Research

Is Deregulation the Death Knell of Direct Lending? Reviewing the Evidence

Some market participants have feared the worst for direct lending from a potential repeal of The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In this brief, we review the data and show that changes in banks’ lending behavior cannot clearly be traced to the passage of Dodd-Frank or its implementation.

Can College and University Endowments Do More?

Recent policy proposals assume endowments can do more to reduce the reliance on student revenue, and thus the cost of a college education. These proposals aim to shift more endowment wealth to current student beneficiaries. Our analysis shows that while well intentioned, these proposals will affect endowment and organizational stability and intergenerational equity. While endowments may be able to do more to support the enterprise and thus lower the cost of attendance, considering the implications of current policy proposals is critical, as is examining other strategies that could address current pricing concerns.

Considerations for ESG Policy Development

The practice of sustainable investing and the consideration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors continues to grow. Concurrently, the demand for effective investment policies that facilitate exploration and integration of sustainable investment strategies with primary portfolio objectives is also increasing. However, actually arriving at an actionable policy statement that enjoys broad support and commitment […]

Over the Long Term, Diversification Still Wins

Since 2009, US equities have outperformed every major asset class by a considerable margin, returning 14.5% a year on average. And, over the same period, a simple 70% US equity/30% bond portfolio* returned 11.4% per year, on average. These kinds of results can tempt even the savviest investors into abandoning their long-term discipline and chasing […]

CA Answers: Playing the Long Game—Should the US Treasury Issue Ultra-Long Bonds?

Answers to our clients’ questions about market action and the market environment in a few paragraphs every two weeks. Yes. Issuance of ultra-long Treasury bonds (greater than 30 years to maturity, including potentially 40-, 50-, and 100-year maturities) would benefit multiple constituents. Ultra-long Treasuries would extend the investable Treasury curve for pension plans and life […]

Thought Mortality Was Dead? Considerations for Pensions Given the IRS’s Delay in Implementing RP-2014

The IRS’s somewhat unexpected decision to delay implementation of the RP-2014 mortality tables has impacted at least three separate aspects of pension plan strategy: calculating minimum contribution requirements; determining variable-rate PBGC premiums; and valuing lump-sum distributions to be paid out to terminated vested participants. This brief discusses what has changed and provides general considerations for all sponsors to weigh in the near term.

CA Answers: In an Environment of Declining Demographics and Slow Productivity Growth, What Investments Look Attractive?

Answers to our clients’ questions about market action and the market environment in a few paragraphs every two weeks. Investments with the potential to earn returns competitive with equities—without a dependence on economic growth—are especially valuable diversifiers for portfolios. Such investments are varied, sometimes niche, and require skilled implementation. Many require some illiquidity, but may […]

The Financial Performance of Real Assets Impact Investments: Introducing the Timber, Real Estate, and Infrastructure Impact Benchmarks

Within impact investing, real assets investments constitute one of the largest opportunity sets. This report presents findings from our analysis of the financial performance of 55 private real assets impact investing funds across three sectors: timber, real estate, and infrastructure. We find that risk-adjusted market rates of return are achievable in impact investing, but note that as with conventional funds, manager selection is key to success.

This report also marks the launch of the real assets impact investing financial performance benchmarks, which will track the performance of impact investing funds across the three sectors of focus and will be maintained and updated on a quarterly basis.