UK roundup: Guinness Peat Group, TPR, PIC, Towers Watson, ABI

first_imgIf the TPR considers the sponsoring employer of a pension scheme is insufficiently resourced, it may issue a financial support direction (FSD) against a fellow group company of the sponsor. This would affect GPG’s plans to return surplus capital to shareholders.In an interim management statement, GPG said the TPR had already found that the Brunel and Staveley scheme sponsors were insufficiently resourced as at 31 December 2011. The regulator is still carrying out work to ascertain whether any of the three sponsoring employers of the Coats Pension Plan may also have been insufficiently resourced at that date.If TPR considers it is reasonable to take action via an FSD, its next step would be to issue a warning notice.The GPG board said it anticipated it would receive such a notice by the end of the current year.It is not clear at this stage what figure the TPR will place on the pension fund deficits, although the 2012 triennial valuation for the Coats Pension Plan showed a funding deficit of £215m.A GPG spokesman said it was also not clear how much money would potentially be needed to tackle the deficits.In other news, the NCR Pension Plan has completed a £670m buy-in with Pension Insurance Corporation, covering the benefits of over 5,000 members.The bulk annuity transfer was the result of a “full and thorough tender process” according to Stephen Swinbank, chair of the trustees.The consumer transaction company’s treasurer and vice president John Boudreau added: “The agreement between NCR and the trustees is part of the third phase of NCR’s pension transformation strategy that aims to reduce our global liability and increase recurring free cash flow.”Jay Shah, co-head of origination at PIC, noted that the increase in long-term interest rates, coupled with better returns among many defined benefit funds, meant that both buy-ins and buyouts had become “more affordable”.Towers Watson’s senior consultant Colette Christiansen, who advised the trustee on the transaction, said the deal underscored the benefits of a buy-in if trustees were “willing and able” to act on favourable market conditions.“Despite the concerns about capacity that were raised when some providers left the market, schemes that look serious about transacting have found that pricing is competitive,” she added.Finally, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has launched the first comprehensive review of the UK’s retirement needs.The association said the review would cover individuals’ financial needs and concerns about retirement, how effectively the current state and private pension products cater for retirement needs, and what changes are needed to ensure adequate retirement incomes.The ABI is seeking views and evidence from pensions experts, think-tanks, consumer groups, health organisations, unions and politicians.Huw Evans, director of policy, ABI, said: “It is becoming increasingly clear that we need to consider a new approach to meeting people’s changing retirement needs.“Rising life expectancy, a sustained low interest rate environment and our culture of under-saving means that our current approach to retirement is unlikely to be fit for the future,” he added.Responses should be submitted by 20 December, following which the ABI will conduct a series of workshops early in 2014 with key stakeholders, including consumer groups, to discuss the issues raised.A final report, including recommendations for reform, will be published in spring 2014. Guinness Peat Group (GPG) has warned shareholders that it is likely to be forced by the Pensions Regulator (TPR) to cancel a planned cash distribution, in order to plug deficits in three UK pension funds which it sponsors.The strategic investment holdings group, which is listed in the UK, New Zealand and Australia, has sold off its portfolio of global investments over recent years, raising around £700m (€834m). Half of this amount has already been paid out, through cash payments and share buybacks.GPG meanwhile is to continue as the parent of textile manufacturer Coats.However, TPR has been investigating the Coats Pension Plan, Brunel Holdings Pension Scheme and Staveley Industries Retirement Benefits Scheme in order to ascertain whether to take action over potential underfunding.last_img read more

