Lothian Pension Fund seeks approval to run investments in-house

first_imgThe South Yorkshire Pension Fund (SYPF), another public fund to do so, fully received authorisation last year for its estimated £4.6bn in assets.The Lothian Fund manages around 60% of its assets in-house, under the guidance of its nine permanent staff members, who run the regional and global equity mandates, and alternatives.FCA authorisation would also allow the fund to manage investments for third-party clients. When asked, the fund did not deny any plans to do so, but said it was not its motive.“The decision to seek FCA authorisation is focused on improving governance for the benefit of the Lothian Pension Fund, Lothian Buses Pension Fund and Scottish Homes Pension Fund,” a spokesman told IPE.The fund said the decision to apply came after an external review of its in-house investment team to ensure it complied with regulation and industry best practice.“We want to make sure our investment management operations are comparable with those in the private sector,” it added.Alastair Maclean, director of corporate governance for Edinburgh Council, said the move was an important step for the fund to ensure it is responsive and prepared for the challenges for public sector pensions.The fund is part of Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Scotland, which includes all funded public pensions in Scotland.The structure of 89 LGPS funds in England and Wales is currently under review by the government.In the coming weeks, the minister responsible for local government pensions is expected to publish his proposal for the future of the LGPS.Changes include the merging of pension funds by geography, or the creation of collective investment vehicles, to reduce costs and improve efficiency.Maclean added: “The review has provided comfort that our internal investment operations are well structured and effective. It has also provided direction to further improvement in our controls if we are to gain authorisation from the FCA.” The Lothian Pension Fund is to apply for authorisation from the UK financial regulator for its in-house management to be recognised, removing the requirement for external consultant approval.The £4.1bn (€5bn) fund currently manages £2.8bn of its portfolio in-house, but investment decisions still require a sign-off from approved consultants.However, after its application to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for authorisation, the fund said the move would allow it to improve the governance of its in-house management.Lothian, which includes the pensions for the staff of Edinburgh council, and manages the Lothian Buses Pension Fund and Scottish Homes Pension Fund, is one of very few public sector funds to obtain FCA status.last_img read more

Progress pension fund attributes half of annual return to risk hedge

first_imgProgress, the €5.8bn Dutch pension fund of food and cosmetics giant Unilever, has attributed its 15.4% return for 2014 chiefly to its interest and inflation hedges. Commenting on its preliminary figures, it said its combined hedges returned 7.6% over the period, while its return on investments came to 7.8%. Progress employed a dynamic interest and inflation cover, which increased or decreased in line with the pension fund’s coverage ratio. In 2013, the hedge, through interest and inflation swaps, was 69%. Progress said almost all investment classes performed well, particularly private equity and real estate, which returned 28.2% and 18.9%, respectively.The scheme’s fixed income and equity holdings also produced double-digit returns, of 11.7% and 15.4%, respectively.The only exception was the 6% commodities allocation, which produced a loss of 34.8%.The pension fund noted that it outperformed its benchmark by 1.3 percentage points for the second consecutive year.Progress, which used to provide defined benefit arrangements, was closed on 1 April this year.Since this date, Unilever’s Dutch workers have accrued pension rights in a new collective defined contribution scheme called Forward.Both pension funds have outsourced their asset management to Univest Company, Unilever’s global asset manager and provider for the company’s pension funds in the UK and the US.last_img read more

