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The Nordic Brief2020-01-13T14:35:54+00:00

PRI intends to grow private market allocations

Peter Ragnarsson head of alternative investments at the USD 3bn non-life mutual insurance company PRI Pensionsgaranti, says the intention is to increase private market investments as returns are difficult to find in traditional fixed income....

Asian Credit: the Boring Emerging Market for 2020?

We look at the key drivers in Asian credit and how careful selection means finding quality, liquidity and yield.....

Nordea’s External Product Strategy

Anders Bertramsen gives us an insight to Nordea´s thinking when picking external managers....and fires a few shots when it comes to ESG....

Church of Finland Pension’s Evolving ESG Policies

Q&A with Joonas Huttunen, CFA, Portfolio Manager and Responsible Investment Specialist at The Church Pension Fund, Finland

Yield Pickup from Baltic Property

Deals Break Records, but Liquidity Remains Limited

A Global Approach to Mid-Market Infrastructure

Foraging for Sustainable Growth and Income...

Emerging market debt: An ‘all-season’ asset class

Alejandro Arevalo, Fund Manager of Jupiter’s Emerging Market Debt strategy, explains why he believes emerging market debt should be viewed as an ‘all-season’ asset class, not just for when the global economic environment is strong...

AP1´s Majdi Chammas on Active management and ESG

An insight into Första AP-Fonden´s distinctive approach to global manager selection....

Nordea Wealth Management’s New Investment Team in Copenhagen

Kerstin Lysholm and Linsay McPhater in place to broaden access to alternatives and sustainable investments.....

Should Fund Allocators Be More Contrarian?

Jupiter´s Magnus Jahnke believes so and would also argue that investors need to work their assets harder.....

Investment Management Fees: Is Competition Working?

Why are fees falling in certain asset classes yet remaining resilient in others?

The High Yield Position

Why a Long/Short approach to High Yield Credit makes sense in the current environment...

Direct Lending: Is Market Maturity Cutting Covenants?

In the first of a series, we take a look at the deterioration of covenants in the private credit markets. How much of a problem does it pose and what it means for investors.....

Using AI to Pick AI Stocks

Using semantic & sentiment analysis on unstructured data, a multi factor quantitative model and the human review to identify companies positively exposed to the AI thematic....

Making a Difference

Why ESG is Essential for Successful Investing in Emerging Markets Debt...

Interested in structural opportunities in emerging markets? Be prepared to think differently

Dáire Dunne, CFA, outlines his thoughts on the importance of secular trends and the investment opportunities they are creating...

Exploiting Europe’s Exporting Excellence

Finding alpha in European small and mid-cap equities.....

Aktia’s Multi-Manager Private Credit Strategies

Head of Alternatives, Ville Toivakainen, talks trade finance, aircraft leasing, impact investing and much more…

Structured Credit Yield Pickup Persists

Can CLO´s provide a positive yield oasis amid negative yields?

Short Duration Investment Grade Corporate Credit

An alternative to negative rates on bank deposits.....

Emerging markets: Building the core allocation of the future

Wellington´s Dáire Dunne on the forces behind structural change in Emerging Markets and how a thematic approach will help identify opportunities going forward...

Are We at Peak Cycle for Equities

US equities keep on making new highs, but Norges Bank is increasing its allocation. Whether equities appear expensive or cheap depends on the definition, and varies greatly by regions, factors and sectors....

European High Yield: Income of Around 3% Remains

Fundamental headwinds balanced out by renewed ECB QE....

Asian Real Estate: Yield Pickup and Diversification

Investors could not only get some yield pickup but could also obtain a significant diversification benefit by adding Asian property to their portfolios - some Dutch pension funds have been investing in the asset class for over 20 years...

Tailoring the Approach: Implementing ESG in Private Debt

Archie Beecher explains how a proactive approach helps identify ESG risk and exposure to it....

Can global high yield investors continue to profit from low risk of default?

High yield investors had a good start of the year; is there any need to sell already? Or should we continue to profit from this clear-cut and exploitable market anomaly?