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European lawmakers endorse industry levy to fund EIOPA

first_imgEuropean lawmakers have backed an industry levy to fund the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), calling for the system’s design to be agreed by 2017.In a report prepared by the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON), MEP Markus Ferber said EIOPA’s current mixed financing model was “inflexible, burdensome and a potential threat to its independence”.Ferber, named ECON deputy chairman last year, called for the European Commission to design one of two systems to replace the current funding model, which sees national supervisors split the cost of EIOPA’s budget with funding from the Commission budget.He suggested EIOPA either be funded solely through an industry levy or through both an industry levy and an independent budget line within the EC budget. The report, which Ferber saw endorsed by the majority of ECON last month, was discussed by the Budgetary Control committee (CONT) on Monday.The committee’s MEPs also backed the report 24 to 3, building further pressure on the Commission to bring forward reform proposals.Ferber’s report comes after the European Commission said it would like to overhaul both the governance structures and funding models of all three European Supervisory Authorities, a reform that could see the standalone occupational pensions stakeholder group (OPSG) merged with its insurance equivalent.Jonathan Hill, commissioner for financial stability, recently told IPE he thought private funding of EIOPA was possible to achieve, but added that it was too early to speculate about “any concrete proposal” at the current time.EIOPA chairman Gabriel Bernardino has also championed the idea of an industry levy.last_img read more

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Wednesday people roundup

first_imgEuropean Commission – Kerstin Jorna has been appointed deputy director-general in the Commission’s department for Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN). Taking up her new position on 16 December, she will be in charge of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the fund at the heart of the Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe. Jorna joined the Commission in 1990, rising to head of cabinet for internal market and financial services commissioner Michel Barnier, and then a director in 2012. She is director for Single Market Policy, Regulation and Implementation in the Commission’s department for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.Alcentra – The alternative fixed income manager has appointed Nicholas Pont as managing director and senior institutional marketer. He joins from PIMCO, where he was head of UK and Ireland business development. Sam Morse has been appointed executive director and institutional marketer for the UK. He joins from Muzinich & Co, where he was sales director.KB First Pension Company – Macedonia’s KB First Pension Company is now being run by Vesna Stojanovska, general manager and president of the management board, and Filip Nikoloski, member of the management board. Former head Janko Trenkoski has left the pension fund to run his own business, R3 Infomedia.SVB – Ruud van Es and Coen van de Louw have been named as members of the executive board of the Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB), responsible for the payment of the Dutch state pension AOW. Van Es has been working in several positions for the SVB since 2005, while Van de Louw has been head of inspection at the Social Affairs Ministry, a director for work and income in Amsterdam and unit head at the Dutch Inland Revenue.Pensions Infrastructure Platform – Paul Gill has been recruited as an investment manager, having previously worked at Lloyds Banking Group Asset Management as an associate director, specialising in infrastructure and energy.AEW – Hans Vrensen has joined as European head of research and strategy, based in London. Vrensen was global head of research at DTZ from 2009 to 2015. Prior to joining DTZ in 2009, he was head of European securitisation research at Barclays Capital. He has also worked as a consultant at Green Street Advisors and CREFC Europe.Erste Asset Management (EAM) – Wolfgang Zemanek has been appointed head of fixed income at the Austrian asset manager, reporting to Gerold Permoser, CIO. Zemanek has worked at EAM since 1999, most recently as senior fund manager, government bonds and foreign currencies. Skagen, Norges Bank Investment Management, APG Group, Lithuanian Financial Markets Institute, European Commission, DG ECFIN, Alcentra, PIMCO, Muzinich & Co, KB First Pension Company, Sociale Verzekeringsbank, Pensions Infrastructure Platform, Lloyds Banking Group Asset Management, AEW, DTZ, Erste Asset ManagementSkagen – Norwegian asset manager Skagen has named Norges Bank Investment Management’s (NBIM) Øyvind Schanke as its next chief executive. Schanke is CIO for asset strategies at NBIM, where he oversees equity and fixed income portfolios for the NOK7.3trn (€802bn) Government Pension Fund Global. He will start in his new role from 1 February 2017.APG Group – The €444bn APG Group has appointed Dick van Well as a member of its supervisory board (RvC). Van Well has more than 35 years of experience in management and board positions at building company Dura Vermeer, where he has been executive chairman. He is a member of the RvC at Dura Vermeer, gas and power grid manager Stedin Netbeheer and Multi Corporation, a developer, owner and manager of shopping centres.Lithuanian Financial Markets Institute (LFMI) – Marijus Kalesinskas has joined the LFMI as chief executive. He succeeds Gerda Žigienė, who had returned to her academic career but remains a senior adviser on academic matters at LFMI. Kalesinskas has previously worked in various managerial and specialist roles in several financial and other institutions, including the Bank of Lithuania, MC Wealth Management, SEB, Swedbank, ISM University of Management and Economics and the Lithuanian Association of Pension Fund Participants.last_img read more

