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Front-to-back outsourcing transforms funds management

The major asset servicing firms are widening their field of vision and have, for the most part, become front-to-back-office providers, as middle-office outsourcing becomes ubiquitous for big investors and managers. It is a development which has taken place concurrently with tightening revenue streams among asset managers, which are often under the same ownership umbrella as…

Greg Bright | 26th Feb 2021 | More
Surge in manager searches as COVID lingers

Super funds and other asset owners are adapting to the lingering impact of the pandemic through a big jump in manager searches, according to the latest quarterly report from bfinance. The global fund search and advisory firm has reported a 34 per cent increase in the number of searches in 2020 compared with 2019, with…

Greg Bright | 26th Feb 2021 | More
  • The state of the pension fund world

    The world’s major pension systems enjoyed their strongest year, last year, for growth compared to GDP, since 1998. The bad news, of course, is that the average 11.2 per cent rise for many countries this helped by stalling or falling GDP. The annual ‘Global Pension Assets Study, 2021’ from the Thinking Ahead Institute based in…

    Greg Bright | 19th Feb 2021 | More
    Passive police: why US index-trackers need oversight

    Index providers should face the same regulatory hurdles as investment managers, a new US legal paper argues. In the US, plain-vanilla indexers are regarded as information ‘publishers’. The University of Virginia School of Law (UVS) report says most index providers are de facto ‘investment advisers’ – a term under US law that includes fund managers…

    David Chaplin | 19th Feb 2021 | More
  • For managers: you can get fired over ESG too

    One in five Australian institutional investors has terminated a fund manager where ESG factors have been a “primary or major factor” in the decision, according to a survey by bfinance, the global research and institutional advisory business. A further 41 per cent of those Australian investors surveyed said that, while not the main reason for…

    Greg Bright | 19th Feb 2021 | More
    … as super ‘overdone’ – Ralston tells SMSF advisers

    The switch in focus to retirement incomes, ahead of the introduction of the Retirement Income Covenant, was evident at the annual SMSF Association conference last week. Deborah Ralston said: “Super has been a bit overdone”. Ralston, one of the panellists on the Government’s Retirement Income Review (RIR), which handed down its report in July 2020,…

    Greg Bright | 18th Feb 2021 | More
    APRA must improve merger process if it wants more

    If APRA wants to continue to encourage super fund mergers the regulator needs to make some changes to how it goes about its approvals process, according to one chief executive who is going through the process of having a successor fund transfer (TFR). Speaking at last weeks’ annual ASFA conference (on February 11), Leeanne Turner,…

    Greg Bright | 12th Feb 2021 | More
    … as Amundi launches ESG ‘improvers’ strategies

    Amundi Asset Management, Europe’s largest fund manager, has launched two strategies to build on its ESG-related offerings, a European equities and US equities fund, both of which focus on companies which are improving their ESG credentials. The three points of differentiation with the new funds are: an exclusion policy covering companies which sit outside the…

    Greg Bright | 10th Feb 2021 | More
    Problems with lifecycle strategies require a rethink

    Lifecycle strategies have some problems. One, is how they compare their performance. Two, is how they explain their asset allocation. And three is whether they really fit APRA’s regulatory definition for a MySuper default fund. Alex Dunnin, the executive director of research at Rainmaker Research, who has been studying lifecycle products for the several years…

    Greg Bright | 9th Feb 2021 | More
  • How Aware Super is managing further growth

    Aware Super is re-thinking its international exposures, particularly relating to China, and how it manages them as it expects they will continue to grow in importance within the $130 billion fund’s overall portfolio. “We haven’t taken any money out [of China] but as a minority investor we just think we should pause at the moment,”…

    Greg Bright | 9th Feb 2021 | More
    Bitcoin: a cautionary tale for institutional investors

    One would expect the inventors of the RAFI index to apply fundamental research to their work. When they turn to something as ephemeral as cryptocurrencies, the results are also entertaining. The Research Affiliates Fundamental Index (RAFI) is the strategy which kick-started the smart-beta trend; the best-known strategy developed by California-based manager Research Affiliates in 2005….

    Greg Bright | 5th Feb 2021 | More
    Why China excites economists, disappoints investors

    While all high-growth markets, such as many emerging markets, tend to disappoint equity market investors over long periods, China is a standout, according to Gerard Minack. The country is ‘the world’s best practice dilutor” of capital, he says. It’s the dilution of share capital, because of China’s allocation of capital through high levels of investment,…

    Greg Bright | 5th Feb 2021 | More
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