Dutch Investment Institution, BlueBay Asset Management, International Organisation of Pension Supervisors, Oddo Asset Management, CMS, Cantor Fitzgerald Europe, Legg Mason Global Asset Management, Martin CurrieDutch Investment Institution – Jan van Rutte, former CFO at ABN-AMRO, has been tasked by the Dutch Treasury with setting up the Dutch Investment Institution (NII), which is to prepare projects in the care and building sector, as well as infrastructure projects, as an investment for pension funds and insurers. He has also been tasked with shaping the yet to be established National Mortgage Institution (NHI), and determining how it might be placed with the NII. In addition, Van Rutte is to investigate how institutional investors can contribute to the financing of large energy projects.BlueBay Asset Management – David Keel has been appointed director of sales for Switzerland. He joins from Lyxor, where he was head of institutional asset management sales for Switzerland. Before then, he worked for Barclays Capital Fund Solutions, where he was responsible for its Swiss institutional client business. Separately, Luc Leclercq has joined as partner, COO and member of the Management Committee. He joins from State Street, where he was responsible for managing client relations in the middle-office business. Before then, he worked at F&C Asset Management for eight years. He started his career at JP Morgan, where he worked from 1986 to 2002 in various roles including business manager for the European fixed income business and head of the EMEA Middle Office.International Organisation of Pension Supervisors (IOPS) – Edward Odundo, chief executive at Kenya’s Retirement Benefits Authority, has been appointed chief executive. He succeeds Ross Jones, former deputy chair at APRA, the prudential supervisor of the financial sector in Australia. Solange Berstein, Pensions Superintendent of Chile, continues to serve as chair of the IOPS Technical Committee, while Edgar Robles Cordero from the Pensions Superintendence of Costa Rica was appointed to serve as the organisation’s vice-president. Oddo Asset Management – Carsten Nerge has been appointed country head in charge of developing and diversifying Oddo’s client base in Germany and Austria. He joins from Warburg Invest in Germany, where he was head of institutional sales. Before then, he worked at the institutional sales branch of BNP Paribas Investment Partners, having begun his career as a portfolio manager at Schopper, Nerge & Partner AM.CMS – Keith Webster has been re-appointed as a partner in the pensions team, effective 1 January 2014. Webster – who is also chairman of the Investment Committee of the Association of Pension Lawyers – originally joined CMS in 1996 as a trainee, becoming a partner in 2004. He left the firm in 2011 to join Osborne Clarke.Cantor Fitzgerald Europe – Jose Contreras and David Coffey have joined the credit fixed income sales and trading team in London. Contreras will focus on high yield, distressed and asset-backed securities in Spain and Portugal, while Coffey will focus on sales and sourcing for investment grade, high yield, leveraged, distressed and aircraft bonds and loans. Contreras joins from Yorvik Partners. Coffey joins from Ria Capital Markets.Legg Mason Global Asset Management – Tom Ormrod has been appointed business development director for the south of England. He joins from F&C, where he had been a sales director since 2010. Before then, he spent four years at Thames River Capital. Martin Currie – Tommy Bryson has been appointed investment analyst in consumer research. He joins from Alliance Trust, where he spent five years as an investment manager, co-managing the Alliance Trust European Equity Fund. Before then, he worked at HSBC Bank as an equity analyst.