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DNB warns pension funds against becoming obsolete

first_img“I strongly believe in a collective approach and in the need of participants to accrue a pension in such a way,” Landman said. ”But tying people by default is something of the past. Nowadays, they base their choices on expectations and profiles.”Landman said he expected that lowering the salary cap subject to tax-facilitated pensions accrual would trigger a discussion about what pension funds and insurers are and aren’t allowed to do.The Dutch pensions sector is expecting a new government in the country to come up with proposals to lower this cap, which currently only applies up to a salary of €103,000.He also predicted there would be a debate about the additional pensions of self-employed workers, who are currently exempt from mandatory pensions accrual.Landman said these pressures meant pension funds needed to better communicate their collective character, including through “branding”.In his opinion, pension funds as well as the social partners who run them, “must detach themselves from established interests and be willing to re-invent themselves”. Pension funds must consider what they could offer their participants in the future and how they can keep their support in order to remain relevant, according to supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank.Otherwise they may meet the same fate as phone manufacturer Nokia, which was too slow to respond to a changing environment, said John Landman, head of supervision of pension funds’ policy, during a conference organised by consultancy firm EY in Wassenaar, near The Hague.“Pension funds can’t take it for granted that people will keep on participating by default,” he said. However, he stressed that he was not advocating abolishing the current mandatory pension fund participation for employees.last_img read more

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UK schemes’ equity allocations at all-time low

first_imgThe changing UK defined benefit landscape: Scheme statusSource: PPFDespite high-profile cases of underfunded schemes in the UK – some of which have required intervention from the PPF or the Pensions Regulator – the overall funding picture improved in the 12 months to 31 March.Based on the PPF’s internal calculations – which measure a scheme’s funding level relative to the level of benefits provided by the PPF – the aggregate funding ratio rose from 85.8% to 90.5% year-on-year. This meant the total shortfall fell to £161.8bn (€188bn), compared to £221.7bn a year earlier.However, the PPF said positive asset returns had been more than offset by falling government bond yields. The improvement in the aggregate funding picture was instead due to up-to-date valuations and a shrinking universe of pension funds. In addition, scheme sponsors paid £11.4bn in special contributions during the 12-month period, on top of regular contributions.Andy McKinnon, chief financial officer at the PPF, said: “It has been another testing year for defined benefit pensions, with a succession of events casting a spotlight on the sector. For schemes and their sponsors, fulfilling past promises, made in a very different environment, has become much more expensive and much more challenging.“While the landscape remains tough, we are seeing signs of progress. Scheme funding, while volatile, continues to show signs of improvement. At the same time, companies are taking further measures to reduce risk, both by closing their schemes to future accrual and shifting their asset allocation away from equities and into bonds.”Den Boer added: “While we welcome efforts to reduce risk and improve scheme funding, we should not lose sight of the challenge ahead. The current economic backdrop, as well as scrutiny faced by the entire industry, suggests conditions will remain tough in 2018.”DB’s final decade?A separate study by consultancy Hymans Robertson estimated that all FTSE 350 companies will have stopped accrual into the DB schemes by 2027.More than half – 55% – of the UK’s top listed companies had closed their schemes to new members and new accrual, the consultancy said. Increasing pressure to plug deficits would accelerate closures, the company argued. Future service contributions to schemes were pushing towards 50% of total payroll costs for some companies, Hymans Robertson said.Jon Hatchett, head of corporate consulting at Hymans Robertson, said: “This, coupled with the pressure to increase deficit contributions, will lead to even more companies taking further action to reduce costs and closing to future accrual. If we project the current trend forward, we expect future accrual to be switched off altogether in the FTSE 350 by 2027.”However, when questioned about this prediction today, the PPF’s McKinnon and Den Boer played down the likelihood of this outcome. “There is still a trend slowly towards more schemes closing, but I don’t think they will all close in 10 years’ time,” said Den Boer.McKinnon added: “There are a significant number of schemes still open and taking new members and accruals.”The PPF’s Purple Book is available here. The average equity allocation of UK pension schemes fell below 30% for the first time in the 12 months to the end of March 2017, according to data from the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).In its latest collection of UK scheme data, known as the Purple Book, the lifeboat fund for defined benefit (DB) schemes reported that the weighted average bond allocation reached a high of 55.7%, while equities fell to 29%.The weighted average allocation to property rose to 5.3%, the highest figure since 2008.Within the equity allocation, schemes invested 20.5% in UK listed equities at the end of March, down from 22.4% a year earlier. In the context of all asset classes, it meant the average scheme held just 6% in UK equities, according to Hans den Boer, chief risk officer at the PPF. This continued a steady decline in domestic allocations since 2008, the PPF said.The data also illustrated the continuing closure trend across the DB sector. Just 12% of schemes remained open to new members at the end of March, the PPF said, while the proportion of schemes closed to both new members and new accruals rose from 35% to 39%.last_img read more

