P&I's newsroom has covered the seismic shifts of institutional investing with great depth and expertise.
We've tracked the move away from traditional pensions by most private-sector employers in the U.S. and, consequently, the shift to retirement savings vehicles such as the 401(k), which put more of the onus on workers to save and manage their own money for retirement.
According to P&I's proprietary Largest Money Managers survey, 401(k)s held $4.99 trillion as of Dec. 31, 2022, up 143% from 10 years ago. Meanwhile, total defined contribution assets soared 100% to $8.43 trillion over that same 10-year period.
Another big theme: The evolution of the 60/40 equity-bonds model for better return opportunities and greater diversification. Investors have turned their sights to private markets — which include private equity, private debt, real estate and infrastructure — to diversify their returns and meet objectives.
Research by Preqin forecasts growth in assets under management in this space to reach $23.21 trillion by 2026, based on a compound annual growth rate of 14.8% for private capital AUM and 4.2% for hedge fund AUM.
We've also reported on the explosion of environmental, social and governance as an investing framework — better known as ESG — and investing for sustainable impact have become some of our most popular and semi-controversial subjects at P&I. Investment organizations have readjusted their strategies to navigate a fluid ESG landscape.
In that regard, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said he's no longer using the term ESG because it is being politically "weaponized" and he's "ashamed" to be part of the debate on the issue.
According to Morningstar's Global Sustainable Fund Flows report, sustainable, impact and ESG assets reached about $2.8 trillion at the end of June, inching back toward the historic high of $3 trillion at the end of 2021.
More recently, we've been exploring the rapid adoption of generative artificial intelligence at institutional investment firms, including asset managers and smaller hedge funds.
SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has called it the "most transformative technology of our time," on par with the internet and the mass production of automobiles. Retirement industry stakeholders are bracing for major implications — mostly positive — for defined contribution plans, but record keepers and service providers are taking a cautious approach.
Our journalists will continue to cover the biggest trends affecting the institutional investing market. Our special reports reflect the biggest themes taking hold among institutional investors, and include annual surveys the industry turns to in order to understand themes emerging among the Largest Hedge Fund Managers, the Largest Money Managers and the Largest U.S. Plan Sponsors, as well as the newly launched Influential Women in Institutional Investing program. And our amazing editorial team has also adopted new ways of storytelling for news and our P&I conference coverage with live blogs, LinkedIn Live, and Face-to-Face videos with leading investors and money managers.
We strive to stay abreast of the latest trends and issues facing the industry and provide deep coverage and insights on the challenges and opportunities facing the global pension and retirement market across our various platforms.
As we celebrate our 50th year of serving this industry, we realize that many are reassessing, and in many instances, renewing, system design, investment decisions, portfolio construction, communication, delivery and technology — in part because of pressure points, but also as new opportunities arise. Our mission at P&I continues to be to inform and inspire all of you.
This industry helps drive the capital markets, and for many, also serves to provide people with the ability to retire with dignity and peace of mind. This is a huge responsibility, and one that we are honored and committed to supporting for years to come.