Rich Nuzum Mercer
As the President of Mercer’s Investments and Retirement business, Rich Nuzum deals with many of the world’s largest and most sophisticated investors.
When we unveiled our first Vantage Point CIO interview back in October of 2019, little did we know what was about to unfold. The earliest days of the COVID-19 crisis were still well in front of us, and much of the investment community was instead focusing on what would turn out to be one of the most intense US presidential election cycles in memory. Inflation concerns? Not even in the conversation.
But other issues of importance to investors back then continue to play a vital role in the decision-making process of asset managers and remain top-of-mind for the industry as a whole. As the calendar nears flipping towards the end of another tumultuous year for the financial markets – one filled with unique and distinct developments – we thought it would be instructive to look at just a few of the longer-term issues our CIOs have discussed over the past two years, through their own words:
“I think there will always be a role for active investment, and there will always be active managers that can generate alpha over the passive benchmark.” – Ford Motor Benefit Plan CIO Erin Rohde
“I am very much a believer in active management. For managers searching for consistent alpha with a proven track record, the more investment diligence they do on strategies, firms and managers, the higher conviction they build over long periods of time, which is critical for building a long-term portfolio for more successful active managers.” – FM Global CIO Sanjay Chawla
“We are long-time advocates for increased global trade and are committed to lowering trade barriers around the world so our customers can reach new markets and grow their businesses.” – FedEx CIO Jeff Lewis
“We try to emphasize to our members that pension saving is for the long term. There will be short-term volatility, but as you get close to retirement, we’ll protect the value of your savings and we’ll try to cushion you through the sharpest shocks.” – Nest CIO Mark Fawcett
“One of the messages we're trying to get across is that we want policymakers to help us create a runway for innovation. We'd like to see a greater tolerance for new investment ideas – whether it be real estate, hedge funds, private equity, or other alternative investments.” – International Paper CIO Bob Hunkeler
“People often forget about the ‘inclusion’ aspect of ‘diversity and inclusion.’ Even when you bring in diverse candidates, many times you lose them. You need to support the process of hiring that talent by delivering on the inclusive environment, where people want to stay.” - Lockheed Martin Investment Management CIO Paul Colonna
“We care deeply about diversity and inclusion and it’s now also much more important to our clients, not only because it drives better investment returns but because societally many clients have decided they want to support diversity, equity, and inclusion.” – Mercer President of Investments & Retirement Rich Nuzum
“Many of the things characterized into this separate little box called ESG are all part and parcel of being a good investment manager. Everything that happens in ESG is something that every manager should always deal with, all the time.” – Australian Catholic Superannuation Retirement Fund CIO Michael Block