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UK roundup: FTSE 350 companies ‘could de-risk at low or no cost’

first_imgAlistair Russell-Smith, head of corporate DB at Hymans Robertson, said many companies could find they were “closer than they think” to offloading their DB schemes altogether.However, he also warned that less well funded schemes should be on the lookout for intervention from the Pensions Regulator (TPR). As part of its new approach – with the tagline “quicker, clearer, tougher” – the UK regulator has pushed for a more even balance between dividend payments and pension scheme contributions.Russell-Smith said that “a minority of companies should plan for regulatory intervention at their next triennial valuation unless they pay more into their schemes”. He added: “22% of FTSE 350 companies with a DB pension scheme are paying over five times more in dividends than pension contributions, despite contributions at this level taking over eight years to pay off the IAS19 deficit.”Rentokil seals £1.5bn de-risking deal The majority of the UK’s biggest listed companies could pay off their defined benefit (DB) scheme deficits with less than six months’ earnings, according to research by Hymans Robertson.After a period of favourable movements in asset prices and liabilities, a number of FTSE 350 company schemes were also in a position to transfer their schemes to insurers or commercial pension fund consolidators with little or no cash injection needed, the consultancy group said.As much as 90% could pay for an insurance buyout using just six months’ corporate earnings, Hymans Robertson found.The company reported that 12% of schemes were fully funded on an insurance buyout basis, meaning sponsoring employers would not need to pay extra to de-risk their pension arrangements. A further 9% could transfer their DB schemes to a commercial consolidator at a cost of “less than one month’s earnings”, the group added.  Rentokil Initial’s planned DB scheme buyout will be one of the UK’s largestFTSE 100 listed pest control and hygiene company Rentokil Initial has agreed a £1.5bn (€1.7bn) insurance buy-in with Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) at no extra cost to the company.The agreement – which covers more than 14,000 members – has been designed to lead up to a full buyout, scheduled for 2020, to take the Rentokil Initial 2015 Pension Scheme off the company’s balance sheet.When complete, the buyout would be one of the biggest such transactions undertaken in the UK, PIC said in a statement. The transaction was the insurer’s biggest of 2018.The DB scheme had an accounting surplus of £373.2m as of 30 June 2018. Once the buyout is complete, PIC estimated that there would be “a small cash surplus”, to be returned to the employer.John Baines, partner at Aon, the scheme’s adviser, said Rentokil had secured “very attractive pricing during the busiest ever year in the bulk annuity market”.“The deal was made possible by reacting quickly to wider market developments in order to bring together an attractively priced, innovative and bespoke agreement,” Baines added.PIC’s head of business development Mitul Magudia said his company had a “full pipeline” of transactions for 2019 after a busy year in 2018. “We expect to see many more transactions of similar size and nature in the future,” he added.Listed companies’ pension shortfall improvesConsultancy giant Mercer has estimated that FTSE 350 companies’ collective DB scheme shortfall reduced from £36bn to £17bn during November.The aggregate funding level rose to 98%, from 95% at the end of October. While asset values fell from £759bn to £750bn in total, collective liabilities also declined, from £795bn to £767bn. This was due to rising corporate bond yields and a decline in market-implied inflation, Mercer said.LeRoy van Zyl, DB strategist at Mercer, said: “This is a meaningful reduction in the deficit but, as we approach the end of the year and as the government attempts to get the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement through parliament, trustees should evaluate the potential impact of political uncertainty on their sponsor’s financial security and put themselves in a position to capitalise on de-risking opportunities as they arise.”last_img read more

