO of Preqin, says in a Foreword that Preqin’s databases track 481 fund managers active in one or the other of those two countries, and 443 “significant institutional investors” TheRead More


Paying the Top Guns of Institutional Investing

Sep 11th, 2017 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, Personalities in AI

By Charles Skorina Last month in Part One of this report we focused on relative performance.  We ranked 107 CIOs by trailing 5-year returns. Now, we focus on how much institutions pay these excellent people. The bare comp numbers lead us to the tricky and perennial question of whether their payRead More


Wide Range of Investors Has Wide Range of Opinions on their Managers

Sep 10th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

Intralinks, in partnership with Global Fund Media, has surveyed the opinions of limited partners: they’ve been asking LPs what they think about their GPs/managers in the alternative investment context. The bottom line of the survey is that LPs are looking in the near future to increase their allocations in alternatives.Read More


Sovereign Wealth Funds: Partners and Capability

Sep 7th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

Sometimes it pays to read footnotes and end matter, because that turns out to be where the story is. Bocconi University’s Sovereign Investment Lab has published its latest annual report on sovereign wealth funds, and this gives us a case in point. The report says that 2016 was far fromRead More


NEPC Surveys E&F Managers About Alternative Investments

Aug 27th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

NEPC, the investment consulting group that caters especially to endowments and foundations, has posted a survey about what such institutions think of marketable alternatives. This broad category “marketable alternatives” includes direct hedge funds, funds of hedge funds, liquid alternatives, and global asset allocation. Eighty-seven percent of the E&F respondents inRead More


Lessons from University Endowments

Jul 23rd, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

In a recent article for The Journal of Investment Consulting, John Mulvey and Margaret Holen look at the practice of asset allocation among large U.S. university endowments. They focus on asset category definitions in the hope of throwing some light on “the movement to define asset categories with reference toRead More


The 100+ Top Guns of Institutional Investing

Jul 12th, 2017 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, Personalities in AI, Who's Who

By Charles Skorina This letter looks at the most recent five-year performance of over one hundred of the world’s best institutional investors. Endowment chief investment officers have an infinite investment horizon, a global playing field, and can invest in anything anywhere – within the broad policy limits set by theirRead More


Do Teachers Pensions Need Trumpian Negotiators?

Jun 20th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Hedge Funds, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has issued a lengthy rebuke to and critique of the fee structure of the alternatives investment industry; in a position paper it calls The Big Squeeze. Should the title be considered obscure, the subtitle is clearer about the paper’s thesis, “How Money Managers’ FeesRead More


Pension Funds’ Portfolio Decisions: The Dutch Data

Jun 11th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

DeNederlandscheBank (DNB) issued a working paper this spring about the impact of liquidity and capital constraints on defined benefit pension plans. The paper has three authors, Dirk Broeders, Kristy Jansen, and Bas Werker. The first named author, Broeders, is the only one formally affiliated with DNB. The others are affiliatedRead More


Leading the charge into OCIO battlespace: 2 Harvardians invent an industry

Jun 7th, 2017 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles Skorina In 1973, two former Harvard roommates and budding entrepreneurs – Jim Bailey and Hunter Lewis – took on an assignment to review the investments held in their school’s endowment. Things were very different back then.  A treasurer of the Harvard Corporation with the wonderfully Bostonian name ofRead More


State Pensions and Complex Investments

May 14th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

A recent report from the PEW charitable trusts discusses the degree to which the pension funds of the states of the United States are increasing their use of “complex investments.” It also speaks to the consequences of this move. The term “complex investments” is used here to describe any departureRead More


SWFs: Growth Slows but Continues

May 4th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

Preqin’s new Sovereign Wealth Fund Review makes the point that total assets under the management of SWFs continue to grow, but the rate of growth is notably slowing. This graph, measuring in US$ trillions, illustrates the growth trend since the financial crisis. Although the space grew by $.76 trillion betweenRead More


What makes a great Chief Investment Officer?

May 1st, 2017 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Family Offices, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles Skorina All professional investors want to make money.  The question is, how and for whom? In the for-profit world of Wall Street asset managers and retail mutual funds, the differences among managers reflect investor appetites, time horizons and risk tolerances.  They must all serve their customers, or theRead More


Longevity Risk Transfer Markets: Limits to Growth

Apr 30th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

It was a fairly routine item about an accomplished executive changing jobs in the asset management industry, but it caught my eye. A March 2017 news item said that Andrew Reid, until recently the head of corporate pension origination at Deutsche Bank, had left that post to work with InsightRead More


Sovereign Wealth Funds: Just Like You and Me?

