Wed, Jun 29, 2016
A A A
Welcome Guest
Free Trial RSS
Get FREE trial access to our award winning publications
Industry Updates

WEF report says long-term investing can be severely distorted by inaccurate, short-term focus

Monday, April 02, 2012
Opalesque Industry Update – Inaccurate measurement of investment values, returns, risks and liabilities can create substantial distortions to long-term investment strategies and drive long-term investors to adopt a short-term orientation, according to the Measurement, Governance and Long-term Investing report, released by the World Economic Forum.

Since long-term capital can play an important role in helping to drive economic growth, stabilize financial markets, and provide financial returns to fund pensions, education and other social goods, the report focuses on the often overlooked, yet increasing number of measurement-related challenges that can hinder long-term investing. Among such challenges:

Mark-to-market rules require long-term illiquid portfolios to be evaluated relative to a public market benchmark, however, short-term variations in the value of assets held for the long term can lead to shifts in investment policy or execution that hinder success in long-term investing.

Poor risk measurements or an inadequate understanding of risk can lead institutions to hold riskier (or less risky) assets than they should otherwise. Staff evaluation and compensation schemes may create a framework that rewards staff for acting against the stated long-term interests of the institution.

The report argues that without effective governance, measurement schemes can distort decisions regarding the choice of investments and the time frame over which they are held. And the lack of meaningful, intuitive measurements for performance and risk over long-time horizons adds more complexity to long-term investing and the governance of such efforts.

“Long-term patient capital is vital to promote sustainable growth, create jobs and solve problems plaguing the global economy today. Yet, as this important paper highlights, a short-term orientation in terms of performance measurement, leadership, media focus and regulatory constraints threatens to obstruct long-term investment and deprive society of the critical benefits it can provide,” stated Scott Kalb, Chief Investment Officer, Korea Investment Corporation (KIC), and Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Long-term Investing.

The central conclusion and recommendation of this study is that governing bodies and other external stakeholders need to act on the understanding that the performance of long-term investments unfolds over time periods longer than the quarter or the year, even when short-term measurements are used. Such metrics should be placed in context, lest long-term strategies be abruptly and unfortunately revised.

“In this report, we consider the impact of different types of measurements and how, combined with thoughtful governance approaches, institutions can think more carefully about measuring and supporting their long-term strategies,” observed Josh Lerner, Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking, Harvard Business School, and the lead researcher for the report.

“Having a long horizon accentuates the importance of governance models, and long-term investors can play a critical role in fostering leading governance practices, both within their own institutions and for the companies that they invest in,” remarked Mark Wiseman, Executive Vice-President, Investments, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. “For long-term investors, good governance that includes a qualified board with a solid long-term orientation and commitment is integral to ensuring that they are able to stay the course through economic and investment cycles. This report makes the case that without appropriate board oversight on risk assessment, valuation metrics or compensation structures, investors can easily lose sight of long-term gains and focus instead on short-term metrics.”

“Although there are numerous metrics for the short-term assessment of long-term investments, none are without limitations. Good governance therefore is critical to ensure sound decision-making around which investments are chosen and for how long they are held,” said Michael Drexler, Senior Director, Head of Investors Industries, World Economic Forum USA.

The report was developed by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with a research team led by Josh Lerner of Harvard Business School. Guidance was provided by the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Long-term Investing.

Press release: Source

More information on the report can be found at: Source

Bg

What do you think?

   Use "anonymous" as my name    |   Alert me via email on new comments   |   
Today's Exclusives Today's Other Voices More Exclusives
Previous Opalesque Exclusives                                  
More Other Voices
Previous Other Voices                                               
Access Alternative Market Briefing


  • Top Forwarded
  • Top Tracked
  • Top Searched
  1. Blackstone buys minority stake in New York-based credit hedge fund Marathon[more]

    Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva: Blackstone Strategic Capital Holdings Fund, a vehicle managed by Blackstone Alternative Asset Management (BAAM), has acquired a passive, minority interest in Marathon Asset Management, for an undisclosed sum. Based in New York,

  2. Investing - Soros, Druckenmiller among hedgies profiting in market plunge, Hedge funds were most bullish on bonds since 2004 before Brexit, Surprise Brexit vote unleashes scramble for dollars, High-yield hit on Brexit but no panic selling, Scientist turned hedge fund founder lured to pound, euro, Hedge fund avoids commodities, posts big gains[more]

    Soros, Druckenmiller among hedgies profiting in market plunge From HITC.com: Bullish positions in gold and volatility and well-timed short bets on China and emerging markets, among other areas, were some of the trades that benefited hedge funds on Friday as markets digested Britons' s

  3. Manager Profile - A 26-year old hedge fund manager called Brexit — here's what he thinks about the historic vote[more]

    From Businessinsider.com: Taylor Mann is not your typical fund manager. The twenty-six year old Texas A&M graduate manages Pine Capital in Larue, Texas (population 160), where he resides with his three-year old daughter. Also atypical compared with many of the largest funds out there, Mann makes

  4. People - Mariner Investment’s co-CIO Williams to leave $5.5bn firm, IOOF hires new alternatives portfolio manager[more]

    Mariner Investment’s co-CIO Williams to leave $5.5bn firm From Bloomberg.com: Basil Williams, co-chief investment officer of Mariner Investment Group, is leaving the $5.5 billion hedge-fund firm after negotiations to renew his contract failed. Williams will stay in his role until t

  5. Hedge Fund Due Diligence Exchange offers complete due diligence reports at $1500[more]

    Matthias Knab, Opalesque: HFDDX is offering complete alternative investment due diligence reports at $1500 US. Industry professionals can simply go to www.hfddx.com and indicate their interest in sponsoring one or more DD Reports for $1500 each.