Goldman Finally Capitulates, Sees Rate Cuts In July And September

The time of the bond vigilantes is back....have we reached a point where the bond markets now can force the Fed´s hand?

Emerging and Frontier Markets: Ferreting out Neglected Value Opportunities

The wave of inflows into emerging markets has not lifted all boats: selected small caps, mid-caps and frontier markets have been left behind, and Ross Teverson expects that they should catch up....

ESG & Impact Investing focus: Microfinance

SEB´s Portfolio Manager of MicroFinance, Hetal Damani, on what differentiates their microfinance strategy – both from an investment perspective and in terms of ESG.

Danica’s Private Equity Allocator: a Scotswoman in Denmark

Linsay McPhater, Investment Director of Alternatives, talks to us about private equity investing; ESG; moving from London to work in Denmark, and the dearth of women in finance in the Nordics.

AP1’s ESG and Sustainability Policies

AP1´s Magdalena Håkansson and Tina Rönnholm comment on ESG policies and how they apply to external mandates....

New Commodity Futures Markets

Investor diversification and ESG concerns driving innovation....

Berkshire Hathaway’s 2019 AGM

A cautious cash position, and no ESG Reporting; Our Review of the event

Real Estate and ESG

Green Premia and Brown Discounts.....

Alfred Berg’s Olavi takes defensive stance on alternatives

Alfred Bergs Head of Asset Allocation talks to us about how they manage client portfolios and why he sees alternatives as adding risk rather than returns....

Jupiter Dynamic Bond Strategy: Defensive and Opportunistic

Head of Strategy Fixed Income, Ariel Bezalel, talks about recessionary risks and how it affects his asset allocation.....

How to optimise diversification to improve risk-adjusted returns

How expected returns can be enhanced without increasing risks - can cutting-edge visualisation tools and a first-principles approach secure the predictable benefits of a diversified portfolio?

ESG, Credit Risk and Ratings: A Case Study

Can ESG ratings on sovereign credit help manage long-term risks?

Alternative cash flows take center stage for Swedish institutions

Carl Barnekow, SEB vetaran turned asset advisor at COIN, gives his view on where institutional investors are looking for alternative sources of income....

Alternative Risk Premia: An introduction

In the first of a series, we look at how Alternative Risk Premia can provide an uncorrelated source of return that can be added to investment portfolios....

Frontier Market Focus: Africa – Cinderella offers great promise

By 2025, Africa’s GDP is forecast to be one third of USA GDP but it seems like many international investors are giving up on the continent. We suggest that Africa perhaps deserves more attention than it´s getting....

Give a Little Credit

Making the case for the U.S. lower middle market and addressing myths of direct lending

30 Years of Impact Investing

Jupiter´s Charlie Thomas reflects on legacy, long-term thinking, labels and how to navigate an ever growing investment universe...

Private Equity Secondaries – An under-followed asset class

Jerome Marie of ODDO BHF explains why he believes that future outperformance lies in Private Equities secondary market.....

Mobile Money

Two billion individuals and 200 million small businesses in emerging economies today lack access to formal savings and credit. No wonder then that Financial Inclusion is one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But opportunities does it bring to investors?

What are the key features of investing in alternative fixed income?

Alternative fixed income seems to mean many things to many people. Rob Evers provides an overview of characteristics for a very broad asset class......

Finding Value as the Momentum Fades

With fundamentals shifting, is 2019 seeing the return to value trades in global credit markets?

Frontier Market Focus: Uzbekistan

Finding the beginnings of growth cycles by staying off the beaten track....

Valuation Bifurcation Persists

We sit down with Jupiter´s James Clunie to discuss value vs growth and why it´s time that the markets again will recognise fundamental value....

Credit Market Outlook: Selection and Name-Picking Key

We asked Aperture Investors’ Chief CIO, Simon Thorp, where he is looking for long and short ideas in liquid corporate credit markets....

Veritas Pension Insurance Company’s Mid-Market Sweet Spot

In our interview with portfolio manager Laura Wickstrom, she explains what lies behind the Finnish group’s long-term success in private equity investing and how they chose which managers to work with....

