Dutch watchdog dismisses notion of self-regulation for pension funds

first_imgIt is for this reason, he said, that self-regulation is the wrong approach.“But I believe,” he added, “that a proper dialogue is essential for proper supervision, with the sector indicating what it would have done had it been the supervisor.”Luberti also responded to the question of whether the supervisor was guilty at times of taking over the responsibility of a pension fund’s board.“The problem is that pension funds, much more than banks and insurers, need to deal with open norms, such as the prudent person principle and balancing various interests,” he said.Referring to the case of glass manufacturer scheme PVG – which was ordered by the DNB to offload most of its gold holdings – he added: “What do you do if a pension fund has disproportionally invested in gold?”In Luberti’s opinion, there is nothing wrong with the increasing trend of the supervisor putting itself in the position of a pension fund’s board.“Proper supervision doesn’t require that you take over the driver’s seat, but sit right next to him,” he said.The fact this sometimes leads to court cases is “part of the game” – the DNB is “not afraid to enter into combat”.But the DNB’s director of legal affairs also acknowledged the sector’s need for more clarity in advance about what was allowed and what was not.He said it was almost impossible to express an opinion that was still valid two years later, as developments in the financial world came too quickly. Experience has shown that self-regulation does not work in the pensions sector, the Dutch regulator has argued.Speaking at the See You in Court conference organised by IPE sister publication IPNederland, Ron Luberti, director of legal affairs and general counsel at De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), said the sector needed an external supervisor that sat “just beside the driver’s seat”.Responding to a question from the audience, Luberti said: “The supervisors DNB and AFM, as well as the minister of Social Affairs, have left policy on some aspects to the sector. You notice that it doesn’t work in particular where it hurts, as with remuneration policy.“This is not to blame the sector. The interests are contradictory and complicated – you can’t force the sector to solve it. It is up to the legislator to put a check on it.”last_img read more

UK roundup: Pension Protection Fund, Ford Pension Scheme, Punter Southall

first_imgThe Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has published a consultation on its policy to manage ‘out-of-cycle’ valuations for schemes that have recently fallen under its remit due to the change in definition of money purchase benefits.Earlier in May, the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) announced its amendment to the definition following legal proceedings, resulting in some defined contribution schemes offering some form of guarantee, being reclassified as defined benefit (DB).As a result, those schemes are covered by the PPF and will need to undergo valuations to submit their s179 figures by the end of Q1 2015 to be protected.The consultation, which runs until 9 July 2014, seeks answers regarding whether the PPF should be allowed to require out-of-cycle valuations, and what benefits need to be included in its valuation guidance. In other news, the £8bn (€9.8bn) Ford UK Pension Scheme, which consists of three DB offerings, has selected Punter Southall to provide the trustees with daily estimates of liabilities.Using the consultant’s valuation software, the trustees of the three schemes will be able to monitor regular changes to liability profiles.The Hourly Paid Contributory Pension Fund, the Salaried Contributory Pension Fund and the Senior Staff Pension Fund have 75,000 members in total, with trustees now able to implement a more reactive investment strategy, allowing trustees to monitor funding levels for comparison with investment allocation trigger points.last_img read more

Pension fund for Dutch retailers leaves Syntrus Achmea for TKP

first_img“However, the pension fund used the opportunity to change providers.”The retail scheme, with 245,000 active participants, almost 80,000 pensioners and more than 600,000 deferred members, is one of Syntrus Achmea’s larger clients. Syntrus Achmea’s Van der Struijs conceded that the loss of Detailhandel would not be offset by new clients, such as the pension funds of Unisys Netherlands and the new individual DC scheme of Shell Netherlands.He also confirmed the departure of Detailhandel would lead to the loss of 100 jobs at Syntrus Achmea and a write-off of goodwill.The retail scheme replaced Syntrus Achmea Asset Management with fiduciary manager BlackRock in 2011.Parent company Achmea reported a €46m loss during the first six months of 2014, due partly to a €78m goodwill write-off at Syntrus Achmea.According to Achmea, Syntrus Achmea’s results were “disappointing”, citing falling management fees at its property branch SA Vastgoed, as well as the pending departure of Detailhandel. Detailhandel, the €12bn pension fund for the Dutch retail sector, has said it will not extend its five-year contract for pensions provision with Syntrus Achmea. René Upperman, the scheme’s director, declined to elaborate on the reason why the pension fund planned to sever its ties with the provider but said it would transfer its pensions administration to Aegon subsidiary TKP.Syntrus Achmea spokesman Erik van der Struijs said: “In recent years, we have focused on change, but during the process we have further drifted apart.“We have succesfully transferred a large number of clients to our new IT platform, and Detailhandel was also scheduled to move this new ‘target environment’.last_img read more

