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The Economist Intelligence Unit, May 2013

The European pensions industry is at a turning point. Funding gaps, regulatory reform and an ageing population are all forcing change. A new report sponsored by State Street, “Focus on the Future: Designing Tomorrow’s Pension Plan”, draws on insights from State Street and other key industry players to reveal new solutions to these challenges.

The report includes findings of a survey we commissioned from the Economist Intelligence Unit, featuring responses from 150 pension funds in six countries. Both the report and survey support our drive to help clients “future proof” their pension funds and prepare the ground for discussing our solutions with them.

Based on lessons learned in the financial crisis, today's institutional asset owners are reconsidering their asset allocation strategies, striving to balance liquidity with returns, and emphasizing risk management. To explore the new thinking around investment and operating models, State Street has undertaken a comprehensive study of institutional asset owners. This Vision paper outlines the findings of our research, including investors' new strategies around asset allocation - as well as challenges around data integration and talent management. The paper also delves into liquidity management solutions available to asset owners, the direction portfolio management is headed and how asset owners can be successful in the new environment.

Boutique asset managers offer investors timely exposure to new sources of alpha and fast-growing niche markets. But boutique asset managers [investment managers with $1 billion – $50 billion in assets under management] face growing distractions. This Vision paper draws on the findings of a survey of 164 boutiques conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Their challenges range from increasingly complex regulatory and client data reporting to underperforming IT/operational platforms. As a result closer relationships between boutiques and their servicing partners are being forged, freeing-up boutiques to concentrate on their core business of making investment decisions.