Support for long-dated corporate credit bonds, a key source of liability-matching cash flows for the UK’s pension funds, could be threatened by reforms to the annuities market announced by UK chancellor George Osborne in March this year.Osborne’s promise that “no one will have to buy an annuity” in retirement wiped billions off of the share prices of the UK’s insurers, but fixed income specialists warn that the anticipated shrinking of the annuity market could also affect the supply-and-demand dynamics at the long end of credit curves in the UK and worldwide.Phil Page, client manager at solvency-management specialist Cardano, said: “This is a pretty small market, especially in the index-linked area that pension funds are most interested in, and most of it is held by insurance companies – so we should probably expect some effect.”Bond market participants estimate that around two-thirds of outstanding UK annuities are backed by corporate credit securities. Daniel McKernan, head of sterling investment-grade credit at Standard Life Investments, said: “There could potentially be an impact for credit markets. We may see less issuance coming through because there will less demand.“With the Budget announcement, we have certainly seen investors pull back from that long-dated part of the market – not selling, per se, but maybe just picking up less than they were.”McKernan pointed to a slight cheapening at the very long end of the credit curve since the Budget announcement, contrasting with the very keen appetite there had been for 100-year bond issues from the likes of EDF in January, and Mexico a week before the UK Budget announcement, in March.However, he added that that part of the curve had been unusually flat and that recent steepening represented “more of a normalisation than anything else” – and that he would want to see more cheapening before getting his own portfolios involved.On the other hand, the recent cheapening has occurred against a background of very bullish supply-and-demand fundamentals, as Owen Murfin, managing director and portfolio manager in BlackRock’s global bond portfolio team, observed.The equity market rally has improved the solvency positions of pension funds, leading them to buy more fixed income at a time when Gilt supply is “pretty thin”.“There’s no evidence of anything other than voracious appetite for new credit issues at the moment, whatever the maturity,” he said.“There has been slight underperformance of long-end bonds relative to front-end, but it’s hard to know whether the annuity announcement is really the factor behind that.“We haven’t really seen any direct impact on curves or in change of demand for long-end credit, but that’s probably because the details are so scarce and the timeframe uncertain. Long term, however, the technical in these markets definitely warrant close attention.”The picture is complicated by the fact that low interest rates have led to very little annuity business being done recently – only about £10bn (€12.2bn) worth is being written per year.Page at Cardano pointed out that, while the business probably would not bounce back to the £15bn or £20bn levels that might have been expected before the Budget announcement, it is still set to grow from its current low base as more and more defined contribution scheme members advance through retirement.“Also, if people are well-advised – and that is a big ‘if’ – they probably should be buying annuities at some age, anyway,” he added.“It might be at 75 rather than 65, but eventually it becomes very difficult to beat the benefit of mortality drag through investment returns alone.”
The revised law removes quantitative regulatory limits to investment in almost all asset classes, moving from a prescriptive approach to a principles-based one.Pellegrini adds: “The attention of the regulator shifted towards the ability of pension funds to manage and monitor investments.“Although some quantitative restrictions remain, funds can invest in whatever they want – so long as their investments match their approved policies, and they can demonstrate they can actually do the investment.”In practice, funds that have adequate internal control structures and monitoring capabilities will be allowed to go beyond the traditional 60% fixed income, 40% equity portfolio allocation.Covip figures showed that, at the end of 2013, half of overall pension fund assets were invested in domestic fixed income.Corporate bonds were 11% and equities 16.1% of the assets, respectively, while mutual funds and real estate took up 12.5% and 3.4%.Less than 2% was allocated to alternatives, and around 5% was in cash.The previous version of the 703 law, approved in 1996, set strict quantitative limits on what assets Italian second-pillar funds could invest in, including limitations on investment outside OECD countries.Among the freedoms granted under the new 703, investment in mutual funds and OTC derivatives is permitted, as is investment in listed and non-listed non-OECD assets.However, short-selling remains prohibited, and funds will be required to allocate a minimum of 70% of assets to listed instruments.Investment in closed funds and alternative funds will be limited to 20% and 25% of funds’ assets, respectively.Regulatory control over portfolios for second-pillar funds will be articulated in three levels.On the first level, the custodian bank alerts regulators when funds fail to meet the few restrictions still in force.Second, funds will be required to comply with the official document that sets out their investment policy, which the vast majority of pension funds have approved over the past two years.Finally, Covip will continue to ensure that official figures submitted by pension funds monthly, quarterly and annually match their investment policies.Pellegrini pointed out that the approval of the new law will make way for a similar piece of regulation for casse di previdenza, Italy’s first-pillar funds for professionals.Historically, casse di previdenza have had greater freedom on investment and have been known, at times, to invest in risky and illiquid assets.One example is Enpam, the €15bn pension fund for doctors, which built up an exposure to Lehman Brothers CDOs prior to the crisis.The fund underwent a complex process of restructuring of the investment to make up for the significant loss in value.However, Enpam announced today that the eight CDO papers, which now represent 4% of the fund’s portfolio, had recouped their full value, including restructuring costs.The allocation is now worth around €750m.Alberto Oliveti, Enpam’s chairman, said the fund would “never again” invest in derivatives.“These investments have proved to be an unsuitable product for a pension provider,” he said.“Today, we are satisfied we have been able to secure this portion of investments, which many had declared to be lost.“We refused to sell them and continued to manage them in the interest of our members, until we were able to make a profit from them.”Enpam said it expected the CDOs would be reimbursed or sold by 2017. The long-awaited revision of the law that regulates Italian pension fund investment has come into force.After years of discussion, and delayed approval by Italian lawmakers, the ‘new 703’ is now a reality, allowing much greater investment freedom for the country’s second-pillar pension funds.Paolo Pellegrini, deputy director of pension think tank Mefop, says: “We see it as the missing piece of regulation in a process that had already been initiated by Covip, the Italian pension fund regulator.”Covip had begun to clear the ground for the new law at the end of 2012, by requiring that pension funds formalise their individual investment policies in an official document and set up internal investment teams.
