Global WOW (Who Owns What)

Global WOW (Who Owns What)

Organisation: Modern Investor (United Kingdom)

Publication Date: 04/14/2016


The series of 'Modern Investor's' magazine data-driven stories focus on analysing holdings of public pension funds in the UK and elsewhere which invest worldwide trillions of euros of employees' money. ‘The government will work with Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) administering authorities to ensure that they pool investments to significantly reduce costs, while maintaining overall investment performance.’ The stated aim of Chancellor George Osborne, as outlined in his July 2015 Budget, sounds simple. For the LGPS investors who will have to implement this plan, it is anything but. Modern Investor has devoted a great deal of time and effort to understanding exactly what LGPS - who manage billions of pounds of public money - are investing in, particularly in terms of pooled funds. The bigger debate around the pooling of assets by the schemes themselves, driven by the chancellor, has made this information more relevant than ever. In the spirit of learning from the experiences of others, the data Modern Investor has gathered, analysed and presented in its Global WOW (Who Owns What) series will provide guidance not just on how performance can be maintained but also how it can be improved. The objective of running this data-driven series of stories is twofold. One is to highlight and discuss some of the main challenges faced by LGPS investors as they prepare to create the larger asset pools demanded by the chancellor. The other is to shine a light onto their existing fund holdings, to understand what’s working well and what’s not working so well, allowing everybody to benefit from sharing the best ideas. So far we have run several stories analysing UK local authorities pension scheme's holdings as well as Finland's pension fund's KEVA, trying to figure out why the companies have made certain investment decisions, how that affects their holdings and returns. Despite being an industry magazine and website, dedicated for institutional investors, the stories uncover how public, but often obscured, pension fund industry actually works.
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