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EIOPA seeks info on sustainability risks in Solvency II world

first_imgThe European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) is seeking information from insurers about the integration of sustainability risks in investment and underwriting practices.“With this call for evidence EIOPA will analyse how sustainability risks affect (re)insurers’ investments, with particular focus on climate change and collect market practices on insurance underwriting,” the supervisory authority said.The information-gathering exercise comes after the European Commission asked EIOPA to “provide an opinion” on Solvency II and sustainability, focusing on climate change mitigation.EIOPA said the Commission had asked it to assess whether Solvency II presented “any inherent incentives and/or disincentives to sustainable investment, including but not limited to investments in unrated bonds and loans, unlisted equity and real estate”. The “call for evidence” closes at midnight Central European time on 8 March. EIOPA said national supervisors would help the exercise by collecting information from relevant individual institutions within their jurisdictions.Based on the collected evidence and analysis EIOPA would then prepare a draft option for consultation during the second half of this year, for submission to the Commission in the third quarter.The supervisory agency also has a 30 April deadline to provide “technical advice” to the Commission on potential amendments or the introduction of delegated acts under Solvency II with regard to the “integration of sustainability risks and factors”. A consultation on its draft advice closes at the end of January.These steps are part of the implementation of the Commission’s sustainable finance action plan.In developing the technical device in relation to Solvency II, EIOPA was asked to bear in mind that a delegated act could be adopted under IORP II. This has been resisted by pension funds, and will be discussed during negotiations between the European Parliament and the EU Council, which adopted different positions on the matter.EIOPA also has a sustainable finance action plan, which it said aimed “to co-ordinate different projects with the aim of ensuring that insurers and pension funds operate in a sustainable manner” by:managing and mitigating environmental, social and corporate governance risks appropriately;reflecting preferences of policyholders and pension scheme members for sustainable investments; andadopting a sustainable approach to their investments and other activities. EIOPA’s call for evidence in relation to sustainability risks and Solvency II can be found here.last_img read more

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Nusseibeh, Dijkstra extend 300 Club ‘welcome’ to BlackRock

