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As asset owners contemplate allocation decisions for a post-COVID world, two topics are regularly showing up on the radar: alternatives and climate change. After more than a decade of strong equity performance — and with fixed income poised to deliver lower returns and perhaps a more modest diversification benefit — I think the time is ripe to revisit alternative exposures and consider several areas where the winds of change are blowing. Meanwhile, real-world weather patterns and climate events are raising issues that may impact not only security and manager selection but also broader investment policy, including capital market assumptions and strategic asset allocation. I’ll offer a preview of our Investment Strategy team’s work on these topics and suggest next steps for climate-aware portfolio decisions.
Looking across the alternatives space, there are a number of trends and best practices that haven’t changed, but also several important new ones that asset owners should be thinking about. Let me start with three things that haven’t changed:
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