Former USS deputy CIO to lead in-house team at West Midlands

first_imgHe replaced Mark Chaloner as head of the investment team.Fletcher had been at USS since 1995, having joined from British Airways Pension Fund.He started at USS as head of Asian equities (ex Japan), before moving to the scheme’s Americas desk in 1999.This included responsibility for a Latin American portfolio before it was transferred to another team.Between 2007 and 2012, Fletcher also shared the role of deputy CIO at USS in addition to leading the Americas equities team.The deputy CIO roles were devolved in 2012, when Fletcher became deputy head of equities in addition to his role as head of North American equities.WMPF has been restructuring its portfolio and last year introduced an in-house actively managed global equities portfolio.The fund is one of the eight local government pension schemes (LGPS) forming the £32.6bn Central asset pool.Drever is WPMF’s programme director for investment pooling, with Fletcher expected to have some involvement in this, too. The former deputy head of equities at the UK’s largest pension fund has joined the £11.5bn (€15.7bn) West Midlands Pension Fund to lead the local government scheme’s in-house investment team.Jason Fletcher joined WMPF as assistant director of investments on 16 September.He joined from the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), where he was head of North American equities and deputy head of equities until April.At WMPF, Fletcher reports to Geik Drever, the head of the pension fund.last_img read more

LGIM outs climate change laggards after 12-month engagement

first_imgLegal & General Investment Management (LGIM) has divested from six companies and plans to vote against a number of appointments at major firms because of persistent inaction on climate change.It is the first time LGIM has revealed shareholder engagement activity relating to its Future World Fund, designed in collaboration with HSBC Bank’s UK pension fund.The €1.1trn asset manager will vote against the re-election of the chair at eight companies across its range of equity funds: China Construction Bank, Rosneft Oil, Japan Post Holdings, Occidental Petroleum, Dominion Energy, Subaru, Loblaw, and Sysco Corporation.The asset manager also sold stakes in six of these companies held in its Future World Fund. A spokesman for LGIM said all eight of the companies were on an “exclusion candidate list”, but that at the relevant time Japan Post and Rosneft Oil were not in the underlying index for the Future World Fund so no action was taken on those stocks.Introduced in 2016, the Future World Fund is a global equities index fund that incorporates a climate change “tilt”, designed to reduce exposure to companies deemed to be at risk from a shift towards low-carbon-based energy, and increase exposure to those companies deemed likely to benefit.HSBC Bank UK Pension Scheme chose the fund as the equity default option for its defined contribution scheme.In connection with the launch of the Future World Fund at the end of 2016, LGIM said it would hold companies to account on climate change through a targeted engagement process, working directly with companies to bring about change. Companies that failed to embrace the low carbon transition would be excluded from the fund. In all other funds where the manager could not divest, LGIM would vote against the chair of the board.LGIM’s first engagement period since announcing the “Climate Impact Pledge” ran from April 2017 to April 2018.The manager initially identified 84 of the world’s largest companies with which to engage, and it has since then assessed, scored and ranked them against more than 50 indicators.Nearly three quarters (74%) of the companies responded to letters from the manager, which it said resulted in meetings with 61%.“We believe these conversations contributed to a number of positive moves by firms, including Toyota, Wells Fargo and Australia’s Commonwealth Bank,” the asset manager said.last_img read more

