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What has been happening at JANA?

JANA’s purpose is to deliver sustained investment outperformance for our clients and their beneficiaries. We recognise the growing challenges that you face as asset owners and fiduciaries including a lower return outlook and increasing regulatory complexities. At JANA we have been continually working on how we can do more to deepen and enhance the service that we provide to you. I’d like to take this opportunity to update you with some of the changes that we have made and what we hope they will mean to you as our clients.
 

21st March 2019 / 5 mins read
Jim Lamborn
Chief Executive Officer
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JANA’s purpose is to deliver sustained investment outperformance for our clients and their beneficiaries. We recognise the growing challenges that you face as asset owners and fiduciaries including a lower return outlook and increasing regulatory complexities. At JANA we have been continually working on how we can do more to deepen and enhance the service that we provide to you. I’d like to take this opportunity to update you with some of the changes that we have made and what we hope they will mean to you as our clients.

Increasing our most important asset, our people

A significant change in the past 18 months has been the deepening of our resources with extensive hiring, and a net addition of 19 new positions. These new hires have been made across all levels in the business and over a wide range of areas – supplementing the core resources in our research and advisory areas as well as allowing for growth in new areas, covered in further detail below. We believe this allows us to increase both in breadth and depth of services.

Investment in Technology

I made a commitment at JANA’s client conference in September 2017 that we would take the opportunity of the organisational change of the management buy-out to re-invest into our business and we are now 18 months into our digital transformation journey. Over that time we have seen progress in a number of areas including:

  • The creation of Spark (https://spark.jana.com.au) – a client only access point for JANA’s latest insights, with regular updates of articles, videos and research.
  • The introduction of an enhanced portfolio modelling capability in Solve - a stochastic tool providing enhanced risk analytics for all clients.
  • Automated data collection process from managers allowing us to collect information from over 800 investment products on a quarterly basis, systematically and efficiently.

This is just the start of what we believe will need to be an everlasting journey to continually develop our use of technology to enhance both client outcomes and client experiences. We are now working on a version of Solve that will be available for clients to access directly as well as undertaking considerable work on a manager research database.

Deepening our Portfolio Construction and Quantitative Capabilities

Portfolio construction is one of the most important aspects of investment strategy in terms of driving investment outcomes. JANA has guided our clients over the years in increasing allocation to international equities, introducing greater allocations to illiquid assets including property and infrastructure assets and co-investments as well as the introduction of further alternative assets. In the future we expect further evolution in portfolios with diversification and idiosyncratic assets becoming increasingly important in a lower return environment. JANA is deepening our resources and focus on this area, that will also involve the expansion of quantitative capabilities with more analytical tools and further quant specialist resources. Matthew Griffith has been promoted into a role of Head of Portfolio Construction and Risk to lead this area.

Steven Carew, JANA’s Chief Investment Officer, continues in his role of leadership of our asset class research teams providing manager research and the capital markets research that drives our asset allocation advice. Our research and advice continues to be driven by a collaborative process, leveraging the best ideas and research of our 70+ investment professionals.

Expanding our Consulting Services

JANA has identified  several areas that we are focusing on for strategic growth at this time. We are expanding our services in operational consulting, providing services to clients in expanded custody capabilities, operational due diligence (including strategies to assist those clients utilising the AIST operational due diligence framework) and governance reviews.  We have made an experienced hire in this area who will start in mid-April to support the team in their new initiatives. Duncan Smith will be providing leadership oversight of these and other strategic growth opportunities. Jeremy Wilmot will take over the role of Head of Advisory Consulting with responsibility for the oversight of advice to all Advisory clients, and Leon Tisdell continues in the role of Head of Implemented Consulting.

We are excited about the impacts that we believe these changes will bring to our clients, both in terms of investment outcomes and the broader service capability. Please do not hesitate to contact your JANA consultant or myself directly if you have any questions.