Thought Leadership

Read our latest thought pieces for insight into our critical thinking.

Bridging the Return Gap in Asset Allocation

Government bond yields are close to multi-decade lows. Respondents to the Asia Pacific Insurance Survey, representing an estimated 60% of the total Asia Pacific insurance market, hold more than half their assets in fixed income securities. These low yields mean insurance companies are struggling to generate sufficient returns on their investments to generate a profit on their guaranteed-return products. At the same time, regulatory changes are forcing insurance companies to recognize the risks created by this gap in returns. This is forcing insurers to rethink their asset allocation strategies.

 
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Labor Relations – Why do labor relations matter to investors?

We examine the issues involved in labor relations and the policies and practices required of companies in their treatment of employees. We discuss why labor issues are such a crucial consideration for investors, and what we should seek from those companies in which we invest.

 
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Doing the Right Thing and Making Money: ESG and the Corporate Bond Investor

ESG analysis is a fundamental tool for corporate bond investors. We define what it means to do ‘the right thing’, look at how portfolio managers can incorporate ESG analysis in their investment process, and consider how investors can do ‘the right thing’ and make money.

 
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Evaluating Multi-Asset Strategies

Fairly evaluating the performance of a multi-asset portfolio requires looking beyond simple correlation measures. In this paper, published in the Journal of Portfolio Management, Aberdeen Standard Investments Investment Director, Stuart Peskin, discusses the limitations of correlation and proposes a range of techniques to help us appraise the effectiveness of these strategies.

 
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Unique Possibilities in EMD

Unique possibilities in EMD

As emerging markets continue to develop and strengthen, the unique potential of opportunities in emerging-markets debt can benefit fixed income investors hungry for additional yield and diversification.

 
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Asia Pacific Insurance Survey

The Asia Pacific insurance industry is being reshaped by twin forces: low interest rates and modernizing regulation. We surveyed investors responsible for $4 trillion of assets. We identify five themes that are driving a fundamental change in the way investment decisions are made.

 
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Seeds of change for U.S. farmland

As part of the collection of sub-asset classes loosely referred to as “real assets,” agriculture is a broad category that includes a myriad of sectors, including commodities, agribusiness opportunities, and farmland investments.

 
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Smaller Companies

Returns from smaller companies have outstripped those of large-cap peers over the longer term. In this paper, we examine the reasons for this small-cap effect and outline why we believe the factors causing it should persist for some time.

 
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Infrastructure investing: Limitless opportunities over the long term

Infrastructure is the foundation of the global economy. However, basic resources such as drinking water, electricity, sanitation and transportation are still not accessible for a significant proportion of the world's population. Demand for the necessary investment in infrastructure continues to increase, giving investors the potential for a variety of opportunities.

 
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Impact Investing - Embracing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in mainstream investment

Impact investing’ involves investing in companies and investment portfolios that have the intention of generating positive social and environmental impacts alongside financial returns. While environmental, social and governance (ESG) analysis has become a necessary tool for investment managers, screening for positive rather than negative impact remains a niche activity.

 
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Look Sharp: Perceptions of risk in emerging markets

Given the rapid pace of economic development, investors can get left behind and miss valuable opportunities if they cling to their old prejudices and assumptions. One of the areas that investors should reevaluate is their perceptions of the differences between emerging and developed markets.

 
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The rise of emerging markets: Taking a blended approach to emerging-markets debt

the rise of emerging markets

Emerging markets are poised for a gradual recovery, even as they deal with market volatility and headlines about the recent slowdown in global growth. Many of these markets continue to offer compelling growth relative to their developed world counterparts, which can translate into attractive investment opportunities for the long-term investor.

 
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