Research and Insights
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Carbon Footprinting’s Giant Step ForwardPodcast | Jun 30, 2022
We explore the obstacles investors face and how the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) standard can help.
Emerging Markets: Sector and Industry DiversityVideos & Visualizations | Jun 29, 2022
Industry and revenue lenses can provide additional insights to investors beyond a traditional sector analysis.
A Deep History of the Bond-Equity Relationship and InflationVideos & Visualizations | Jun 28, 2022
Use our interactive chart to highlight different time periods and see when bonds provided stronger (or weaker) diversification against losses in the equity market.
The Impact of ESG and Climate on Equity Yield6 mins read Blog | Jun 28, 2022 |
Investors are increasingly incorporating ESG and climate considerations in asset selection. With that in mind, our research focuses on ESG and climate profiles in relation to equity yield and tracking error.
Carbon Markets: An Emerging Derivatives Class6 mins read Blog | Jun 27, 2022 |
Carbon markets can play a significant role in managing carbon risk within equity portfolios to hedge against price risks. Our research focuses on applications, carbon-risk management and correlations to other assets classes.
How Eurozone Inflation and ECB Policy Could Impact Markets6 mins read Blog | Jun 27, 2022 |
In a portfolio stress test, we consider the uncertainty around eurozone inflation and the European Central Bank’s policymaking. We outline four scenarios and their potential impact on the bloc’s economy and a hypothetical multi-asset-class portfolio.
The Birds and Bees and the ESGPodcast | Jun 24, 2022
As the TNFD gathers momentum, and with a much-anticipated COP15 summit, all eyes are turning to biodiversity data. And then we kick the tires on SPAC-listed EV start-ups in the wake of a recent bankruptcy.
US Commercial Property Price Growth Held Steady in May2 mins read Quick Take | Jun 23, 2022 |
Price growth for U.S. commercial properties hovered just below recent record highs in May, supported by price gains in the industrial and apartment sectors. The RCA CPPI National All-Property Index climbed 18.6% from a year ago, slightly down from the record annual growth of 19.3% seen in January. Industrial prices climbed 28.6% since May 2021, a record annual rate for this sector, and rose 1.8% from April. Prices on traded properties have remained robust even amid signs of potential cooling...
Are Emissions Rising or Falling in Equity Indexes?7 mins read Blog | Jun 22, 2022 |
Investors can use different metrics to track their portfolios’ carbon footprint. Regardless, they will increasingly need tools to better identify the sources of changes in whichever climate metrics they use. We present an attribution methodology.
Has Inflation Affected the Bond-Equity Relationship?Quick Take | Jun 21, 2022
A vigilant Fed bringing down market inflation expectations could help restore the role of bonds as diversifiers in MAC portfolios, tending to rally when equities sell off.
Is the Energy Trade Running Out of Energy?Quick Take | Jun 20, 2022
Energy stocks have posted double-digit gains recently as oil and gas prices have climbed steadily since their pandemic lows.
Reframing US Technological Innovation by Integrating Thematics and ESGVideos & Visualizations | Jun 17, 2022
Watch our Asset TV video where our experts share their views on the innovation in the US Tech industry.
Windy ESG LabelsPodcast | Jun 17, 2022
This week we talked about the regulatory scrutiny of ESG fund labels and the current state of wind energy.
Fed Policy and the Specter of StagflationQuick Take | Jun 15, 2022
As U.S. inflation has surged and the stock and bond markets sold off sharply, investors are scrutinizing the Federal Reserve’s next rate-setting moves. We look at the medium term and how different scenarios could affect multi-asset-class portfolios.
Government-Bond Yields and Climate-Transition RiskVideos & Visualizations | Jun 15, 2022
Sovereign-bond investors may need to be attentive to the risks of “greenflation,” or an increase in inflation due to rising energy prices.
Examining Minimum Volatility in Volatile RegimesVideos & Visualizations | Jun 13, 2022
Market volatility has risen in 2022 and investors face geopolitical conflicts, increasing interest rates, rising inflation and slow economic growth.
