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CalPERS Announces First Partnership Under Multi-Asset Class Partners Program

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According to the press release, “The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) is investing $500M with Edinburgh, Scotland-based Standard Life Investments as part of its Multi-Asset Class (MAC) Partners Program. Standard Life is the first of four external managers selected to partner with CalPERS in the MAC program.

“We’re excited to have Standard Life on board as our first partner,” said Joseph Dear, CalPERS Chief Investment Officer. “Standard Life’s approach presents us with an excellent opportunity to add value to our portfolio, and to our investment operations by bringing in an outside perspective as we work toward our long-term investment goals.”

Standard Life’s investment approach for the MAC fund is modeled on their Global Absolute Return Strategies (GARS) approach. GARS is based on the key beliefs that marginal investors have a short-term time horizon which leads to market inefficiencies, and that by taking a three-year market view, those inefficiencies can be taken advantage of to create positive investment outcomes.

“This innovative relationship, the first of its kind, presents a great opportunity for Standard Life Investments to work closely with the CalPERS investment team,” said Keith Skeoch, CEO of Standard Life Investments. “What is really exciting about the partnership is the knowledge exchange element of the program, and strong alignment of our interests with those of CalPERS and its participants. We look forward to a long and successful relationship.”

The MAC Program has two strategic objectives. First, the Program is intended to outperform the CalPERS total fund over a market cycle, using primarily public market assets, and doing so with lower volatility and less risk.

Secondly, the Program is expected to facilitate a transfer of meaningful information from the MAC Partners to CalPERS investment staff, to help develop scalable, sustainable, and efficient methods of increasing the likelihood of meeting long-term CalPERS investment return goals.”

Read more: CalPERS Press Release

Japan’s GPIF Awards Nissay Asset Management with ESG Disclosure Mandate

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Increasingly asset owners across the Asia-Pacific region are studying the impacts of environmental, social, and governance factors on listed companies. As more Japanese pensions augment asset allocation to listed equities, the importance of corporate non-financial disclosures and practices becomes clear. These disclosures can have a material impression on company stock prices. In addition, Japanʼs Stewardship Code and Corporate Governance Code in 2014 and 2015 were launched, respectively. These codes helped the (environmental, social, and governance) ESG concept gain momentum in Japan.

Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the largest public pension fund in the world, awarded a research mandate to Nissay Asset Management Corporation. The mandate entails studying ESG disclosures. The study will conduct a comparable analysis on ESG standards and practices, while taking into account input from both investors and companies. With around US$ 110.5 billion in assets under management, Nissay Asset Management is owned by Japanese life insurance giant Nippon Life Insurance Company.

As GPIF boosted its allocation to domestic equities, the asset owner took a deeper look into the impact of ESG on equity investing. GPIF is keen on improving efficiencies in Japan’s capital markets. GPIF is a universal owner of stocks, similar in some aspects to what Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) does.

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Norges Bank Real Estate Management Buys Central Paris Property

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Norges Bank Real Estate Management, the real estate unit of Norges Bank Investment Management (oversees Norway Global Pension Fund Global), has signed an agreement to acquire a 100 percent interest in an office property located on 54-56 rue la Boétie in central Paris.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Schlumberger Gets Closer to Eurasia Drilling Company

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Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, and American oilfield services giant Schlumberger (SLB) have planned a deal to invest in Russia’s Eurasia Drilling Company Limited. RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev made the announcement. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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