Institutional Investor

Bad Manager Picks Have Sunk Pensions’ Bet on Alts

“Public pension funds aren’t the only institutions to fail to benefit from the heady promise of alternatives. The performance of Ivy League endowments has trailed a passive portfolio of 60 percent U.S. stocks and 40 percent bonds over the past ten years — and has been more volatile to boot, according to a report from research and analytics provider Markov Processes International.” Read the full article here.

Not One Ivy League Endowment Beat a Simple U.S. 60-40 Portfolio Over Ten Years

“There’s a tug of war going on in endowments, as well as in asset management,” said Jeff Schwartz, president of MPI. “A lot of people are hoping that there is no point in investing in these complex alternatives. Then you have devotees of the Yale model who want to show there is a payoff for putting so much of the portfolio into private equity, VC, and all the things we think of as sophisticated and expensive. This report shows that the reality is much more complex than either narrative.” Read the full article here.

How Ivy League Endowments Performed in Fiscal 2018

“This year’s gains were driven by alternative investment strategies. Ivy League asset managers have been ramping up allocations to alternative asset classes in recent years in hopes of outperforming broad market indexes. “What we definitely see is that the funds that were highly exposed to private equity and venture capital did very well,” said Jeff Schwartz, president at MPI.” Read the full article here.

The Revenge of Unconstrained Bond Funds

“Between 2010 and 2015, many investors could have dismissed non-traditional bond funds as a high-priced gimmick, delivering no benefit over traditional core bond funds. As the economy recovered and interest rates rose, however, these funds look to have been well positioned to benefit, helping them to outperform since 2015,” says MPI’s Sean Ryan in this article looking at the performance of the unconstrained bond funds by Institutional Investor‘s Julie Segal.


Yale’s Risk-Adjusted Returns Not So ‘Superior,’ Firm Argues

“MPI has evaluated endowment returns using its patented process, called “Dynamic Style Analysis,” which was designed to model the behavior of otherwise secretive investments such as hedge funds or university portfolios,” explains Julie Segal of Institutional Investor. “The annual results of Yale and the Ivy League colleges and universities, which have huge commitments to private investments, are closely watched by the industry.” Read the full article here.

Passive 2.0: This Is Not Jack Bogle’s Index Fund

“MPI’s new effort is an attempt to create an alternative to existing hedge fund benchmarks that follow the entire market and whose composition can fluctuate as smaller funds fail to report their holdings or close altogether,” explains Julie Segal in her coverage of the MPI Hedge Fund Indices launch. “MPI will instead include only the returns of the largest firms, which it believes are more stable and give a true picture of performance.” Read the full article here.

This Firm is Warning Investors to Be Wary of Smart-Beta Bond Funds

“The smart beta label still represents a small, new, heterogeneous, and most likely misunderstood, group of exchange-traded funds in the fixed income space,” says MPI’s Megan Woods in this article on Smart Beta bond funds by Institutional Investor‘s Julie Segal.

Why Investors Are Pulling Money From GTAA Funds

Based on analysis from MPI’s Megan Woods, Institutional Investor’s Julie Segal reviews the performance of prominent Global Tactical Asset Allocation (GTAA) funds. With recent underperformance driving outflows to the once fast-growing group of strategies, the MPI study seeks to help fund selectors better evaluate GTAA products, a group of disparate, complex and often opaque funds that can potentially add valuable diversification to portfolios. For the full GTAA analysis, see our research “Parsing the Dynamics of Global Tactical Asset Allocation (GTAA) Funds“.

50 Shades of Value? Why Smart Beta Fund Performance Varies So Much

Asset managers are racing to launch factor-based and smart beta funds, in part to satisfy investor demand for lower-fee, passive strategies. But a new study from investment research firm Markov Processes International, produced exclusively for Institutional Investor, finds that some of these products vary widely in their performance.