Carbon Markets 101Podcast | Jun 10, 2022
This week we have a recap episode that explores the world of carbon markets
Introducing the Carbon Market Age6 mins read Blog | Jun 8, 2022 |
The carbon market can play a significant role in the decarbonization of the global economy by putting a price on carbon and giving polluters an incentive to reduce their emissions.
Plastic Packaging: The Unmasking of Regulations5 mins read Blog | Jun 7, 2022 |
A rapid increase in plastic-waste regulations may increase costs and liabilities, or limit market access for companies that are slow to align with them.
The Signal for Industrial Property Amid E-Commerce Noise4 mins read Blog | Jun 7, 2022 |
Demand and pricing for industrial commercial property got a boost from spiking e-commerce demand during the early part of the pandemic. We look at the longer-term trends in e-commerce sales for guidance.
Feel the Breeze: Companies with the Most Wind-Related RevenueVideos & Visualizations | Jun 2, 2022
Use our chart to examine which companies have the highest exposure to wind power.
Cannon-Brookes Brokers a Deal with AGLPodcast | May 31, 2022
AGL Energy, Australia’s largest electricity generator and polluter, abandoned plans to spin-off its coal assets after tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes bought shares to help block the move.
ECB, FOMC, Find Out What it Means to MePodcast | May 31, 2022
What lessons can investors take from the latest inflation-fighting moves from the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve?
US Inflation and Interest Rates: A Sectors’ PerspectiveVideos & Visualizations | May 31, 2022
While energy, utilities and consumer staples have been the best-performing sectors in the U.S. year-to-date, evaluation has become increasingly difficult with surging inflation that will continue to impact the Fed’s interest rate actions.
Real Estate Has Bucked the Deglobalization Trend6 mins read Blog | May 27, 2022 |
Real estate investors have historically exhibited a strong home bias. But there is evidence that real estate may have become more global based on return and transaction behavior — bucking the trend, evident in listed markets, toward deglobalization.
Baby Formula Crisis and Australia Goes GreenPodcast | May 27, 2022
Abbott Laboratories is having to answer difficult questions after the F.D.A found its Michigan plant to be “egregiously unsanitary.
Are Factors Only for Quants?Videos & Visualizations | May 26, 2022
Explore why Factors are the domain of every investor.
Are Russian Stocks Worthless?3 mins read Blog | May 26, 2022 |
Investors in Russian securities have faced sizable hurdles trying to manage and value their positions. Our research of the CDS market suggests that Russian stocks are essentially worthless, in contrast to the prices listed on the Moscow Exchange.
US Commercial Real Estate Price Growth Slipped in April2 mins read Quick Take | May 26, 2022 |
Annual growth in the price of U.S. commercial properties ebbed again in April, the third consecutive month of decelerating price gains. The RCA CPPI National All-Property Index rose 17.9% from a year ago, a pace still not far from the record rates seen at the start of 2022. Results across the major property types were mixed. The industrial and apartment sectors led annual price gains in April, hovering close to their record highs. Industrial prices rose 26.0% from a year ago, and apartment...
Index Options Indicated Negative Market SentimentQuick Take | May 24, 2022
In the face of continued global equity-market volatility, we turn to the listed-options market to gauge investor perception of market risk over the coming months for EAFE countries, emerging markets and the U.S.
Seven Lean Years and Other Lessons from the Last Tech-Stock CorrectionQuick Take | May 23, 2022
The ongoing correction in equity markets has, so far, left few safe harbors for investors.
In the Gold Mines of CEO PayPodcast | May 20, 2022
After a stellar 2021 for mining company Sibanye-Stillwater, its CEO is banking a hefty pay package.
Not Sure Where Climate Risk Ends and Biodiversity Begins? Exactly.Podcast | May 19, 2022
We look at how investors are accounting for nature-related risks in their portfolios.
SEC Climate Disclosure: Targeting Standardization5 mins read Blog | May 17, 2022 |
The SEC has proposed new requirements for U.S.-listed companies to disclose information on climate-related risks. We believe the framework may represent an opportunity to facilitate the transparency and standardization of climate-related goals.