Timing Allocations to Emerging Market Credit

While Emerging Markets is an asset class that can have bouts of volatility, it is difficult for investors to ignore given its diversification benefits, attractive valuations and the fact that about 70% of global economic growth emanates from it...

Credit and ESG Investing

The application of ESG to credit investing is rapidly evolving, and is, thus far, most well-developed in relation to investment grade corporate credit....

ETF Price War #2.0

Focus shifting to trading and transactions costs...

Are Illiquid strategies Immune from the Price War?

It very clear that fees have, for many years, been falling on traditional, long only investments, and also on relatively liquid alternative investments. Yet the headline fees for illiquid investments, such as private equity and infrastructure, appear to be much stickier – just as the assets are....

Balance sheet management: how much illiquidity can investors handle?

In the past few years, many institutional investors have increased their exposure to illiquid assets. This raises the question of how much illiquidity an investor can handle without letting its risk profile change substantially after a financial shock.....

Asian credit: could 2019 match 2009 and 1999 vintages?

"Asian credit now offers one of the three most compelling environments I have seen over my thirty-year career..." says Clearwater Capitals co-founder Rob Petty

2018 Year in Review

A brief summary of what Nordic institutions have pondered over in the year gone by....

The end of the road for coal?

Not only does coal have a significant climate impact – LGIM also believe that it’s a poor investment....

Global Growth Slows, With Trade Wars Biggest Risk

What lies ahead; State Street Global Advisors is first out to give their view on what investors can expect, and what they should be looking out for, in 2019....

Short Duration Credit – A Defensive, Late Cycle Strategy

Credit spreads have widened out in 2018, which has been the worst year since 2008 for some parts of the credit markets. Is it still possible to construct a defensive strategy through careful rules and credit selection?

The Green Bonds market

For the first five years, issuance of green bonds was measured in single digit billions, but has recently accelerated to USD 155 billion in 2017, and a forecast USD 250 billion in 2018....

Market Focus: Saudi Arabia

Beyond geopolitical risks, the country will be upgraded to emerging market status. We interview two fund managers who invest in Saudi Arabian equities and who are both based in the region...

Raising its Game in the Nordics

US investment giant Invesco further commits to the region with Stefan Behring returning as head of new team...

Infrastructure debt in a portfolio context – A first exploration

We explore the added value of infrastructure debt in a portfolio context. Does it have an attractive risk-return trade-off and can it offer diversification potential in a fixed income portfolio of a pension fund or insurance company?

What Investors Really Want….

Kirstein´s Jan Willers on what he sees as some of the major investment trends in the region, what local differences exist and what asset managers need to consider to be successful in the region.

Reinventing Climate Investing

Helping asset owners prepare their equity portfolio for the transition to a low-carbon economy....

Trade War Rhetoric and Reality

Could Asian credit prove to be resilient? Christina Bastin, offers a cold, hard and dispassionate perspective on the trade war, and its implications for investors...

Egypt: Amongst the Cheapest Frontier Markets

An oasis of growth in a slowing global economy....

European Equities: Q&A with Alexander Darwall, Head of Strategy at Jupiter

European equities in general have produced disappointing performance but some high conviction stock-pickershave found hidden gems and compelling growth stories despite the sclerotic economic backdrop...

Europe’s Migration Nations

Without immigration, Europe's population is set to decline by around 10% over the next three decades. Is Europe's situation sustainable?...

How minimum variance strategies have performed in US downturn

For risk averse investors, low volatility equity strategies have offered the chance for investors to moderate the volatility. But have they worked?....

Alternative View: ABS Under the Microscope

What are ABS, how are they structured and what are the characteristics of the European ABS market? This analysis helps investors to better understand the asset class, its opportunities and risks....

ROIC and concentrated portfolios – An Antidote to Short-termism

Warren Buffet has famously said that if you are not prepared to hold a stock for 10 years you should not be thinking about owning it for even 10 minutes...

Quantitative Management vs. Traditional Fund Management

A quantitative approach to stock-picking doesn't have to mean a blind trust in computers...