first_imgSaker Nusseibeh, CEO of Federated Hermes International, and Lars Dijkstra, CIO of Kempen Capital Management, have responded to BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s recent annual letter to corporates on behalf of the 300 Club, a group of investment professionals seeking to challenge thinking and behaviours in the investment industry.In their response, published on the 300 Club’s website, Nusseibeh and Dijkstra extend a “warm welcome” to BlackRock as a new member of “the movement that has been working for several years to fundamentally change the investment value chain from salesmanship, which is the principal driver for many asset managers, to stewardship”.At the same time, they set out several steps that BlackRock – and others – could take to join the ranks of those implementing what Nusseibeh and Dijkstra referred to as “The New Active” philosophy of sustainable wealth creation.These range from aligning the interests of portfolio managers with those of asset owners and companies, for example by personally co-investing with clients, to making sustainable wealth creation and stewardship the objective rather than “minor outperformance of an index of offering the cheapest index fund”.  “Let’s not waste this revelation by talking, instead let’s act.”Saker Nusseibeh (left), CEO, Federated Hermes International, and Lars Dijkstra, CIO of Kempen Capital Management on behalf of the 300 ClubPublished last month, Fink’s letter to CEOs informed them that BlackRock was placing sustainability at the centre of its investment approach, and that Fink believed “we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance” as investors gained a better understanding of the implications of climate risk.It came shortly after BlackRock joined Climate Action 100+, the collaborative engagement initiative launched in 2017 that now counts more than 370 investors as members, having previously stuck to direct engagements with companies on its own.300 Club addresses Larry FinkLetter to Larry Fink – Welcome BlackRockIn your annual letter to corporates you argue that the financial world is on the eve of a profound reorientation. We can’t tell you how pleased we are that BlackRock, with its leading market position and its undoubted clout, is now joining the movement that has been working for several years to fundamentally change the investment value chain from Salesmanship, which is the principal driver for many asset managers, to Stewardship. The presence of BlackRock in our ranks signifies a tipping point in asset management and we extend to you a warm welcome to the movement!As you wrote, ‘we will now assess environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics with the same rigour as traditional measures such as liquidity and credit risk’. Some of us have been advocating this shift to a more long-term approach to investment for decades but we have seen over the past five years many asset managers move forwards, fully integrating ESG-metrics into their daily investment processes in one form or another. It has been very clear for us and them that the future risk and return of companies are critically dependent on good governance, ambitious environmental policies and social considerations.Our philosophy can be summarized as: only when sustainable wealth creation – what we call ‘The New Active’ – becomes the new normal, will we be able to reduce the risks of value destruction to create truly excellent long-term returns for investors and value for all stakeholders (clients, employees, suppliers, communities and society).How can BlackRock and others join The New Active? First and foremost: align the interests of portfolio managers with those of asset owners and wealth creators (the companies). For example, by personally co-investing with clients and by making sure the incentive structures of companies are aligned with long-term value creation, not short-term share price movement or fund flows;Ensuring that the incentive structures of asset managers are based on long-term active stewardship and sustainable capitalism instead of short-term salesmanship;Work with high conviction. To be able to really create value for all stakeholders, active portfolio managers need to focus on a limited number of companies. Being an active owner with a deep dialogue with company executives requires bandwidth. Creating positive change for all stakeholders means commitment and dedication to dialogue between the core-decision makers on both sides;Focus! Make the objective sustainable wealth creation and Stewardship instead of minor outperformance of an index or offering the cheapest index fund. Do that well and long-term alpha will inevitably follow.Practice inclusion with Stewardship and engagement. Consider exclusion as a last resort. Creating tailor-made exclusions based on external ESG-ratings without a proven track record is the easy way out. By engaging and really trying to change a company you’ll have much more impact.Have long-term commitment and be an active owner. Engage deeply with companies about their corporate strategy, capital allocation and sustainability risks and opportunities. In our experience, the quality of our arguments are more important than the size of our position. Bigger is not better – better is better.The financial world is on the eve of a profound reorientation. But let’s not waste this revelation by talking, instead let’s act. Some of us have already started. We’re committed to creating investment alpha and sustainable absolute returns for our clients in a fully aligned way. Our industry needs to transition to The New Active: to long-term stewardship by helping both our clients and the companies we invest in focus on sustainable wealth creation.Saker Nusseibeh, CEO, Federated Hermes International, and Lars Dijkstra, CIO of Kempen Capital Management. Both authors are members of the 300 Club. “The financial world is on the eve of a profound reorientation,” write Nusseibeh and Dijkstra. “But let’s not waste this revelation by talking, instead let’s act. Some of us have already started.”last_img read more

