Investment wisdom in the digital age
An interview with Deb Clarke, Mercer's Global Head of Investment Research, on megatrends shaping our future.
Innovative investors are taking action to address some of the world’s greatest risks.
On January 21, Rich Nuzum, President of Mercer’s Investments & Retirement business, and our special guest panel engaged in a candid conversation on how new opportunities for partnerships, co-investment and co-creation are transforming capitalism. Leaders from established sovereign wealth and pension funds globally discussed noteworthy, innovative examples of how they are investing, with operating business partners, to address major systemic global risks such as:
Low and negative interest rates, and the associated need for investment in venture capital and other entrepreneurial ventures and innovation more generally;
Populism with its associated threat to free trade and globalization, driven by concerns about income inequality and other perceived failings of global capitalism;
Demographic challenges, including aging and migration;
Climate change and the associated need for economic transformation; and
See the content below to learn how you can apply innovative investment strategies to address long-term risks facing the economy, society and the planet.
Rich is President of Investments & Retirement, and a member of Mercer’s Executive Leadership team. Rich is responsible for Mercer’s delivery of investment consulting, open architecture manager-of-managers investment management, and retirement actuarial consulting services and solutions globally. During the past 25 years Rich has provided investment advice to clients in more than 20 countries, including many of the world’s largest institutional investors.
In prior roles, Rich was the President and Global Business Leader for Mercer’s investment management business, global Chief Investment Officer for Mercer’s investment management business, and held a variety of other leadership roles while based in Tokyo, Singapore and later New York.
Rich holds an MBA with High Honors in Analytic Finance and Accounting from the University of Chicago, and a BA with Honors in Mathematical Sciences and Mathematical Economic Analysis from Rice University. Rich also did graduate work in international economics at Tokyo University. Rich is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the CFA Institute.
Rich has repeatedly been named to CIO Magazine’s annual list of the world’s most influential investment consultants, and received CIO Magazine’s 2017 Industry Innovation Award as “Consultant of the Year”.
Afsaneh Mashayekhi Beschloss is founder and CEO of RockCreek, a leading global investment firm. Previously, she was Managing Director and Partner at the Carlyle Group. She was Treasurer and Chief Investment Officer of the World Bank and worked at Shell International and J.P. Morgan. Afsaneh has advised governments, central banks, and regulatory agencies on global public policy and financial policy.
She led the World Bank’s energy investments and policy work on sustainable investing in climate-related renewable energy, power and infrastructure projects. She founded its Natural Gas Group as a transitional fuel to reduce carbon emissions.
Afsaneh is on the boards of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Council on Foreign Relations, the World Resources Institute, the American Red Cross, and is the Vice-Chair of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).
She is a recipient of the Institutional Investor Lifetime Achievement Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award. She was recognized as one of American Banker’s Most Powerful Women in Banking.
Afsaneh holds an MPhil (with honors) in economics from the University of Oxford, where she taught international trade and economic development. She is the co-author of The Economics of Natural Gas and author of numerous journal articles on energy, finance, and impact.
George Quinn joined Zurich in May 2014 as Group CFO and is a member of the Executive Committee.
He started his career at KPMG in 1988 in London, where he held several positions working with the insurance and reinsurance industry. He joined Swiss Re in 1999 as Group Chief Accounting Officer based in Zurich and later served as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Swiss Re Group’s financial services. George became the regional CFO for Swiss Re Americas based in New York in 2005. In March 2007, he became Swiss Re Group’s CFO.
George is a member of the finance chapter of the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce. He is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. George holds a degree in engineering from the University of Strathclyde.
Sudhir Rajkumar was named Representative of the Secretary-General (RSG) for the investment of the assets of the UNJSPF by United Nations Secretary-General by Antonio Guterres, effective January 1, 2018. As RSG, Sudhir has the responsibility and authority to act on the Secretary-General’s behalf in all matters related to the investment of the US$70+ billion global investment portfolio of the UNJSPF.
Sudhir heads the Office of Investment Management, which is responsible for investing UNJSPF assets. These assets are currently invested across the entire range of public and private market asset classes — including global equities, global fixed income, private equity, real estate, infrastructure, timber and commodities — and in over 100 countries and 27 currencies. Eighty-five percent of these assets are actively managed in-house by the Office of Investment Management.
Sudhir has 30 years of broad-based global investment experience, covering formulation and implementation of investment policies, hands-on portfolio management experience in global bond markets, private equity and project finance investments, and corporate finance and privatization advisory engagements, gained from previous roles with the World Bank Treasury and International Finance Corporation. He has also served as a senior advisor to several large, multi-asset class, long-term investment institutions seeking to build global investment operations in his role as head of the global pension investments advisory program at the World Bank Treasury.
Sudhir holds an MBA from the University of Chicago, an MSc in economics from the London School of Economics, a BSc in engineering from the University of Delhi and a CFA charter. He serves on the Advisory Committee on Investments of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Investment Committee of the UN Office of Project Services (UNOPS). He also serves as Vice-Chair of the Board of the International Centre for Pension Management (ICPM) — a global, research-based network of around 40 of the largest pension funds from different parts of the world. Sudhir is co-editor and an author of the book Governance and Investment of Public Pension Assets: Practitioners' Perspectives published by the World Bank.
Rohit Sipahimalani joined Temasek in 2008 as Head of Telecom, Media & Technology investments. In 2012, he was appointed co-Chief Investment Officer and has since held various roles, including Joint Head for Investment Group, Joint Head of Portfolio Strategy & Risk Group as well as Head, India, before assuming his current position in January 2020.
Prior to joining Temasek, Rohit spent 11 years with Morgan Stanley holding senior positions across its Mumbai and Hong Kong offices, including Co-Head of the Asia Pacific M&A business in Hong Kong, before his appointment as Managing Director and Head of South East Asia Investment Banking in Singapore.
Rohit started his career with Citibank, Mumbai, after which he spent a few years with McKinsey & Company in India as a management consultant, before he joined Morgan Stanley.
Rohit holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. He graduated from St. Stephens College, Delhi with a Bachelor of Arts (with honors) in economics.
Günther Thallinger has been a member of the Board of Management of Allianz SE since January 2017, responsible for Investment Management and the Center of Competence Life & Health. In January 2018, he assumed additional responsibility for steering ESG (environmental, social and governance) topics within Allianz.
Until his appointment to the Board of Management, Günther acted as CEO and, before that, as CFO of Allianz Investment Management SE. He was also Chairman of the Allianz Investment Management Board.
Before joining the Allianz Group in May 2009 , he was a principal at McKinsey & Company.
Born in Austria, Günther graduated with a BSc from the Technical University Graz and a MSc from the Technical University Vienna, both in technical mathematics. He holds a PhD in applied mathematics from the Technical University Vienna.
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