Table of Contents

Issue Date: Monday, September 29, 2014

News

Portfolio choices doomed CalPERS' hedge fund program

Portfolio choices doomed CalPERS' hedge fund program

CalPERS officials made ineffective portfolio construction choices for a dozen years before throwing in the towel on hedge funds, sources say.

The bond king has left the building

The bond king has left the building

PIMCO executives began preparing months ago for William H. Gross' departure, sources said, although the announcement on Sept. 26 that he was leaving to become a portfolio manager at Janus Capital Group surprised the money management industry and financial markets.

Vanguard tops in DC target-date assets

Vanguard tops in DC target-date assets

Fidelity still ranked No. 1 among managers of defined contribution assets in mutual funds, with $547.5 billion, up 13% from the previous survey.

Motorola wraps up pension buyout at light speed

Motorola wraps up pension buyout at light speed

Motorola Solutions Inc.'s pension buyout, the third largest in U.S. history, was the fastest by a mile, taking less than six months from start to finish.

Groups demand more action on  green investing

Groups demand more action on green investing

Institutional investors and international organizations are coming together to get energy companies to divest from carbon-based investments and governments worldwide to stop subsidizing fossil fuels.

New CalPERS CIO is a well-connected insider

New CalPERS CIO is a well-connected insider

CalPERS' new chief investment officer, Theodore “Ted” Eliopoulos, is a politically savvy insider who built his reputation not from investment expertise but from knowing the power corridors of Sacramento and allying himself with a powerful real estate developer.

San Diego County reconsiders leverage, outsourced CIO

San Diego County reconsiders leverage, outsourced CIO

The next time Alice falls through the rabbit hole, she may find herself at a meeting of the San Diego County Employees Retirement Association as trustees struggle to make sense of a new asset allocation that they recently realized could be leveraged more than 200%.

Exelon powers up major 401(k) plan changes

Exelon powers up major 401(k) plan changes

Exelon Corp. has overhauled the design and investments of its $6.2 billion 401(k) plan, seeking to provide greater diversification and simplicity while reducing costs.

Guidance, flexibility offered in cash balance rules

Guidance, flexibility offered in cash balance rules

Cash balance plan sponsors got a compliance road map and added flexibility in picking expected rates of return when final regulations on the hybrid plans were issued by the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service.

Qantas Super moving in new skies

Qantas Super moving in new skies

Investment returns at Qantas Super have gotten a boost from the fund's appointment of a “centralized portfolio manager” to consolidate equity trades previously handled by its external money managers.

Tick-size pilot program could help small caps

Tick-size pilot program could help small caps

The SEC's proposed tick-size pilot program targeting small-cap stocks should lead to improved access to capital for small companies, sources say, but whether that translates to higher returns for institutional small-cap investors is less clear.

Risk-factor exposures need better scrutiny — survey

Risk-factor exposures need better scrutiny — survey

Some institutional investors need a stronger understanding of the risk-factor exposures across their combined equity portfolios if they hope to achieve their intended exposures, a new Northern Trust Asset Management survey report concludes.

India's big year

Indian equities have surged 28% in 2014 on optimism about the new prime minister's plans to bolster business and investor confidence.

Quebec mulls shared-risk structure for municipal pension plans

Quebec mulls shared-risk structure for municipal pension plans

Quebec municipal defined benefit plans could change to a shared-risk structure from a final-salary pension framework under legislation to be considered by the province's National Assembly next month.

Frontier markets move slowly onto investors' radar

Frontier market equities may or may not be the next place for institutional investors to earn exceptional returns, but looking to an exchange-traded fund for that exposure can come with some challenges.

Special Report

Mutual funds most used by DC plans: 2014

Beyond Fidelity and Vanguard, see the full report to find out how other managers stack up.

Online

Frontlines

Editorial

Too complex for CalPERS

Too complex for CalPERS

CalPERS' decision on Sept. 15 to close its $4 billion hedge fund program will lead to a lot of re-examination of the investment strategy by other asset owners.

Other Views

Kick-starting an internal risk-management dialogue

Conventional risk management efforts are often designed to manage risk when conditions are considered normal or in a business-as-usual environment, but not during extremes, which is when risk management is most needed.

Canada offers lessons for CalPERS, other U.S. funds

Canada offers lessons for CalPERS, other U.S. funds

I was a member of a task force created in the late 1980s by the government of Ontario to recommend how the province's public-sector pension plans might be restructured for better performance.

People Moves