Investment staff depart £2.1bn Berkshire Pension Fund

first_imgNick Greenwood (left) receives the emerging markets strategy award in 2015 Four senior investment staff have left the £2.1bn (€2.4bn) Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund as it prepares to pool its investments with two larger local authority funds.Nick Greenwood, previously pension fund manager, has joined sustainable asset management boutique Osmosis Investment Management to develop and oversee the company’s strategies.Greenwood – who has also worked at the Environment Agency Pension Fund during a near 40-year career – joined Osmosis on 1 June, according to a statement from the asset manager.He said: “Osmosis has a proven investment thesis, allocating to companies that monetise their sustainability, which seeks above-benchmark returns and a below-benchmark environmental impact. Credit: Doug Harding Windsor Castle in BerkshireAt Berkshire, Greenwood, Pardo and the team implemented an innovative investment strategy that included significant allocations to property and infrastructure, despite the fund’s relatively small size.Last year, the fund bought a 20% stake in specialist UK alternatives boutique Gresham House and became the cornerstone investor for the asset manager’s flagship British Strategic Investment Fund, which targets UK infrastructure and housing.A spokeswoman for Gresham House said there had been no changes to Berkshire’s stake in the company.Kevin Acton, finance director at Gresham House, added in a statement: “Berkshire remains a significant shareholder in Gresham House having taken a 20% stake in March 2017.“They recently took part in our new share issue and purchased shares, so maintaining their 20% shareholding. As with all of our shareholders we regularly engage with them.“Nick and Pedro are strong supporters of our shareholder value and long-term partner objectives.”In 2009, the fund implemented a longevity hedge with insurance firm Swiss Re to offload the risk of rising life expectancy for 11,000 of its pensioner members. It is still the only LGPS fund to have engaged in such a transaction.The Berkshire Pension Fund has won several IPE awards in recent years for aspects of its investment strategy, including Best Emerging Markets Strategy in 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017. It was also recognised for Best Alternatives Strategy in 2017.center_img “I will be using my experience in asset allocation to further enhance this compelling proposition.”Meanwhile, Pedro Pardo, investments manager for the Berkshire Pension Fund, has transferred to the Local Pensions Partnership (LPP), a collaboration between the London Pensions Fund Authority and the Lancashire County Pension Fund.Two other staff have also joined LPP from Berkshire, according to a spokesman.The spokesman said: “As the delegated investment manager, LPP… is responsible for the selection, monitoring and the management of fund managers and the implementation of Berkshire’s investment strategy in line with its investment strategy statement and associated policies. As part of Berkshire Pension Fund joining LPP, three former staff have [transferred] into LPP.”Berkshire agreed to join LPP in 2016 as part of the asset pooling process under way across the UK’s Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).Berkshire the innovatorlast_img read more

UK’s NEST quits smoking in two-year tobacco divestment project

first_imgThe UK’s largest defined contribution (DC) master trust is giving up on the tobacco industry because it does not think it will be viable in the long term.The National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) today announced it would be excluding tobacco from its entire portfolio, a process that it estimated would take up to two years.The auto-enrolment provider’s exposure to tobacco was worth around £40m (€45m) today, it said.In NEST’s view the tobacco sector was a dying industry, facing stricter worldwide regulation, increasingly aggressive legal action by governments, and falling global smoking rates. “In our opinion, tobacco is a struggling industry which is being regulated out of existence,” said Mark Fawcett, CIO of the £6bn pension fund.“We have not taken this decision lightly but we don’t think it makes sense to continue investing in an industry whose business model looks increasingly unsustainable.”NEST has already excluded tobacco from its ESG emerging markets fund and commodities fund, and it said other external fund managers had agreed to support the divestment decision.Sergei Strigo, co-head of emerging markets fixed income at Amundi, said: “We do not see attractive risk reward of the tobacco sector in the emerging market bond universe and the market share is fairly modest in the emerging market debt space.“NEST’s decision to go tobacco-free is consistent with Amundi’s ESG view to cap tobacco companies in our lowest two ratings before exclusion.”Amundi has run emerging market debt investments for NEST since 2016.Other European pension investors have recently announced decisions to divest from tobacco.Earlier this month Sweden’s AP2 said it was doing so as part of a decision to realign its approach with “the underlying purpose” of international conventions. The World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control targets a sharp reduction in tobacco consumption and the harmful effects of tobacco smoke.Last month AP2’s compatriot, pension and insurance company Länsförsäkringar, said it had sold all its holdings in tobacco producers, saying they had become an increasingly poor investment choice and had negative social and environmental impacts.In March Varma became the first Finnish pension provider to sign up to the Tobacco-Free Finance Pledge, an initiative founded by campaign group Tobacco Free Portfolios.last_img read more

Local authority pension fund backs ‘social outcomes contract’ fund

first_imgMerseyside Pension Fund has backed an investment fund dedicated to contracts used by the UK government to commission social services from mission-driven providers.In a statement, Bridges Fund Management said it closed the social outcomes fund with commitments of £35m (€28m), exceeding the original hard cap of £30m following “strong demand from a broad range of impact-driven investors”. The pipeline of available investment opportunities was also stronger than initially expected, said the fund manager.According to the statement Merseyside was joined by at least one other UK local government pension scheme in committing to the fund, but Bridges was unable to provide further details. Other investors backing the fund, which is Bridges’ second dedicated to social outcomes contracts, included dedicated social investors like Big Society Capital, and charitable foundations.According to the statement, social outcomes contracts are structured so that whoever is commissioning the services pays directly for improvements in social outcomes. This was in contrast to a ‘fees for service’ model.Mila Lukic, head of social outcomes contracts at Bridges, said the way the government uses the contracts has changed significantly in the last few years.“The early ‘social impact bonds’ were used to test experimental new services on a relatively small scale,” she said.“The new generation of social outcomes contracts are more about promoting greater flexibility and innovation in the delivery of existing services, using a data-driven approach that helps us better understand how to improve outcomes at scale for some of the most vulnerable people in the country.”Merseyside Pension Fund is part of £45bn Northern LGPS, one of the UK’s local authority pension fund asset pools, along with the pension funds for Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire. It had £8.5bn in assets under management as at the end of March 2018.last_img read more

