Demand from pension funds and other asset owners for knowledge about asset management fees has intensified during the COVID-19 crisis, according to leaders of two data firms.Participants at the IPE Summer Pensions Congress 2020 heard from Chris Sier, chair of UK platform ClearGlass and Eric Veldpaus, founding partner of Institutional Benchmarking Institute in the Netherlands, that both firms had seen work volumes increase in the last four months.Sier said in the investment transparency forum session this morning: “In the pandemic where people have felt themselves almost helpless to deal with external factors that have governed the valuations that you have, you focus on the things you can manage.”One of those things that could be managed – because there was a number that could be arrived at – was costs, he told the online event. “So you may not be able to get to grips with the performance part, because it has an extraneous component, but cost is something you can monitor,” Sier said.“Although it may be because there is this burgeoning surge in demand for transparency in the UK, what we have noticed is our workload has gone up and we have been busier in taking on new clients throughout the past four months,” he said, adding that he could only attribute this extra activity to the pandemic.Veldpaus said the same dynamic had been seen in the Netherlands.However, Sier said that among the investor community, ESG work had seen even more of a fillip during the COVID-19 crisis than had activity around investment costs.“In the hierarchy of interests for pension funds, the other thing people have wanted to get to grips with over the past four months is the degree to which their fund is ESG compliant. So performance and costs, and ESG at the top,” he said.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.
By Ian RansomMELBOURNE, Australia (Reuters) – Defending champion Novak Djokovic set up a semi-final showdown with ‘Big Three’ rival Roger Federer at the Australian Open yesterday with a thumping 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(1) victory over Canada’s hapless Milos Raonic.Federer saved seven match-points in a five-set thriller with American battler Tennys Sandgren only hours before, but there was no luck of a second successive belter for the Rod Laver Arena fans, with Djokovic at his ruthless best.The crowd will hope for a better show tomorrow, when second seed Djokovic renews his Grand Slam rivalry with Federer, six months after fighting off match points to beat the Swiss in Wimbledon’s longest-ever final.“I hope I get to at least one match point in a few days,” Djokovic, who hold a 26-23 edge over Federer, quipped on court after downing Raonic. “Obviously (I have) tremendous respect for Roger, everything he has achieved in the sport – (he is) definitely one of the all-time greats. Let the better player win.” While 38-year-old Federer made heavy weather of world number 100 Sandgren and was hampered by a groin problem, Djokovic’s biggest trouble against Raonic was his contact lenses.He winced in discomfort in the latter part of the match and took a medical timeout at 4-4 in the third set to fit a fresh pair passed on from his players’ box.“I want to apologise to Milos once again,” he said.“It was not intentional or tactical – it was just something that I had to do because those few games I could not really see much and I had to change my lenses.”Even if blindfolded, Djokovic might still have beaten Raonic, a player he had never lost to in nine previous matches.Although 32nd seed Raonic has long been one of the tour’s most vexing servers, his main weapon was redundant against his opponent’s brilliant returning.It was mainly down to luck that the robotic Canadian hung in for a period, with Djokovic unable to convert eight of nine break points in the first set, including three chances to win it.The Serb, bidding for a record-extending eighth title at Melbourne Park, finally converted the fourth set point when Raonic clubbed wide in an 18-shot gunfight.The booming Raonic forehand with its extravagant wind-up had cut a swath through the draw but Djokovic made it look decidedly foolish as he broke the Canadian in the fourth game and roared to a 4-1 lead. The 16-time Grand Slam champion paused only briefly to mount a pair of dodgy line challenges before serving out the set.His failing contact lenses took the polish off the third, however, and he barked at distractions in the crowd as Raonic saved four break points at 5-5.That extended the Canadian’s Melbourne Park stay only briefly, with all resistance broken in the one-sided tiebreaker. Djokovic later grew misty-eyed as he remembered NBA great Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles on Sunday along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others on board.“Kobe was one of the greatest athletes of all-time and inspired me and many other people around the world,” said Djokovic, who had KB and a pink heart stitched into his green tracksuit top.“I had that fortune to have a personal relationship with him over the last 10 years and when I needed some advice and some support he was there for me. “He was my mentor, my friend and it’s just heart-breaking to see and hear what has happened to him and his daughter.”
Kante (in dark blue) scored the opening goal for Chelsea in a 2-0 victory over City in December Chelsea beat City 2-0 earlier this season at Stamford Bridge so Man City manager Pep Guardiola knows his side is in for a tough game.“You see the midfield players, the strikers, the best strikers in the world are there.“The midfield players are the best in the world. A good keeper. Experienced defenders. Good organisation defensive, offensive. They know exactly what they want to do.“I have a lot of respect. The game on Sunday (today) is a final for us. I want to feel that it’s an absolute final for us and we need to play in that way.”Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea were the first team to beat Manchester City domestically this season with that win in December.Sarri says Chelsea cannot win the Premier League but are aiming for a top-four finish, before suggesting Manchester City are the best team in Europe.“At the moment Manchester City are the best team in Europe. I think we were lucky (in December), because we scored in a very difficult moment of the match. In that match we defended really very well because they had only three goal opportunities, no more.“It’s not easy against Man City to give them only three, four opportunities. At home, I think they’ve scored 43 goals in 13 matches. More than three on average. We need to defend really very well.”Manchester City are still without defenders Benjamin Mendy and Vincent Kompany. Left-back Mendy, who has missed the last four games, is being managed carefully as he returns from knee surgery and captain Kompany is still troubled by a muscular problem.Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo (Achilles) is still out long term but City have no fresh injury concerns.Meanwhile, Antonio Rudiger could return to Chelsea’s starting line-up at Manchester City. Defender Rudiger was not risked in last week’s 5-0 win over Huddersfield due to a knock, so Andreas Christensen deputised. The Denmark defender is likely to make way.Callum Hudson-Odoi has been ill, so may not even be among the substitutes.Man City have lost three of their last five Premier League matches against Chelsea (W2), scoring just four goals and never more than once in this run.Chelsea have won on just two of their last nine visits to the Etihad in the Premier League (D1 L6), winning 1-0 in February 2014 and 3-1 in December 2016.City boss Pep Guardiola has lost more league games against Chelsea than he has versus any other team in his managerial career (3).City striker Sergio Aguero has scored five goals in his last five Premier League appearances versus Chelsea, including netting a hat-trick in April 2016.Aguero has scored 11 goals in 11 home Premier League games for Manchester City this season, including two hat-tricks. He’s the highest scoring home player in the competition so far this season.Chelsea’s Eden Hazard has had a hand in five goals in his last five games against Man City in the Premier League (3 goals, 2 assists), with the Belgian assisting both of the Blues’ goals in the reverse fixture this term.50% of N’Golo Kante’s Premier League assists for Chelsea this season have been for Gonzalo Higuain (2/4), despite the pair playing just 148 minutes together.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Demola OjoManchester City face a tough test in the title race as Chelsea visit the Etihad Sunday. The champions are three points behind league leaders Liverpool but will return to the summit with victory Sunday.On the other hand, Chelsea need to avoid defeat to return to fourth place after being supplanted by Manchester United Saturday.