By Frances Cowell (auth.)
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Adequate breadth: the benchmark should have broad exposure to industries, sectors and countries. 6. Representation: the benchmark should represent the universe of assets relevant to the investor. For defined contribution funds, reality often introduces another consideration. Investors regularly scrutinize the returns to the fund and are wont to INTRODUCTION 13 compare these returns with other funds. Defined contribution funds are thus nearly always subject to another benchmark, over which they have no control at all.
Because different kinds of investment funds can be subject to different fiduciary and tax requirements and constraints, the investor is usually faced with enough choice of investment funds to ensure a reasonable fit with his or her investment requirements. For pension funds, mutual funds, trust funds and other pooled funds, how investments are structured in the fund depends on the objectives and constraints of the majority of investors. Issues that are usually taken into account when devising the investment structure for a fund are: ■ The expected length of the investment horizon.
Investment structures and processes have thus become more formalized in recent decades, often replacing the traditional reliance on intuition, or the abilities of gifted individuals for investment selection. ‘Science’ is beginning to pin down some of the ‘art’ in investment management. 1. 1 A typical investment management process Define Fund Structure Defined benefit or defined contribution? Open or closed pooled funds? Domicile and tax status Select Consultant Research database Fee structure Preferred approaches Define Investment Strategy Risk tolerance Benchmark How many investment managers?