Sovereign funds still mulling whether private market returns justify extra risks

first_imgWill Kinlaw, senior managing director and global head of State Street’s unit State Street Associates, said: “One of the biggest findings from this research is the growing focus on private markets.”Despite the attraction of these investments, he said SWFs were aware of the risks, with illiquidity being the main one.“However, many have invested considerable time and resource in assessing these markets and have clearly identified attractive opportunities here,” he said.Eight IFSWF members were interviewed for the survey behind the first paper, with these respondents representing a wide range of SWFs, State Street said.These SWFs had, as a group, substantially expanded their alternative, unlisted, and private investment portfolios, according to State Street, with at least 30% having invested more over the three to five year period, and none having shrunk their exposure.But research in the second paper, which took in contributions from ten IFSWF members, revealed that even though SWFs had been successful in private markets, many reported ongoing internal debate about whether the return premium was fair compensation for the risks these types of investments added to portfolios.Roberto Marsella of CDP Equity — a company within Italy’s Cassa Depositi e Prestiti group — and leader of the Investment Practice Committee of IFSWF, said the investment landscape had evolved greatly in recent years and SWFs had contended with an ever larger range of investment opportunities in both public and private markets.“In response, many are re-evaluating the methods they employ to construct portfolios and measure and manage portfolio risk,” he said.“The low interest rate environment creates new challenges and requires reassessment of investment methodologies and professional skills,” said Marsella. Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) have been boosting their asset allocations to private and emerging markets while cutting their exposure to listed and developed-market investments, but many are still debating whether current returns in private markets really compensate them for the extra risks they pose, according to new research.Two new white papers from State Street and the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF) show how asset allocation and the approach to private markets has changed at the funds over the last three to five years. State Street was appointed earlier this year as one of the IFSWF’s two official research partners for its investment practice committee. The first two papers from the partnership, which have just been released, are entitled: “Asset Allocation for the Short and Long Term” and “Comparison of Members’ Experiences Investing in Public versus Private Markets”.last_img read more

Shafer says Gulley will return next season as 5th-year senior

first_img Published on November 26, 2013 at 4:36 pm Contact David: dbwilson@syr.edu | @DBWilson2 Facebook Twitter Google+ Prince-Tyson Gulley has been listed as a senior on Syracuse’s roster all season long, but will not be honored as a part of the Orange’s Senior Day festivities Saturday against Boston College. Head coach Scott Shafer said during his press conference Tuesday that the running back was granted an extra year before the season began and will return next season as a fifth-year senior.“He didn’t want to walk because in his mind, ‘I’m still here. I’m still an underclassman,’” Shafer said.Gulley hasn’t played since reinjuring his ankle during SU’s blowout loss to No. 2 Florida State on Nov. 16. The running back is Syracuse’s second leading rusher with 440 yards on 79 carries. His 5.6 yards per carry also rank second on the team and his 14 catches and 51 receiving yards lead all SU running backs.Gulley’s extra season comes because of a medical hardship waiver granted after playing just four games in 2011, The Post-Standard reported.Juniors Jerome Smith, the Orange’s starting running back and leading rusher, Sean Hickey, Syracuse’s starting left tackle, and Jarrod West, SU’s No. 1 receiver, will be honored during Senior Day. Smith and Hickey are both considered NFL Draft prospects.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textShafer said the honoring has nothing to do with their future status at Syracuse. None have decided whether they will declare for the draft “They consider it almost ‘graduation,’” Shafer said. The fourth-year juniors came to Shafer and asked, “Can we walk with the guys we came in with?”Shafer said he talked with some of the potential draftees about declaring before the season and then again during the Orange’s bye week. He’ll talk to his players once again after the season ends.“There’s a lot of people out there that always try to meddle,” Shafer said, “so I said, ‘OK, let’s finish this season right, control, focus on what we’re doing right now.’“We’ll talk about it once the season’s over.” Commentslast_img read more

Minorities face a unique fight with mental health

first_imgAs the end of the semester approaches, students campuswide are burying themselves in books and cramming for exams. And the barrage of tests, papers and assignments is accompanied by the stress and depression of students trying to achieve academic excellence.But for students of color, final exams are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sources of stress on campus.Minority students face a unique set of challenges that affect their mental health according to Hannah Nguyen, director of Academic Culture Assembly.“While stress from exams and assignments does take a toll on all students’ mental health, some students have to deal with feeling unsafe to speak up in class or feeling underrepresented by the authors on their syllabus,” said Nguyen, who spearheaded the effort to create USC’s Mental Health Awareness Month in October.These microaggressions, brief everyday remarks that attack one’s racial identity, can manifest into trauma, explained assistant professor Shanea Thomas, and, as a result, have profound implications for mental health.“You feel like you’re in a constant state of fight or flight all the time, and your body is not meant to live in a constant state of fear,” Thomas said. “That really wears on mental health, so that’s why in communities of color you have such high rates of hypertension and blood pressure and depression.”But while students of color have a uniquely heightened experience with mental health, these issues are often made invisible. In the Asian Pacific American community, Nguyen said, that’s due to a perception that Asian Americans are the “model minority.”“We are expected to be high-performing and, on top of everything, putting up the facade that we are highly successful and alpha people,” Nguyen said. “It’s like, ‘Oh, you’re Asian American, you’re supposed to be able to do all this.’ It erases the validity of a person’s mental health.”For Latino students, said Mirian Fuentes, a junior majoring in broadcast and digital journalism, mental health is also often not spoken about. Rather, Latino students today are told to “toughen up,” which can deter them from seeking professional help.“Seeing counselors is a little ridiculous for some families because it’s like, ‘Why do you need to talk to another person?’” Fuentes said. “In a white community, it’s perfectly normal. But in a Latino community, it’s kind of absurd.”Diana Jimenez, executive director for Program Board, said this phenomenon may occur in part because of older generations’ collective experiences.“I think about everything my grandparents had to endure, like getting their land taken away — even in the ’60s, their land taken away — their culture being erased and them not being able to speak the dialects that they are native to in order to conform to a society that didn’t even want them,” Jimenez said. “Coming to this University, I’ve seen everything that my family and my ancestors had to go through to be where we are now, so I can’t complain.”Moreover, for Latino students, many of whom are first-generation college students, a different set of pressures arises.“A lot of us have held previous jobs, and although some of us may not have gone to super rigorous high schools, we overcame a lot of financial barriers and a lot of institutionalized barriers to even be here,” Jimenez said.Different minority groups often face pressures from different types  of external forces. For black students, police brutality can profoundly affect mental health, said Kalan Leaks, a senior majoring in biomedical engineering.“It’s almost like an innate thing that the black community is seen as these angry, vicious people,” Leaks said. “There’s a video every week of a person being [hurt] due to a perception of danger — not any actual danger whatsoever … So that makes me feel like I have to do extra things just to live.”The perception of the black community as angry or violent leads to a greater feeling of invalidation that can profoundly affect mental health, Leaks said.“So having these narratives pushed down upon you for such a long time, they eventually start creating that negative loop,” Leaks said. “People don’t go crazy in a vacuum.”For black students and students of color alike, internalizing racism can be traumatic. And collectively, the unique challenges that students of color face on campus can be overwhelming.“I think, on this campus, students of color, and marginalized students in general, burn out so much faster,” Nguyen said. “We have to bear the brunt of feeling constantly attacked and unsafe and invalidated and demeaned for who we are.”Jimenez emphasized that self-care is essential for students of color to reclaim their narratives and take agency of their mental health.“To be able to engage in that self-care is resistance in itself, and I think that’s the beauty of it,” she said.last_img read more