Guy Opperman has it backward on Pensions & Infrastructure

Reading Time: 2 minutes First published in Professional Pensions on 6th June 2019 I was disappointed to see an overly simplistic “pensions should be harnessed to…” sort of message from Guy Opperman in The Times on 22 May. It’s great to see pensions being discussed amid the wider political context we are in, but I found the sentiments, however well-intended, quite … More Guy Opperman has it backward on Pensions & Infrastructure

How Many Pizzas

Reading Time: 1 minute How many pizzas would it take to feed your investment committee? Optimal committee/team size is a great question: NEPC’s survey finds most investment committees are 7+ people, but would prefer to be 4-6. Team behavioral expert Harvard Professor Richard Hackman said optimal is 6, definitely not more than 9. Authors Sunstein & Hastie note the … More How Many Pizzas

Universal Owners: The Idea Reshaping Asset Management

Reading Time: 8 minutes Updated March 2019 Do we need to get over our definition-anxiety? Ok, so I’m not going to win a prize for insight here in 2019 by observing that consideration of ESG (Environment, Social and Governance factors) has become a big theme in the UK, it has existed for a number of years kind of on … More Universal Owners: The Idea Reshaping Asset Management

Three Ideas that Came of Age in 2018

Reading Time: 5 minutes 1. The Universal Owner Did you go to many investment conferences in 2018? You probably don’t need me to tell you that ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) considerations have been brought front and centre this year. I think this theme can be interpreted at a higher level in terms of how asset owners weigh externalities … More Three Ideas that Came of Age in 2018

Running off DB Pensions: What is Self-Sufficiency?

Reading Time: 9 minutes A simple question of defining an oft-used term leads to important but tricky questions, and throws light on key issues. It becomes clear that running a pension scheme in run-off mode involves a very different set of considerations to deficit recovery mode. Mindset, language and tools need to change. The conclusion is that a full … More Running off DB Pensions: What is Self-Sufficiency?

[Books] Wiser (part 2) – getting past groupthink to better outcomes

Reading Time: 3 minutes Authors Cass Sunstein and Reid Hastie have put together an excellent and readable taxonomy of the “bugs” that can afflict group decision making and cause groups to blunder in their book Wiser. In the first part of this blog I discussed their dissection of the causes of group decision making failure. How can we make … More [Books] Wiser (part 2) – getting past groupthink to better outcomes

[Books] Wiser – how group decisions can let us down

Reading Time: 5 minutes I’m sure you can picture the scene. A group sits down to make a critically important decision. Much discussion follows. One person after another lays out their views, lots of points are made. There are some clear areas of agreement. Nods all round. The answer starts to become clear. With a few changes a consensus … More [Books] Wiser – how group decisions can let us down