SDG Bonds: Creating a World of Opportunity for Issuers and Investors

The UN Sustainable Development Goals provide the investment community, including bond issuers, with a framework for tackling long-term global challenges....

“Target Date” Corporate Credit: Oddo BHF Haut Rendement 2025

Q&A with Alain Krief and the bond stategy that replaces benchmarks with target dates...

PensionDanmark keeps on looking for illiquid alternatives

Kim Nielsen, Head of Private Debt, explains the Danish pension giants approach to alternative investments and why he is so happy to live without liquidity...

LGIM´s Approach to Responsible Investing

How responsible investing not only mitigates risks, but also leads to better long-term financial outcomes without sacrificing performance...

Can socially responsible investing enhance returns in corporate credit?

For a bond manager, there are many credible options to deploy in an ESG strategy...

What´s Your ESG Score?

Time for boards to wake up and realise that ESG is no longer just a topic that shows up once a year in the company’s Corporate Responsibility report...

Why pressure is growing on investment management costs

The growth in index investments over the last decade has been one of the biggest trends in investment management. There have been a number of factors behind this, but for many making the switch cost is the starting point.

A look across the Border – Danish mortgage bonds versus Dutch mortgage loans

For investors who allocate part of their assets to illiquid categories, Dutch mortgages can offer an additional spread compared to Danish mortgage bonds...

Frontier Market Focus: Ukraine

If Russian stocks may be some of the cheapest in emerging markets, certain equities in neighbouring Ukraine may have some of the lowest valuations in the frontier market universe.

Keeping it real

Kåpan´s Mikael Falck on the pension giants search of real alternatives and the managers that can help him find them

Frontier Market Focus: Pakistan

With a very young population of over 200 million people, a middle class of 80 million and a brand new Prime Minister; Is Pakistan set to be the new Asian success story?

Find Your Niche

With growing pressures in the direct lending market, is the asset class still a viable alternative for investors seeking higher yields?

A Core with a Conscience – Integrating Smart Beta and ESG

Cracking the code for a socially conscious, diversified investment solution with the potential to provide additional premia over the long term...

Rev up: engineering an emerging market debt portfolio

LGIM´s Uday Patnaik examines the nuts and bolts of putting an EMD portfolio together...

Alternative Risk Premia (ARP) focus: Trend Following

Trend-following, or the momentum style or factor, is one building block for many alternative risk premia strategies....

Infrastructure, inflation and other risks

The potential for infrastructure investments to protect against inflation is well understood, but there are many important caveats: valuation, revenue risks, weather, safety, and politics....

Frontier Market Focus: Argentina

Argentina’s equity market hit an all-time high in January 2018, and its currency marked a new all-time low of 27.7 per dollar as of June 21st 2018. Should investors cry for Argentina?

Sourcing Excellence – DNB´s Wilander on how to feed the bank with best-of-breed external managers

DNB Asset Management´s head of manager selection talks hedge funds, ESG and the asset managers that have impressed him recently...

A New Regime in European Credit

As volatility rises and the beta rally draws to a close, how can investors seek to strike a balance between return maximisation and drawdown protection?

Time for contrarians to be rewarded?

The odds are massively stacked against short-sellers, from multiple angles. But irrational optimism and bubbles could meant that mid 2018 is an opportune juncture according to Jupiter´s head of alternatives...

Smart Beta for Bond and Credit markets

The growing menu of smart beta credit products will be useful for those who allocate externally – and indeed those who want to negotiate bespoke strategies. We touch on a handful of examples....

Frontier Market Focus: Kuwait

Argentina’s departure from the MSCI Frontier index, will leave Kuwait as the largest member of that index - but maybe not for long...

Aktia’s Ville Toivakainen sees strong demand for alternative credit

Ville Toivakainen shares his views on why Aktia has had a long-term focus on emerging market debt and alternative credit, what he looks for on the alternative side and how he selects managers to Aktia’s fund-of-hedge funds portfolio.

