Even if It Isn’t Broken…

As the French government wants to redraw its map, so Chief Investment Officer Europe is embracing its own method of change.

French President François Hollande has this month unveiled his redrawn map of France. He has reduced the number of regions within L’Hexagone—from 22 to 14—by merging neighbours together to make the country more efficient and simpler to understand—and to ensure everyone knows who pays for what.

While this has yet to be agreed on by the country’s parliament, it certainly shows ambition and demonstrates the level of change some people are willing to tackle.

In a former career, I used to advise large corporations about the six stages of the Kübler-Ross Change Curve. Most of the managers were stunned to learn that someone—or a group of people—could stay in a particular stage for years. They were even more surprised to learn that these same people could yo-yo back and forth between two, or more, stages before finally accepting a “new normal.”

A couple things will never change, however: our approach to reporting, writing, and asking the tough questions, and our predilection for throwing a fantastic party. 

Why am I telling you this? Because change is a theme running through this European edition. Along with investors having to adapt to new, post-crisis economic, political, and regulatory environments, we look at specific instances where change is happening either by choice or by force. 

We travel to the Netherlands where the Dutch, once lauded as pioneers of pension investment, are now struggling with regulatory changes that threaten to create a two-tier system of “Haves and Have-Nots.”

The CIO managing the pension investments of the UK’s largest supermarket chain, Tesco, reports on his progress of bringing 70% of £8 billion in assets in-house, an increase from the 10% managed internally at the end of 2012. He’s already up to 65%.

Our columnist, a former pension CIO turned hedge fund CEO, proposes radical thoughts on changing fees in his sector to really align managers’ and clients’ interests, while we tackle the issue of why only a few bold investors are ditching the status quo and bringing private equity investment in-house.

In our cover story, we travel to Kuwait to investigate the oldest, most established sovereign wealth fund and draw back the veil (as far as possible) on the change going on within one of the largest investors on the planet.

Finally, we are undergoing change ourselves. aiCIO (or D-I-S-C-O to some) has morphed into Chief Investment Officer, or CIO for short, and our design has been brought bang up-to-date.

A couple things will never change, however: our approach to reporting, writing, and asking the tough questions, and (as evidenced in our new section Scene + Heard) our predilection for throwing a fantastic party.

We hope you enjoy your new CIO and that we see you at stage six of the curve with a glass of Burgundy-Franche-Comté soon.

—Elizabeth Pfeuti, Editor