Friday people roundup

first_imgOM Asset Management – Stuart Bohart has been named to the board of directors. Bohart was president of liquid markets at Fortress Investment Group until he retired in 2015. Before then, he held a number of senior roles at Morgan Stanley. BlackRock, CPP Investment Board, SYZ Asset Management, AppleTree Asset Management, Lyxor Asset Management, Global Impact Investing Network, PGGM, OM Asset ManagementBlackRock – Mark Wiseman has been appointed senior managing director. He will become head of the Global Active Equity business and chairman of the Global Investment Committee, the investment sub-committee of the GEC. Wiseman currently serves as president and chief executive at CPP Investment Board, which manages approximately CAD280bn (€191bn) on behalf of the Canada Pension Plan.SYZ Asset Management – Cédric Vuignier has been appointed head of manager research and alternative investments, while Bertrand Dord joins as a senior analyst. Vuignier replaces Michaël Malquarti, who is taking his career in a “new direction”. Vuignier joins from AppleTree Asset Management, where he was head of alternative investments. Dord joins from Lyxor Asset Management, where he was a senior hedge fund analyst.Global Impact Investing Network – Wouter Koelewijn has been appointed global liaison for Europe, focusing on the Benelux region. Before joining the GIIN, Koelewijn was most recently a senior innovation manager at PGGM, a Dutch pension asset manager, where he worked on innovations in responsible investing and investments with social or environmental impact. Before then, he was a senior consultant for corporate strategy and business development at Deloitte.last_img read more

Year-to-date return at Keva climbs to 4.2% despite trimming risk

first_imgKeva, the €46.6bn pension fund covering local government staff across Finland, said its investments returned 4.2% in the first nine months of this year, up from the 1.9% generated in the same period last year, even though risks had since been been reined in.Timo Kietäväinen, the pension fund’s chief executive, said: “Keva’s investment performance has been good this year, especially as we have kept lowering the risk level of our investments significantly for more than a year now.”But he warned that the remainder of this year was overshadowed by uncertainty on the capital markets.The market value of investments grew to €46.6bn at the end of September from €43.1bn at the same point in 2015. Kietäväinen said that, compared with these short-term results, there was a much larger challenge at hand in safeguarding the longer-term funding of Keva’s pensions in the midst of the social and healthcare reform. “If a transitional contribution between the pension systems is not outlined as part of the social and healthcare reform’s freedom-of-choice principle, the odds for funding pensions with tax increases are high,” he said.If the long-term funding of the Finnish earnings-related pension system is to be sustainable, it is crucial that Finland be able to strengthen its competitiveness and increase employment, Kietäväinen said.Keva’s fixed income investments returned 5.7% in the first nine months of the year, while listed equities and equity funds returned 2.6%.Property, including real estate funds, made a 2.6% return, and private equity investments and unlisted equities generated an 8% return. Hedge funds, however, made no return over the period.Ari Huotari, the pension fund’s CIO, said that, so far, 2016 had been yet another exception to the norm, with interest rates falling to levels no one could have predicted. “The actions taken by the central banks and the lack of alternatives have bolstered higher-risk markets such as equities,” he said.Looking ahead to the rest of the year, he said the election results in Italy and the US had the potential to rock the markets in a big way.last_img read more

EC unveils eagerly awaited consultation on ESAs

first_imgThe ESAs – which comprise the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), the European Banking Authority (EBA), and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) – welcomed the consultation, saying that “the time is now ripe” for such an assessment.In a joint statement they said: “The European Commission’s consultation raises important issues on the powers of the three authorities, on possible improvements in their decision-making processes and on a much needed review of their financing frameworks.“An open discussion on these issues is key to ensure that the ESAs are able to effectively contribute in building the Capital Markets Union, to further progress towards supervisory convergence, and to enhance consumer protection and stability in the internal market.”PensionsEurope has been eagerly awaiting the consultation and was pleased by its scope, Matti Leppälä, its chief executive, told IPE.“We had some concerns that the focus would be on funding but for us it also important to address questions about the governance of the ESAs and how much own initiative it should be allowed to take, as many pension funds claim EIOPA has overstretched its remit,” he said.“The consultation looks broad, which is good. This is an opportunity for creative ideas about the ESAs’ structure, powers, governance structure, and more.”The consultation asks for stakeholders’ thoughts about the ESAs’ tasks and powers, governance, supervisory architecture, and funding.The commission said the issues being consulted on “are mostly well known to stakeholders”.They include the aforementioned concerns about EIOPA overstepping its remit, concerns among the ESAs themselves about their resources, and calls from some quarters for a merger of the supervisory authorities.In one way or another these issues were touched on in the consultation.For example, it noted that there were concerns that the ESA guidelines “are increasingly expansive and go beyond their originally intended function”. It also asked whether there was merit in merging EBA and EIOPA, and invited comments on whether the ESAs should be funded by industry – fully or partially – as opposed to the existing public contributions-based arrangement.The consultation is open until 16 May. It can be found here. The European Commission has launched a long-awaited consultation on the future operation of the three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs).The consultation had been expected in the second half of last year.The commission’s aim is to “identify areas where the effectiveness and efficient of the ESAs can be strengthened and improved”. Legislation could be put forward if deemed necessary.“More coordinated and integrated supervision will be increasingly important in future, notably to develop and integrate EU capital markets through Capital Markets Union,” said the commission.last_img read more