Sampension, National Grid, Philips Pensioenfonds, Now Pensions, Legal & General, Aberdeen Asset Management, BlueBay, Investec Asset Management, Fulcrum, Hermes Investment Management, Goldman Sachs, KAS Bank, Towers WatsonSampension – Theis Nygaard has been hired by the Danish labour-market pension fund to boost its direct lending capacity. He joins from banking group Nordea. National Grid UK Pension Scheme – Rob Schreur, currently CIO of Philips Pensioenfonds in the Netherlands, has been named chief executive of the UK electricity network’s pension fund. He succeeds Paul Sharman, who left the National Grid fund earlier this year.Now Pensions – Adrian Boulding, outgoing pensions strategy director at Legal & General, has been named Now’s inaugural director of policy. Boulding will balance the role with his position as policy strategy director at the Tax-Incentivised Savings Association, spending one day a week at the pension provider. Aberdeen Asset Management – Gregg McClymont has joined as head of retirement savings. McClymont was Labour’s shadow pensions minister for four years but lost his seat of Cumbernauld in the 2015 general election. Prior to being elected as an MP in 2010, he was a fellow at St Hugh’s College, Oxford.BlueBay Asset Management – Andrew Farrell has been named institutional portfolio manager for the investment-grade fixed income team. He joins from Investec Asset Management, where he was institutional client director and fixed income portfolio manager.Fulcrum Asset Management – Fiona Boal and Matthieu Walterspiler have joined the company’s investment team. Boal, who previously worked as associate director for commodities at Hermes Investment Management, has been named director of commodity research, while Walterspiler has been named director of equity research. He joins from Goldman Sachs, where he was executive director of European portfolio strategy.KAS Bank – Pat Sharman has joined the Dutch bank’s UK pension business as director of pensions. Sharman previously was head of sales and relationship management for European pension funds at HSBC Securities Services, having joined the Midland Bank in 1985 before its takeover by HSBC.Towers Watson – Helena Mules has joined the consultancy’s pensions covenant consultancy team. Mules joins from BDO, where she spent 10 years in business restructuring and its pensions advisory practice.
Elo CIO Hanna Hiidenpalo noted that equity performance varied widely during the year following a strong start.“Equity market pricing declined from the year’s highs but remained higher than the long-term averages on the Western equity markets,” she said.“Central banks’ activities and a lack of investment opportunities helped to support equity markets.”Hiidenpalo admitted that exchange rates had an “exceptionally large” impact on returns and said the weaker euro boosted gains made by stocks denominated in US dollars.Only Elo’s exposure to loans achieved a positive return within its fixed income portfolio, while the remainder of its holdings, accounting for 40% of assets, saw marginal losses of 0.2-0.4%, resulting in a portfolio-wide return of 0%.Direct real estate holdings underperformed property funds, but the asset class overall achieved a result of 6.7%, ahead of the 1.6% achieved by hedge funds, which comprised the majority of its alternatives holdings.Elo’s second year of operation, following the merger of Pension Fennia and LocalTapiola, saw it slightly ahead of the 4.8% 10-year nominal annualised return achieved by its predecessors.Hiidenpalo predicted an uncertain 2016, due to the oil price slump and the declining outlook for China.“Globally,” she added, “monetary policy is likely to remain very stimulative throughout the year, which will continue to support the investment markets.”Nevertheless, she said 2016 would see “interesting investment opportunities” for long-term investors such as Elo. Finland’s Elo saw returns of 5% last year despite an “exceptionally turbulent” market environment, aided largely by its equity and real estate holdings.The pensions mutual said equity was its best-performing asset class over the course of 2015, as its unlisted equity holdings returned 26%.But it added that its €8.3bn fixed income portfolio achieved zero return.Listed equities, which accounted for one-quarter of the provider’s €20.5bn in assets, returned 11.1%, while a €1bn exposure to private equity returned 20.4%.
