Re-assessing the role of financial professionals in pension fund investment strategies

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Series Details Volume 26, Number 4, Pages 540-559
Publication Date April 2019
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Funded pensions are now established components of most mature retirement income systems. The value of global pension fund assets is higher than ever before, and the way these assets are invested affects both the welfare of future retirees, and the performance of national economies.

Recent research has identified systematic cross-national variation in the investment behaviour of pension funds, explaining it through the preferences and influence of employer-sponsors and plan members. Yet the ongoing ‘de-risking’ of UK pension funds remains puzzling. Informed by the UK case, this article develops the argument that variation in pension fund asset allocation reflects the independent influence of networks of investment professionals who construct and institutionalise norms of liability driven investment.

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This article is part of a Special Issue of this Journal on 'The political economy of pension financialisation: public policy responses to the crisis'.

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