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About PCAM

About Us

Chris Ailman
“The investment world is evolving and changing more dramatically than in the past 30 years. From derivatives to securities, alternative business structures to invisible digital currencies, we need solid practical academic research now more than ever. The Kroner Center for Financial Research bridges the canyon between investment practitioner and academic research. As a long-term and massive global institutional investor, we need unbiased research and analysis. On the other side, academic research needs the critical questions and data. Long-term institutional investors have the data. The Kroner Center for Financial Research brings us together and helps us further our efforts to secure the financial future of the generations to come.”- Chris Ailman, CIO CalSTRS and Chair of the Kroner Center for Financial Research Advisory Board

The Kroner Center for Financial Research was created in 2019 to support research on questions related to institutional investing. The Center funds three research proposals each year. Each fall, it releases calls for proposals examining questions raised by the Kroner Center for Financial Research advisory councils, and each winter 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 Kroner Center for Financial Research, a research center housed at UC San Diego. With an impact that stretches across the globe, the Kroner Center for Financial Research is the only research center where industry leaders direct the research questions being explored.

The Kroner Center for Financial Research'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

Research questions for the Kroner Center for Financial Research are designed by CIOs of large pension funds collectively holding over $1 trillion in assets. As a result, the Kroner Center for Financial Research 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

The Kroner Center for Financial Research has already 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.

Our team

The Kroner Center for Financial Research 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 Kroner Center for Financial Research Advisory Councils include 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 research agenda for the Kroner Center for Financial Research.

The research itself is conducted by individuals from all over the globe. The Kroner Center for Financial Research asks for research proposals on an annual basis, and those proposals are reviewed by the Kroner Center for Financial Research Advisory Council to select the projects to be supported.