It is acknowledged that institutional investors underpin the structure and performance of global financial markets. There is no doubt that the growth of institutional investors over the past fifty years has given global financial markets a remarkable depth of liquidity and scope of activities. At the same time, institutional investors rely on financial markets to frame and implement their investment strategies. Therefore, it is important to understand what is distinctive about this environment compared with those of other industries, especially manufacturing. In Chapter 1, the authors explain the significance of financial risk and uncertainty in the production of investment returns from a viewpoint of what could be termed a map of financial risk and uncertainty. The role and significance of institutional investors, including asset owners, managers and service providers, is highlighted. Concluding Chapter 1 is a summary of key points for the following chapters in the book.
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