Investment funds have steadily become a more important vehicle for indirect investments for German insurers and pension providers over the past 10 years, according to a study by consultancy Kommalpha.It showed that assets under management across the insurance and pension-institution sectors grew by €800bn, or around 50%, to €2.4trn over the 10 years to the end of 2015.German pension providers’ financial assets more than doubled over that period, from €242bn to €537bn, according to the study.There has been a disproportionately strong trend towards investment funds, to which 60% of the growth in assets was directed. On average, 34% of total insurer and pension-provider assets were in investment funds as at the end of December 2015, according to the study.The proportion of pension-provider assets in investment funds grew from 35% to almost 50% over the 10-year time period, compared with 25% to 40% for life insurers.The volume of investments in funds has steadily grown since 2008, with the insurance sector recording the highest absolute increase, of €226bn (equivalent to 122%), and pension providers the highest relative growth, of 208% (equivalent to €175bn).The bulk of the assets in investment funds are in Spezialfonds.Pension providers and life insurers are the biggest investors in this product, although Kommalpha noted that pension-provider assets in the sector had grown more than for insurers.Growth in annual net inflows faltered only in 2013, according to the consultancy.Overall, pension-provider assets in Spezialfonds grew from €16bn in January 2005 to €318bn at the end of 2015, a 20-fold increase.The trend in investments in Schuldverschreibungen – debt securities – was also upward over the 10-year period, with net inflows of €260bn bumping this market’s share from 9% to 17%.Overall, according to the Kommalpha study, more than 92% of the net growth in assets over the 10-year period – €800bn – came from direct or indirect investments in transferable securities.The rest of the growth was in loans, while investment volumes in equities and deposits stagnated.Together, the proportion of these investment segments fell, from 60% on average to 43%.The consultancy said the figures were in line with the market trend away from the direct investments in traditional German loan instruments such as Schuldscheindarlehen (a cross between a loan and a bond) and Namensschuldverschreibungen (registered bonds) and towards indirect capital investments via funds.It said this shift often went hand in hand with investments becoming more international and diverse, as well as a move towards external asset management.Kommalpha also interviewed 15 investment executives at German insurers and pension providers as a qualitative research complement to the analysis of investment trends.It said the decision-makers had a mixed outlook on long-term regulatory developments – on the one hand, fearing more restrictions on investment, but on the other, hoping for a shift towards the prudent person principle.Overall, the mood could be described as sober, it said. The Kommalpha market analysis was carried out with the support of Société Générale Securities Services, BNP Paribas Securities Services, Bouwfonds Investment Management and Deutschen Apotheker- und Ärztebank. See the October issue of IPE magazine for a special report on German asset management
Credit: cuiphotoShanghai, ChinaASI first registered with the Asset Management Association of China as an overseas entity in November 2017 and has been operating in China since 2002. It launched an A-shares equity fund for domestic investors in May last year.Ian Macdonald, deputy head of Asia Pacific at ASI, said: “We are encouraged by China’s continued efforts in opening up the financial services industry. Building on our deep insights and investment strength across asset classes, a robust risk management platform and strong governance framework, we are dedicated to delivering diverse propositions to onshore investors and contributing to the development of the asset management industry in China.”ASI’s parent company Standard Life Aberdeen opened a pensions business in China earlier this year. Heng An Standard Life was granted permission to operate in March this year. It is a joint venture between Standard Life Aberdeen and Tianjin TEDA International, and was established in 2003. Barings first registered as a qualified domestic institutional investor in China in 2007. Its Shanghai business was opened in August last year and launched its first onshore product in January this year.Aberdeen Standard Investments targets Chinese investorsAberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) has also registered a Shanghai-based WFOE with Chinese authorities to offer services to domestic investors.The $643.3bn group will offer investment advisory services to Chinese product providers through its onshore subsidiary Aberdeen Standard Asset Management Shanghai, it said in a press release. Barings has obtained permission from the Asset Management Association of China to provide asset management services via a “wholly foreign-owned enterprise” (WFOE) based in Shanghai.The $317bn (€280.7bn) asset manager said in a statement that the registration of its onshore China subsidiary as a private fund management (PFM) company would allow it to offer fixed income, equity and multi-asset products to Chinese investors.Tom Finke, chairman and CEO of Barings, said the group had a “long-term vision” for expanding its business in China. “The Asia-Pacific region, and China in particular, is a key growth market for our business,” he said. “We are committed to expanding our presence and confident that our investment expertise and local market insights will present an attractive proposition to clients in China.”
