Can Boomers Behave Better?

August 2019 


The “Boomer” generation is moving into retirement and facing the challenge of decumulation: managing assets to maintain a desired living standard but without risking running out of money. We show how a “Retirement Reservoir” may help them avoid behavioral errors in meeting this challenge.


Barry Gillman authored this article as Research Director of the Brandes Institute Advisory Board.

Active Share: Finding “Value for Money”

January 2019 


Active Share is useful in the right context. Used out of context, it can lead to misunderstandings of the prevalence of closet indexing and of the “value-for-money” delivered by active managers.

In fact closet indexing among active managers is very rare.

We find there is a correlation between Active Share level and fees charged.

We urge caution with funds with Active Share lower than the fees (in basis points).


Barry Gillman authored this article as Research Director of the Brandes Institute Advisory Board.

Raising the BAR: New Ways to Measure Risk in Bond Portfolios

July 2018 


Holdings-based analysis may provide more insight than returns-based risk measures like volatility. We introduce two new holdings-based metrics.   


Beating a bond index typically has been achieved through credit and/or duration risk or through security selection.  

  • Bond Active Risk (BAR) measures how often a manager takes extreme credit or duration risk.
  • Credit Active Share (CAS) measures how actively a manager selects individual bonds.   


Barry Gillman authored this article as Research Director of the Brandes Institute Advisory Board.

Three-Dimensional Active Share

May 2018


Research that expands Active Share from a single dimension (stock-selection relative to benchmark) to a three-dimensional picture, by adding country and sector selection​.

Defined Contribution Plans: Custom Designs and Their Impact
February 2018


While Target Date Funds (“TDFs”) are popular, there may be better solutions through customizing TDFs and custom white label funds; for wealthier participants, custom SMAs may be especially useful. For these investors, there are potential benefits in being more aggressive in asset allocation between ages 65 and 75, the “power decade,” as this counterintuitive approach may boost wealth accumulation more so than in any other decade of life. 


Barry Gillman authored this article as Research Director of the Brandes Institute Advisory Board.

Defined Contribution Plans: The Way Forward
June 2017


As plan sponsors evolve the DC structure away from its original purpose as a supplementary savings plan to be more effective as a retirement plan, we examine the pros and cons of using a DB investment approach as the default option in a DC plan menu, based on the experience of a pioneering public plan in the United States. We also look at new developments worldwide to include useful information for U.S. plan sponsors on what’s working (and what’s not).


Barry Gillman authored this article as Research Director of the Brandes Institute Advisory Board.

Fixing The Peer Group Problem​

June 2017


Peer group comparisons are a key element in asset manager evaluation and selection. But sometimes, available peer groups do not provide a good comparison for a specific fund. Even worse, for some specialized mandates, a relevant peer group may not even exist. In this article, Barry Gillman and co-authors demonstrate a practical approach that an institutional investor can use to simulate an appropriate peer group and thus determine whether a manager is performing well.


The Investors’ Dilemma
May 2016


The investors’ dilemma for institutions is the contrast between their long-term horizon obligations and the regulatory, market and behavioral pressures to think short-term. While the notion of long-term investing may sound compelling, in practice implementation has proved tough. However, some of the world’s largest institutional investors have now begun to coordinate to promote the concept and practice of long-term investing. In this article, we examine recent developments in these initiatives. 


The Investors’ Dilemma


Barry Gillman authored this article as Research Director of the Brandes Institute Advisory Board.