Apr 2nd, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

Sovereign wealth funds, however invulnerable and leviathan-like they may seem to outsiders, have the same concerns as other institutions in the current environment. On the one hand, bond yields remain at historic lows, with $13 trillion of fixed-income securities now commanding negative interest rates. On the other hand, the globalRead More


Survey Respondents: Market Volatility is the Gravest Threat Just Now

Mar 26th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

Natixis Global Asset Management is out with its annual survey of institutional investors and their views about alternative investors. The survey included institutions around the world and of many distinct classes: corporate and public pension funds, insurance funds, sovereign wealth funds, endowments/foundations, managing amongst them $15.5 trillion. The break-down ofRead More


Foundation CIOs and the American Dream: A Conversation With Carnegie’s Kim Lew

Mar 22nd, 2017 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles Skorina This month we focus on the venerable foundations of New York City and one of their most accomplished investment pros: Kim Y. Lew, chief investment officer of the Carnegie Corporation. We have an in-depth conversation with Ms. Lew on her career in foundation investing and the future of womenRead More


A conversation with UTIMCO’s Bruce Zimmerman

Feb 13th, 2017 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles Skorina Bruce Zimmerman joined UTIMCO as Chief Executive Officer and chief investment officer in June of 2007, six months before the official start of the “great recession” in December 2007 (US National Bureau of Economic Research).But despite a 13% drop in the endowment in UTIMCO’s 2009 fiscal yearRead More


DC Sponsors and PE General Partners: A Good Marriage?

Feb 7th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, Other Issues in Private Investments, Private Investments

The British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, in a new paper, contends that private equity has a valuable part to play in the portfolios of defined contribution schemes, for the simple reason that the PE world offers high returns in an era of low interest rates. To make thatRead More


Texas Turmoil: UTIMCO picks a new path through a political minefield

Jan 30th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles Skorina Endowment returns took a beating last year and the turnover in chief investment officers tells the tale. Among the big names to make an exit in 2016 was Bruce Zimmerman, longtime CEO of The University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO). We wrote about endowment turnover in ourRead More


Pension Institute on the Herding Tendency of Pensions as Investors

Jan 29th, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

A new paper by the Pension Institute looks at the investing behavior of UK defined-benefit plans over the past 25 years, and finds a degree of correlation that should be worrisome to plan sponsors. The sponsors might want to design an improved incentive structure “that can better motivate pension fundsRead More


PGIM:  Not All Alternatives Are Alike

Jan 2nd, 2017 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Asset Allocation Models, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

A new report from PGIM Institutional Advisory looks at an old question: what role should alternative investments play within the portfolio allocation decisions of institutions? The question is especially pressing at the beginning of 2017 because US broad equity indexes have done quite well for years, ever since the marketsRead More


Amy Falls: Meeting Harvard’s plan B

Dec 5th, 2016 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

In late July, Stephen Blyth stepped down as head of Harvard Management Company; then things happened fast. By mid-September, a hire seemed imminent and HMC was said to have winnowed the field down to just two: Narv Narvekar of Columbia and Amy C. Falls of Rockefeller University. Mr. Narvekar, whoRead More


Pension Funds, Hedge Funds, and Allocations

Nov 8th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

A new scholarly paper addresses the puzzle: which institutional investors are best informed? Zhe Chen, of the University of New South Wales, David Forsberg, Macquarie Graduate School of Management, and David R. Gallagher, UNSW Australia Business School,  compare hedge funds, mutual funds, pension funds, and private banking firms to determineRead More


Judge Rose: Libya’s SWF Heads Knew What They Were Doing

Nov 1st, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Legislation/Court rulings, Newly Added, Regulatory Environment, The A.I. Industry

The economic historians of posterity have their work cut out for them here. There are doctoral dissertations in the works already, no doubt. And in time several scholarly careers will hang on this.   Those scholars will have to make sense of the political developments in late-Qaddafi Libya, of the roleRead More


BLEAK HOUSE–OR THE OUTLOOK ON HEDGE FUNDS NOW

Oct 19th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Endowments & Foundations, Family Offices, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Funds, High-net-worth investors, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Investor Relations, Newly Added, Sales & Marketing in the AI Industry

By Diane Harrison Charles Dickens’ Bleak House spins a tale of mystery, intrigue, family dynamics, and irony in the Victorian age that had readers gripped by its indictment of the English court system. While the novel is packed with intricate plot twists and turns, the main story line centers onRead More


