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Savvy Investor Awards 2019: The Best White Papers

PGIM wins "Best Investment Paper 2019"

The Savvy Investor Awards 2019 celebrate the best investment and pensions papers from the last twelve months.

The Award for "Best Investment Paper 2019" is given to PGIM for their report, "The Future Means Business: Investment Implications of Transformative New Corporate Models".

This 40-page study examines the evolution of corporate business models and explores how investors should respond to the radical changes taking place. The authors identify three new business models they believe are transformational, referred to as "weightless firms", "superstar firms" and "purposeful firms".

Awards Trophies

Best Investment Paper 2019

Overall Winner:
The Future Means Business: Investment Implications of Transformative New Corporate Models (PGIM)

Most papers examining “megatrends” do so at a macroeconomic, regional or industry level; the bottom-up perspective is often overlooked. This paper examines the evolution of corporate business models and explores how investors should respond to the radical changes that are taking place. CIOs and other institutional investors should not only take heed of these firm-wide changes, but take proactive steps to address them head-on, such as properly accounting for intangibles within corporate risk models, adapting ESG approaches and metrics to different types of firms or industries, and identifying the opportunities and threats presented by the world’s superstar firms.

The report is a pleasure to read, and represents the combined insight of 25 PGIM professionals, as well as survey respondents from over 300 companies across the public and private sector in the United States, Germany, and China.


Best Asset Allocation Paper 2019  

5-year Expected Returns 2020-2024: Escaping the Hall of Mirrors (Robeco) 

Highly Commended: 
2019 Long-Term Capital Market Expectations by Franklin Templeton
Investing for the long term by UBS Asset Management
Balancing Act: Managing Risk across Multiple Time Horizons by FCLT
Slower growth and performance: five year capital market expectations by UBS Asset Management
2020 Long-Term Capital Market Assumptions by Invesco (only available in selected countries)
Time to evolve: a quarter-century of FX reserve management by UBS Asset Management


Best Factor Investing Paper 2019   

Value vs. Growth: The New Bubble (QMA)

Highly Commended:  
Global Factor Premiums by Robeco
Do Factor Premia Vary Over Time? A Century of Evidence by AQR Capital Management
What, Exactly, Is a Factor? by Qontigo
Smart Beta 2019 - Global Survey Findings from Asset Owners by FTSE Russell
What explains the poor performance of factor strategies over the last 3 years? by Scientific Beta
Factor Investing in Equities and Corporate Bonds: Neutralising Bias by BNP Paribas Asset Management


Best ESG Paper 2019  

2019 ESG Trends to Watch (MSCI) 

Highly Commended:  
Passive Investing 2019: The rise of stewardship by DWS/Create Research
Assessing Risk Through ESG Exposures by AQR Capital Management
EROCI and the Tough Road Ahead for Oil by BNP Paribas Asset Management
Is there any green under the hood? Energy transition metals by Candriam (only available in the UK & Europe)
A Survey of ESG Vendor Data: Strategies for Managing Score Differences by Qontigo
Why emerging markets are defined by ESG by DWS


Best Investment Industry Paper 2019  

Investment Professional of the Future (CFA Institute) 

Highly Commended:  
How can asset managers meet the needs of asset owners in the Great Acceleration? by Thinking Ahead Institute
Asset & Wealth Management 2025: The Asian Awakening by PwC
Trends in the Expenses and Fees of Funds by Investment Company Institute
Asset Managers & Wholesale Banks: Searching for Growth in Disruption by Oliver Wyman / Morgan Stanley
Will the good times keep rolling for Asia's asset managers? by McKinsey & Company
How much do fees affect the active versus passive debate? by S&P Dow Jones Indices


Best Pensions Paper 2019 (North America)  

U.S. DB dilemma: How do investment decisions affect stock returns? (Wellington Management) 

Highly Commended:  
2019 Defined Contribution Trends Survey by Callan Institute (only available in the US)
Secure Retirement: Connecting Financial Theory & Human Behavior by CFA Institute Research Foundation
The world's largest 300 pension funds by Thinking Ahead Institute
U.S. Corporate Pension De-Risking: More Than Just Bonds by GSAM (only available in the US)
Global Pension Assets Study 2019 by Thinking Ahead Institute
How America Saves 2019 by Vanguard


Best Pensions Paper 2019 (UK and Europe)   

Patient Capital and Illiquid Investment: A Guide for UK Pension Funds (PLSA)

Highly Commended:  
LCP UK Investment Management Fees Survey 2019 by LCP
Responsible Investment as a Motivator for Generation DC by Franklin Templeton (only available in selected countries)
UK DB Consolidation: One year on by Hymans Robertson (only available in the UK)
What is CDC and how might it work in the UK? by PPI (only available in the UK)
The future of retirement by Aviva Investors (only available in selected countries)
CPI liabilities: the wedge and the hedge by LGIM (not available in the US or Canada)


Best Alternatives Paper 2019  

Global Private Equity Report 2019 (Bain & Company)  

Highly Commended:  
Private Assets: The Tradeoff Between Liquidity and Performance by PGIM Institutional Advisory & Solutions
How hedge funds and investors continue to strike the right note in aligning their interests by AIMA
The Keys to Private Equity Portfolio Assessment by Callan Institute
Private markets coming of age by McKinsey & Company
Capital Formation: The Evolving Role of Public and Private Markets by CFA Institute
Reducing the cost and complexity of supporting alternatives by SimCorp