Frontier Markets Focus: Bangladesh

A microbrew beer made by Brooklyn’s Sixpoint Brewery is called Bengali Tiger. Craft brewing and Bangladesh are both impressive growth stories: a growth market and a “Tiger” economy.

EM local currency bonds for USD investors

Mike Biggs explains how skipping the USD can bring down volatility and enhance returns when investing in EM local currency debt

A Growing Investment Universe Still Demands Discerning Analysis 

Since 1988, Jupiter Ecology’s investment universe has ballooned from under 100 to over 1,200 companies. Regulation and subsidies have spawned new industries and firms, and awareness of climate change is now global.

What does ‘ESG integration’ really mean?

Today a large number of investors and asset managers use “ESG integration” to describe their overall approach to responsible investing but what does that really mean?

Single-Factor Products Gather Most Assets

“Smart beta” assets have reached $658.4 billion at the end of 2017, up 32.3% year on year, per Morningstar. Much of this resides in products that are based on only one factor concept.

Resilience Anticipated Amid Rising Rates

With interest rates in the Eurozone, Denmark and Sweden having been negative for some years, investors are considering a switch from fixed rate assets to floating rate assets, which should see their coupons increase when and if rates rise.

Frontier Markets focus: Vietnam

For Asian equities in general, the first quarter of 2018 was pretty lacklustre. The long, thin country of Vietnam was head and shoulders above the rest. We look at the many drivers behind the country’s strong economic and stock-market performance.

Inflation Linked Bonds

Both short term interest rates, and yields on longer term government debt, are below inflation in most developed countries. Are inflation-linked government bonds a solution?

Harnessing ESG as an Alpha Source in Active Quantitative Equities

State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) explain how they view ESG as a source of alpha that could lead to positive portfolio performance over time

Alternative Risk Premia Strategies

A growing number of “alternative risk premia” (ARP) “style premia” and “alternative beta” funds are being launched (at least 35 and counting). How similar or different are ARP strategies? A deeper dive under the bonnet reveals marked differences

In search for ”the five Ps”

Andreas Weilby, COO of Spektrum, gives his views on the challenges currently facing institutional investors, how they source external managers to their portfolios, what he sees allocators are looking for in terms of strategies and how regulatory changes affect their business.

Potential New Emerging Markets on the Block: Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Romania

Inclusion into the EM index is not easy to come by. A country must meet size and liquidity requirements, as well as specific conditions for market accessibility. These requirements bode well for research coverage, governance, and liquidity … Read more

Short Volatility is not Dead!

Long live volatility trading strategies The demise of the short volatility Exchange Traded Note (ETN) with ticker XIV, has led some media observers to suggest that the short volatility trade is dead. I would argue that many short-biased strategies continue to thrive, but trading volatility requires a more sophisticated approach than either long-only or ... Read more

Engineering a roster of ESG-focused managers and products

Active investment management is often said to sit somewhere between art and science. It is also said that while scientists dream about doing great things it is engineers that actually do them. Having an engineer at the helm of its manager selection team Nordea Investment Management might be onto something. … Read more

Emerging Market Cycles and Diversification

Day to day market movements often seem to suggest that emerging markets are highly correlated with developed markets, and in 2008 or 2011 emerging equity markets were not generally a useful place to hide. … Read more

Preparing for Higher Inflation

There are fears that inflation is picking up in developed countries, after many years of being very subdued. How might investors look to protect themselves against – and profit from – inflation? … Read more

The Hedge Fund Allocation Is Dead. Long Live Total Return!

Outflows from hedge funds are accelerating. Hedge funds are now finding themselves on the defensive from poor performance, high fees, unfriendly legal structures, and an onslaught of negative publicity. Investors were already becoming more conscious of fees amid low nominal returns. Now a new dynamic is setting in: fear. … Read more

A love letter to economic history

The credit cycle is close to the end. Risky assets, including credits, are vulnerable. Central banks risk falling behind the curve. Sander Bus and Victor Verberk, co-heads of the Credit team at Robeco, are becoming more careful. They prefer safety and stay up in quality to benefit from further decompression and higher risk premiums. ... Read more

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