A property open for inspection at Marriot Street St Kilda. Picture: Andrew Henshaw“HOW much is it per week?”“Can we put nails in the wall?”“Who do we call if we break something?”These are just some of the questions first home buyers ask real estate agents during an open home when a property is for sale, not rent — revealing just how little many people know about what buying a home involves.Ray White Wilston principal Alistair Macmillan said he could not believe some of the questions he was being asked when opening listed properties up to the public for inspection. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE Crowds wander through a house during a home inspection. Image: AAP/Julian Smith.Once, Mr Macmillan said he had to conduct an open home at a tenanted property while one of the renters was asleep in the main bedroom.“Selling properties that are tenanted can be very challenging,” he said.Mr Macmillan said other interesting questions included prospective buyers asking about the body corporate costs of a freehold property and asking for an agent’s bank account details to transfer a deposit. Crowds gather for a home inspection. Image: AAP/Angelo Velardo.So much so that it got him and his agency thinking about some of the funniest questions and scenarios they have been presented with.“Although it might seem ridiculous, we have been asked by prospective buyers things like; ‘Are pets ok?’ ‘Is there any issue having a dog at the property?’ Even questions about the size of the dog,” Mr Macmillan said.“With first home buyers I think it’s a real mental shift.”More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market18 hours ago OWNERS PAID THOUSANDS, SOLD FOR MILLIONS Ray White Wilston even put together a video, featuring Mr Macmillan and two professional actors, to offer a tongue-and-cheek look at just how clueless some prospective buyers can be. This home at 180 Thistle St, Gordon Park, is for sale.Shockingly, Mr Macmillan said one of his female agents was once told by a prospective buyer at an open home that the floors were so well polished, he could see the colour of her underwear.He said it was not uncommon for people to be locked inside a home after an inspection because they had decided to use the bathroom and the agent did not realise they were still inside. LAVISH BRISBANE SKY HOME SELLS AT HUGE DISCOUNT This home at 180 Thistle St, Gordon Park, is for sale. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality LevelsAudio TrackFullscreenThis 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 Rate1xFullscreen00:00 The video was created to help promote a new listing at 180 Thistle Street, Gordon Park, aimed at first home buyers.
Mr Consoli said he also couldn’t go past the stunning views.“You’ve got the Hinterland and you can look straight down the Broadwater and then you’ve got the ocean views out the front,” he said. “You can see the whales out the front and even dolphins swimming up the river.” The kitchen features stainless steel appliances and plenty of storage while the main bedroom has a huge walk-in wardrobe and ensuite. Sentinel offers residents the use of an infinity pool, barbecues, entertaining lounge, gym and conference room. No expense was spared in the design of this apartment.The 340sq m of open-plan living is spread out on one floor with views from every room.Vendors John and Trish Consoli say the location initially sparked their interest.“We’ve lived on the other side of Surfers Paradise but over here at Budds Beach it’s just so nice and quiet,” Mr Consoli said.“It’s a short walk and you’re in the heart of Surfers with all the restaurants.” Living areas. Dine in style. What a view! 43/40-42 Riverview Pde, Surfers Paradise is on the market.THIS Budds Beach riverfront apartment offers a luxury lifestyle with 360 degree panoramic views of the city.Located on the 18th floor of the resident-only Sentinel tower, the sky-home features four bedrooms and three bathrooms. Views from every room.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa16 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago Luxury at every turn. ON THE MARKET 43/40-42 Riverview Parade Surfers ParadiseAgent: Ricky Numeyer, Harcourts CoastalFeatures: 360 degree views, resident’s poolArea: 340sq mPrice: $2.1 million — $2.3 millionInspections: Saturday, 11.15-11.45am
Those ceilings in the guest wing are simply stunning. The home has multiple living spaces. The main kitchen is in an enormous “wing” encompassing the family room. The home’s two wings are linked by a large indoor-outdoor living zone with pool.THIS was the hottest home in Queensland this week, unsurprising given its dreamy design and new age layout finely attuned to the needs of modern families.The five bedroom, triple bathroom designer home in Brisbane’s inner has a whopping six car spaces, more than enough for growing and extended families.The property was the most viewed Queensland home on realestate.com.au this week, according to data released today. “It is new age (in design), and really caters for families, especially those with older children or incorporating grandparents.” The suburb is considered a high demand market by realestate.com.au with almost double the Queensland average visits per property. The exterior of the home is a classic Queenslander. Located at 17 Victoria Parade in Clayfield, the home was being marketed for sale at $1.89m by Debora Sutton and Troy Hillier of Belle Property Wilston.Mr Hillier told The Courier-Mail that the property was very popular during its open home last weekend. “It is a very picturesque property,” he said. “At the first open home we saw great numbers and we’re expecting repeat visitors (this Saturday) as people bring their families back to analyse it for themselves.” “It’s quite a unique home in the layout so we’ve seen a good variety of people coming through — there are young families wanting extra space, combined families looking for dual living. You could have the family and kids in the main part and parents or older kids in the guest wing.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours ago The area is popular with young adults under 35 and families headed by those aged 35 to 54. The home will be open for inspection from 10am to 10.30am (Saturday August 4). FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON FACEBOOK ’Indoor-outdoor meals are very popular, especially with summer coming up. Modern masterpiece hits the market Robohomes the way of the future Gen Y to drive decade-long housing boom