FundForum 2023: Panel explores strategic asset allocation and risk parity challenges

FundForumDay two of FundForum 2023 saw a panel delve into strategic asset allocation, risk parity and global investing challenges, highlighting the importance of correlation analysis, judgement in allocating assets and liquidity considerations.

Elena Manola-Bonthond, the chief investment officer of CERN Pension Fund, emphasised the significance of strategic asset allocation as a long-term benchmark rather than a constraint. With a focus on risk parity, Manola-Bonthond highlighted the necessity of meticulous correlation evaluation, particularly during periods of heightened inflation uncertainty.

Manola-Bonthond also underscored the importance of adopting a quadrant approach to portfolio management, acknowledging the possibility of portfolios facing challenges during stress tests.

Addressing the challenge of allocating assets to emerging markets, Manola-Bonthond disclosed that her company currently maintains an "underweight" allocation in these regions. She outlined the intricacy involved in quantifying and predicting asset allocation to distant markets while also shedding light on the potential unforeseen opportunities that may arise from prevailing market tensions.

Joachim Köhne, PhD, the head of treasury at Hamburger Sparkasse, discussed the significant risks associated with long-term pricing, particularly interest rates and private debt costs. Köhne emphasised the importance of closely monitoring mortgage obligations and the behaviour of financial institutions.

Köhne encouraged investors to explore alternative opportunities beyond traditional asset classes to navigate the changing investment landscape effectively.

The panel discussions underscored the critical role of liquidity and adopting a risk parity perspective in asset analysis. Köhne highlighted the need for international diversification in portfolio management, considering geopolitical changes and their impact on geographical allocation.

Evaluating financial models against real-world scenarios was also deemed crucial by Köhne to ensure effective risk management.

Dirk Jargstorff, senior vice president of pensions & related benefits at Robert Bosch GmbH, emphasised the significance of prime targets in investment strategies. These targets encompass generating returns, incorporating sustainability considerations and effectively managing risks.

Jargstorff also underscored that the triad of return, sustainability and risks determines the best outcomes for investors.

The discussion concluded by delving into the application of traditional toolkits to manage market volatility. Jargstorff advocated for maintaining the frequency of risk protection measures, conducting analyses of return projections under different scenarios every three months.

Jargstorff also highlighted the importance of judgement in environmental, social and governance (ESG) conservation within portfolios, citing examples of active decision-making processes.

© 2023 funds europe

Thought leadership


This whitepaper outlines key challenges impeding the growth of private markets and explores how technological innovation, when bolstered by the operational experience and global reach of FMIs, can provide solutions to unlock access to private market funds for a growing investor base.


Transporting goods by sea is the lowest carbon way of transporting goods. That said, the shipping sector contribute 3% of global carbon emissions, so we need it to get to net zero. Breakthrough technologies have the power to reshape the industry and drastically reduce its environmental footprint.



We often hear about the challenges related to sustainability data - in particular, the lack of consistency, comparability, and completeness. Update your information puzzle with Essential Sustainability Intelligence.


Discover how investing in real assets with a multi-asset approach can help build resilient portfolios.


Executive Video Interviews

Why fund admin tech is a key competitive advantage

Cian Hyland, Strategic Client Relationship Director at Deep Pool Financial Solutions spoke to us about how technology enables efficient data management, reporting automation and secure data access.

Insights from State Street

Cuan Coulter, Global Head of Asset Managers and Head of UK and Ireland at State Street, discusses how fund managers decide between the two cross-border fund domiciles, namely Ireland and Luxembourg, and why asset managers find managing data so difficult.

Unlocking access to private markets

Vincent Clause, who heads the global funds strategy at Euroclear and David Genn, CEO of Goji, sit down with Funds Europe to explain how technological innovation, bolstered by operational experience and global reach, can provide solutions that unlock access to private markets.

Sustainable investing in the DC world

Claire Felgate, a specialist in UK defined contribution pension schemes at asset manager BlackRock, talks with Funds Europe editor Nick Fitzpatrick about how - and the pace at which - DC pension schemes are adapting to the requirements of sustainable investment.



Join our webinar for a deep dive into the findings of the fresh-off-the-press EU Taxonomy 2023 Insights Report, based on Clarity AI's best-in-class coverage of EU Taxonomy reported data and CDP industry-leading environmental datasets. 

In this webinar, we discuss tools for optimising fund data management and distribution, the role of global fund classifications and ratings, and how technology and automation enhance data integrity and insights.