On Change

Managing Editor Sage Um addresses change—in global politics, the consulting industry, and at CIO itself.

It has been 77 days since we published our last issue—the June and 50th edition that identified 50 Things That Matter to institutional investors—and it’s been one eventful summer.

First, the unthinkable: The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union on June 23, shocking the world—and, most of all, our European Editor Nick Reeve. (“Oh f*&%. Hold on to your hats; here we go,” were his exact words). On the other side of the pond, Donald Trump officially clinched the Republican nomination on July 21, beating out 18 other candidates. Just days after walking onstage against a backdrop of intense floor lights to Queen’s “We Are the Champions,” Trump declared, “I am your voice. We will make America strong again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And we will make America great again.” Get ready to hear that a whole lot more over the next few weeks.

Putting aside all jokes about his hair, his rhetoric, and his obsession with his daughter Ivanka, what would a Trump presidency look like? How would his (often fluctuating) policies and proposals affect the investing climate? And what other unthinkable scenarios—never say never—could trump Trump? It’s the World If, according to CIO.

We also address change in our annual list of the world’s most influential investment consultants. To those much-deserving 20 Knowledge Brokers, we asked how consultants can still add value for clients as criticisms for the industry continue to rise—and what it takes to evolve and stay relevant. To my surprise, many admitted some of the critiques are warranted and some are already making significant headway in differentiating themselves—and simply doing better.

And lastly, we investigate if anything has noticeably changed in the transition management sector following years of scandals that CIO helped bring to light—scandals that began with State Street in 2011 and ended with two of its former transitions executives arrested. Trust has been in short supply in this area for years—but it seems meaningful change has yet to come. The sector isn’t standing still, however: Our annual survey of transition managers shows client habits and provider ratings are continually changing.

Change has been a consistent theme at CIO over the summer as well. As most of you may already know, Kip McDaniel and Leanna Orr departed in July. As the person who has taken up the baton, I thank you for continuing to read CIO and supporting us. You’ll find the new era of CIO still honors the same values it always has: identifying and celebrating innovation, investigating scandals, asking the difficult questions, and—most of all—writing for the allocators.

By Sage Um