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Benchmark performance: the real passive winners

Passive funds have built momentum on the win-win premise of low-cost market benchmarked products but a new study confirms the undoubted winners of the seemingly unstoppable trend: indexers. Global index providers saw an aggregate year-on-year revenue increase of almost a quarter in 2021 as demand for passive products, notably exchange-traded funds (ETFs), soared over the…

David Chaplin | 25th May 2022 | More
‘We’re so fragile’: more gloom from permabears

Jeremy Grantham’s “wild rumpus” appears to have well and truly begun. But it might only be the beginning of a gloomy period for markets. Jeremy Grantham, chief investment strategist of GMO and part-time prophet of doom, has been unusually quiet of late. One would expect the severe market dislocation we’ve been experiencing since the start…

Lachlan Maddock | 25th May 2022 | More
  • Turn and face the change: a better future for super?

    The last nine years of government have been characterised by a deep-seated suspicion of the country’s largest investors. But with Labor back in power, the super wars are almost certainly over. Labor’s election victory over the weekend arrives at a curious inflection point for Australia’s profit-to-member super funds. The last time Labor held government, in…

    Lachlan Maddock | 25th May 2022 | More
    Restoring active pride, JANA debunks outperformance prejudice

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that a fund manager in possession of a concentrated portfolio with high active share must necessarily deliver alpha. Or maybe the truth is not so universal, according a new JANA research paper. The JANA study, conducted in partnership with Cabot Investment Technology, refutes common investor prejudices that high active…

    David Chaplin | 20th May 2022 | More
  • Crypto a no-go for instos: PGIM

    Institutions have another reason to resist the siren song of cryptocurrencies, with new research from PGIM refuting many of the arguments in favour of holding the highly volatile asset class. PGIM believes that, beyond hedge exploiting inefficiencies to generate alpha on the other side of FOMO flows, “there is currently no compelling case for direct…

    Lachlan Maddock | 20th May 2022 | More
    Why emerging markets will ride a multi-decade tailwind

    As the emerging markets grow more economically and financially liberal, managers are unlocking a “panoply” of opportunities outside the traditional darlings of the asset class. “We all probably wanted to be the first investor into East Germany when it opened up,” says Marshall Stocker, co-director of emerging markets at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. “We’re trying…

    Lachlan Maddock | 20th May 2022 | More
    Morrison revives super’s wicked problem

    Once a stalking horse for a small cabal of noisy backbenchers, “Home First, Super Second” has found its way into the Coalition’s policy arsenal ahead of an unpredictable election. It was perhaps premature to write, in late March, that the super wars were over. Scott Morrison’s announcement on Sunday that first home buyers would be…

    Lachlan Maddock | 18th May 2022 | More
    ‘Nuance gets ignored’: why exclusion won’t help super on climate

    The emissions intensity of the ASX has some investors with a home country bias looking for an exclusionary approach. But decarbonising Aussie equities isn’t as simple as ditching them. Compared to other indices, the ASX is dirty. A large number of listed companies in pollutive industries like resources and energy means its emissions intensity is…

    Lachlan Maddock | 13th May 2022 | More
    ‘You need to think with a fresh sheet of paper’: super grapples with size

    As the super funds race towards massive size, the sector is still grappling with the positives and negatives for investments and culture. The age of the giga-fund will soon be upon us, coming right on the heels of the age of the mega-fund. But for the industry’s race towards massive size, the benefits of massive…

    Lachlan Maddock | 13th May 2022 | More
  • Global pensions sketchy on net zero

    A survey of 50 global pension funds shows that many are losing hope of achieving their net-zero goals, and the sector is still “in the foothills” of the transition. The report, carried out by CREATE-Research and backed by DWS Group, was based on a telephone survey of 50 large pension plans based in North America,…

    Lachlan Maddock | 13th May 2022 | More
    Best bets at the MAX Awards

    While the media they use have been in a state of constant disruption for at least 25 years, the noble arts of sales and marketing remain steadfast in pursuit their goals. Next month’s MAX Awards will tell us how they are faring. The 28th annual Rainmaker ‘Financial Standard’ awards for marketing and sales excellence (MAX)…

    Greg Bright | 11th May 2022 | More
    SMIDs pierce the gap in mega-cap armour

    There’s not much growth ahead of the large-caps that have dominated indices for the last decade, and long-suffering small- and mid-caps (SMIDs) present an obvious answer for returns. SMIDs have cumulatively outperformed large caps to the tune of some 200 per cent over the last 20 years. The last six years have been more challenging;…

    Staff Writer | 4th May 2022 | More