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921 Bills Prefilled for Texas' 88th Legislative Session

Nov. 14 was the first day of bill prefiling for Texas' upcoming 88th Legislative Session, and 921 bills and resolutions were filed (646 House bills and 198 Senate bills). 

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Heading to The Polls? Here's What You Need to Know

It's election day in the United States. Here's what you need to know as you head to the polls.

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IRS Releases Updated Retirement Plan Contribution Limits for Defined Benefit Plans

The federal tax provision that limits the amount of an "annual benefit" that an individual can receive from a tax-qualified defined benefit pension plan will increase from $245,000 in 2022 to $265,000 in 2023.  

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European Financial Services and the Macro Outlook: Misconceptions and Realities

Political and diplomatic turmoil in Europe have, perhaps inevitably, led to misconceptions about the economic landscape and the continent’s financial services industry. In reality, differences with the US market are far narrower than expected and a significant opportunity exists for an experienced control investor.

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The Energy Transition and the Search for Energy Security: Implications and Opportunities for Listed Infrastructure

Natural gas prices have surged in recent months. Acute supply concerns in Europe have predominantly driven the surge, which has been exacerbated by severe heat waves that have increased demand for power and reduced traditional power generation capacity.

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Is Shipping Cost Inflation About to Peak?

From their peak earlier this year, the spot trucking rates have been in decline, marking a shift versus prior years. Given how impactful the inflation in shipping costs had been across the broader economy from 2020 to 2022, the recent change in trend has widespread implications for many companies.

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Pension Fund Leaders Have Opportunity to Engage With U.S. Census Bureau

Pension administrators and trustees having the ability to access and engage with the government and its data is a necessity. The U.S. Census Bureau is allowing you to do just that. 

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Going Concern Uncertainties and Severe Financial Stress Disclosure Task Force Formed

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board has formed a task force to assist with a project to address disclosure issues related to going concerns, uncertainties, and severe financial stress plan sponsors may be facing.

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There's a Government Statute for Using Video During Public Meetings

Texas public pension boards can use videoconferencing to hold public meetings. However, the state's open meetings law has a few limitations. 

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Public Outreach is Part of Life-saving Efforts of Texas' 29,500+ Firefighters

The National Fire Protection Association is celebrating its 100th anniversary of Fire Preventing Week this year.

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Texas Pension Review Board Meets Thursday, Oct. 6 in Austin; Remote Participation Available

The Texas Pension Review Board meets at 10 a.m. CT on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Austin at the Capitol Extension, Room E2.028, located at 1100 Congress Avenue

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Taking These Online Classes Will Make Your Fund More Data-Savvy

In striving to seek and secure the best investments and services for their membership, public retirement system administrators and staff often look for demographic and economic data to highlight in various reports. 

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Practical Decisions Require Research

There's a lot of research out there, especially regarding retirement, pensions, and investment management. And it seems everyone conducts and publishes it in some form - books, briefs, multi-page reports.

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Inflation Reduction Act is a Net Positive for Listed Infrastructure

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) addresses three key areas: climate issues, corporate taxes, and healthcare.

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Recessions and Midstream Energy Infrastructure: Why Its Better Today Than Previous Years

 

The Federal Reserve (The Fed) is fighting decades-high inflation with aggressive monetary policy. Many market watchers now expect at least a mild recession in response. The S&P 500 Index's 17.3% loss and the NASDAQ's 25.5% loss year-to-date through 6/24/2022 would suggest equity investors share this concern (year to date, the Alerian MLP Index (AMZ), a midstream energy focused index, is up 9.2%). To understand how midstream might perform through such an environment, we thought a look at history could be helpful.

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ESG Portfolio Monitoring

For institutional investors, ESG-related initiatives are ultimately about managing risk. As noted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a poor environmental record may make a firm vulnerable to legal or regulatory fines/sanctions; socially, the mistreatment of workers and dissatisfied employees may lead to higher absenteeism, lower productivity, and weaker client servicing/relationships; and weak corporate governance may incentivize and/or enable unethical behaviors related to pay, accounting irregularities, and even fraud.1 For all these reasons and more, identifying and addressing material ESG-related issues germane to a corporation is a quintessential exercise in risk management – for the management of that company, for investment managers thinking about holding that security in their investment portfolio, and for asset owners concerned whether the manager is acting in accordance with fund policies.

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Venture Capital’s Unique Ability to Navigate Volatile Markets

Venture capital (VC) has performed extremely well over the last 5, 10, and 15 years, beating the S&P 500 by more than 700 basis points on average.1 Across market cycles, we have witnessed certain vintages reward investors with truly outsize returns, and we feel confident that current conditions could lead to similarly high-returning vintages. As we enter a period that we believe will be defined by less capital raised, smaller fund sizes, slower investment pacing, fewer market participants, and lower valuations, perhaps the time to overweight is now.

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Convertible Investment Study

Convertibles securities' hybrid structure has historically made for a compelling asset class in virtually any market environment. An outright allocation to convertible securities has the potential to provide investors with the best of all worlds – favorable asymmetry of returns through participation in upside momentum along with an important measure of downside protection.

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CLO Equity Opportunities in Dislocations

The Creditflux CLO Hedge Fund Index, an index of CLO debt and equity tranche investment managers, ticked down notably in February (-2.2%) and more significantly in May (-6.0%). These were on the back of a 22-month string of positive returns that began in April 2020, after the initial brunt of the Covid-19 crisis.

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Consensus for 75bps Increase in November, higher Terminal Rate in Intermediate Future

About a half a year has passed since we last updated you with our take on the bond market. Since then, the Federal Reserve has tilted even more hawkishly with 75bp rate increases in their attempt to combat inflation. Unfortunately, they have not made much headway, as August CPI data registered a gain of 8.3% year-over-year, with Ex Food and Energy CPI at 6.3%, both ahead of economists’ and market expectations. These high numbers are not what Fed Governors or the markets were hoping to see as the immediate reaction from both bonds and stocks was a quick sell-off. Making matters even more difficult is the reality that the “sticky” components of inflation, such as rent, posted its largest monthly increase in this cycle since 1986. Inflation on services also touched a new high, as medical care and transportation services helped drive gains. If not for drops in gasoline and other commodities, the latest inflation report would have been even hotter. We believe another 75bps rate increase is all but certain when the Fed meets later in September. While consensus is growing for an additional 75bps in November and a higher terminal rate in our intermediate future, the question becomes whether or not this scenario is fully accounted for in current prices.

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