Islam, Western Pensions, and Real Assets

Oct 18th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Intellectual Property, Natural Resources and Land, Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Real Assets

A recent academic discussion of the much-vexed question of Islamic finance (including the always at least implicit query, how does it fit into the broader usually non-Islamic global picture?) focuses on the role in Islam of real assets, understood as tangible objects such as land, buildings, machinery, and commodities. TheRead More


Harvard gives Narv the nod

Oct 17th, 2016 | Filed under: Academic Foundations, Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, Personalities in AI, Who's Who

By Charles Skorina As all the world now knows, Harvard has selected Columbia’s Nirmal P. “Narv” Narvekar as the new head of Harvard Management Company. His name had been bandied about as a prime candidate for weeks.  We discussed it ourselves in our Aug. 29 newsletter. Reportedly, a few big-endowment CIOsRead More


The Harvard Management Company to Big to Hail?

Sep 28th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

In asset management, as in other endeavors, size really does matter. Bigger is better.  But growth in AUM drives growth in headcount and complexity; and that can overwhelm existing structures and challenge management. A few weeks ago in “Crunch Time for the Harvard Endowment” we referred to HMC’s hunt for aRead More


Crunch Time for the Harvard Endowment

Aug 14th, 2016 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, Personalities in AI

By Charles Skorina The hunt is underway for a new CEO at the Harvard Management Company.  And chairman Paul Finnegan and his board intend to get it right this time. Counting interims, they’ve now had six CEOs at their shop since Jack Meyer departed in 2005, and mostly mediocre returns to show for it. AfterRead More


The Harvard Management Co.: Time for some creative destruction?

Jul 18th, 2016 | Filed under: Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles Skorina It’s been 10 years now since Jack Meyer stepped down as head of Harvard Management Company, while David Swensen – now in his 31st year – has carried on at the Yale Investment Office. Each endowment has pursued its own distinctive management model: HMC with its “hybrid” internal/external approach,Read More


Welcome to Low-Return World: Will Chief Investment Officers and Trustees be ready?

Jun 22nd, 2016 | Filed under: Infrastructure, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets

By Charles Skorina For executive recruiters like us, that’s a question we’ll have to wrestle with as we present candidates to the boards of institutional asset managers. Two of our investment-management village elders–Bill Gross and Burton Malkiel–say we’re staring down the barrel of a low-return decade.  They’ve been around for aRead More


Canadian Universities and Interest Rate Swaps

Jun 16th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

Two scholars looked recently at the behavior of Canadian universities regarding the management of their interest rate risk. They found something peculiar. The universities are making an increased use of interest-rate swaps, apparently under the impression that they are hedging against risks. But they aren’t. Almost all the swaps enteredRead More


SLAM Wars: The Flow Awakens Ranking Asset-Manager Flows & Profits

Jun 6th, 2016 | Filed under: Asset Managers, Endowments & Foundations, Family Offices, High-net-worth investors, Industry Size & Managers, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles A. Skorina As recruiters we work both sides of the investment-management street: serving for-profit money managers and not-for-profits like foundations and endowments.Fee-based publicly listed asset managers, especially the big ones, are newsworthy because they invest a lot of money for a lot of customers, including non-profits investors.  There’sRead More


Wrangling the Unicorns: Yale celebrates their VC heroes

May 15th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Endowments & Foundations, High-net-worth investors, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, Private Equity, Private Investments, Venture capital

Yale, in their 2015 annual report issued this month has broken out their private equity allocation into two distinct segments: Leveraged Buyouts and Venture Capital.  See: This is the first time in many years they’ve offered that level of detail.  And they’ve given the whole report a VC-and-entrepreneurial theme, supplementing theRead More


Why NYCERS Should Reconsider Exiting All Hedge Funds

Apr 25th, 2016 | Filed under: Hedge Funds, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Donald A. Steinbrugge, CFA I would like to share some thoughts regarding New York City Employees Retirement System (NYCERS) voting to exit all hedge funds. Pension funds should always be managed in the best interest of the plan’s beneficiaries. I believe this blanket decision to eliminate a full setRead More


The Skorina Report: Why You Can’t Clone Yale

Apr 5th, 2016 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles Skorina   Can you copy great endowment investment performance?  The Yale endowment, for example? Reverse-engineering a good performer is probably achievable.  The key attributes can often be identified and, to some extent, duplicated. But can you replicate great performers? That’s a much taller order.  There’s always something slightlyRead More


