Over the last decade, the asset management industry has changed dramatically, from the rise of artificial intelligence to the growing importance of sustainable investing. The 2023 Challenge of Change Forum will delve into these themes through our panel, “From 2023-2032 — Asset Management Now and in the Future”, featuring Asif Haque, CIO of CAAT Pension Plan. In advance of the event, we asked Asif our questions about where the industry is heading and why alignment is more important than ever when it comes to the relationship between asset managers and asset owners.
If you could wave a magic wand and change something in the markets right now, what would it be?
“If I had that magic wand, I’d use it to have accurate, comparable data on the carbon usage and intensity of all assets in our portfolio, public and private. Moving towards compliance with Task Force on Climate‑related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, and carbon reduction plans generally, is even more difficult when underlying data is unavailable or unreliable. The industry has made great strides in this area, but there’s more work to do.”
Your panel is on the future of asset management — in 5 years, what are 2 or 3 big changes you see happening?
“All of us who work in ‘knowledge industries’ will have to come to terms with AI. What impacts will AI have on our investment processes? Many asset owners work with managers who incorporated AI and machine learning into investment processes long ago. But we’ll all need to reckon with the impact these technologies will have on our jobs in the near future.”
We hear a lot about the notion of “alignment” between asset managers and asset owners — what does alignment look like to you and what kinds of strategies have you used to achieve it as an asset owner?
“There are obvious ways in which we try to tie asset manager compensation to investment outcomes for us, the asset owner. But, in certain cases, we hope managers have an interest in the overall health of our plan, not just the individual mandate they have with us. We know that some of the managers we work with have skills and expertise to help us tackle Plan‑level challenges. We try to build meaningful relationships with these managers over the long term — the goal is that they’ll see value in devoting resources to helping us with these challenges, even if there’s no immediate financial benefit to them.”
The 2023 Challenge of Change Forum is being held at The Algonquin Resort in St. Andrews, New Brunswick from May 31 to June 2. Interested in joining us? Please contact Joanne Boccia at email@example.com.