Table of Contents

Issue Date: Monday, July 27, 2015

News

CalPERS looks to lower return expectations

CalPERS looks to lower return expectations

CalPERS officials want to lower the pension fund's volatility by reducing the system's 7.5% assumed rate of return over time.

Investments in energy up despite freefall in prices

Investments in energy up despite freefall in prices

As low oil and gas prices are cutting into alternative investment returns, some investors are doubling down, pouring more capital into the sector.

Public pension plans make strides in staff pay

Public pension plans make strides in staff pay

Two large public pension plans recently adopted new compensation plans executives hope will enable them to recruit and retain key investment professionals.

Assessing the impact of  Dodd-Frank 5 years later

Assessing the impact of Dodd-Frank 5 years later

It's been five years since President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a far-reaching law enacted after the 2008 financial crisis that aimed to stave off future economic meltdowns.

Active money managers feel pressure to adjust fees

Active money managers feel pressure to adjust fees

Active money managers that pride themselves on adding value to portfolios increasingly are under fire to justify the fees they charge, and some have realized a refusal to budge will see them increasingly bypassed by investors.

China's A-shares rescue tactics cast shadow

China's A-shares rescue tactics cast shadow

China's seeming success in stopping a precipitous A-shares sell-off raises the question of whether a visible official hand could become a hallmark of a proverbial equity market with Chinese characteristics.

Equities a sinking allocation for corporate DB plans

Equities a sinking allocation for corporate DB plans

The heyday of equities in corporate defined benefit plans is over. Corporate pension plan allocations to equity have declined to a new low.

DOL fiduciary proposal elicits torrent of comments

DOL fiduciary proposal elicits torrent of comments

Comment letters on the Department of Labor's proposed fiduciary rule poured in July 21, the last day of the comment period.

Nervous managers boosting cash over skittish global markets

Nervous managers boosting cash over skittish global markets

Money managers have been increasing cash holdings to levels not seen since the financial crisis over volatility concerns and unease about China's equity markets.

Fixed-income ETF investors staying away from ultrashort-term market

Fixed-income ETF investors staying away from ultrashort-term market

The most significant money market fund reforms — floating net asset values, liquidity fees and gates — take effect in October 2016 and a pocket of the fixed-income exchange-traded fund market once expected to attract investors looking for on-demand liquidity has yet to significantly materialize.

Board support rising but concerns remain, study says

Shareholders have shown increasingly strong support for leadership of corporations in voting in favor of directors, while at the same time they have firmly embraced proxy access, enabling them to rebel by nominating their own members to corporate boards, a study by Ernst & Young LLP's Center for Board Matters found.

U.K. pension funds team up

This month, the London Pensions Fund Authority and Lancashire County Pension Fund said they will go ahead with a partnership that aims to reduce costs and increase investment opportunities.

Exceptions to the rule

While investors and consultants are putting pressure on money management firms to justify the fees charged on committed capital, there are times when charges are acceptable, sources said.

Distressed investors eyeing the energy sector

As oil and gas prices continue to fall, much of the capital being raised today is for distressed energy investments.

IRS deepens focus on lifetime income with lump-sum ban

IRS deepens focus on lifetime income with lump-sum ban

The Internal Revenue Service's unexpected decision July 9 to ban lump-sum payments to retirees has plan sponsors keeping one eye open for further regulation but still considering those payouts for other plan participants.

Reaping returns

Reaping returns

Farmland returns as of June 30, 2015, posted their lowest quarterly rate since 2010. Longer term, the asset class has performed well.

Special Report

The state of investment outsourcing: 2015

Competition among OCIO providers has grown.

Online

Frontlines

Editorial

Opening up private equity fees

Opening up private equity fees

Private equity has come under renewed scrutiny over the issue of fees and transparency.

Other Views

Plan sponsors must face up to Tibble ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Glenn Tibble et al. vs. Edison International et al. could lead sponsors of defined contribution plans to take extreme actions ranging from cutting back on investment fund options to abandoning plans altogether to avoid litigation risk. Both extremes would be a mistake.

New best practice threshold for endowments, foundations

New best practice threshold for endowments, foundations

A few decades ago, endowments and foundations were rarely in the public spotlight for reasons other than their core mission. Now, they are in the glare — a harsh one, sometimes — of regulators, watchdogs, media and constituents.

Industry Voices

Putting a value on dollar appetite for U.S. pension executives

Putting a value on dollar appetite for U.S. pension executives

Currency markets have been very volatile in the past year, with the U.S. dollar exhibiting its strongest rally on a trade-weighted basis in over 10 years. For U.S. pension executives with substantial international investment portfolio exposures, the key question is whether this rally is in its ninth inning or closer to the fifth, as a prolonged U.S.

Letters to the Editor

People Moves