A busy PLSA Investment Conference at the start of June set the month’s frantic clip. Edinburgh was bonny in the summer sunshine with green trees and long days amplifying its romance. After shoe-horning as many meetings as possible into two and half days, I returned to a very warm London to chair a session on diversity and inclusion at the WTW’s MiX23 conference. I was delighted to have an engaged audience who asked some punchy questions. This month also saw the publication of two recent articles for MandateWire. The first article asked whether sustainability will be the death of the global asset manager with polarisation of ESG likely to force managers to pick a client base. And the second examined whether further consolidation of the LGPS would do more harm than good. As the rest of the month was packed with meetings and events, I became adept at pounding London’s hot pavements while carrying two bags and a jacket over my arm. Maybe I can start a summer bootcamp?

PLSA Investment Conference

The annual trip to Edinburgh did not disappoint. I managed to pack two breakfasts, two lunches, two drinks, a dinner and 16 face-to-face meetings into this year’s event. Although I spent many hours in a windowless conference hall networking my bamboo socks off, I maintained my ‘stomach first’ philosophy and ensured I always ate outside the conference centre. On my return to London, I learnt my favourite lunch spot – The Palmerston – made it into the top 50 in The National Restaurant awards!

WTW’s MiX23 conference

On a very hot Wednesday morning I hoofed it out to North Greenwich to chair a session on diversity, equity and inclusion at WTW’s MiX23 conference. The conference room was much, much larger than the upstairs room of the Betsey Trotwood where I hold my events, which was a touch intimidating. But I did my best to inject some warmth into the proceedings and to ask the questions asset managers would want answered. I was rewarded with an engaged audience who, in turn, asked intelligent and punchy questions.

Why asset managers must stop sitting on the ESG fence

Will sustainability be the death of the global asset manager? That is the question my latest article for MandateWire asks. As politicisation of ESG sweeps across the US with Republican states stopping state pension schemes from embracing this style of investment, Europe continues to embrace sustainability. This makes it harder for managers to keep global investors happy. Something will have to give. Investment consultants say asset managers will need to take a stance even if this limits their potential client base.

Why the LGPS super pool could do more harm than good

When do economies of scale become diseconomies of scale? My latest piece for MandateWire examines whether there should be further consolidation of the Local Government Pension Scheme. Pooling has helped local authorities to reduce investment management costs and, more importantly, it has enabled them to embrace sustainable investment which is too time consuming for many individual authorities. Further consolidation would not, however, unlock greater savings and risks losing the local flavour of local authority schemes.

Networking events

I sent out the invite for the next event earlier this week, which will be taking place on Wednesday, 13th September. If you would like to attend, please get in touch!

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