joint event visions strategies for asset managers monday 23rd september 2013
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Joint Event Visions & Strategies for Asset Managers Monday 23rd September 2013

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Joint Event Visions & Strategies for Asset Managers Monday 23rd September 2013. and. Falling yields generated a golden age for bonds. To extrapolate the last 30 years’ bond returns would be fantasy. 300 years of UK bond yields. What is “normal”?.

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falling yields generated a golden age for bonds
Falling yields generated a golden age for bonds

To extrapolate the last 30 years’ bond returns would be fantasy

300 years of uk bond yields what is normal
300 years of UK bond yields. What is “normal”?

The high bond returns since 1980 were not “normal”

a deeper purpose for finance
A deeper purpose for finance

Visions and Strategies for Asset Managers

Roger UrwinCFA Society Switzerland

September 2013

big picture
Big picture

Investing to a long-term financial framework in which short-term and extra-financial factors play a part

  • Making connections
  • Looking closer in and further out
  • Dealing with complexity
    • Abstraction and adaptation
    • Communication
    • Convexity
    • Roadmaps and dashboards
    • Culture and governance
current investment trends
Current investment trends

Shorter term

Pressure from low returns : a Red Queen Race – everyone running as fast as possible to stay still

Investing in the new world order

The great investment revamp


Systemic issues - regulation, crises, trust, legitimacy

Sustainability issues

Long-term vs short-term investing

Investing in a resource-constrained world

First bounce = Nearer term, fast, needs execution

Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

Second bounce = Longer term, unpredictable, needs adaptability


the deeper purpose of investment
The deeper purpose of investment
  • The investment chain links savings to investments to economic growth through institutional intermediation across time horizons, geographies and sub-groups
  • A better and more legitimate investment chain requires:
    • Investment markets as instruments of effective capital formation
    • Investment institutions as instruments of effective wealth build-up and draw-down
  • A better chain can involve one or more of
    • Increased returns, reduced risks, reduced costs/ negative externalities, increased trust , lesser agency issues
  • Sustainable capitalism and better governance need to evolve, financial capitalism needs to make way for better fiduciary capitalism
  • The results are a number of public goods: more economic growth and employment, more economic well-being, less degradation of natural capital and support for the sustainability of the financial system itself


cfa future of finance project
CFA Future of Finance Project
  • Financial services is a broken spoke in the economic wheel - bandaging it has cost $billions
  • The current discussion about fixing finance is tired
  • The problem summary is of the investment industry struggling with its purpose
  • The CFA journey involves authoritatively describing the financial ecosystem
  • The CFA wants to find some solutions covering the issues of industry effectiveness and adaptability: structure, alignment, ethics, competency and trust
  • This is a blueprint for a new and sustainable financial ecosystem


contact details and limitations
Contact details and limitations

Roger Urwin

[email protected]


Towers Watson | We need a bigger boat (2012)

The wrong type of snow (2012)

Urwin | Sustainable investing practice (2009)Allocations to sustainable investing (2010)

Universal owners (2011)

Clark and Urwin | Best-practice Investment Management (2007)

Limitations of relianceThis work reflects the opinions of the author rather than representing the formal view of Towers Watson, MSCI or the CFA

  • This report for information only. Specific professional advice should be taken before any action is taken based upon this report.
  • This report is based on data available to Towers Watson at the date of the report and takes no account of subsequent developments after that date. It may not be modified or provided to any other party without Towers Watson’s prior written permission. It may also not be disclosed to any other party without Towers Watson’s prior written permission except as may be required by law. In the absence of our express written permission to the contrary, Towers Watson accepts no responsibility for any consequences arising from any third party relying on this report or the opinions we have expressed. This report is not intended by Towers Watson to form a basis of any decision by a third party to do or omit to do anything.
  • The analysis in this report is based on a range of assumptions which influence the output and our recommendations. The assumptions have been derived by Towers Watson through a blend of economic theory, historical analysis and the views of investment managers. They inevitably contain an element of subjective judgement. Our opinions and return forecasts are not intended to imply, nor should be interpreted as conveying, any form of guarantee or assurance by Towers Watson to any third party, of the future performance of the asset classes in question, either favourable or unfavourable. Past performance should not be taken as representing any particular guide to future performance.