Forget-me-nots: Best-read articles of 2018

By 5 minute read

The investment landscape for pension funds and insurance companies is continuously changing. One year ago, even institutional investors were looking at cryptocurrencies, but is that still a topic of interest today? Other themes, like the search for yield, interest in alternative fixed income and responsible investing, remain as relevant today as they were last year. Capital requirements for pension funds and insurance companies also remain at the center of attention.

So what can we learn from last year? These are some of the best-read articles of 2018. These topics still drive the asset allocation and should therefore not be forgotten in 2019.

The Dutch housing market: Ready for coming headwinds?

Dutch residential real estate prices have been rising strongly since 2013. A similar or even stronger trend can be observed in many other European countries. This article explains why there seems to be room for further price increases. Two other research papers put the Dutch mortgage market into international perspective and compared Dutch with Danish mortgage investments.

What are the key features of investing in Alternative Fixed Income?

Low interest rates and low yields from traditional investment categories have led investors to alternative fixed income as part of their search for yield. This article offers an overview of the characteristics of this 'new kid on the block' and provides insight into its added value.

Analysis of infrastructure debt under FTK, Solvency II and Basel III

An increasing number of investors are considering infrastructure debt. But is infrastructure debt also an attractive asset class for institutional investors from a regulatory perspective? This article analyzes the capital requirements for Dutch pension funds, European insurance companies and banks under their respective regulations. A related research paper explores its risk and return in a portfolio context.

Balance sheet management: How much illiquidity can investors handle?

In the past few years, many institutional investors have increased their exposure to illiquid assets. This raises the question of how much illiquidity an investor can handle without letting its risk profile change substantially after a financial shock. This study offers an approach for investors to evaluate their illiquidity risk appetite.

ESG integration in sovereign portfolios

Aegon Asset Management Netherlands believes environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors are an important component of sound fundamental credit analysis. This can drive alpha and mitigate risk in our clients' portfolios. We have conducted an in-depth analysis of sovereign portfolios and built a proprietary score to help us better understand the ESG risks at the country level.

What's up with the Libor/OIS spread lately?

During 2018, an arcane financial variable – the Libor/OIS spread – received a fair amount of media attention. Since the Libor scandal, benchmark rates across global markets are under significant scrutiny and are expected to be replaced in the near future. One proposal of particular interest for European investors is the switch to ESTER (euro short-term rate). Read the introduction to ESTER article for more context.

Niek Swagers

About Niek Swagers

Investment Solutions Consultant