GIPS Standards for Asset Owners

Asset owners are entities that manage investments, directly and/or through external managers, on behalf of participants, beneficiaries, or the organization itself, and include pension funds, endowments, foundations, and sovereign wealth funds. Asset owners can demand compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®) from the firms they hire, and can also adopt the GIPS standards themselves.

2020 GIPS Standards for Asset Owners (PDF)
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GIPS® Standards Handbook for Asset Owners

The GIPS® Standards Handbook for Asset Owners includes an explanation of each provision contained in the GIPS Standards for Asset Owners. Following each provision is a discussion that provides interpretive guidance to help readers understand the provision. Asset owners that choose to comply with the GIPS Standards must comply with all applicable requirements of the GIPS® standards, including any guidance statements, interpretations, and questions and answers (Q&As) published by CFA Institute and the GIPS standards governing bodies.

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Download the supporting calculations found in Section 22 of the GIPS Standards Handbook for Asset Owners
Download the supporting calculations found in Section 24 of the GIPS Standards Handbook for Asset Owners

Why Should Asset Owners Demand Compliance with Their External Managers?

The GIPS standards are a globally accepted industry standard for the calculation and presentation of historical investment performance. Based on the principles of full disclosure and fair presentation, they enable investors to compare the past performance of asset managers and conduct higher quality due diligence. Additionally, using GIPS compliance as a criterion in manager searches improves efficiency because it identifies a subset of firms committed to the fair and transparent presentation of their track record. 

Why Asset Owners Comply with the GIPS Standards

Asset owners comply with the GIPS standards to present a transparent and complete picture of investment performance to their oversight bodies. When claiming compliance, an asset owner represents that it:

  • Adheres to several core principles, including adhering to applicable laws and regulations and ensuring that information presented is not false or misleading.
  • Uses input data consistently to calculate performance and uses certain calculation methodologies to facilitate a clear understanding of the information.
  • Holds itself to the same ethical standards that it demands of external managers.

Read a case study to learn why AIA, a global insurance company, chose to attain compliance with the GIPS Standards for Asset Owners.

Tools and Resources

The following documents were created to help asset owners understand and implement the 2020 GIPS Standards.

GIPS® Trademark Usage Guidelines

"GIPS®" is a registered trademark of CFA Institute. The GIPS® Trademark should be used in accordance with the GIPS® Standards Trademark Usage Guidelines.