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20 minutes | 19 hours ago
Episode 15: Sustainability (part 2 – carbon journey plan)
Adam Gillett, Head of Sustainable Investment, and Shahrazad Khan, Sustainability Specialist, both at Willis Towers Watson talk about the regulatory momentum behind sustainable investment and the actions that investors can and should take on this front. Institutional investors have great power to influence change – the time has come to exercise this power and in particular to stop ignoring the impact investment decisions have on the wider world. In dealing with climate change, a “carbon journey plan” could be a useful framework for setting a strategy and putting actions into context.
31 minutes | 19 hours ago
Episode 14: Sustainability (part 1 – lessons from Covid)
Adam Gillett, Head of Sustainable Investment, and Shahrazad Khan, Sustainability Specialist, both at Willis Towers Watson, discuss sustainability, ESG and stewardship, including what lessons Covid-19 has taught us about ESG-integrated strategies. Looking ahead, to what extent do they think sustainability factors will influence investment returns, and what are the dangers in doing the bare minimum? They also look at different ways of investing sustainably, from tilting and exclusions to positive impact investments.
29 minutes | a month ago
Episode 13: Inclusion & diversity – a frank discussion
We pose some challenging and sensitive questions for our two experts. What’s wrong with a simple meritocracy? How much does a strong culture really add to returns? How do we make sure we get true cognitive (rather than superficial) diversity? And should we look beyond gender and ethnicity, to consider socio-economic class and other factors? Chris Redmond and Nimisha Srivastava are responsible for overseeing our manager research efforts across the world. The manager research team aims to identify skilled asset managers and engaging with them to create optimal investment vehicles for clients. An assessment of the Inclusion and Diversity culture forms a key part of this research.
36 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 12: China
Liang Yin, Director, China Manager Research at Willis Towers Watson discusses the possible paths for US-China geopolitics and continued globalisation – how might these forces shape our future, and what size of allocation to Chinese investments is sensible as a result? Paul Colwell, Senior Director and Head of the Advisory Portfolio Group Asia at WTW, then goes into the practical aspects of investing in China – is now the right time, is China the right place, and who are the right people to do it for you? In this episode, we will cover the major opportunities and risks (and some Chinese proverbs).
27 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 11: Horizons (part 2 - back to the future)
Tim and Becka focus on longer term considerations. The future is VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) and we need a way to make sense of it so that we can act now or prepare appropriately. Can we take advantage of the “inflection points” resulting from the seemingly inevitable shifts like a huge leap in technology and artificial intelligence, climate change, or more speculative shifts, for example in how financial industry participants reconfigure themselves in response to changing consumer preferences? And what of the “unknown unknowns” that even sci-fi film makers fail to foresee?
20 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 10: Horizons (part 1 - do the next right thing?)
Rebecca Bannan, Governance and Organisational Effectiveness, and Tim Mitchell, Global Head of Governance Consulting at Willis Towers Watson, describe how investors should think about the inter-related issues around governance, investment, operations, clients, people and business across different time horizons. How much attention should those at varying levels of seniority devote to these timeframes? We also discuss some specific examples over the short and medium term, including taking into account “externalities” and “having the right people on the bus”.
19 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 9: So many ways to lend money
Nimisha Srivastava, Global Head of Credit Research at Willis Towers Watson, explains what has driven the downturn and subsequent recovery in credit markets during the COVID crisis. With a varying outlook across different areas of the credit landscape, she also sets out her views on different ways of lending money, in terms of the type of borrower, loan structure, securitisation, liquidity, and looking for “bargains” in fallen angels and distressed credit.
21 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 8: The weird and wonderful (part 2 – technology and social impact)
Katie Sims, Global Head of Multi-Asset Solutions at Willis Towers Watson, continues to explore innovative investment ideas. In this Part 2, she covers investments linked to the themes of technology (including cyber security and developing a vaccine for Covid-19!) and meeting the needs of vulnerable members of society. She also considers how incorporating these ideas can provide long-term downside protection and deliver more stable outcomes for the whole portfolio.
22 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 7: The weird and wonderful (part 1 – climate change)
Katie Sims, Global Head of Multi-Asset Solutions at Willis Towers Watson, explores some of the more innovative investment ideas we’ve been putting forward. In this Part 1 of our conversation, she covers investments linked to the theme of long-term climate change: solar power, agriculture and forestry. Within this overarching theme of climate change, different investment structures are available, across the full spectrum of risk and return.
28 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 6: Asset owners: how to make good decisions
Jess Melville, Head of Strategic Advisory Australia, Willis Towers Watson, talks about good and bad examples of decision making by asset owners. How could a chairperson deal with the loudest and quietest voices in the room? How do the Australian Superfunds operate, and do they get better results? Should the rest of us stick to our comfort zone instead? And how are things different now that meetings are conducted remotely?
24 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 5: The role of culture in asset management
Luba Nikulina, Global Head of Research, Willis Towers Watson, describes what culture means in the context of asset management, and how this is a key consideration in the manager rating process. Why is the common model of relying on an individual star investor no longer suited to the modern investment environment? Can different cultures be equally good? And how has ESG thinking been elevated by the current situation?
18 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 4: Are the asset managers coping?
Josh Hall, Global Head of Operational Due Diligence, Willis Towers Watson, judges how well the asset managers are doing with handling a financial crisis whilst working under unusual conditions. What is the worst thing that can happen when operational processes fail, and how close is he to giving an “ODD fail” to an asset manager? The conversation also touches on risks that have wider relevance given the prevalence of home working, including concerns around cyber security.
25 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 3: Is it too late to diversify?
In this episode, Craig discusses what asset owners should be thinking about and doing in this environment. Would he ever recommend less diversification? And what is the one thing he would “impose” on investors if he didn’t have to answer to to anybody?
20 minutes | 9 months ago
Episode 2: Covid-19 scenarios: where we might go from here and implications for investment markets
A continuation of our conversation with David Hoile, on how things may develop from here. David’s team have prepared a number of future scenarios for the battle against Covid-19, and the likely implications for investment markets. The team are also launching a Covid-19 dashboard linking medical indicators with economic indicators, to shed light on which scenario is more likely to come to pass.
49 minutes | 9 months ago
Episode 1: 10%, 4 weeks and two-thirds: catch-up on market and economic developments since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak
David Hoile, Global Head of Asset Research, Willis Towers Watson, summarises movements in the investment markets up to the first week of April against a backdrop of the Covid-19 outbreak. Find out how far the level of economic activity has fallen, how recent equity falls compare to historic bear markets, and why government bond prices have been so volatile.
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