Despite a challenging year, the largest pension funds grew in 2020 compared to the prior year. What caused such a growth despite the hurdles of COVID-19? Researchers argued it was the increased focus on improving governance models to achieve goals like sustainability, diversity, and net-zero mandates.

"The 300 largest pension funds by assets under management grew by 11.5 percent over the course of 2020"

In a recent Institutional Investor article, Tom Harvey, Director of the Advisory Team, reports that the growth isn’t specific to 2020. It is a story that has been building for the past ten years. “Most of this return is just a function of the markets,” he told Institutional Investor. When asked whether governance of pension funds played a role in the growth, he said, “Even if there was a differentiator, it’d be hard to tell in a year.”

Pension plans’ growth is largely dependent on their long-termism. Because they plan far in the future, viewing their liabilities as 20 to 30 years out, they stay invested through thick and thin.

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