What the War in Ukraine Could Mean for Net-Zero InvestingReport | May 16, 2022 |
Among the devastating effects of the Russia-Ukraine war is the potential to derail the world from its already difficult path to net-zero. We analyzed how the war could affect the world’s carbon emissions and decarbonization efforts — and investors.
Global Price Growth Ticks Lower on Weaker European Increase2 mins read Quick Take | May 16, 2022 |
Global commercial real estate price growth eased slightly in the first quarter of 2022, as double-digit price increases in North America and Asia Pacific were countered by weaker headline growth in Europe, the latest RCA CPPI: Global Cities report shows. The Global Cities Composite reached 8.6%, lower than the 9.5% rate seen at the end of 2021. Amongst the global cities, Sydney edged Seoul to the top of the rankings of annual price growth. Both cities notched a 20.1% rate, but Seoul’s...
McDonald’s Pigs and the SEC’s ESGPodcast | May 13, 2022
Activist billionaire investor Carl Icahn is pushing McDonald’s to change the way it sources its pork by mounting a proxy contest, and the SEC’s Climate and ESG Task Force Issues its first enforcement action against Vale.
Stock Crowding Shifts… Again1 mins read Quick Take | May 12, 2022 |
The U.S. stock market has plunged 15% to start the year, while growth stocks have fallen even farther. Many firms are suffering through historic drawdowns and a resetting of their valuations. How can investors make sense of it? Is there a commonality behind those firms whose fortunes have changed so quickly? The answer may lie, at least in part, with crowding. As we highlighted in previous research, the riskiest and the highest momentum stocks were also some of the most crowded at the end of...
A Factor-Based Approach to Munis in Turbulent Times5 mins read Blog | May 11, 2022 |
Tracking municipal-bond benchmarks can mean evaluating hundreds of thousands of securities along many dimensions, such as credit ratings. We evaluate an alternative, factor-model-based approach.
Climate Exposure and Its Impact on a Client’s PortfolioVideos & Visualizations | May 11, 2022
Understanding key ESG and Climate topics alongside evolving regulatory requirements remain top of mind for companies and investors alike.
Implications of Shorting on Cost of Capital and ESG: Empirical EvidenceReport | May 11, 2022 |
We draw on our consultation with owners and managers of long-short portfolios to recommend best practices for fund-level ESG and climate reporting.
Location Matters: Using Geospatial Analysis to Assess Biodiversity Risks5 mins read Blog | May 10, 2022 |
A quarter of animal and plant species could face extinction heightening economic risks from biodiversity loss. Investors and issuers focusing on asset location and dedicated risk management practices could mitigate some of these challenges.
China at a Crossroads: Three Scenarios for InvestorsBlog | May 9, 2022 |
The recent COVID-19 lockdowns in China and their impact on global supply chains add another concern for investors, on top of the Russia-Ukraine war. We model three scenarios for China and their potential spillover effects on global portfolios.
2022 Factor Outlook and Market ReviewVideos & Visualizations | May 6, 2022
Watch our video as experts discuss how market headwinds like inflation, geopolitical risks and slowing economic growth impact investors.
Value’s Lost DecadeReport | May 6, 2022 |
Value rebounded in 2021, after more than a decade of lackluster performance. No matter what the expectation going forward, there are useful lessons to be learned from value strategies’ behavior over the past two decades.
Abortion Pills and the Climate of BondsPodcast | May 6, 2022
We explore what sovereign bonds can tell us about how climate change is going to affect governments.
Wildfire Risks and Costs for Companies5 mins read Blog | May 5, 2022 |
Wildfires can potentially increase costs from physical risks for companies, making it an important consideration for investors as they manage risk in their portfolios. Our analysis revealed four future hotspots with elevated annual fire probabilitie
Data, Data Everywhere, but Which Drops Should I Drink?Podcast | May 5, 2022
How can new technology help investors stay afloat?
Russian Bonds: Rolling Back the Default Clock4 mins read Blog | May 4, 2022 |
The Russian government’s decision on April 29 to pay holders of two dollar-denominated Russian sovereign bonds led to a major rally, encouraging some investors that Russia may avoid default. There are, however, more challenges ahead.