Is this Australia’s luckiest property?

first_img MORE: $1.9m for Brisbane home on tiny block The property is on a double block.The property has just been listed on realestate.com.au by agent Ivo Kornel of Belle Property New Farm for $2 to $2.5million — but he was willing to throw a sixth 8 into the mix if that helped seal the deal.“If they want to pay $2.4888m or the luckiest number in between either of those that’s fine,” he told The Courier-Mail. The Avoca flats are on the market for between $2 and $2.5m. Picture: Realestate.com.au More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus14 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market14 hours agoJust across the road from all that Gas Works has to offer. Most of the apartments have had recent upgrades. The property is pre-war.“This property is pre-war which means you will have to discuss this development option with your town planner for further clarity, however seeing that the streetscape has changed so much over the years there might be a case to completely remove and start over.”Preparations for the lunar new year began on Monday and will run through to next Monday, with Chinese New Year officially kicking off on Tuesday February 5 at the start of the 10-day Spring Festival. The units are not strata titled.In its current condition, the eight flats bring in gross income of $110,000 a year.“These apartments are not strata titled so outgoings are low which keeps the yield high and the future option to strata and sell off individually.”It was zoned for development options of two to three levels. He described the property as a “once in a lifetime opportunity” overlooking prime Newstead sites including Gas Works with double street access for pedestrians apart from the Victoria Terrace entrance.“It’s a great investment, a long term play with amazing city views. I think it’s very saleable,” Mr Kornel told The Courier-Mail.center_img 18 Victoria Terrace, Bowen Hills, has 8 flats, with 8 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms on an 819sq m block. Picture: Realestate.com.auA block of eight pink flats in a landmark blue chip site may be the luckiest ever listed in Australia.The pink block has 8 units, with 8 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, and is on an 819sq m block, located at 18 Victoria Terrace in Brisbane’s Bowen Hills. That’s a major abundance of good luck with five 8’s and one 9, both numbers considered extremely good luck by Asian buyers, given the first sounds like “fortune” in Chinese and the latter like “longlasting”.Add to that, the fact that the iconic block of flats called Avoca are pink — and 2019 kicks off the lunar Year of the Pig — a pink animal with curved features. Rare $250,000 houses hit market Quirky castle with hydro plant firing on all cylinders Inner-city views. FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON FACEBOOK Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:51Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:51 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD576p576p432p432p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenStarting your hunt for a dream home00:51last_img read more

Graceville Hamptons honey an eyecatching abode

first_imgThe house at 52 Kew Rd, Graceville, is for sale.AN ENCHANTING hamptons abode that lies on a 810sq m Graceville block is sure to catch the eyes of passersby.Bordered by a white picket fence, the 52 Kew St home has received a luxurious makeover since Ryan Junni purchased it at the beginning of 2018. A semi-enclosed alfresco area looks over the pool.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 6:04Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -6:04 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD576p576p432p432p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenFebruary: Brisbane CoreLogic RP Data market update06:05 There is a fireplace and feature lighting.An alfresco dining area, which is off the open-plan living space, is one of the standouts for Mr Junni.“With the alfresco area we added a wood fireplace and semi-enclosed it,” he said.“We created a dining space there and that has been one of the nicest transformations at the house.”Mr Junni said the whole house had been remodelled, from the kitchen and bathrooms to floors and structural changes.“My touch is added with lots of glass.” The open-plan kitchen, living and dining area.Mr Junni purchases properties and flips them while living in them, before selling, only to do it all over again.“I build it for me, everytime I build my forever home,” Mr Junni said.“You put your heart into it and then I put it up for sale and we try find another house to do it again.”center_img The kitchen is hamptons in style.The property was nine years old, and while not terribly dated, Mr Junni took it to the next level.More from newsDigital inspection tool proves a property boon for REA website3 Apr 2020The Camira homestead where kids roamed free28 May 2019French oak parquetry floors now flow through the two-storey home, and the bathrooms have floor to ceiling tiles.The first floor has an open-plan kitchen, living and dining room, and there is a butler’s pantry behind the kitchen. The media room has parquetry floors.There is also a formal living and dining area on this level, a separate media room, laundry, study, two-way bathroom and a bedroom.Upstairs are four bedrooms – three of which have walk-in wardrobes.Three bedrooms share a single bathroom and a separate powder room, while the master has an ensuite with a double vanity.last_img read more