In a qualified argument in favour of active management, Gerdes also said the experience of KZVK-VKPB was that, contrary to common belief, active managers did not have to be small (in terms of assets under management) to be good, and that alpha was not only available in illiquid markets.Good active managers tend to have two main features in common, according to Gerdes – strong ideas and beliefs, and continuity of staff.Jaap van Dam, director of strategic policy advice at Dutch pension manager PGGM, also stressed the importance of keeping down costs if active management was to be worthwhile.“If you look at aggregated results of pension funds globally, there is a small contribution from active management to the total return, and only if it is well controlled for cost,” he told IPE.Sharing his views on active management for a special report in this month’s IPE magazine, van Dam said most investors “should not accept paying higher fees to managers to build more concentrated portfolios”.He flagged the prospect of new types of active management mandate that address asset owners’ increasing focus on “long-horizon investing”. This would deal with “the great difficulty” with active management, which is that it tends to be short-term in nature, according to van Dam.“This ‘long-horizon investing’ is taking off as a movement, as seen in initiatives like Focusing Capital on the Long Term,” he said. “This may lead to new forms of mandates that will be ‘active’ in the sense they will be far from any benchmark but also low in terms of turnover because the basic idea is to invest in companies you trust to be able to grow your capital on a longer horizon.“The questions whether companies are sustainable will probably play a significant role in our case in particular.”The full ‘On The Record’ interviews can be found here and the special report on active management here Investors do not have to pay high fees for active management, which can add value if costs are contained, according to the CIO at Germany’s KZVK-VKPB pension funds for Protestant church employees.In an interview for IPE’s ‘On The Record’ in the magazine’s January issue, Wolfram Gerdes said: “A … key criterion that has to be applied to safeguard alpha is making sure you are not overpaying for it.“The commonly held knowledge is that good managers can afford to ask for high fees, but our experience is different.”It should always be possible to negotiate fees with good managers, he added.
The Council for Dredging and Marine Construction Safety (CDMCS) recently held its quarterly meeting in Washington, D.C., with an excellent turnout from both the dredging industry and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Dredging Contractors of America said in its release. According to the official announcement, the agenda was dynamic and forward leaning, addressing hot topics with a variety of key stakeholders, including the United States Coast Guard (USCG), the National Safety Council (NSC), the American Waterways Operators (AWO), and Texas Water Infrastructure Network.CDMCS Co-Chair Devon Carlock was enthusiastic about the progress the group is making and thanked Michael Gerhardt, CDMCS Treasurer and Dredging Contractors of America Assistant Executive Director, for locking-in the keynote speakers and promoting the council at key industry meetings around the country.Mr. Carlock said: “CDMCS is entering 2018 on an aggressive growth trajectory, leveraging its self-produced, professional hand safety awareness video; its modern, rebranded website replete with critical safety resources, and new key partnerships with federal agencies, national safety organizations, and leading manufacturers of safety equipment.”USACE Shifts from Compliance to Risk ManagementMark Atkins, USACE HQ Chief of Safety, stressed USACE’s senior-level support for the CDMCS and was pleased to announce that USACE is shifting its safety approach from compliance to risk management.The CDMCS and dredging industry were enthusiastic to learn of this shift in safety culture at USACE. Atkins also said that USACE will publish a guide that will help contractors know how to get their APP’s approved more universally and consistently.Tiffany Burroughs, USACE HQ Coastal Program Manager, discussed USACE actions on the submerged utilities/pipelines issue.USACE’s Pipeline Location Observation Verification Enterprise Repository (PLOVER) is not active yet, for USACE is still working to resolve potential regulatory ramifications, legal issues and national security concerns.Perry Fowler of the Fowler Group Texas and the Texas Water Infrastructure Network, spoke on the importance of improving utility locations and agreed to partner with the CDMCS on this issue. Coastal and Marine Operators (CAMO) has agreed to speak at the next CDMCS quarterly meeting on May 16. read more