JANA Insights

Pandemic takes massive toll on bond markets


April 2020
Robert Moore, Head of Fixed Income


Our focus is to help clients navigate the challenges the current environment has posed, but we continue to look to the future to ensure they are best positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented. For those comfortable with some risk and with a long-term horizon, there are significant opportunities.


In this article
  • Robert Moore, Head of Fixed Income outlines the opportunities we see in sectors of the credit market
Read more 8 min read
JANA Insights

March 2020 Monthly Economic Update


April 2020
Steven Carew, Chief Investment Officer


JANA holds fortnightly all-staff research meetings on Monday mornings, and once a month a member of our Capital Markets Group provides the business with a snapshot of JANA’s major economic developments from around the globe.


In this article
  • US:  The unprecedented scale and scope of stimulus will support growth in the medium term
  • UK:  Extensive coordinated stimulus will help support the economy
  • Euro Zone:  The outlook for growth is very weak for the foreseeable future
  • China:  The extent of the slowdown will depend upon the level of stimulus and how quickly activity normalises
  • Japan:  An already fragile economic outlook will be further weakened by the coronavirus impact
  • Australia:  Growth is expected to be significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak
  • New Zealand:  Growth expected to be significantly impacted, despite the fiscal and monetary stimulus
Read more 10 min read
JANA Insights

JANA Market Commentary - February 2020


March 2020
James Leigh, Investment Analyst


JANA’s monthly market commentary summarises global news and economic commentary that is material to markets.


In this article
  • Equities markets dropped on fears COVID-19 would stifle economic growth.
  • The Australian reporting season disappointed with an elevated number of companies missing expectations.
  • The Australian dollar depreciated against major currencies.
  • Yields fell to record lows in many major developed markets.
Read more 4 min read
JANA Insights

February 2020 Monthly Economic Update


March 2020
Steven Carew, Chief Investment Officer


JANA holds fortnightly all-staff research meetings on Monday mornings, and once a month a member of our Capital Markets Group provides the business with a snapshot of JANA’s major economic developments from around the globe.


In this article
  • US:  Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, US economic fundamentals remained robust
  • UK:  The impact of COVID-19 and uncertainty around EU trade negotiations will continue to cloud the outlook
  • Euro Zone:  Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the outlook for growth was modest
  • China:  Economic growth in the March quarter at least will be severely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak
  • Japan:  Growth outlook looks challenging in the short term due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak
  • Australia:  Growth is likely to remain constrained by the drag created by the impact of the recent bushfires and the COVID-19 outbreak
  • New Zealand:  Low interest rates and fiscal stimulus will be supportive of growth
Read more 9 min read
JANA Insights

Australian Equities 2019 in Review


February 2020
Anthony Ballard, Senior Consultant


2019 provided a strong year of returns for Australian Equities, however many active managers struggled with the market environment which saw returns underpinned by a significant increase in valuations, rather than being driven by underlying fundamentals. For the 2019 calendar year, around 55% of active broadcap strategies outperformed, with the full year period actually showing a significant improvement from only 20% outperformers for the year to 30 June 2019. This article provides a review of the Australian Equities asset class for 2019 and highlights the largely unprecedented level of underperformance experienced compared to strong historical results for active managers.


In this article
  • Performance of the asset class
  • Drivers of market returns and themes
  • Performance of active managers
  • Performance of active managers compared to longer term outcomes
Read more 6 min read
JANA Insights

Key Trends in Infrastructure


February 2020
Claire Simpson, Co-Head of the Infrastructure Research Team


Follow the key trends we see so far for 2020 for the infrastructure sector…


In this article
  • What impact will the Coronavirus have on Airport Assets?;
  • Unlisted Airport valuations see an uplift;
  • UK Regulated water assets – is the worst behind us?;
  • GDP-linked Assets See a Slowdown
  • Australian Regulated Electricity Assets - Are They Getting a Jump Start?
Read more 3 min read

CLOs are structured credit securities which give investors different levels of risk exposure to the bank loan market. This paper looks at the degree of sensitivity of “mezzanine” tranches of CLOs (i.e. those tranches rated BB and below) to the underlying bank loan market. The paper also looks at the current attractive levels of spreads in the CLO market.


In this article
  • BB rated CLOs have shown an average sensitivity of 7 times to the movement of BB bank loans, when measured via rolling one year returns.  This shows the “leveraged” or enhanced sensitivity of CLOs to the performance of the underlying bank loan market. 
  • Whilst higher quality CLOs (e.g. AA or A rated tranches) have reduced sensitivity to the underlying bank loan market (i.e. less than 1:1), mezzanine tranches have amplified sensitivity, due to the structured nature of the securities.
  • Current levels of CLO spreads are relatively attractive compared to other parts of the leveraged credit markets.  Risk premiums have expanded in the sector over 2019, and JANA views the sector as attractive for longer-term investors
Read more 6 min read
JANA Insights

Maintaining Portfolio Balance in Global Equities: Will style diversification finally be rewarded?


February 2020
Matthew Gadsden, Senior Consultant
Daniel Kisnorbo, Consultant


The conundrums of style investing late in the economic cycle.


