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…
Capital MarketsCOVID-19Investment ManagementTreasury Management
April 28, 2020

Funding Is Top Priority for Treasurers amid Pandemic: Poll

Treasurers have funding on their minds as they deal with COVID-19. BCP and supply chains also a concern.Securing funding is a top priority for corporate treasurers thrust into the role of organizing companies’ financial response amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent poll by Bloomberg and Greenwich Associates. Following funding, treasurers say their attention is also on business continuity plans and suppliers.Many treasurers have been tasked with making sure key suppliers have the resources to stay in business and…
Capital MarketsInvestment ManagementRisk Management
April 21, 2020

Seizing Opportunities, Waiting for More and Getting Back to Work

Quick Takes, COVID-19 edition: A roundup of news, notes and notions from the NeuGroup Network. Strategic Acquistions: Waiting for Small Biotechs to Adjust to Lower ValuesHere’s some post-meeting follow-up from a treasurer in the biotech industry on his expectations for a “resetting of asset prices” and opportunities for strategic acquisitions as markets gyrate. “I would characterize it as an emerging opportunity. So far, you have had price adjustments (lower stock prices) for smaller biotechs. But you need two parties to…
Capital AllocationInsights NewsletterInvestment Management
January 21, 2020

What Would an AI-Driven Capital Allocation Look Like?

Founder’s Edition, by Joseph Neu Perennial discussions of capital allocation tend to end up in essentially the same place.My friend Tom Joyce at Deutsche Bank circulated the chart below last week in his “Chart of the Day” email. This one caught my eye because it shows how corporate uses of capital, at least at the S&P 500-company level, are pretty consistent year to year. M&A and Buybacks. Tom calls out the changes: “During the current M&A upcycle, which began in late…