Mandate roundup: Merseyside Pension Fund, Unigestion, Pension Protection Fund

first_imgThe Merseyside Pension Fund has re-appointed Swiss asset manager Unigestion for its European equities mandate. The company was originally appointed in 2009 for five years.The nearly £5bn (€6.3bn) pension fund, which currently has around 127,000 members, conducted a full tender process before reappointing Unigestion.Head of the fund, Peter Wallach, said Unigestion’s investment approach suited the scheme and had a long-term focus. “We like the fact they say what they do and they do what they say,” he said.“Their research expertise has been invaluable to Merseyside, where they have provided tailor-made studies to assist with the management of our equity exposure.“We are also impressed with Unigestion’s holistic approach to risk management.”Unigestion’s managing director, Alexei Jourovski, said the reappointment was recognition for the company’s research and risk management.In other news, the UK Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has tendered for around five to eight managers to join its global equity investment panel.The lifeboat fund’s equity exposure will account for roughly 7-10% of the fund’s £16.3bn in assets, with managers expected to be appointed over the next two to three years.Interested managers should be able to provide services based on pooled fund arrangements.The PPF’s desired investment strategy is with favour to low-volatility, while performance will be tracked according to the FTSE All World minimum variance index.Interested parties should also be capable of applying foreign exchange hedging to protect investment returns.Asset managers should have the equivalent of £1bn (€1.3bn) in assets under management and a track record of five years. Lead portfolio managers should also have five years’ experience managing global equities.The PPF said other strategy exposures in the portfolio, such as value, small cap and momentum, were expected to be kept stable during investment.Responses can be sent to the PPF from 15 December.last_img read more

European insurer tenders emerging market equity mandate on IPE-Quest

first_imgA Europe-based insurance company has tendered a €200m emerging market equity mandate, according to a search on IPE-Quest.The unnamed investor has put out a search for an asset manager to run a euro-denominated portfolio of all/large-cap equities within emerging markets.The assets should be managed using a core style, and the insurance company has said specifically that the investment process should definitely not result in a value bias.The process has been stipulated as active, with the benchmark for the portfolio being the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. The investment process should involve fundamental analysis of countries, sectors and companies, the insurance company said.It also said it had a preference for a top-down thematic approach in the first phase of the process.Tracking error is expected to be kept between 2% and 7%.Firms responding to the search should have assets under management (AUM) for this asset class of at least €1.25bn, and total AUM for the firm of €2.5bn.Performance should be stated in US dollars to 31 May.The firm should have a track record of at least five years.The deadline for submissions is 26 June.After that, the deadline for the section of a shortlist is 15 July, followed by a deadline for submission of RFPs on 24 August.The final selection will be made by the board on 1 December, according to the search.The IPE news team is unable to answer any further questions about IPE-Quest tender notices to protect the interests of clients conducting the search. To obtain information directly from IPE-Quest, please contact Jayna Vishram on +44 (0) 20 7261 4630 or email jayna.vishram@ipe-quest.com.last_img read more

Dutch roundup: DNB, AFM, APG, Pensions Register

first_imgPensions supervisor DNB and the communications watchdog AFM are to conduct a joint survey into how pension funds inform participants about the prospects of rights cuts or indexation. Bert Boertje, director of pension fund supervision at DNB, said both regulators would also check whether schemes’ communication matched their financial positions.The deteriorating funding ratios at many Dutch schemes, in what has been a “difficult year”, triggered the survey, Boertje said.“Because it is not very easy to improve their weak financial position, pension funds must make clear what their participants should expect,” he added. “Although only a few schemes may need to apply rights cuts in 2021, after they have been underfunded for five years, the situation could be different.“As far as I am concerned, pension funds should already alert their participants to what may happen.”He said information would not have to be too detailed – indicating simply that “the possibility of a rights discount is 40%” or that “the chances of indexation are very limited during the next three years”.Pension funds must also explain that their results often depend heavily on market performance, “as many schemes fully lean on surplus returns”.Boertje said Dutch pension funds had not always communicated clearly about what their participants could expect.“Therefore, they should enable their participants to ready themselves for limited indexation and possible cuts, so they can take this into account for their financial planning,” he said.In other news, Jetta Klijnsma, state secretary for Social Affairs, suggested that the €410bn asset manager APG should offer a lower salary to the successor of departing chief executive Dick Sluimers.In an interview in daily newspaper De Telegraaf, Klijnsma said Sluimers’s salary of €600,000 was “very high”.She refrained, however, from indicating a salary level that would be acceptable.In a response, APG – provider for the €345bn civil service scheme ABP – said the salary was in accordance with rules issued by DNB.Klijnsma also recently confirmed that, for the time being, the Dutch Pensions Register would not be extended with information about accrued third-pillar pension rights.In a letter to Parliament, she said there was no capacity to extend the website, adding that a number of “practical problems” needed solving first.Klijnsma was responding to a motion adopted by the Lower House – and tabled by Helma Lodders, MP for the liberal party VVD – aimed at harmonising the current channels for pension information, as well as providing access to the register for pensioners.last_img read more

