Like all of us, we are deeply disturbed by what is happening in Ukraine. While it may not be equal to that, we fully understand your clients will have concerns right now.

We want to provide you with reassurance and information below regarding our model and processes, which you can share when speaking with your clients about their investments. If you have further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Dynamic Planner Client Success team in the usual way.

Capital Market Assumptions and benchmark asset allocations

Dynamic Planner provides forward-looking, ex-Ante assumptions for real returns, volatility, correlations and covariances, and associated calculations such as 95% VaR. They are calculated objectively through proven, statistical models using many decades of data – and rigidly reviewed, monitored and governed to ensure discipline and objectivity.

In Dynamic Planner, you can accurately risk profile any combination of assets. So, however you choose to position yourself tactically, over or underweight to our benchmark, you can understand the risk and expected return.

At times like this, there will no doubt be assets, countries and companies that will do better or worse. This could also change quite quickly. Ultimately, in the medium to long-term, this will mean a change to the constituents and weighting or ranking of the indices that define the assets within our Capital Market Assumptions.

If you want your firm’s or your clients’ investments to react to these changes, then you would need to rely upon a professional fund manager to do that effectively on your behalf. We would therefore, as we always do, encourage the use of the appropriate Risk Target Managed [RTM], Risk Managed Decumulation [RMD] and Risk Profiled solutions in Dynamic Planner.

Risk characteristics within Risk Profiled solutions

Dynamic Planner is unique in the way that it calculates the risk profile of solutions, especially RTM and RMD. We insist that asset managers provide us with the underlying holdings and their weights throughout the review period, including specific stock and derivatives. We calculate the solution’s risk profile using the correlations and covariances of all those underlying instruments.

We hold a database of more than 40,000 instruments and continually review their risk characteristics relative to 72 asset class indices, considering a wide range of potential factors, depending on the nature of the instrument. Dynamic Planner’s Asset Risk team have been considering these risk factors and how they may change the risk factors of certain instruments in light of the crisis in Ukraine, sanctions and market closures.

The Solutions Risk team are using these live risk factors of the underlying instruments within any solution to calculate its risk profile, as well as engaging with asset managers as to whether and how they may be reacting within their mandate to meet a solution’s objectives.

MSCI ESG ratings

We have always known that this is an emotive, complex and evolving issue that we do not have the in-house expertise or resource to fully understand or monitor at an investment instrument level. We rely upon ESG research from MSCI, respected pioneers in this space. Currently, we only make the MSCI ESG fund reports available to Dynamic Planner users, but we do have the full MSCI stock holdings level data available to us.

We have engaged with MSCI and they have said that, owing to the unprecedented nature of the current crisis, and the severe economic pressures facing Russian listed companies, they have implemented a series of ESG ratings downgrades with immediate effect. MSCI will continue to assess these companies’ ratings on an ongoing basis.

They have applied an ESG ratings ceiling of ‘B’ for all Russian companies within their coverage. Companies that were already ‘B’ or ‘CCC’, retain that rating, but all others have been downgraded to this ‘Laggard’ status.

Within MSCI’s corporate governance methodology, Russian companies will see the application of a ‘Very severe’ assessment on the ‘Other high impact governance events’ key metric. Additionally, Russian state-owned enterprises will see the application of a ‘Severe’ flag on the ‘Financing difficulties’ key metric, owing to their additional risk and exposure to sanctions, export restrictions, and removal of access to international financing channels.

MSCI have also downgraded the ESG government rating for Russia from BBB to B (equivalent to ‘Laggard’ status).

At a multi-asset fund solution level, which are very diversified by nature, it is unlikely that such actions of Russian companies or state will have turned the dial on their overall MSCI ratings yet. However, for those relying upon Dynamic Planner and MSCI data, recent actions are being proactively picked up within the assessment of their ESG risks.

If you have any further concerns about market conditions and your customers, please get in touch with the Client Success team.