This sort of thing tends to happen at turning points — people declaring equities are toast for as far as we can see — but it’s still worth reading.
Nikhil Srinivasan, the man who decides where one of the world’s biggest insurance funds places its assets, wants to know why he should invest in stocks. “We are delivering what policyholders want,” says Allianz Investment Management’s chief investment officer, speaking from his Munich base. “So there is no need to get aggressive about equities.”
Allianz, with a total of about €1.7tn under management, has only 6 per cent of its insurance portfolio in equities, while 90 per cent is in bonds. A decade ago, 20 per cent was in equities. It is far from alone: institutional investors, from pension funds to mutual funds sold directly to the public, have slashed holdings in the past decade. Stocks have not been so far out of favour for half a century. Many declare the “cult of the equity” dead.