Brunel seeks head of private markets for £28bn LGPS asset pool

first_imgBPP is interested in taking more direct and efficient approaches to private markets, such as co-investment, bespoke funds and joint ventures. After the initial focus on direct funds, the head of private markets will be expected to investigate and develop the latter investment options, according to the job advert.The successful candidate will report to Mark Mansley, BPP’s chief investment officer. Brunel Pension Partnership (BPP) is looking to hire a head of private markets as the collaboration of UK local government pension schemes (LGPS) tackles the next stage and a core part of its business development.The role will cover real estate, infrastructure and private equity and debt.The appointee will have overall responsibility for investing assets that are expected to exceed £5bn (€5.48bn), representing 20%-25% of the asset pool’s approximate £28bn of assets. This is based on the 10* underlying pension funds’ existing allocations or intentions.The Bristol-based investment management company is looking to move away from a fund-of-funds approach to private markets, and the successful candidate’s initial focus will be on identifying and investing in a range of direct funds on the best terms possible. Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, where BPP is basedHe said private markets were a key area for Brunel.“By raising our game in private markets we feel we can save the LGPS funds quite a bit of money and hopefully do a better job for them,” he told IPE.The partnership is keen to take a leadership role in responsible investment in private markets and take a genuine long-term approach to these markets, according to Mansley.“Obviously some of our clients are very interested in this subject,” he said.The Environment Agency Pension Fund (EAPF) is one of BPP’s founding members and is recognised as a leader in responsible investment. Mansley is the EAPF’s former CIO.He noted that substantial progress on responsible investment in private markets had been made, citing as an example the work done in real estate by GRESB, a Dutch company that tracks the environmental, social and governance performance of real assets.Infrastructure was a slightly more complex area when it comes to responsible investment, but the hope was that BPP’s future head of private markets would “get their teeth into it”, he added.BPP was formally incorporated on 18 July.*LGPS funds for Avon, Buckinghamshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, the Environment Agency, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, and Wiltshire.last_img read more

LGPS Central launches £2bn multi-factor equity climate fund

first_imgLGPS Central, the asset pooling vehicle for nine UK local authority pension funds, has launched a multi-factor equity fund with a climate tilt.It brings together £2.1bn (€2.3bn) of assets from two of the pool’s local government pension scheme (LGPS) funds, with West Midlands Pension Fund and Cheshire Pension Fund the initial investors.The fund tracks the FTSE All-World Climate Balanced Comprehensive Factor Index and is designed to take into account “the risks and opportunities associated with climate change” while pursuing long-term superior investment returns.It is tilted away from companies with greater carbon emissions and the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel reserves, and favours those with revenues from environmentally-friendly products and/or services. Mike Weston, chief executive of LGPS Central, said: “The LGPS Central pool is fully aware of the risks and challenges that climate change poses – not only for the planet but also for investment returns – and our new fund enables us to align our shared sustainable investment ethos with our long-term investment goals.”The new sub fund, which is the pool’s seventh, will be managed in-house. LGPS Central’s partner pension funds have around £45bn in assets under management between them.last_img read more

​Folksam’s foreign cull pays off, new chief warns of challenges ahead

first_imgSwedish pensions and insurance group Folksam says the halving of its foreign equities portfolio – an exercise the firm carried out last year to lower its carbon footprint – has been more effective than anticipated, and has cut carbon by 30%.Separately, in its 2019 results announcement, the firm’s new chief executive officer warned that there were challenges facing the company in the near future, in spite of the set of strong investment results it reported, with assets under management rising to SEK455bn (€43bn) from SEK404bn in 2018.Folksam said it had expected the decision – announced in May last year – to cull its SEK84bn foreign equities portfolio in order to achieve a 20% reduction in carbon emissions, but the move had in fact shrunk its carbon footprint by 30%.At the same time, the portfolio had beaten global stock markets, it said. Michael Kjeller, Folksam’s head of asset management and sustainability, said: “We are very pleased that the actual outcome has exceeded our expectations.”In the nine months of 2019 that the new portfolio had been in operation, its return surpassed that of global stock exchanges by between 1.3 and 1.5 percentage points, he said, adding that this positive outperformance trend had continued in early 2020.Reporting annual results, Ylva Wessén, Folksam group CEO, said: “In a changing environment, a higher rate of change is required in the business.”She highlighted three new areas of focus for the firm in the near future: an increase in digitisation; the need for increased pressure on companies to lower their carbon footprints in order to achieve net zero by 2050; and changing working methods and office structures within the company as a means of cutting operating costs to SEK5.3bn by 2022.Folksam reported total group premiums in 2019 rose by SEK1.7bn from the year before, to SEK56bn.Folksam Life, the life and pensions division, produced a 10.4% return in the year, up from 1.5% in 2018, with solvency increasing to 169% from 163%.Meanwhile, Folksam’s municipal pensions subsidiary KPA Pension reported a total investment return of 11.2%, up from 2018’s 0.5%, and a solvency ratio of 171%, increasing from 165% last year.Wessén was appointed in December as the permanent successor to the Folksam’s previous CEO Jens Henriksson, having been running the pensions and insurance group on a temporary basis since his departure at the end of last summer.last_img read more

