Luba Nikulina
13/1/2022
1/6/2022
Willis Towers Watson: Adviser on over $2.6 trillion of assets. A conversation with Luba Nikulina, Global Head of Research at WTW

In this conversation Luba Nikulina talks about an upbringing that began in Lithuania, then part of the USSR, and her route to joining Willis Towers Watson (WTW), the leading global advisory firm with 45,000 employees globally, and where she has spent the last 17 years.

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In this conversation Luba Nikulina talks about an upbringing that began in Lithuania, then part of the USSR, and her route to joining Willis Towers Watson (WTW), the leading global advisory firm with 45,000 employees globally, and where she has spent the last 17 years.

The discussion begins with WTW’s investment approach, including a perspective on how strategic and tactical asset allocation have evolved, and why Luba believes it is increasingly helpful to think more in terms of allocating risks, rather than portfolio construction, via the rear-view mirror. She explains why she feels strongly in the case for more active and less passive, and discusses smart beta, the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative and their process around identifying and selecting managers.

She also covers their increasing focus and preference for a team, as opposed to the star manager approach, when selecting investment managers to partner with. She talks about why it is increasingly accepted that investors should not allow the use of external carbon offsets as a significant long-term strategy for decarbonisation, the relevance of neurodiversity, and her perspectives on the future landscape of the investment management industry.

Luba Nikulina

Luba is the Global Head of Research at WTW, a British-American multinational risk management, insurance, investment, HR and advisory firm (previously known as Willis Towers Watson). She's a passionate believer in the power of the investment industry to change the world for the better through collaborative and inclusive sustainable investment. She currently leads of team of over 100 people around the world, conducting research on asset managers across a variety of asset classes. She is also an NED for The Investor Forum. Hailing from Lithuania, she started her career working in Moscow before joining WTW in 2005. She holds an AMP degree from Harvard Business School, and an MBA from London Business School.

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