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March 2019
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Institutional Investor (August 6)

2018/ 08/ 08 by jd in Global News

“For the world of institutional investing, the topic of our time is none other than fees.” Most of the solutions being touted, such as 1-or-30, are anything but revolutionary. “Any magic is really just sleight-of-hand meant to distract us from realizing how low our expectations are for any meaningful improvement in the existing misaligned fee structures.” We must overcome this built-in bias and “expand the window of possible choices to include those that will be seen as utterly unthinkable by today’s standards.” For example, a “rent” system could be adopted in which “the allocator no longer pays fees to the manager for the use of its own capital and is assured of receiving the investment outcome it seeks (i.e., the negotiated rent). The manager gets the capital and potential revenue it needs to run its business.” Such a revolutionary move would place the risk directly where it belongs: on the asset manager.


Institutional Investor (January 16)

2018/ 01/ 18 by jd in Global News

“BlackRock CEO Larry Fink has written a letter to CEOs detailing his requests for corporate stewardship as the firm moves toward shareholder activism year-round…. The letter is the latest move by an asset manager to focus more on shareholder activism and environmental, social and governance criteria in investments. For instance, BlackRock competitor Vanguard Group said in an August report that it is taking a more active approach to monitoring companies in its portfolio, while a McKinsey & Co. study published in October found that asset managers no longer consider ESG a niche strategy.”


Institutional Investor (March 7)

2017/ 03/ 10 by jd in Global News

State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) is taking the lead to promote board diversity just as it took the lead to reduce board tenure. SSGA “is calling for companies to include more women on their boards, or be prepared for the $2.4 trillion asset manager to start voting down board director candidates at the proxy level in order to force the issue.” SSGA has put 3,500 companies on notice that they have “about a year to increase diversity on their own before SSGA starts influencing their selection of board directors at the proxy level.”