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Savvy Investor Awards 2021: The Best White Papers

Robeco wins Best Investment Paper 2021

The Savvy Investor Awards 2021 celebrate the best investment and pensions papers from the last twelve months.

The Award for Best Investment Paper 2021 is given to Robeco for their '5-Year Expected Returns 2022-2026: The Roasting Twenties'.

In this eleventh edition of their annual five-year outlook, Robeco for the first time incorporates climate change as a medium-term risk affecting their return forecasts for asset classes. The title is inspired by the Roaring Twenties, one of the economically most dynamic decades of the last century, but makes references to the effects of climate change increasingly affecting the whole planet in this one.

Savvy Awards 2021


Best Investment Paper 2021

Overall Winner:
5-Year Expected Returns 2022-2026: The Roasting Twenties (Robeco)

One foundational element of investors’ strategic decision-making processes is the estimation of expected returns. Many institutional investors use macroeconomic input and fundamental asset class data to formulate their own projections, while others rely heavily upon a combination of external forecasts for these returns. Robeco’s ‘5-Year Expected Returns: The Roasting Twenties’ begins with insights into the present valuation of major global asset classes. The authors then analyse a range of potential economic scenarios, built upon updates about global fiscal and monetary support, the continual cultural and market-related impacts of Covid-19, and geopolitical concerns. Finally, they amalgamate these disparate factors to relate them back to their specific asset class projections.   

On the back of strong returns in equity markets this year, Robeco expects corporate earnings to continue to flourish, supported by the post-outbreak stimulus measures put in place by governments and central banks. In the medium term, they are also projecting an increase in productivity growth over the coming years, likely aided by technological breakthroughs in healthcare, green energy, and other industries.


Best Asset Allocation Paper 2021 

Understanding Past, Present, and Future of the U.S. Equity Market (Oliver Wyman)

Highly Commended: 
International Guide to Cost of Capital: 2021 Summary Edition by CFA Institute Research Foundation
Stocks, Bonds, Bills, and Inflation: 2021 Summary Edition by CFA Institute Research Foundation 
Clearing Hurdle Targets Amid Rising Rates by Nuveen
Cash Dethroned: Reallocation opportunities for insurers under Solvency II by M&G Investments (only available in selected countries)
Is Diversification a Myth? by State Street
A Source-based Approach to Managing Inflation Risk by Wellington Management


Best Strategy and Economics Paper 2021  

The Investment Implications of Technological Disruption (PGIM)

Highly Commended:  
Why EM Could be Back in Focus in 2022 – Charts & views by Amundi (only available in selected countries)
Global Investment Outlook – Fall 2021 by RBC Global Asset Management (only available in selected countries)
WisdomTree Investments Market Outlook by WisdomTree Investments (only available in selected countries)
The Big Picture: Global asset allocation Q4 2021 by Invesco (only available in selected countries)
Assessing Inflation: Theories, policies and portfolios by PIMCO 
What to Do in the Case of Sustained Inflation by GMO 


Best ESG Paper 2021

The Stunning Statistics of Sustainable Investing (Robeco)

Highly Commended:  
ESG in Credit by Fitch Ratings 
Water: From a systemic and unpriced risk to a measurable opportunity with positive impact by Impax Asset Management  
Valuing Biodiversity: The tools at our disposal by Manulife Investment Management (only available in selected countries)
Passive Investing 2021 – Rise of the social pillar of ESG by CREATE-Research/DWS
Building Back Better: The path to net zero by Aviva Investors (only available in selected countries)
A Data-Driven Approach to Climate Change by Man Group
A Multi-Asset Approach to Navigating Net Zero by BlackRock (only available in selected countries)


Best Fixed Income Paper 2021  

The Incredible Upside-Down Fixed-Income Market (CFA Institute Research Foundation)

Highly Commended:  
Emerging Markets Green Bonds Report 2020 by Amundi/IFC
Direct Lending: How senior is your debt? by Federated Hermes (only available in selected countries)
Are Sustainable Bonds the New Smartphones? by Aviva Investors (only available in selected countries)
Sovereign Debt Index by Janus Henderson (only available in selected countries)
Rethinking the Role of Fixed Income Along the Retirement Savings Journey: From theory to practice by MFS Investment Management 
The Investment Implications of Covid-Induced Debt Overhang by PGIM Fixed Income 