Resaver postpones personal pension procurement

first_imgThe pre-qualification questionnaire was an early step in a plan to offer pension provision for freelance researchers.According to the consortium, a lesson from the procurement attempt was that the pan-European personal pension product (PEPP) – for which the European Union is laying the groundwork – would be a more suitable solution for mobile researchers.“One key outcome of discussions with potential providers was that personal pensions products are today mainly a local business with limited [cross-border] involvement,” it said. “Large market players are currently not organised in a way to react to this type of pan-European procurement procedures in the personal pension market.”The Resaver consortium had split the procurement into 31 sub-contracts, for each of the countries in the European Economic Area.Filip Hemeryck, senior consulting actuary at Aon Hewitt in Belgium, which advises Resaver, suggested the timing of the procurement process – with the PEPP regulation still going through the legislative process – might have been an issue.For example, one insurance company had indicated the duration of the contract – three years – was an issue because if the PEPP regulation kicked in in the meantime it could not be certain that the product it had proposed for Resaver was the right solution.  The consortium had said its initiative could be considered as a first step up towards a PEPP product for researchers. Resaver said it would likely start a new tender procedure in the near future and was committed to offering cross-border pension provision for researchers without an employment contract.“Experience from the current tender process shows that this issue may be resolved once the PEPP regulations result in real pan-European players [in] this market,” it added.The European Commission published a proposal for a PEPP regulation in June, and the European Parliament’s lead on the PEPP has drawn up amendments. The parliament is due to debate the proposal in the coming months. The Resaver Consortium has postponed a search for personal pension providers because there were too few candidates in the first stage of the procurement.Less than three providers filled in a “pre-qualification questionnaire”, according to an EU tender notification, which the organisation said was not enough to make for a competitive procedure with negotiations. It had therefore decided to stop the procurement “at this point”.In a statement Resaver told IPE: “We believe this to be the best decision for the individual researchers. As we want to have the best solution available currently on the market for the researchers population, postponing seems to be the best strategy.”The consortium is the organisation behind the cross-border pension scheme for European researchers. It already has an occupational pensions vehicle, the Resaver Pension Fund, for researchers with an employment contract.last_img read more

​Norwegian councils band together to form €705m pension fund

first_imgØstfold municipality’s contract with KLP would cease on the same date, it said.From the beginning of next year, all employees of Akershus and Buskerud who are members of AFPK, BFPK and KLP will become members of the Viken Pension Fund.The Viken Pension Fund was a direct continuation of AFPK merged with BFKP, it said.“Members of Viken Pension Fund will experience the same good personal service as in today’s AFPK and BFKP,” the Akershus fund said.At end of 2017, KLP – which manages NOK675.6bn (€69.6bn) – had approximately 1,100 employees and 1,000 retirees from Østfold municipality among its customers. The premium reserve capital relating to them was around NOK1.2bn, according to Sissel Bjaanæs, director of information at the pension provider.“We regret their decision,” she said. “KLP has had a good opportunity to argue for another outcome, so we respect their decision and wish Viken all the best with their pension scheme.”She said KLP would work to make sure the transfer of these customers was smooth.According to its 2017 annual report, the Akershus pension fund – then known as Akershus Interkomnuale Pensjonskasse – had NOK3.7bn in assets under management.BFKP, meanwhile, had NOK1.9bn in assets under management at the end of 2017.The map of Norwegian local authorities is changing considerably as a result of multi-year municipal reform, which is set to reduce the number of administrative regions.One effect of the consolidation has been to create the opportunity for larger independent pension funds in cases where several municipalities are coming together as a single authority. Three Norwegian local authorities have formally decided to bring pension provision for all staff together into a single independent pension fund.The move will create a single municipal pension fund managing NOK6.8bn (€705m), and will take NOK1.25bn away from the main municipal pensions provider Kommunal Landspensjonskasse (KLP).The joint board of Viken county municipality – the new local authority being formed from Akershus, Buskerud and Østfold – resolved at a meeting on 23 March that it would establish its own pension fund for the three former municipalities.Akershus Municipal Pension Fund (AFPK) announced on its website: “The supervisory boards of AFPK and Buskerud Municipal Pension Fund [BFKP] are requested to work as soon as possible with the aim of merging the two pension funds from 1 January 2020.”last_img read more

