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Institutional investors

We serve institutional investors around the world on multiple fronts, including corporate strategy and governance, investment strategy and value creation, due diligence and portfolio work, improving and establishing support functions, and organizational change management.

Overseeing massive funds with complex structures, institutional investors must execute successful investment strategies while simultaneously engaging with the public whose interests they represent. Our leadership team, dedicated industry experts, and senior advisors understand the unique challenges that institutional investors face and work together to develop innovative solutions and help create lasting impact.

What we do

We work with a diverse set of clients, including pension funds, retirement systems, endowments and foundations, and sovereign wealth funds. Each year, we serve more than 20 of the leading institutional investors on hundreds of engagements. With our extensive client experience and significant investments in leading-edge macroeconomic research, we bring unparalleled knowledge of the global economic landscape and a deep understanding of the different local and regional contexts in which our clients operate. Our consultants and experts bring distinctive insights and capabilities when serving institutional investors, helping them navigate shifts in the investment landscape and capture key opportunities.

We help improve overall investment performance using a simplified and streamlined approach, tailored to meet the specific needs of each client and situation. We support our clients in the following areas:

  • Corporate strategy and governance. We help investors shape and adapt their strategy and governance in the face of new challenges and realities.

  • Investment strategy and value creation. Our active presence across all major industries informs a deep knowledge base of different asset classes and investment themes. Combined with our nuanced understanding of the investment value chain, this allows us to successfully help shape the core strategy of our institutional investor clients.

  • Due diligence and portfolio management. We have developed extensive knowledge, expertise, and proprietary tools that enable us to conduct due diligence and portfolio work that delivers substantial financial impact.

  • Support functions. In partnership with our functional practices, we offer clients complete and efficient solutions to establish and improve support functions, from risk management to IT, human resources, and finance.

  • Organization, talent and culture. We work closely with our Organization Practice to help our clients build winning teams, assess employee performance and compensation, foster increased collaboration, and improve overall organizational health. We bring analytical rigor combined with a set of comprehensive proprietary tools to scope opportunities and measure results. Our focus is not just on the short term, but also on building organizational health—the capabilities that underpin sustained performance.

Examples of our work

  • We helped a large pension fund with a complex end-to-end transformation over the course of 3 years, creating a sophisticated, global, and multiasset-class pension plan, and generating over $900 million in value.
  • We assisted a pension fund in building the foundation for a multibillion dollar and multiasset-class thematic investment portfolio, establishing the data architecture and methodology to monitor global trends and identify investment themes. Together, we developed an effective research approach and a new organizational design to support the portfolio’s ongoing activities, and trained five full-time investment analysts to manage the portfolio.
  • We helped create over $600 million in value by using multiple diagnostics to assess the private-equity portfolio of a large institutional investor and identifying rapid pricing opportunities.
  • We assisted in the design of a risk management transformation program for a large institutional investor. This program included a number of initiatives, from building stress-testing scenarios, to designing risk management dashboards and reports, to improving risk management policies across asset classes. This organization is now considered the standard-bearer for best practices in the industry.
  • We helped a large pension plan conduct a comprehensive organizational health assessment, which included a detailed survey, analysis of outcomes, and diagnostic of key health issues. We used the survey results to design customized solutions, including a revised talent management system, clearer roles and accountabilities, and enhanced consequence management.

Featured capabilities

We invest heavily in proprietary tools that help us bring the best to our institutional investor clients.

  • Governance database. The governance database outlines in detail the split of roles and responsibilities among plan sponsors, the board, and management across three categories: strategic, operational, and investments. This matrix reflects best practices for pension governance based on analyses of more than 20 reputable sources, more than ten interviews with seasoned industry professionals, and extensive knowledge gleaned from our numerous engagements.
  • Risk culture diagnostic. The risk culture diagnostic tool assesses an organization’s risk management behaviors and mind-sets. This diagnostic survey effectively identifies the cultural root causes behind risk incidents, allowing our clients to begin addressing these underlying causes with tangible initiatives. Using this tool, we help our clients identify crucial reference points to actively shape risk culture, mitigate future risks, and improve overall performance.
  • Customized function surveys. Function surveys customized for institutional investors use regression analysis to compare the performance of our clients’ support functions against industry best practices. We also offer a qualitative operating practice assessment.
  • Organizational Health Index. The Organizational Health Index measures and tracks the elements of organizational effectiveness directly related to financial performance and offers insights into areas for improvement. With hard, quantitative measures for qualitative issues, clients can bring lasting change to the mindsets and behaviors that impact their organization’s bottom line. Learn more on the Organizational Health Index website.
  • Talent system assessment. Designed to score an organization’s talent management practices and outcomes, the talent system assessment tool uses an analytical framework made up of about 20 analyses to quantitatively assess outcomes of different talent management systems.

FEATURED EXPERTS

Sacha Ghai

Senior Partner, Toronto

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