In our final newsletter of the year, we reflect on what has been another turbulent year both geopolitically, economically and people continue to face a cost-of-living crisis amid persistently high inflation and interest rates.
On the ESG front, we reported investors’ concerns about the lack of effective stewardship from asset managers. This has been accompanied by the growing anti-ESG movement – predominantly in the States – which is driving some investors away from investment strategies that align with the Paris agreement on climate change.
But it wasn’t all bad news. Major markets managed to avoid full blown recession while higher bond yields and reasonable stock valuations mean that forward-looking returns seem more promising than they have been in more than a decade.
And we bring you an interesting piece this week from Kostas Manolis, Partner, Head of Private Market Investments at Downing, who argues that the investment stage is well set for allocations to long-term assets – including renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure – that will not only alleviate pressures on institutional portfolios but help with an effective green transition.
All this leads JP Morgan’s Global Market Strategists to state that investors “have more options for their portfolios than at any time since before the global financial crisis”.
2023 also saw the first artificial intelligence (AI) global safety summit which attempted to address some of the fears investors have about the power the technology may wield if left unchecked. Throughout the year we have bought you several stories about the role AI has in shaping investment portfolios and helping to drive down costs while improving performance.
We predict that a key theme for 2024 will be a potential boost in productivity from AI and governments incentivising politically important industries, particularly the financial sector.
With so many obstacles as well as innovations and advances across the financial sector, there was huge potential for firms to demonstrate their ability to provide effective solutions that drive the industry towards success in 2024 and beyond.
Nowhere was this demonstrated more clearly than in the entries to the Institutional Asset Manager awards this year. The submission standards were higher than ever which made for some tough judging.
And with that we wish you a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year and look forward to bringing you all the latest news, views and features from the industry in 2024.
Gill Wadsworth, Editor