Investure Llc and Smith College

3129 Words Jun 13th, 2014 13 Pages
Case 5: Research Affiliates
International Portfolio Management

31.03.2014

Executive Summary
Tower Watson, an investment consultant company, has for main objective toward its pension clients to increase their return as high as possible while keeping as low as possible the risk taken by their investments. We are asked to analyze the pertinence for TW to recommend to its clients the Research Affiliate Financial Index (RAFI) strategy over traditional indexing and over a more actively managed strategy. The RAFI is presented to Tower Watson as a new efficient B2B tool to invest, to help investment advisory firms to better establish their strategy. Indeed this index is based on fundamental criteria instead of market capitalization
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Moreover, consultants help pension funds satisfy their fiduciary responsibility to plan participants. Their experience and their familiarity with diverse firms’ investment processes, personnel and operations provides them critical oversight and the capability to run more rigorous analysis. Therefore, consultants are able to provide clients with the most informed assistance on their asset allocation and manager selection decisions. The criteria to assess the suitability of different investment strategies should be driven by the client profile in terms of risk tolerance, liquidity requirements, time horizon and asset allocation. Nevertheless, a pension fund consultant is also interested in obtaining returns outperforming their competitors’ investment strategies. Therefore, TW should not only take into account their clients’ profiles (i.e. close-end and open-end funds follow different investment strategies according to their nature) but also their investment strategies performance. 2. Examine the business model of Research Affiliates as a firm and compare Research Affiliates model to that of a more traditional investment advisory firm. Put another way, how does the Research Affiliates make money, who are its customers, what services or products does it sell, how scalable is…

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