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Prepare for the might of the giga-fund

In less than 20 years there will likely be a trillion-dollar super fund. So how will it throw its awesome weight around? It might have been premature to label AustralianSuper our first mega-fund. After all, it gives little room to move when coming up with a descriptor for a fund that will someday manage $1…

Lachlan Maddock | 29th Apr 2022 | More
Prepare to return to the ‘market of professionals’

A rising tide lifts all boats – but this one is starting to recede. After the post-Covid liquidity mania, the best of the best will have a chance to prove themselves once again. The world’s stock pickers have been in a rut these last few years. A phenomenal bull market has given them little chance…

Lachlan Maddock | 8th Apr 2022 | More
Aussie funds still number one: Thinking Ahead Institute

Australia’s superannuation system is leading the world in pensions, but the broader market is still missing opportunities on stewardship and technology. The Thinking Ahead Institute’s 2022 Global Pension Assets Study has named Australia the world’s number one pension market, with 20-year pension asset growth of 11.3 per cent per annum in US dollar terms. The…

Lachlan Maddock | 18th Feb 2022 | More
  • Trustees take the gloves off over ESG

    Events of the past two years have led to many changes. In the investment world, perhaps none is more apparent than a new level of activism by pension funds. Managers and investee companies beware. At a plenary session at last week’s PRI Digital Conference (October 18-21), ‘Fund Governance for the Next Generation’, representatives of three…

    Greg Bright | 22nd Oct 2021 | More
    Investment consultants unite on net zero

    Investment consultants like JANA, Frontier, and Willis Towers Watson, are banding together to “drive real change” by confronting the “daunting” task of accomplishing a net zero transition. The Net Zero Investment Consultants Initiative (NZICI) will see consultants embed advice on the transition to net zero into their advisory work and support clients on developing policies…

    Lachlan Maddock | 23rd Sep 2021 | More
    Aon-Willis non-deal triggers $1b break fee

    Aon will pay a US$1 billion break fee to Willis Towers Watson after a proposed marriage between the two global insurance broking and professional services firms fell over last week due to US regulatory problems. In a joint statement (July 27), Aon and Willis Towers Watson (WTW) blamed the end of their 16-month engagement on…

    David Chaplin | 30th Jul 2021 | More
  • ‘Pre-mortems’ key to YFYS test

    Trustees should consider “pre-mortem” stress tests and a whole of portfolio approach to the YFYS performance benchmarks to avoid underperformance, according to Willis Towers Watson (WTW). Jonathan Grigg, WTW director for investments, says avoiding test failure will be a high priority for funds, but not one that can override the obligation to act in members’…

    Lachlan Maddock | 16th Jul 2021 | More
    NZ Govt Super in management-board rift

    An independent review has called for a governance and investment upgrade at the NZ Government Superannuation Fund after finding the fund’s management and board had been at odds over recent performance. In its five-year statutory review, the Australian arm of global consultancy Willis Towers Watson (WTW) found the GSF, a NZ$4.2 billion (A$4.0 billion) fund…

    David Chaplin | 9th Jul 2021 | More
  • APRA test to ‘bifurcate’ strategies

    The Your Future Your Super (YFYS) benchmarks will require an all-hands-on-deck approach to a “performance test to be reckoned with”, according to Willis Towers Watson’s Nick Callil. With funds required to inform members if they fail the test – an “unpalatable action for any fund” – and barred from accepting new members into an underperforming…

    Lachlan Maddock | 25th Jun 2021 | More
    Israel’s can of worms for NZ Super and others

    NZ Super’s guardians and management are used to their fair share of lobbying by special interest groups, but the latest, from an Israeli group on behalf of five of Israel’s banks, could have implications for all fiduciary investors. The Israeli lobby group in NZ, Israel Institute, and NZ Super are in an escalating battle over…

    Greg Bright | 25th Jun 2021 | More