The Skorina Report: A Conversation with Sam Gallo, CIO, University System of Maryland Foundation

Mar 28th, 2016 | Filed under: Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

By Charles Skorina My friend Sam Gallo has just finished the two-year executive MBA program at the University of Chicago (Chicago Booth School of Business).  He graduates this month with a stellar academic record after commuting every other weekend for two years from D.C. to Chicago while running the MarylandRead More


The Skorina Report: Who are the Best Institutional Investors? It’s Not That Simple

Feb 22nd, 2016 | Filed under: Asset Managers, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

By Charles Skorina There is simply no place like New York for the depth and breadth of exceptional investment professionals. Yet with all this talent, the challenge of building superior investment teams that can endure and outperform over a decade or more is daunting and seldom achieved. Consistent, multi-decade superiorityRead More


Michigan State University Hires its First Chief Investment Officer

Jan 11th, 2016 | Filed under: Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Practitioners, Who's Who

By Charles Skorina   Michigan State University announced the appointment of Philip Zecher as Chief Investment Officer on Friday, December 18th, 2015. Philip Zecher has just been appointed MSU’s first-ever chief investment officer, reporting directly to Dr. Lou Anna K. Simon, MSU’s president. The trustees announced the appointment on Friday and PhilRead More


Institutions Thinking About Interest Rates and Volatility

Dec 15th, 2015 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Benchmarking & Performance Attribution, Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, Performance, Analytics & Metrics

In recent months, even the anticipation of Fed Reserve tightening has been able to send markets into a tizzy. Now the actual tightening is at last upon us. Both Natixis and Reuters surveys speak to the way the buy-side and sell-side see this. Read More


Advice for Pension Funds Who May Have Lost Their Way

Nov 10th, 2015 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

One panelist said that many pension funds have "lost their way and [gone] to asset allocation instead of focusing on their underlying obligations." Read More


SWFs under Pressure: No Panic Selling Yet

Sep 15th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Strategies, Hedge Fund Strategies, Institutional Investing

Sovereigns and their politicians are looking over the shoulders of the managers of their sovereign wealth funds. This is a pain in the neck for the latter, but it may mean opportunity for their counterparties. Read More


Japan: Richardson makes a Tricky Case

Sep 9th, 2015 | Filed under: Currencies, Forex, Indexes, Institutional Investing

The Japanese economy deserves some credit for having pulled itself out of a recent recession, and it is "beginning to show signs of benefiting from a weaker yen" as a BlackRock strategist tells us. But (there is always a "but"). Read More


The Skorina Report: Fearless Forecast Says That Endowment Returns Will Disappoint in FY2015

Sep 3rd, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Seekers, Alpha Strategies, Endowments & Foundations, Hedge Fund Strategies, Institutional Investing, Performance, Analytics & Metrics

Guest columnist Charles Skorina looks at the potential for 2016 endowment returns and finds them to be somewhat lacking... Could alternatives ride to the rescue?Read More


Foundations: They’ve Taken a Blow from “Subdued” Markets

Sep 2nd, 2015 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Fund Strategies, Indexes, Institutional Investing, Liquid Alts, Performance, Analytics & Metrics, Risk management

Both private and community foundations depend heavily on U.S. equities. Indeed, domestic equities remained the bright spot while other strategies underperformed in 2014. A new report from a collaboration of the Council on Foundations and Commonfund provides food for thought about the reversal in foundation returns in that year. TheRead More


When Underfunded Pension Funds Take Up Social Responsibility Investing

Aug 24th, 2015 | Filed under: Institutional Investing, Legislation/Court rulings, Socially responsible investing

In November 2014, Scott Stringer, New York City's Comptroller, launched a campaign he called the Boardroom Accountability Project. Bernard Sharfman makes a case that this BAP is a good example of much that is wrong with institutional/activist investing today. Read More


Hedge Fund Assets to Increase a Quarter Trillion Dollars by Summer of 2016

Aug 19th, 2015 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Fund Strategies, Institutional Investing, Media Coverage of Hedge Funds

Guest columnist Don Steinbrugge on why hedge fund AUM is set for an increase over the course of the next 12 months.Read More


The Skorina Report: Risky Business–Chief Investment Officers and Public Pension Plans

Aug 16th, 2015 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Seekers, Alpha Strategies, Institutional Investing, Risk management

Guest columnist Charles Skorina with a cautionary tale of greed and deceit and less-than-best practices at a large public pension plan.Read More