The top five apartments to watch the Gold Coast 600

first_imgSunbird, 3540 Main Beach Pde, Main Beach. Sunbird, 3540 Main Beach Pde, Main Beach. 22/3482 “The Waterford”, Main Beach Pde, Main Beach. 13/18 Commodore Drive, Paradise Waters Sunbird, 3540 Main Beach Pde, Main Beach Spectators crowd the Gold Coast 600 track to catch a glimpse of the supercars.THE Glitter Strip will be transformed into a revhead’s paradise this weekend as supercars take to the streets for the highly anticipated Gold Coast 600.While thousands of spectators will swarm around the track trying to get the best view, some Surfers Paradise and Main Beach residents won’t need to leave their homes.We’ve rounded up the top five apartments on the market with the best view of the circuit. This renovated apartment has two balconies with ocean and Hinterland views, making it the ideal position to watch the supercars speed up Main Beach Pde.It has two bedrooms and comes fully furnished for those who would rather use it as a holiday home.Adam and Jim Keys, of Keys Realty, are marketing the property without a price. 1801/3440 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise 22/3482 “The Waterford”, Main Beach Pde, Main Beach. This half-floor apartment has ocean views and access to the Nerang River, meaning the Supercars can be seen speeding down Main Beach Parade and the Gold Coast Highway.Marketing agent Barbara Posch, of Lucy Cole Prestige Property, said it was rare to come across apartments in this building because they were so tightly held.“This apartment offers large open plan living areas all flowing out to wraparound balconies to take advantage of mesmerising ocean views all the way up to the Broadwater,” she said.It has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and one parking space and is listed with a $849,000 price tag. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa14 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago1801/3440 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise. 13/18 Commodore Drive, Paradise Waters.center_img On the 18th floor of the Rhapsody building, this apartment has an good vantage point to watch the event.In fact, it’s one of the best spots to see the Glitter Strip.“This one-bedroom apartment … overlooks the most stunning aspects of the city, the ocean and its golden beaches,” Ray White Surfers Paradise agent Tyler Dickson said. “Take in the view from the comfort of your living room or visit the rooftop garden where you’ll get breathtaking 360-degree views of Surfers Paradise and the hinterland.”It’s listed with an asking price of $306,000. 2552 “Mantra Circle On Cavill” 9 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise This Paradise Waters apartment’s north facing balcony has one of the best views of the circuit.The Gold Coast Highway, which forms almost half of the track, can be seen from the apartment’s two bedrooms, living room and kitchen.“The apartment offers views over the beautiful grounds, parkland, and the Main Beach and Southport city skylines,” marketing agent Paul Collins, of Ray White Main Beach said.It is on the market for $399,000. 13/18 Commodore Drive, Paradise Waters. 22/3482 “The Waterford”, Main Beach Pde, Main Beach 2552 “Mantra Circle On Cavill” 9 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise. Watch the event in style from this sub-penthouse in the Circle on Cavill building.Given its position on the 55th level, the supercars may appear small but you can see them for longer than most people would as they race down Main Beach Pde.Mantra Group Surfers Paradise agent Rob Patis said the east-facing balcony had “awesome” views.“The views from here are simply awesome and almost equal to those the thousands of locals and holiday makers queue and pay for every day from Q1’s observation deck,” he said.It comes fully finished for the price of $1.42 million. 1801/3440 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD576p576p360p360p216p216pAutoA, 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 Rate1xFullscreenWhy location is everything in real estate01:59 2552 “Mantra Circle On Cavill” 9 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise.last_img read more