Low Carbon 𝙖𝙣𝙙 High Liquidity for Bond Investors?7 mins read Blog | May 4, 2022 |
As corporate-bond investors embrace decarbonization as a goal in portfolio construction and management and benchmark selection, the question arises whether decarbonization targets are at odds with other desirable index attributes, such as liquidity.
Australian Deal Activity Strengthens in First Quarter1 mins read Quick Take | May 3, 2022 |
Australia’s commercial property market continued its strong run at the start of 2022, touching record volume for the first quarter of a year, the latest edition of Australia Capital Trends shows. Activity in the industrial and hotel sectors increased. Deal volume rose 4% on Q1 2021 to reach A$11.7 billion ($11.7 billion). Australia had rebounded in 2021, posting a record year after Covid curtailed dealmaking activity in 2020. However, there were questions about whether the elevated...
US Apartment Portfolios Targeted by Non-Traded REITs2 mins read Quick Take | May 2, 2022 |
In 2021, non-traded REITs purchased more multifamily assets in the U.S. than ever before. Recent reports indicate that this investor group has raised record-high levels of capital, and when so much capital is raised there is a need to deploy it, and quickly as well. Already the deal pipeline is bulging. Non-traded REITS (NTRs) are part of the private investor category, a group that acquired a record $213.9 billion of U.S. apartment buildings in 2021. Non-traded REITs accounted for 10% of...
Russian Bonds: Sifting Through Sectors5 mins read Blog | Apr 29, 2022 |
Russian bond market losses have cut deep. Still, certain sectors fared better than others. The question now is how trade policy and sanctions may be shifting, and whether there may be greater impact on sectors that have shown relative strength.
Which Scope 3 Emissions Will the SEC Deem ‘Material’?6 mins read Blog | Apr 28, 2022 |
The SEC’s climate-disclosure proposals did not set a “materiality threshold” for Scope 3 emissions, and the commission is considering either quantitative analysis for a uniform approach or letting companies determine materiality. How might each affect transparency?
Deal Activity in Europe Increases in Q1, Led by UK1 mins read Quick Take | Apr 28, 2022 |
Commercial property deal activity in Europe increased in the first quarter of 2022 against a backdrop of mounting challenges including war in Ukraine and accelerating inflation. Deal volume rose 11% versus Q1 2021, led by the U.K. which gained 50% on a year prior. For an illiquid asset class like real estate, it is likely too soon for any impact from the rising recent challenges to be reflected in deal volume numbers. Activity in the office, retail and hotel sectors increased on...
Real Estate's Income Risk in an Inflationary World5 mins read Blog | Apr 27, 2022 |
Although real estate income returns have tended to be stable in aggregate, the right-hand chart below illustrates the extent to which they have varied across individual properties in the MSCI Pan-European Quarterly Property Fund Index (PEPFI).
The Long and Shorting of ESGPodcast | Apr 27, 2022
For short sellers, ESG data offers new strategic considerations. But when it comes to reporting the ESG-related impacts associated with short positions, you’d be forgiven for scratching your head. We take a look at the differences between financial and double materiality and what key investors had to say about this brave, new world.
Sanctions Bring a New Form of Russian-Bond CDS Risk5 mins read Blog | Apr 26, 2022 |
Sanctions on Russia have not affected credit-default swaps directly, but the settlement process following a default would rely on delivering and auctioning the sanctioned bonds. We examine this new form of recovery risk.
Net-Zero Alignment: Managing Portfolio Risk Along the Net-Zero JourneyReport | Apr 25, 2022 |
Given climate risk’s multifaceted nature and the long time horizon on which climate change is unfolding, investors face an elevated level of uncertainty when making decisions. What approaches can they take as they seek to manage these risks?