Best Investment Industry Paper 2021  

THINK EQuilibrium: 2021 Global Institutional Investor Study (Nuveen)

Highly Commended:  
McKinsey on Investing by McKinsey & Company
Wealth Management Top Trends 2021 by Capgemini
The World's Largest 500 Asset Managers by Thinking Ahead Institute
Insurance Asset Management Survey by KKR
Digital Assets Going Mainstream: Impact for Financial Institutions by Oliver Wyman
Client Communications: A block to next-gen client experience? by SimCorp


Best Megatrends Paper 2021   

Climate Investment: Positioning portfolios for a warmer world (Man Group)

Highly Commended:  
PGIM Megatrends: Weathering Climate Change by PGIM
Deep Water Waves: Long-term drivers that face investors by Franklin Templeton (only available in selected countries)
ARK Invest Big Ideas 2021 by ARK
Trends Investing: Future of food by Robeco
The Case for a Dedicated China Equity Allocation by Mercer
Capturing Structural Change: A guide to thematic investing by Lazard Asset Management


Best Pensions Paper 2021  

The Evolution of Derisking: Assessing liability-hedging ideas (Wellington Management)

Highly Commended:  
Retirement Income: Allocations and spending strategies by Dimensional Fund Advisors
Global Pensions Asset Study 2021 by Thinking Ahead Institute
ESG in DC Pensions Report by LGIM (only available in selected countries)
Pension Allocation Trends: LatAm, Middle East, Africa & Asia by Mercer
Pension Plans' Top Priority: Optimising portfolio construction by Nuveen
UK Pensions De-risking Report: Buy-ins, buy-outs and longevity swaps by LCP (only available in selected countries)
The World's 300 Largest Pension Funds 2021 by Thinking Ahead Institute


Best Quant Paper 2021  

U.S. Stock-Bond Correlation: What are the macroeconomic drivers? (PGIM Institutional Advisory & Solutions)

Highly Commended:  
Quantitative Credit by Man Group
A Dynamic Multi-Asset Approach to Inflation Hedging by S&P Dow Jones Indices
Hedge Funds vs Alternative Risk Premia by Financial Analysts Journal
ESG Risks in Sovereign Bond Portfolios and Debt Investing by EDHEC-Risk Institute 
Global Factor Investing Study by Invesco (only available in selected countries)
Factor Investing in Emerging Market Credits by Robeco


Best Real Assets and Alternatives Paper 2021  

Tokenisation of Alternative Investments (BNP Paribas AM/Liquefy/CAIA Association) 

Highly Commended:  
The Case for Investing in Broad Commodities by WisdomTree Investments
Global Private Equity Report 2021 by Bain & Company
Allocating to Real and Alternative Assets: Framework for Investors by Amundi (only available in selected countries)
Global Real Estate Outlook: Navigating the road to recovery by M&G Investments (only available in selected countries)
Core Infrastructure: Inflation hedging and the search for yield by Macquarie Asset Management
Finding Higher Yielding Opportunities in Private Markets by PGIM
Cryptoassets: The guide to bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrency by CFA Institute


View all Award category winners and read the latest news from Savvy Investor directly from CEO Andrew Perrins in the 2021 Awards Magazine. Download now!



The Savvy Investor Awards celebrate the best content from across the global institutional investment industry. We present awards across 10 different categories including the best overall paper.

Every year our Content Team handpicks and uploads over 10,000 articles and papers to the Savvy Investor platform. This library, alongside engagement data from 57,000+ members, means our judges are well-placed to identify and assess the award-worthy papers of 2021. The Awards are judged on many elements including the depth, quality, readability, and of course, appeal and relevance to our institutional investor audience. In a world saturated with content, and where it’s difficult to cut through the noise, it is a great pleasure to highlight quality, cutting edge, and deeply engaging thought leadership for the investment community.

As the leading content hub for institutional investors, the Savvy Investor Awards were designed to help to affirm or establish authors and firms as true thought leaders within the industry.



To find out how you can partner with Savvy Investor to enhance your thought leadership credentials in the institutional investor marketplace, please contact our Head of Partner Sales, Stuart Blake,



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