Table of Contents

Issue Date: Monday, October 29, 2012

News

Amendments targeting public pension funds won't reduce liabilities

Amendments targeting public pension funds won't reduce liabilities

A handful of constitutional amendments on the Nov. 6 ballots across the U.S. would affect public pension plans in a variety of states, but none goes very far toward reducing existing unfunded pension liabilities, even in the worst-funded states.

State, local races could affect pension funds, managers, retirees

State, local races could affect pension funds, managers, retirees

A number of state and local pension plans around the country could see changes in the near future, depending on who is elected in a number of races on Nov. 6.

Bigger money managers bag 130/30 business

Bigger money managers bag 130/30 business

Aggregate assets in 130/30 strategies declined 24% since their heyday in September 2008, but a few top managers have had a field day since then, scooping up the few searches that have been put out to bid.

DC plan exec survey finds interest in retirement income

DC plan exec survey finds interest in retirement income

Defined contribution executives express a surprisingly strong interest in retirement income options and an overwhelming ho-hum on the value of new fee disclosure rules, a survey by Pensions & Investments and Rocaton Investment Advisors LLC shows.

Money manager AUM growth takes a step back

Money manager AUM growth takes a step back

Total assets under management of the world's largest 500 managers fell 2.5% in 2011 to $63.1 trillion, and have yet to reach their pre-crisis level, according to the annual Pensions & Investments/Towers Watson World 500 ranking.

WAMCO-Legg Mason spat could cause split

WAMCO-Legg Mason spat could cause split

A dispute between executives at Western Asset Management Co. and parent Legg Mason Inc. over who should handle distribution in the defined contribution and retail markets is fueling the two firms' possible split.

November's winners face pressing retirement, tax issues

November's winners face pressing retirement, tax issues

With a too-close-to-call presidential race and congressional races that are expected to maintain a Republican-controlled House and Democrat-led Senate, there are two certainties that incoming officeholders need to address — a $1.1 trillion federal budget deficit and tax reform.

Slideshow: Earnings downer

Slideshow: Earnings downer

With nearly 60% of companies in the S&P 500 index reporting, third-quarter earnings have thus far disappointed investors.

Verizon annuity deal adds to pressure on long bonds

Verizon annuity deal adds to pressure on long bonds

Verizon Communications Inc. purchased an annuity contract with Prudential Insurance Co. of America for about 25% of its pension liabilities just when demand in the high-quality corporate bond market is starting to supplant supply in a low interest-rate environment.

Market pushes money manager assets up as inflows remain weak

Market pushes money manager assets up as inflows remain weak

Market gains in the third quarter benefited the largest publicly held institutional money managers, although continued investor hesitancy in a volatile market — and in the face of the upcoming election — kept net inflows relatively low.

Asia-Pacific region fertile ground for investment consultants

Asia-Pacific region fertile ground for investment consultants

A handful of U.S.-based investment consultants continue to expand in a challenging Asia-Pacific marketplace dominated by sovereign wealth funds and national retirement plans, betting that the region's fast-paced growth will open up new business opportunities over the medium term.

Emerging managers seeing renaissance among investors

Emerging managers seeing renaissance among investors

Some of the world's largest pension funds are increasingly turning to emerging managers to generate alpha, particularly in alternative asset classes where more nimble players may have an edge.

Execs reiterate need to remain focused on long-term allocation

Execs reiterate need to remain focused on long-term allocation

Executives overseeing investments for sovereign wealth funds and national pension plans, at a recent hedge fund conference, agreed on the need to stay focused on long-term investment goals amid capital market volatility.

Stable value industry: Either boom or bust

Stable value industry: Either boom or bust

For many companies in the stable value market, the glass is either half-empty or half-full when it comes to the industry.

BlackRock's launch of low-cost ETFs seen as smart move

BlackRock's launch of low-cost ETFs seen as smart move

BlackRock Inc.'s strategy to offer 10 low-cost exchange-traded funds for buy-and-hold investors will cost it revenue at the outset, but analysts say the effort to reclaim business and market share it has lost in recent years is generally positive long term.

More pension funds see value investing in fixed-income ETFs

For the past several years, many of the biggest pension and endowment funds in the United States have listed exchange-traded funds among their largest internally managed equity holdings, buying ETFs for exposure to international stocks, commodities and precious metals.

Romney, Obama skip benefits questionnaire

Breaking a tradition established during the 1984 elections, presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama each declined to participate in an employee benefit questionnaire submitted by organizations representing benefits professionals, along with Pensions & Investments.

Risk controls viewed as Rx for medical research funding

Three MIT researchers have produced an interesting proof of concept: Financial engineering can substantially reduce the risk of funding biomedical innovations.

Special Report

The P&I Towers Watson World 500: World's Largest Managers

Gains in fixed income fail to offset equity declines as top 500 managers' assets fall 2.5% in 2011.

Frontlines

Editorial

Not just sitting ducks

Not just sitting ducks

In election season, politicians ask: Are you better off than you were four years ago? But pension funds should ask: Are they better prepared to deal with the risk and return challenges that lie ahead than they were when the financial market crisis struck?

Other Views

Public pension obligations should play by corporate rules

The Stockton, Calif., municipal bankruptcy may provide a dangerous precedent for how public pension plan members are treated relative to other obligations, such as bondholders.

The myths of marked-to-market accounting

Marked-to-market pension accounting is not gaining popularity these days.

Letters to the Editor

Department: Portfolio Management

Investing for cash balance plans

Investing for cash balance plans

As cash balance plans have experienced a rise in popularity, the search for optimal investment allocations has continued.

People Moves

Face to Face

Howard Marks established Oaktree as a leader in distressed debt

Howard Marks established Oaktree as a leader in distressed debt

Howard Marks helped found Oaktree Capital Management and has worked to make it one of the largest distressed-debt firms around.

Partner Content