US Commercial Real Estate Sales Motor on in First Quarter1 mins read Quick Take | Apr 22, 2022 |
U.S. commercial property sales climbed at double-digit rates from a year ago in Q1 2022 despite the uncertainty around war, interest rates and inflation. Sales activity in the first quarter increased 56% on the same period a year ago and in March activity increased 47% from a year prior, the latest edition of US Capital Trends shows. Closing a commercial property transaction is a process measured in months and weeks however, so the activity through the end of March likely reflects sentiment...
As TCFD Comes of Age, Regulators Take a Varied Approach7 mins read Blog | Apr 21, 2022 |
The recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures have become a landmark reference for investors, who now face the challenge of making sense of how various jurisdictions will implement their versions of the TCFD’s standards.
US Commercial Property Price Growth Eases From Record High2 mins read Quick Take | Apr 21, 2022 |
The headline rate of U.S. commercial real estate price growth eased from all-time highs in March. The RCA CPPI National All-Property Index increased 17.4% from a year ago, down from the record 19.3% rate seen at the start of 2022, the latest RCA CPPI: US report shows. The index slipped 0.4% in March from February. Retail price growth decelerated in March. The index rose 16.3% from a year earlier, a slowing from the pace seen in recent months. The index dropped 0.7% in March...
Drivers of China Equities’ Sell-Off6 mins read Blog | Apr 20, 2022 |
Following the recent sell-off in Chinese equities, global investors may have some concerns and questions about their China exposure. Have fundamentals changed? What role did the Russia-Ukraine war play? Which factors are important to keep an eye on?
ESG Reporting in Long-Short PortfoliosReport | Apr 19, 2022 |
We draw on our consultation with owners and managers of long-short portfolios to recommend best practices for fund-level ESG and climate reporting.
Energy-Sector DriversVideos & Visualizations | Apr 15, 2022
Looking at sectors through a factor lens may provide additional insights for investors in terms of explaining performance.
The Net-Zero Journey Begins with a Single StepPodcast | Apr 15, 2022
As pressure mounts from their own constituents to decarbonize, institutional investors are looking for the companies they invest in to shift from net-zero pronouncements to concrete net-zero action plans.
Resignations and a Looming Crisis in ChinaPodcast | Apr 15, 2022
This week we talked about the real estate market in China and the fear that the resignation of independent auditors might trigger an economic crisis.
Australian Construction Booms Despite Persistent Headwinds2 mins read Quick Take | Apr 13, 2022 |
Australia’s construction sector has faced many headwinds due to Covid, with constrained supply pipelines causing delays in shipments of necessary materials, lockdowns hampering progress on much construction activity, and, more recently, significantly rising costs. However, over the last two years, there has still been significant investment in building new assets, thereby increasing the amount of stock and the size of the investment market. The office sector had been undergoing a mini supply...
Options for Managing RiskVideos & Visualizations | Apr 12, 2022
We examine liquidity-related statistics for options linked to MSCI indexes and listed on several global and local exchanges
Markets in Focus: Inflation Woes and Geopolitical TensionsVideos & Visualizations | Apr 12, 2022
Mark Carver and Hitendra Varsani discuss how Ukraine-Russia tensions have impacted global financial markets.
Balanced Exposure to the Blockchain EconomyVideos & Visualizations | Apr 12, 2022
Blockchain goes far beyond bitcoin, as it solves transparency and verifiability for financial systems and ownership of digital goods.
Are Factors a Thing of the Past?Videos & Visualizations | Apr 11, 2022
Over the long term, the Value style had outperformed Growth investing in the US market.
Market Uncertainty Has Favored Low-Volatility Indexes2 mins read Quick Take | Apr 11, 2022 |
The global market rally that began in April 2020 came to a halt with a sell-off that started at the end of last year and increased in intensity this February with the invasion of Ukraine — leading to a maximum drawdown of 13.6% for the MSCI USA Index. For investors, this has brought greater attention to historically low-risk equity strategies. It was a strategy that paid off. The MSCI USA Minimum Volatility Index, which is designed to reduce overall index-level risk, provided downside...
Understanding Private Capital’s Exposure to Carbon-Intensive SectorsBlog | Apr 7, 2022 |
Understanding private capital’s exposure to the energy, materials and utilities sectors, and their related industries, across asset classes, may be critical in supporting more-informed risk management and engagement decisions.
