Thematic Research

Acadian’s Client Advisory team produces original research on topical issues in systematic investing and engages regularly with asset owners on the investment themes highlighted below.

Growth Versus Value: End of an Era?

The dramatic change in economic and market conditions in 2022 refueled interest in value investing after years of its dismissal. But is value “back?” And was it ever actually gone? In this talk, we take a provocative look at value. Extending our past research, we expose how unusual the recent speculative run-up in U.S. large-cap growth stocks truly was. In contrast, we reaffirm evergreen benefits of more nuanced value signals.

Video Value Revisited

Alpha, Beta & Volatility: Equity Investing in Turbulent Markets


The year 2022 brought dramatic change to the equity investing environment, triggering a wave of volatility as stocks sold off globally. In this presentation, we consider three issues that this market turbulence poses for asset owners. First, we place recent volatility into long-term historical context, analyzing its drivers. Next, we consider whether equity investors are compensated for rising volatility. Finally, we reassess the conventional wisdom that a turbulent environment makes for a “stock picker’s market” and draw inferences for manager selection.

Reflections On the Ukraine Crisis: Watershed for EM Investing?

In this presentation, we look beyond the war’s immediate market impacts and consider its longer-term implications for emerging markets (EM) investors. We highlight latent energy risk in conventional EM benchmarks. We evaluate the outlook for (de)globalization. Finally, we examine how geopolitical risk in EM is evolving and propose best practices in managing shocks.

Polarizing Views: China and EM Investing

Polarizing narratives regarding China are obscuring key questions facing asset owners. Does it make sense to invest in EM based on conventional benchmark definitions and weights or to treat China and the rest of EM separately? In this discussion, we'll provide a clarifying lens on navigating allocations to EM, and to both China and EM ex-China individually.

ESG: By the Numbers

As the global momentum behind ESG investing has accelerated, the field has grown rapidly in scope and complexity. This discussion highlights the value of advanced data science methods in generating incremental financial performance from ESG information. It also demonstrates the importance of disciplined but flexible portfolio construction in meeting asset owners’ financial goals and non-financial responsible investing targets.

Re-Examining Diversification

Although diversification is a cornerstone of portfolio theory, it often comes under fire from frustrated investors. In good times, asset owners feel pressure to chase. In bad times, investors may find that strategies promising “uncorrelated return streams” fail to deliver protection. In this talk, we reaffirm the value of diversification while examining why many popular diversifying approaches improve portfolio optics more than economics.

Frontiers of Quant

Are artificial intelligence and alternative data the future of investment management? Will they fundamentally transform the quantitative investment process, providing revolutionary insights that allow managers to tackle previously unanswerable questions? In this talk, we address these questions, separating signal from noise, and describe our vision of the frontiers of quantitative investing.

Passive Investing: Reshaping Financial Markets?

Does passive investing reflect a high level of efficiency that prevents active management from adding value? Or might its very success create new forms of opportunity as well as risk? This talk explores common misconceptions around “the rise of passive.”

Crash Risk: Hedgers Vs. Harvesters

Crashes are regular features of markets, and they can have a dramatic impact on long-term total returns. Even so, investors only inconsistently factor crash risk into the design of their portfolios. In this presentation, we compare prevalent approaches to reducing crash exposure, contrasting their unique benefits and hidden risks.

Systematic Investing: Is Keeping It Simple Shortsighted?

Commoditized “factor investing” strategies remain commonplace, even though many have disappointed investors who were drawn to their simplicity. In this presentation, we demonstrate benefits of sophistication across the investment process and show how simple approaches impose often-overlooked restrictions.


Presented by the Client Advisory team

Seth W

Seth Weingram, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President, Director
Ram T

Ram Thirukkonda, CFA, CAIA

Senior Vice President, Senior Investment Strategist

Anshuman Ramachandran

Assistant Vice President, Associate Investment Strategist