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Asset Owner Surveys and Top Recent Papers

What's on the Mind of Institutional Asset Owners?

Which topics are most relevant (or most concerning) for global asset owners?  Rather than blindly pontificating on the subject, we've uncovered several robust surveys of institutional asset owners, produced by leading asset managers and consultants, and we've listed the best of them below. 

How are pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, foundations, and insurance companies planning to contribute to global sustainable finance needs?  To what extent are they utilising smart beta or factor analysis within their investment portfolios? How can leverage be applied within LDI pension portfolios while still controlling for duration risk?   Read on to find out the answers to these questions and more.

asset owner survey

Smart Beta 2019 - Global Survey Findings from Asset Owners (FTSE Russell)

Every year FTSE Russell conducts in-depth research to better understand how smart beta is perceived, considered and used by asset owners from around the world. With the 2019 survey, it now has six years of smart beta insight into the role and impact of smart beta on institutional investors and investment practices.

MFS® Institutional Investor Compass℠ - An Asset Owner Survey (2019)

MFS surveyed over 540 asset owners, including DB and DC pension plans, endowments, foundations, and sovereign wealth funds, all of whom had a minimum of $100 million of institutional assets under management. Key themes of the survey include: the demise of the current US bull market, confidence in asset management, diversification into fixed income assets, and investment time horizons.

Are Asia's Pension Funds Ready for Climate Change? (Manulife AM, 2019)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in the EMEA region

Asian pension funds and other asset owners face significant threats from climate risks and water-related risks. This paper looks at mitigation and adaptation strategies within indices and the allocations of Asian pensions.

Rocky Road for the EU: Pension Plans' Response (Amundi AM, Nov 2018)

For compliance reasons, this paper is NOT accessible in the United States

The EU has faced its toughest economic decade since its inception in 1957. How are European pension plans responding?

Exchange-Traded Funds in General Accounts (Invesco, May 2019)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

ETFs are becoming standard investment tools for insurance companies, but for the moment, life insurers and property and casualty companies are employing ETFs in different ways and for different purposes.

Leverage in LDI (NNIP blog, May 2019)

A prudent policy on leverage can enable pension funds to utilise LDI strategies to achieve their objectives, while also controlling for duration and interest rate risk.

Smart Sustainability 2019 - Global Survey Findings from Asset Owners (FTSE Russell)

This year FTSE Russell has produced an additional report to its ‘Smart Beta 2019 - Global Survey Findings from Asset Owners’ report that investigates the emerging trend of "smart sustainability"—the combining of smart beta and ESG—among the world's asset owners.

Managing Risk in Turbulent Times (LGIM, Apr 2019)

For compliance reasons, this paper is NOT accessible in the United States and Canada

Solutions strategy managers at LGIM elucidate some of the steps that defined benefit pension schemes can take when navigating volatile markets.

Investing for the long term (UBS AM, Feb 2019)

This UBS Asset Management paper looks at global trends as well as other macroeconomic topics that long term investors (SWFs, pension funds, insurance general accounts) should address within their investment framework.

Asset Owner 100: The most influential capital on the planet (Thinking Ahead Institute)

The Asset Owner 100 is a study with data from the top 100 global asset owners, including pensions, OCIOs, endowments, foundations, and sovereign wealth funds. These asset owners represent over USD 19 trillion of capital.

Asset Owner Survey: Innovations in Implementation (bfinance, 2018)

The 2018 Asset Owner Survey from bfinance provides insight into the challenges that asset owners face, including entering a new asset class, managing specialist consultants, smart beta, ESG, and other topics.

Sovereign Investors 2020: A growing force (PwC, 2019)

This 40-page report by PwC examines the role of sovereign wealth funds in global financial markets. It focuses on five global megatrends that are helping reshape the world economy and impacting Sovereign Investors.

Balancing Act: Managing Risk across Multiple Time Horizons (FCLT, 2018)

This FCLT paper covers the topic of managing multiple-horizon portfolios - it considers the barriers and hurdles to doing so, then proposes a range of tools that funds could use, depending upon their particular situation.

The Purple Book: UK DB Pensions Universe Risk Profile (PPF, 2018)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in the United Kingdom

This is the 13th edition of the Pension Protection Fund's Purple Book. The document provides the most comprehensive data on the UK universe of Defined Benefit (DB) pension schemes in the private sector. The dataset this year covers over 98% of the schemes eligible for PPF compensation.

Six Trends in College and University Endowments (Enterprising Investor blog, 2019)

Christopher K. Merker discusses the trends that are influencing endowment investing today in this brief blog post.