In this article
  • There are no obvious areas of major dislocation offering attractive opportunities for investment. Overall, Value managers are comfortable with how their portfolios are positioned and the (absolute) returns they are generating. Conversely, Growth managers continue to be strong advocates of the “New World” construct. Both present compelling arguments and deserve due consideration in positioning a global equities portfolio.
Read more 5 min read

Superannuation is a marathon not a sprint


January 2020
Jeremy Wilmot, Head of Advisory Consulting



In this article
  • In the first edition of Money for this decade JANA’s very own Jeremy Wilmot, Head of Advisory, discusses Superannuation performance noting that Superannuation is a marathon and not a sprint. “People invest in Super over a lifetime and not over a year so it is really long term results that matter”. Jeremys’ insightful article discusses this statement in detail.
Read more 5 min read
JANA Insights

Australian Airports continue to fly high


December 2019
Angela Ruchin, Senior Consultant
Sebastien Small, Senior Investment Analyst


On average, Australian airports make up about ~30% of JANA clients’ infrastructure exposure and most Australian investors with an allocation to infrastructure, have exposure to Australian airports. As such, the outcome of the Productivity Commission (“PC”) review, relating to the Economic Regulation of Australian Airports, has been eagerly anticipated by infrastructure managers, investors and airlines alike.


In this article

The PC has firmly concluded: 

  • the existing light-handed regulatory regime remains fit for purpose 
  • the airline proposal for a ‘negotiate-arbitrate’ regime was a “solution in search of a problem” 
  • the “negotiate-arbitrate” regime being pushed by airlines was deemed to have few benefits and substantial risks. It should not be implemented.” 
Read more 7 min read
JANA Insights

APRA Heatmaps - Are Super Funds Left Sweating Unfairly?


December 2019
Matthew Griffith, Head of Portfolio Construction & Risk
Neil Maines, Consultant



In this article

Last week saw the release of the inaugural APRA heatmap, one of a suite of tools to be used by the regulator to try and drive up the quality of outcomes delivered to superannuation members.

The press coverage in the immediate aftermath of the release included as much discussion on the construction of the heatmaps themselves as there was on actual results achieved. JANA have provided our own observations on the heatmaps as well as suggested several improvements for future releases we think will address some of the criticisms raised by the industry.

Read more 25 min read
JANA Insights

PRI in Person Conference Summary


October 2019
Tim Conly, Senior Consultant


PRI in Person is the largest responsible investment conference in the world, with c. 1800 delegates attending this year’s conference in Paris. This article provides a brief overview of the key topics discussed


In this article
  • This conference reinforced the message that Australian asset owners are grappling with the same challenges that global investors are, and that Responsible Investing is an evolution not a destination.  
Read more 5 min read

There is an increasing need for distribution networks, particularly the “last mile” logistics close to cities with high population bases.


In this article
  • In excess of 8.5 billion kilos of food is distributed throughout New York City (NYC) each year.  
  • NYC’s food distribution system serves 8.4 million residents, over 60 million annual tourists and hundreds of thousands of commuters on a daily basis.
  • NYC (like many global cities) has a high dependency on last mile distribution logistics which feeds into the retail supply chain.
Read more 5 min read
JANA Insights

How does the Domestic Private Debt Space compare Globally?


October 2019
Robert Moore, Head of Fixed Income
Young Jo Bae, Consultant



In this article
  • The Australian Private Debt market appears equally attractive to global private debt markets, on a risk-adjusted basis.
  • The paper takes a unique approach in directly comparing the characteristics of domestic private debt offerings to global private debt offerings.  
  • Previous papers on the Australian private debt space that JANA has reviewed have made comparisons to the liquid, leveraged loans market in the US, an approach we feel is inappropriate given the vast differences in liquidity between the markets.
Read more 2 min read

2019 Behind the scenes - Harnessing Long-Term Return Drivers to Generate Attractive Investment Returns




Sonal Desai, Chief Investment Officer, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income discusses the fixed income markets in an environment of modest returns across major asset classes.


2019 Behind the scenes - Looking Through the Noise for Long-Term Drivers of Equity Returns




Jason White, Managing Director, Artisan Partners explores secular economic and social trends that are expected to deliver strong and sustainable long-term growth for companies that exploit them.


2019 Behind the scenes - China 2049: What Will it Look Like and What are the Opportunities for Investors?




Susan Dietz-Henderson, China Affairs Director, Capital Group reflects on China’s ambitious goals to achieve by 2049 and the risks and opportunities for Australian investors.


2019 Behind the scenes - China 2049: What Will it Look Like and What are the Opportunities for Investors?




Chi Lo, Senior Economist, Greater China, BNP Paribas discusses China’s long-term goals to be achieved by 2049 and how Australian investors can benefit from these changes.


2019 Behind the scenes - Improving Investment Decision-Making by Leveraging Diversity and Maximising Group Effectiveness




Stuart Rae, Chief Investment Officer, Asia-Pacific Value Equities, AllianceBernstein explores through his research how different forms of diversity and group behaviour can affect investment decision making, and how boards, investment committees and teams can take advantage of this.