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  1. How are institutional investors tackling climate-change risk in their portfolios? Thanks partly to global initiatives such as the Montreal Pledge and the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition, both launched in 2014, many institutional investors have moved quickly to understand the long-term portfolio implications of climate change and to adopt climate-risk management techniques.

  2. In May, we wrote that despite the generally low market volatility that has prevailed this year, investors were paying relatively high prices for downside protection as measured by “options skew” – the difference in implied volatility between an out-of-the-money option and an at-the-money option. High skew levels indicate heightened fears of “tail risk” – the chances of unlikely but highly consequential events that could sink share prices. Low market volatility largely continued through the summer, but how has options skew behaved – has it fallen to more “normal” levels?

  3. We see a growing number of institutional investors seeking to avoid financial risks associated with environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, or even to enhance returns by investing in companies that have strong ESG track records. As we wrote in an earlier blog post, these investors are typically looking to limit the number of companies excluded from their portfolios, both to avoid sacrificing diversification and to be active owners able to engage with corporate management.

  4. Markets have enjoyed a relatively long period of positive returns and low volatility, making some investors wonder if a correction is imminent. One possible trigger for a correction would be investors concluding that market valuations have become extreme, which could lower future returns.

  5. It is sometimes assumed that larger real estate assets perform differently to smaller assets thanks to reduced accessibility and competition at the top end of the market. Using MSCI’s global private real estate dataset, we find evidence to support the assertion that the size of an asset does have an impact on its performance.

  6. When markets get volatile, stock prices can move very quickly in a short period. As we saw in the August 2007 “quant liquidity crunch”— now about to mark its 10-year anniversary — many quantitative equity managers could have benefitted from getting market insights in real time as they found themselves in crowded trades.

  7. Many of the world’s largest institutional investors are integrating ESG standards into their investment strategies. But they face a challenge: Excluding every objectionable firm or selecting only ESG (environmental, social and governance) leaders can slash the number of acceptable stocks by half while foreclosing on opportunities for dialogue and engagement. How can institutions implement ESG principles without sacrificing diversification or abandoning efforts to improve corporate conduct?

  8. We have seen substantial rotation in factor index performance in the past 12 months. Value, the best-performing equity factor index in the second half of 2016, was the worst performer in the first six months of 2017.

  9. In constructing portfolios, asset managers expose the portfolio to factor tilts that greatly influence fund performance. Some of these exposures, which can provide sources of excess return, may be intentional but others may not. A manager who makes the wrong bet could be on the wrong side of history.

  10. As part of its “Abenomics” economic revitalization plan, the Japanese government has set out goals to increase women’s participation and promotion in the business world, including increasing the percentage of women in leadership roles to 30% by 2020, a major jump from 11.3% in 2014.

Showing 11 - 20 of 170 entries

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