Cash & Working CapitalInvestment ManagementRisk Management
September 17, 2020

Weighing Reward vs. Risk, Cash Investors Make Moves or Hunker Down

Some take advantage of opportunities to pick up yield; others play it safer and stick to government money funds.The Covid crisis has illuminated where corporate cash investors sit on the risk tolerance spectrum—a point underscored in a Virtual Interactive Session sponsored by ICD this week that gave some NeuGroup members a clearer picture of where they stand relative to their peers.Career risk vs. opportunity for yield. Hearing what some peers have done “reinforces how conservative we really are,” said one…
BankingCapital MarketsInvestment Management
August 27, 2020

Ripple Effects: Will Institutional MMFs Start Waiving Fees to Stay Above Water?

Rock-bottom rates have pushed retail money funds to waive fees, and institutional funds may be next.The Wall Street Journal this week gave prominent play to a story headlined “Money Funds Waive Charges to Keep Yields From Falling Below Zero.” That piqued our interest. Money market funds (MMFs) are a staple of many treasury investment managers and an important product for many of the banks that help corporates manage short-term cash.MMF yields have plummeted. Seven-day net yields for the average money…
BankingInvestment Management
July 21, 2020

Managing Bank Balance Sheets in a Low Yield Environment

NeuGroup BankTPG members hear ways to manage their balance sheets amid low interest rates (that may remain low a long time).The Federal Reserve announced in early June that it would keep its benchmark interest rate near zero through 2022. While this might be good for borrowers, what does it mean for lenders? And are negative rates possible?The first question has many answers, as members of NeuGroup’s Bank Treasurers’ Peer Group (BankTPG) heard at the 16th annual meeting. There were several…
Investment ManagementPension and Benefits
July 7, 2020

Do Pensions Need to Bolster Post-Retirement Resources?

Pension managers could be doing a better job of guiding retirees with their post-work pension planning.For decades, defined contribution (DC) retirement plans have helped address the needs of individuals leading up to retirement. However, plan sponsors have made little progress in addressing individuals’ needs during retirement itself, according to Insight Investment, a sponsor of the NeuGroup for Pension and Benefits’ recent meeting. Retirement anxiety. There is a lot of unease for employees on the verge of retiring, as they worry about funding their non-working lives. It…
COVID-19Investment ManagementRisk Management
June 16, 2020

A “Perfect Storm” in Emerging Markets Shatters Hope for Some Investors 

Treasury investment managers hear sober forecasts and calls for greater action by the IMF.Hardly any of the treasury investment managers who met in early May at a NeuGroup virtual meeting said they owned emerging market (EM) debt—not very surprising given that most companies have been parking cash in high-quality, short-duration investments since the pandemic rattled credit markets. But one manager who does invest in USD-denominated EM debt said he was “bitterly disappointed” in the International Monetary Fund and G7 nations that had…
Capital MarketsInvestment Management
June 11, 2020

Dusting Off the Cobwebs and Retooling the Investment Policy

An inside look at portfolio governance and changes to investment strategies. When the global pandemic hit, investment managers needed to act fast to manage liquidity and move company cash to short-dated safe havens. So having flexibility in their investment management strategy was essential for reallocation of portfolios and easy access to cash. At two NeuGroup virtual meetings for investment managers, members discussed investment policies and what governance their companies have in place. What is best-in-class portfolio governance? Most member companies…
COVID-19ESGInvestment Management
June 2, 2020

Financing the Fight Against COVID-19: Sustainability Bond Deals

Corporates and banks fuel gains in social and sustainability bond issuance amid the battle against the coronavirus. The coronavirus pandemic may have dampened green bond issuance in the first quarter of 2020, but it has also pushed some corporates to use proceeds from sustainability bond offerings to help fight the virus. Case in point: Pfizer. Heather Lang, executive director of sustainable finance solutions at ESG ratings firm Sustainalytics—which is being acquired by Morningstar—named Pfizer as one of the institutions using proceeds…
Capital MarketsInvestment ManagementRisk Management
May 21, 2020

Investment Managers Balance Need for Liquidity and Desire for Yield 

More cash and falling interest rates have some corporates weighing a return to prime funds.Many treasury teams have plenty of cash to invest but not many places to park it that offer attractive yields. That has some of them debating whether, when and how to add risk to their portfolios while preserving capital and liquidity. The challenge is figuring out “how to optimize cash in a very short portfolio,” as one member put it. Here’s some of what others said this…
Capital MarketsESGInvestment Management
May 14, 2020

ESG: A Leading Indicator of Quality for Federated Hermes

The asset manager believes an active ownership approach to responsible investing is how to navigate this market.“ESG Investing Shines in Market Turmoil, With Help From Big Tech,” shouted a headline in the Wall Street Journal this week. The story reports that investors put a record $12 billion into ESG funds in the first four months of 2020, according to Morningstar Direct, more than double the same period last year. And more than 70% of ESG funds across all asset classes…
Capital MarketsCash & Working CapitalCOVID-19Investment Management
April 28, 2020

Pandemic Lessons Learned by Treasurers in Asia

How finance teams respond to the need for cash depends in part on their ability to tap global cash pools.As the pandemic brought  the world to a standstill, the primary concern of many multinational corporations centered on sustaining their operations, assuming no cash inflows for at least 30 days. For almost every company, that requires a lot of cash! That was among the takeaways from member comments at a recent NeuGroup virtual meeting of treasurers in Asia in early April.Cash…