Best Real Assets Paper 2019  

Upcoming Urbanites: Urbanization drives major economic shifts (Nuveen)  

Highly Commended:  
Real Assets & Portfolio Construction for Institutional Investors by PGIM Institutional Advisory & Solutions
Real Assets Study by Aviva Investors (only available in the UK & Europe)
Emerging Trends in Real Estate: Global Outlook by PwC
Climate risk in private real estate portfolios: What’s the exposure? by MSCI
Global Real Estate Summary by UBS Asset Management
The role of real assets in shaping a sustainable future by Aviva Investors (only available in selected countries)
Real Assets - The New Mainstream by Aquila Capital


Best Strategy & Economics Paper 2019  

JP Morgan Quarterly Guide to the Markets (JP Morgan Asset Management)  

Highly Commended:  
Late-Cycle Investing: Survive and Thrive by Neuberger Berman (only available in selected countries)
The Survivability of the Euro by Invesco (only available in selected countries)
Debunking the yield curve as a ‘super-forecaster’ of recessions by BNP Paribas Asset Management
Global Macro Trends: Wisdom in Curiosity by KKR
Guide to Recessions: What to look out for and how to prepare by Capital Group (only available in selected countries)
Wealth Inequality - A Tale of the Diverging Tails by PGIM Fixed Income


Best Emerging Markets Paper 2019  

China Icebergs: Forces That Could Reshape the World (PineBridge Investments)  

Highly Commended:  
Investing in the Changing Shape of Emerging Markets by Amundi Asset Management (not available in the US)
Avoiding “diversification decay” in emerging-markets debt by Eaton Vance (only available in selected countries)
The Global Ramifications of a China Debt Crisis by Moody's Analytics
Uncovering Alpha Opportunities in EM Corporates by PGIM Fixed Income
The future of EMs: A development marathon, not a growth sprint by Wellington Management
Banning Huawei: an act of economic war by Hermes Investment Management (not available in the US)


Best Fixed Income Paper 2019  

Fixed Income: Capturing the Opportunity of Constraints (PGIM Fixed Income)

Highly Commended:  
High Yield: Dealing with Fallen Angel Risk by Moody's Analytics
Traditional and Alternative Factors in Investment Grade Corporate Bond Investing by Amundi Asset Management (not available in the US)
U.S. Corporate Bond Market: Where Has My Credit Premium Gone? by Mellon Capital
Rehabilitation of the European Structured Finance Market by BNP Paribas Asset Management
Optimizing Yield Curve Positioning for Multi‑Asset Portfolios by PIMCO
Corporate Leverage Through the Cycle by MFS Investment Management


Best Quant Paper 2019

Factor Momentum Everywhere (AQR Capital Management)

Highly Commended:  
Buffett's Alpha by CFA Institute (Financial Analysts Journal)
Market Efficiency: Who is on the Other Side? by BlueMountain Capital Management
Invesco Vision Portfolio Management Decision Support System by Invesco (only available in selected countries)
Equity Risk Premiums (ERP): Determinants, Estimation and Implications by Aswath Damodaran
Uncovering Macro Characteristics in Carry Portfolios by QMA
Constrained Risk Budgeting Portfolios by Amundi Asset Management (not available in the US)


Best Megatrends Paper 2019   

Future-Proofing Your Asset Allocation in the Age of Mega Trends (BNY Mellon IM)  

Highly Commended:  
Five things you should know about trends investing by Robeco
Tech Trends 2019: Beyond the digital frontier by Deloitte
Megatrends: The forces shaping our future iShares by BlackRock (only available in selected countries)
Megatrends: The economics of a graying world by Vanguard
Artificial Intelligence: Real opportunity by Franklin Templeton
Machine Learning for Investment Managers by SimCorp


Best ETFs Paper 2019  

ETFs in Insurance General Accounts (S&P Dow Jones Indices)  

Highly Commended:  
High-yield bonds and floating-rate loans: Is indexing a sensible choice? by Eaton Vance (only available in the US & Canada)
The Revenge of the Stock Pickers by CFA Institute (Financial Analysts Journal)
Guide to ETFs iShares by BlackRock (only available in selected countries)
The Performance of Exchange-Traded Funds by Robeco
EDHEC European ETF, Smart Beta and Factor Investing Survey 2019 by EDHEC
Are Passive Funds Really Superior Investments? An Investor Perspective by CFA Institute (Financial Analysts Journal)


Notice for Award Winning companies (incl. highly commended) 

Savvy Investor has created digital assets (award banners, links, click-to-tweets) for you to publicise your award on social media, blog posts, emails, newsletters and on your website.

To access your digital assets, please email

About the Savvy Investor Awards

Savvy Investor is the world’s leading resource hub for institutional investors. Since launch in March 2015, more than 43,000 members from across the world have registered for the site, with 150-200 new members joining every week.

Savvy Investor curates the best pensions and investment white papers from around the globe, and having published more than 30,000 papers since launch, we have a unique platform (literally!) from which to host the Awards. Papers short-listed for the Awards are assessed based on their quality and readability and their appeal to our institutional investor audience.

To find out how you can partner with Savvy Investor in 2020 to enhance your thought leadership credentials in the institutional investor marketplace, please contact our Business Development Manager, Stuart Blake,

Savvy Awards 2019 Magazine

Savvy Investor has produced a 24-page page magazine to celebrate the Award winners. Click to download a copy of the 2019 Awards magazine.