Institutional investors are the majority owners of most publicly traded companies but allow activist hedge funds with smaller positions to push through corporate changes. Robert Pozen argues that institutional investors should actively participate to ensure that the outcome promotes long-term growth instead of temporary price spurts.
Although the author’s argument heralding the demise of modern portfolio theory (MPT) seems weak, he offers a compelling argument for active management. Using exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and asset rotation, he demonstrates how to achieve a return superior to that of a passively managed fund that relies on MPT and index funds. Asset Rotation may well be a harbinger of an “investment renaissance” and the end of passive management.
Many educational endowments and other investment organizations are struggling with the question of whether to comply with the widespread demands of students and other constituencies to divest their fossil fuel stocks. Some have announced decisions to divest, whereas others have announced decisions not to divest.
The sustainability of traditional public sector defined benefit (DB) plans has become front-page news and the subject of acrimonious debates usually framed in stark terms of DB versus DC (defined contribution). This either/or framing is unhelpful: It simply perpetuates the strongly held views of the defenders and critics of these two opposing pension models.
Is the money management profession a source of systemic risk? Do the investment flows that we intermediate contribute to financial fragility? Might asset management firms, like banks, be “too big to fail”? Robert Jenkins, FSIP, a member of the Board of Governors of CFA Institute and a senior fellow at Better Markets, urges investment professionals to stand up and speak out.
Proposals to tax financial transactions are popular now, and many concerns motivate these proposed taxes. Although many members of the Financial Economists Roundtable recognize and respect these concerns, they believe that governments should be extremely wary of imposing or increasing financial transaction taxes, which can have highly negative consequences with respect to the revenue raised.
Financial firms serve a number of stakeholders. But do they serve them equally? Can they? Should they? Robert Jenkins, adjunct professor of finance at London Business School and a governor of the CFA Institute, explores how boards are ranking various stakeholders in light of the recent financial crisis.
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