“You should only be different because you think these investments make a better portfolio,” Fok says. “It’s liberating for a board to say: ‘We’re willing to deviate if we have high conviction in an investment opportunity’. It has to be embedded from the top down.
“If returns are the objective, you need to take bigger risks when the returns are there. But if peer risk is the objective, then taking a big position can make you different to the market,” Fok says. “The real difference is how you take dynamic opportunities rather than a completely different allocation.”
Frontier is assessing this method with one client and expects others to become interested. If more funds understand the characteristics of their diverse memberships, know members’ real objectives and invest with the sole aim of meeting them, will they find that they begin to invest differently?
Will the herd scatter?