Historic house earns owners $2.6m

first_imgKoowa at 23 Davidson Tce, Teneriffe, has sold for $3.8 millionA HISTORIC Brisbane house has earned its owners a whopping $2.6 million in 12 years.Known as Koowa, the 23 Davidson St property at Teneriffe went under the hammer yesterday, with an opening bid of $3 million.Intense negotiations followed with an offer of $3.8 million accepted by the vendors.It marks the highest sale price ever achieved for Davidson Terrace, with the next highest price being $2.75 million in 2017, according to CoreLogic. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus15 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market15 hours ago The house has been beautifully restored and renovatedHenry Hodge of McGrath Estate Agents said the sale also marked the second highest auction sale of a house without water views in Teneriffe this year. He would not be drawn on the details of the new owner, only saying it had been bought by a local buyer. CoreLogic property records show Koowa was bought by John Divitini and Jane Bickerdike for $1.2 million in 2006.The couple then undertook a massive restoration and renovation of the property spanning five years. The stunning house featured on the cover of Saturday’s Courier Mail Realestate liftout. For that story, Mr Divitini said the property had been renovated twice before they purchased it 12 years ago.“Before we bought it but it was just dirt underneath,” he said. “So we dug that out and put in a self-contained flat, three additional bedrooms, two bathrooms, a laundry, rumpus room and acellar. “We also reconfigured the top floor and added a massive deck, and we kept a lot of the original features like the leadlight.“But we completely modernised it, putting in airconditioning, smart wiring and we restored the fireplaces.“And we did a lot of work in the backyard, so much so it won two awards and was featured on the cover of a magazine.” Mr Divitini said they were happy with the auction result and would “probably do nothing for six months and then downsize when we find what we want”.“It will be sad to leave. It is a beautiful house and area but it is time for a new chapter,” he said.”last_img read more

Renovation transforms tired Gold Coast home into modern haven

first_imgBefore the Southport property at 88 Musgrave Ave was flipped.FROM a dilapidated 60-year-old house to a mid-century modern marvel, this Southport home has had an incredible transformation. It’s hard to imagine the humble beginnings the property had but glimpses are still found inside, like the original timber floorboards and layout of the second level. A holistic design approach was taken in the five-bedrooms house’s makeover to limit the impact on the environment. It looks like a completely new house now. The owners undertook an extensive rebuild to get it up to scratch.Now standing is a contemporary and stylish abode with pared-back luxury. Owners Alison Wan and Nigel Evans recently completed the rebuild after purchasing the property at 88 Musgrave Ave in 2016. “We did quite an extensive rebuild as such but kept the existing footprint upstairs,” Ms Wan said. “We love mid-century design and architecture and wanted to create a beautiful house with a great entertaining area for family and friends. Something unique and not just a spec house, we wanted a home not a house.” MORE NEWS: House holds record despite selling at a loss More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa10 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day ago MORE NEWS: Looking for a spot to park your boat? Compared to its previous state, which was stuck in the past.Black and timber contrast throughout the home, while polished concrete floors on the ground level are a trendy design element. The backyard, with a pool and pool house with a bar, is another highlight. “Pretty much everything has changed apart from the upstairs footprint,” Ms Wan said. “We tried to use as many sustainable products as possible and tried to salvage what we could of the existing house, like the existing floorboards.“I like the upstairs day-bed area where you can oversee everything with the big beautiful windows that enjoy the outside world.” Every inch of it exudes contemporary design. Or lots of pink? …Ms Wan said the extensive renovation was a labour of love for the pair who are ready to tackle the tools again. “We will be moving on to another project, maybe not as big and grand, something a little easier,” she said. The property is set to head under the hammer on August 24 via Mark Saveall, of McGrath Surfers Paradise. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:54Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:54 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, 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 Rate1xFullscreenAndrew Winter: To sell or to renovate?00:55 Would you prefer bold tones?last_img read more