Luxury Gold Coast penthouse sells for $4.45 million

first_imgEntertaining guests would be a breeze with this bar.The Bulletin reported the sale earlier this month but marketing agent Duncan Longmore, of Kollosche, would only say it sold for less than its asking price of $5.25 million.Despite selling for almost $1 million less than its asking price, the sale eclipses the figure its neighbour fetched almost two years ago.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa12 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoMORE NEWS: Biggest apartment sales in QLD MORE NEWS: Champion hurdler Sally Pearson sells Queensland home It’s all class inside. One of the penthouses topping the Rivage Royale building has sold for $4.45 million.THE multimillion-dollar sale price of a luxury penthouse topping Southport’s Rivage Royale tower has been revealed weeks after it sold.Realestate.com.au now shows the tri-level skyhome, known as the northern penthouse, changed hands for $4.45 million. The southern penthouse, which was once owned by former fugitive businessman Lux Daswani, changed hands for $3.795 million almost two years ago.A local buyer bought that residence, which hit the market in November 2015, from brother and sister Peter Kyriakou and Athena Jordan.The siblings inherited the property from their father Paul Kyriakou, who bought the tri-level Rivage Royale home from receivers in 2001 for $1.42 million. center_img Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:46Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:46 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 Rate1xFullscreenChoosing an apartment to invest in01:47 Not a bad spot to entertain.Receivers and mortgagees moved in on Mr Daswani’s assets after he fled Australia in 2000.Mr Longmore told the Bulletin earlier this month the penthouses’ floorplans were mirror images but their styles were completely different.“(They are) the same size — about 850sq m with their own pools,” he said.“The (southern) one needed a renovation whereas this one had had a beautiful renovation 10 years ago.”A local buyer also bought the northern penthouse, which had been on the market about a year before it was snapped up. The view stretches as far as the eye can see.last_img read more

New Push for Oregon’s Small Ports

first_imgImage source: Ellicott DredgesOregon’s Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, joined by Representatives Peter DeFazio, Suzanne Bonamici and Earl Blumenauer, have urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to support essential dredging and maintenance of Oregon’s small ports in its 2017 work plan.“Oregon’s ports and harbors are the lifeblood of the coastal communities they serve, enhancing regional and local economic development and supporting local job growth,” they wrote in a letter to Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Douglas Lamont.“These ports support the activities of Federal agencies, such as the U.S. Coast Guard, and they are critical to maintaining and creating jobs, as the home to fishing fleets, marinas and recreational facilities. Unfortunately, these federal commercial navigation projects are routinely overlooked and, year-after-year, remain critically underfunded in the Administration’s budget.”Members of the Oregon delegation have pushed hard to ensure that small ports’ needs are met in funding bills.Congress recently included additional support for small port projects in the new funding bill that passed at the end of April. These funds could ensure the completion of critical work at the ports of Bandon, Depoe Bay, Gold Beach, Reedsport and Newport if the Army Corps agrees to include those projects in its 2017 work plan.last_img read more

SES Joins Forces with DeepMar

first_imgStress Engineering Services (SES) has teamed up with subsea system engineering and operations consulting, DeepMar, to expand its existing upstream service offerings. The integrated team will work alongside clients to increase assurance of successful projects in regards to health, safety and environment (HSE), reliability and efficiency.The partnership is focused on providing ‘end-to-end’ solutions that address the entire life of field across all disciplines: drilling/completion, production/asset and various intervention solutions. A seamless integration of verification and validation processes can be provided by using core competencies of both companies, including analysis, testing, materials, real-time health monitoring, predictive forecasting, efficient work flow processes and operational guidance.Chuck Miller, vice president of Stress Engineering, said: “By teaming DeepMar’s 35 years of experience in subsea oil and gas systems with the sheer breadth of SES’s engineering services, we are bridging the gap between analysis results and operational decision-making. DeepMar offers valuable hands-on experience from the operator’s perspective and the people in the field.”Brian Saucier, president, DeepMar Consulting, said: “In its 40 year track record, SES has demonstrated a broad range of capabilities alongside innovative physics-based models for design and assessment. We are looking forward to working with the team at SES in offering a broader range of integrated solutions to provide significant value and cost-savings through enhanced design and operational assurance.”last_img read more

Bangladesh Takes Over Another Batch of Damen Dredgers

first_imgFollowing recent dredger deliveries in Bangladesh, and successfully organised Dredging Seminar last month in Dhaka, Damen has again delivered multiple dredgers from available stock.According to Regional Sales Director, Rabien Bahadoer, Damen has again confirmed its long-term commitment to Bangladesh by delivering quality dredgers with a proven design from ready stock.“This will swiftly help our customers to start their dredging job in supporting the riverine country.” Mr Bahadoer added “Our dedicated Service Team has overseen a very fast handover. This August delivery comes very soon after our well received Dredging Seminar in July. The dredgers include various optional items, such as production meters, spud carriage systems and spare parts. A unique achievement, and we expect that there is more to come.”Damen has had a presence in Bangladesh since the 1970s. There are quite a number of Damen vessels in operation in the country from that time of which some are still in function.last_img read more

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