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Shell’s Dutch scheme introduces own ESG benchmark

first_imgThe Dutch pension fund for Shell (SSPF) said it introduced its own benchmark for its equity holdings.The move, which was introduced at the end of last year, was announced in the fund’s annual report for 2019, which said it is meant to improve the implementation of its environmental, social and governance (ESG) policy on its investments, while keeping its risk-return profile intact.Firstly, the €30bn scheme had moved 40% of its equity allocation – comprising 22.6% of its entire portfolio at year-end – to its “custom ESG benchmark”, which had been developed in co-operation with MSCI and SAMCo, Shell’s own asset manager.The new benchmark focuses on improving governance as well as a 10% reduction on its investments’ carbon footprint. The scheme reported an overall return on investments of 13.6%The scheme reported an overall return on investments of 13.6%, thanks to positive results on all asset classes. It said its 7.2% liabilities portfolio gained no less than 57%, but declined to provide details about its composition.SSPF’s return holdings of 53.7% generated 15%, while its third main portfolio – comprising liquidity and investment-grade assets, including credit and residential mortgages – delivered 3.5%.The pension fund said the interest hedge of its liabilities had contributed 4.6 percentage points to its overall return.It reduced its interest cover in August – when interest levels dipped to a very low level – from 25% to 10%. The hedge hasn’t changed since then.The Shell scheme spent 73 bps on asset management, more than half of which was incurred by alternative investments. Of this part, three-quarters went to private equity, it said.It paid €260 per participant for pensions provision. At the end of last March, its funding stood at 115.5%.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here. A spokeswoman for the pension fund said the intention isn’t yet to make its entire equity holdings subject to the change. “But we are continuously investigating whether a similar benchmark can add value to other parts of the investment portfolio,” she added.“We expect that such a benchmark will be applied to a larger part of the portfolio in the coming years.”In the annual report, Garmt Louw, the scheme’s chair, said SSPF had extended the engagement process with companies in its investment universe to its credit holdings, which largely focused on non-listed firms.The engagement has been outsourced to Hermes Equity Ownership Services, which will assess companies’ involvement in violations of the United Nation’s Global Compact rules on a quarterly basis.Last year, SSPF included the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) in its ESG policy. It said it will consult its participants about the selection of priorities this year.Last week, the €8.7bn Dutch Pensioenfonds PostNL announced it had developed its own tailor-made sustainable index for European equity in collaboration with MSCI.Louw added that a new pensions system must leave room for closed schemes, such as SSPF, to keep on implementing their existing pension plan “and honouring pension claims”.He referred to “large adjustments, such as mandatory merging existing pension rights” into a new pensions contract. He aslo said that the current flexibility in arrangements as well as the existing way of financing pensions must remain as well.The chair said SSPF would carry out a special survey aimed at the possible impact of the pensions agreement between the government and the social partners on pensions for Shell staff.last_img read more

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Gold Coast mega mansion hits the market at $6 million

first_img2108 The Circle, Sanctuary Cove.While they said they loved the home and all it had to offer, they have decided its time to downsize.The couple bought it in 2011 after looking at about 40 houses in the gated community.“My wife and I walked through the front door, looked at each other and went, ‘wow’,” Mr Siokos said.“Although we were looking for a smaller place, we fell in love with it.”He said the contemporary design was the four-bedroom home’s most appealing feature, particularly its curved walls and tiered lower level. 2108 The Circle, Sanctuary Cove.IF there was ever a perfect place to host a dinner party or evening soiree, this would be it.The Sanctuary Cove mansion was designed for entertaining with several living areas sure to leave guests gawking.The formal dining room’s grandeur is comparable to a five-star restaurant with floor-to-ceiling sheer curtains, a bejewelled chandelier and feature wallpaper. 2108 The Circle, Sanctuary Cove.Outside, the alfresco dining area with kitchen extends to include the 17-metre pool with spa, a gazebo, bar and deck — all of which overlook the river and Coomera Island.It’s no wonder the contemporary property has hit the market with an asking price of more than $6 million.Owner Angelo Siokos said he and his wife, Madonna, often invited friends over for dinners and get-togethers.“The design is fantastic,” Mr Siokos said.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa17 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago 2108 The Circle, Sanctuary Cove.They made a few adjustments after moving in to better suit their lifestyle, including expanding the upstairs bedroom’s walk-in wardrobe.“Quite honestly, we love every part of it,” Mr Siokos said.“But, if I was to say something that’s got the wow factor for me, it would be the walk-in wardrobe upstairs.”They hope to rebuild in Sanctuary Cove. 2108 The Circle, Sanctuary Cove.last_img read more

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