The Pacific Center for Asset Management (PCAM) supports research on questions related to institutional investing through funding three research proposals each year. Each fall PCAM releases calls for proposals examining questions raised by the advisory council. Each winter PCAM releases research from the previous year’s funded proposals.
A need for sustainable, future-looking research
Every worker deserves to live with confidence that their hard-earned savings will support a full retirement. But many pension funds are underfunded and may struggle to meet their future commitments. Further, high-quality, independent research on the major concerns facing CIOs has not been available to pension funds. This incomplete picture informed the creation of the Pacific Center for Asset Management (PCAM) in 2019, a research center housed at UC San Diego with research impact stretching across the globe, and the only research center where industry leaders direct the research questions being explored.
PCAM’s mission is guided by a focus on social good and improving living standards for retirees by acting as a broker between academia and industry to generate salient research that can be used and applied by asset owners to help meet the future needs of their beneficiaries.
Standard-setting research results directed by industry
Informed by industry, PCAM’s research questions are designed by CIOs of large pension funds collectively holding over $1 trillion in assets. As a result, PCAM annually produces at least three major research projects laser focused on the greatest needs and questions of large asset owners and their beneficiaries. Research topics are chosen by the CIO Advisory Council and then researchers are selected with the help of the Academic Advisory Council, who advise which proposals are best prepared to address the concerns of CIOs, thus creating a robust research agenda representing content expertise and solutions far beyond the scope of any one university or firm.
Outcomes that matter
Just two years into its research agenda, PCAM has delivered on its promise. Work underway has yielded groundbreaking research benefitting pension funds that CIOs can use to help them and their boards guide investment decisions, such as a nudge for pension funds to allocate more to private equity and results that emerging manager performance compares favorably with industry performance.
The Pacific Center for Asset Management (PCAM) is a collaboration across many important entities. Located at UC San Diego, the center is managed by the Rady School of Management in partnership with the Division of Social Sciences. The PCAM Advisory Councils are comprised of a CIO Advisory Council of influential asset owners (CIOs of large pension funds), an Academic Advisory Council of distinguished academics, and an Industry Advisory Council of top executives from asset management. The councils meet to discuss, debate and define the PCAM research agenda over the near future.
The center is co-directed by Michael Melvin, executive director of the Master of Finance program at the Rady School, and Social Sciences Professor Graham Elliott from the Department of Economics. Joe Sturtevant is the PCAM managing director.The research itself is conducted by individuals from all over the globe. PCAM asks for research proposals on an annual basis, and those proposals are reviewed by the PCAM Advisory Council to select the projects to be supported.