Russian Bonds: The 100-Year Storm?Quick Take | Apr 7, 2022
The U.S. Treasury Dept. decided this week to effectively block payments to holders of two USD Russian sovereign bonds.
The Many Categories of ESG-Labeled BondsVideos & Visualizations | Apr 7, 2022
This interactive dashboard will provide an overview of the main categories of ESG bonds and the more narrowly defined thematic bonds within these broader bond categories.
Not Your Father’s Stagflation (or Is It?)Podcast | Apr 7, 2022
The first quarter of 2022 started with concerns about inflation and the potential for low growth — conditions many of today’s investors haven’t seen outside of textbooks.
Top Global Investors: Piling Into Apartment, Industrial in 20212 mins read Quick Take | Apr 6, 2022 |
There was record momentum behind capital deployed by the top global investors in 2021. It was not exactly a risk-on type of trend in acquisitions, however. Much of this capital was deployed to the asset types viewed as safer in the face of elements of economic uncertainty. Some elements of this uncertainty are growing into 2022, but it is unclear how the current environment will impact this momentum of capital. As a group, the top 100 global investors — based on the office, industrial,...
Growth-Value Leadership Diverged Regionally After Russian Invasion2 mins read Quick Take | Apr 6, 2022 |
For markets, Russia’s build-up of military forces along its border with Ukraine last November reinforced the growth-to-value style-factor rotation across global and regional equity markets that began in late 2020. Following Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24, 2022, growth started to outperform value in the U.S. and Europe, but the growth-to-value rotation continued in emerging markets (EM). What drove this persistent underperformance of growth relative to value in EM? Performance attribution,...
Climate Indexes May Have Benefited from Clean Tech Since the Start of the WarQuick Take | Apr 5, 2022
How have higher energy prices affected the performance of climate indexes?
ESG Trendsetters in APACReport | Apr 4, 2022 |
We identify APAC’s ESG “trendsetters,” and the companies that may be at risk of lagging behind, for climate, biodiversity and supply-chain risks.
Fed Policy and the Threat of Stagflation7 mins read Blog | Apr 4, 2022 |
Investors are increasingly focused on inflation and the Fed’s tightening of monetary policy. With the Russia-Ukraine war and resulting sanctions, they may also worry about slowing economic growth. We model three economic scenarios’ potential impact on markets.
Governance and War and Boeing’s Deja VuPodcast | Apr 1, 2022
Like any other crisis, war puts company directors in the hot seat.
Factors in Focus: Disentangling Market Gyrations Through the War7 mins read Blog | Apr 1, 2022 |
It was a tale of two quarters in many ways. We analyze the effects of past and present military conflicts on factor investing to provide insights to investors seeking to build resilient portfolios.
Since the War, ESG Mattered for Equities2 mins read Quick Take | Mar 31, 2022 |
One month after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we looked at the impact it has had on the equities of European firms, given their proximity to the theater and reliance on Russian oil, and investigated what role ESG has played. To do so, we used the MSCI Europe Index as our starting universe and selected the top- and bottom-quintile stocks by ESG score to create two equal-weighted hypothetical portfolios as of the market close on Feb. 23, 2022, the day before the Russian invasion.1 Looking at...
Putting Futures to WorkVideos & Visualizations | Mar 30, 2022
Futures linked to MSCI indexes are increasingly being used as a tool to manage market exposure and maintain exposures to target investment benchmarks.
Could Europe’s Shift from Russian Gas Accelerate Climate-Transition Risk?5 mins read Blog | Mar 30, 2022 |
Europe’s search for energy sources outside of Russia may slow the low-carbon transition in the short term. Staying within a net-zero cumulative emissions budget would mean fewer emissions later. What might this path mean for investors’ portfolios?
Valuations Can Help in Evaluating SectorsVideos & Visualizations | Mar 30, 2022
Along with other factors, comparing current sector valuations to longer-term averages has helped investors as they make decisions about whether to rotate in or out of specific sectors.