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New Wilshire Consulting Program Assists Clients Concerned With Implications of Climate Change

SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 18, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Wilshire Consulting today announced the launch of Wilshire ClimateLensSM, a four-part program designed to help clients understand and make informed decisions about the risks and opportunities associated with climate change. Wilshire Consulting, the institutional investment advisory and outsourced-CIO business unit of Wilshire Associates Incorporated (Wilshire®), a diversified global financial services firm, assists in ensuring secure and safe retirements for approximately 49 million Americans, including those participating in some of the nation’s largest public and corporate retirement plans.

Wilshire ClimateLens was introduced in a recent paper, ClimateChange: Evolving Risks and Opportunities for Asset Owners, co-authored by Wilshire Consulting President Andrew Junkin, CFA, CAIA. The Wilshire ClimateLens program advises clients to approach climate change as a broad exercise in risk management, which includes both active engagement and thoughtful investment solutions.

“Climate change is a hotly debated topic, and the global movement to address its impacts can be an important element in how investors understand, consider, and potentially manage beneficial assets,” said Junkin. “Not only can climate change expose asset owners to new investment risks such as those associated with future climate-related regulation and policy, but it also can present asset owners with new investment opportunities across asset classes. Regardless of one’s own belief on the subject, climate change deserves consideration by investors, in keeping with their mandates, investment horizons, and ultimate goals,” he added.

As detailed in the paper, the four components of the Wilshire ClimateLens program can be taken in sequence or, alternatively, can be integrated individually into an existing strategic plan. They include:

  • Education: This introductory step provides a structured program explaining the fundamental factors related to the intersection of climate change and investing, including a review of climate science, possible resulting economic consequences, and the risk-return considerations associated with policy and regulatory responses.
  • Assessment: The second phase involves the evaluation of current climate-related investment and risk exposure in the context of investment objectives and analyzes organizational capacity, including an assessment of governance and policies, asset allocation, manager selection, engagement, and carbon footprinting.
  • Planning: As a part of the process, Wilshire Consulting designs a strategic blueprint to identify how asset allocation, investment process and policies, risk management, governance, and operations could be modified to better manage future exposure to climate risk and help capture climate-related opportunities within a prudent decision-making framework.
  • Implementation: At this stage, Wilshire Consulting executes mission-specific climate-change-related actions that calibrate the portfolio to desired risk-return targets while ensuring the adoption of best practices and procedures.

“Wilshire Consulting believes it is advisable for asset owners to educate themselves and, when appropriate, to commit their resources to evaluating investment risks and opportunities that may be associated with climate change,” Junkin said. “It would not be inconsistent with an investor’s duty to consider environmental facts to determine if these factors could potentially affect -- negatively or positively -- the expected financial returns of investments,” he concluded.

In the coming weeks and months, Wilshire Consulting will host informational webinars to educate its clients and stakeholders on Wilshire ClimateLens.

Institutional asset owners interested in receiving a copy of the paper may email contactconsulting@wilshire.com.

In addition to Junkin, the paper was co-authored by Angelo Calvello, PhD, and Cary Krosinsky. Calvello has extensive experience working with asset owners on the benefits and challenges of environmental investing. He is the author of Environmental Alpha: Institutional Investors and Climate Change (Wiley 2009) and the founder and publisher of The Journal of Environmental Investing (www.thejei.com). Krosinsky has advised investors on environmental investment and sustainability for more than 10 years. Most recently, he was Lead Consultant to the PRI (Principles for Responsible Investments), heading up the drafting of its Climate Change Asset Owner Framework (2015) and other recent research on bridging the gap between sustainability and financial value.

About Wilshire Consulting
Through its investment consulting services to public and corporate clients, Wilshire Consulting assists in ensuring secure and safe retirements for approximately 49 million Americans, including those participating in some of the nation’s largest public and corporate retirement plans. Combined with its endowment, foundation and major insurance company clients, it consults on combined total assets of nearly $1 trillion.

As the institutional investment advisory and outsourced-CIO (OCIO) business unit of Wilshire Associates, Wilshire Consulting has provided custom investment consulting solutions to plan sponsors for 35 years. Wilshire consultants provide strategic advice on critical areas including asset allocation, risk management, investment policy development, asset class structuring, investment manager evaluation and monitoring, and actuarial services.

Wilshire Consulting’s outsourced chief investment officer practice (OCIO), offers clients a holistic option that is built on its culture of risk management and expertise in all areas of investment strategy. Wilshire Consulting's customized OCIO services include full discretionary services or implemented services where plans outsource their back office.

Built on Wilshire Associates’ foundation in investment analytics, Wilshire Consulting offers clients access to and use of innovative and proprietary risk management consulting, which provides a meaningful competitive advantage. Consulting clients benefit from ex-ante, forwarding looking risk analysis at the manager, asset class and total fund levels. Wilshire’s global footprint and firmwide expertise in hedge funds, alternative risk premia and private markets allows clients to effectively consider adding, expanding or modifying an alternatives investment program. Follow Wilshire Consulting on Twitter: @WilshireConsult.

About Wilshire Associates
Wilshire Associates, a leading global, independent investment consulting and services firm, provides consulting services, analytics solutions and customized investment products to plan sponsors, investment managers and financial intermediaries. Its business units include Wilshire Analytics, Wilshire Consulting, Wilshire Funds Management and Wilshire Private Markets.

The firm was founded in 1972, providing revolutionary technology and acting as an early innovator in the application of investment analytics and research to investment managers in the institutional marketplace. Wilshire also is credited with helping to develop the field of quantitative investment analysis that uses mathematical tools to analyze market risks. All other business units evolved from Wilshire’s strong analytics foundation. Wilshire developed the Wilshire 5000 Total Market IndexSM and became an early innovator in creating integrated asset/liability analysis/simulation models as well as practical models in risk budgeting through beta and active risk analysis. Wilshire has approximately 300 employees serving the needs of investors around the world.

Based in Santa Monica, Calif., Wilshire serves over 500 clients across 20 countries with combined assets exceeding $8 trillion*. With 10 offices worldwide, Wilshire Associates and its affiliates are dedicated to providing clients with the highest quality counsel, products and services. Wilshire® is a registered service mark of Wilshire Associates Incorporated. Wilshire 5000 Total Market IndexSM is a service mark of Wilshire Associates Incorporated. Please visit http://www.wilshire.com.

*Client assets are as represented by Pensions and Investments, detailed in P&I’s “Largest Retirement Funds” and P&I’s “Largest Money Managers (U.S. institutional tax-exempt assets)” as of 9/30/14 and 12/31/14, and published 2/9/15 and 5/18/15, respectively.

CONTACT: Kim Shepherd 312-623-5123 kshepherd.ext@wilshire.com

Source:Wilshire Associates Incorporated