Wednesday people roundup

first_imgAllenbridgeEpic Investment Advisers – The investment adviser to UK pension funds has appointed John Arthur as managing director. He has more than 25 years’ experience within the defined benefit pensions industry, working with both corporate and local authority pension schemes. He has been a senior adviser at AllenbridgeEpic since February 2012. He joined from Aerion Fund Management, where he was director.S&P Capital IQ – Imogen Dillon Hatcher has been appointed to the newly created position of chief commercial officer, effective 14 April. She will lead S&P Capital IQ’s global sales, client services, marketing and research network activities. She joins from the London Stock Exchange, where she most recently served as executive director of global sales.Ingenious Asset Management – Andrew Waldren has been appointed to the newly created position of COO. He will hold overall responsibility for investment operations, custodian relationships, project management and ancillary services across all platforms and jurisdictions. He joins from J Stern & Co, a family-backed asset manager, where he joined as COO at start-up.CVC Credit Partners – Neale Broadhead has been appointed managing director and portfolio manager. He will be focused on the origination and execution of European middle-market lending. He joins from Lloyds, where he was hired in 2004 to establish and build the Mid-Market Origination team.Sackers – Ian Pittaway has been re-appointed as senior partner for a fourth consecutive term. The position of senior partner is a three-year term, which will run from April 2014. Pittaway joined Sackers in 1996 and has worked in pensions law since 1982.Burges Salmon – The UK law firm has appointed Caroline Harwood as director of Incentives in its Pensions and Incentives practice group. She joins from Grant Thornton, where her role was director and head of Equity Reward (South). Universities Superannuation Scheme, Robeco, Pension Protection Fund, ING Investment Management, AllenbridgeEpic Investment Advisers, S&P Capital IQ, Ingenious Asset Management, CVC Credit Partners, Sackers, Burges SalmonUniversities Superannuation Scheme (USS) – Kathryn Graham has been appointed to the newly created position of head of strategy coordination. Graham has more than 20 years’ industry experience, including positions with UBS/SBC Warburg and Progressive Alternative Investments. She spent almost a decade at BTPS/Hermes, most recently as director and head of Special Projects at BT Pension Scheme Management. She begins in her new role on 24 February.Robeco – Alan Rubenstein, chief executive of the UK’s Pension Protection Fund, has joined the supervisory board of Robeco, according to the Dutch asset manager. Rubenstein, who joined the lifeboat scheme in 2009 after two years as head of Lehman Brothers’ Pensions Advisory Group, will chair Robeco’s investment committee and also sit on its audit and risk committee while retaining his role at the PPF.ING Investment Management – Martin Philip has been appointed to promote ING IM’s investment offering in the Nordic region. He will have a focus on the Swedish market from his base in Stockholm. He joins from Skandia Investment Group in the UK, where he was head of distribution and client support.last_img read more

Commission moves to increase transparency of infrastructure loan market

first_imgEuropean Union member states should publish infrastructure investment plans and ensure credit information on infrastructure loans is readily available in a central database if they wish to attract pension funds, the European Commission has argued.In a communication published alongside the revised IORP Directive, the directorates general for internal markets, industry and economic and monetary affairs threw their support behind a number of proposals to encourage long-term financing by institutions other than banks.Building on the work of the Green Paper for long-term investing, internal market commissioner Michel Barnier said it was important for the Commission to be ambitious in its support for growth.“Our financial system must regain and increase its ability to finance the real economy,” he said. “This includes banks as well as institutional investors such as insurers and pension funds.” The Commission identified telecommunications infrastructure, as well as transport and renewable energy, as three of the areas in need of patient capital, and pointed towards its revision of the IORP Directive as one way of attracting investment.Under the revised Directive, the Commission will seek to do away with any investment rules that hinder pension fund investment in assets that would finance growth in the real economy. In a move that will further impact the pension industry, it also highlighted the importance of a “wider framework for sustainable finance”, with the forthcoming Shareholders’ Rights Directive identified as a way of improving the situation, as well as an emphasis on environmental, social and governance matters and a review of fiduciary duties – mirroring similar moves in the UK.Considering how private finance could be attracted to European infrastructure projects, the Commission recommended the introduction of infrastructure plans, likely drawing on the experience of such reports by government-backed Infrastructure Australia and, more recently, the UK’s National Infrastructure Plan – a pipeline of imminent and otherwise viable projects.Additionally, it called for more transparency in the infrastructure loan market, addressing some of the points previously raised by German pension association aba, which suggested the European Investment Bank should offer assistance in assessing projects.The Commission said it would evaluate the feasibility of “collecting and, where possible, making available comprehensive credit statistics on infrastructure loans and setting up a single-point compilation of project bond issue data”.last_img read more

Berkshire considers direct investment in residential real estate

first_imgThe Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund may directly invest in residential property and has permission to launch a wholly owned property subsidiary.Nick Greenwood, manager of the £1.6bn (€1.9bn) fund, told IPE the private rented sector (PRS) was an interesting area for investment, but that the pension fund had yet to acquire any assets.He added that Berkshire, the local authority scheme for the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, was currently looking at a portfolio of local properties coming out of receivership and was likely to bid on it in the near future.“We are primarily trying to focus on Berkshire in the first place because it’s a huge market and also a market our councillors know,” he said.  Greenwood said it was “early days” but that the fund was likely to invest directly, at least in the first instance, with assessment of the portfolio being conducted internally.In early January, the fund received permission from the council to launch a property company, Blue Swan Residential, in which it would be the sole limited partner once it began investing directly in PRS.The Scottish Limited Partnership would be the most transparent of the four options considered by Berkshire, according to minutes from a meeting in late January that recommended the launch.The fund has no firm investment target, and Greenwood said the amount allocated to PRS would depend on the returns garnered by the initial investment.“If we can get our target return, then residential property is a relatively low-volatility income stream,” he said. “It makes a great matching asset, so we should put a reasonable amount into it.”He added that the investment would initially complement the scheme’s nearly £150m exposure to real estate funds.Greenwood said the fund was unlikely to consider investing in social housing, as the returns were unattractive due to a housing association’s ability to access the capital markets directly.However, he also noted the complications that could arise from a social housing tenant in receipt of benefits defaulting on rental payments, requiring the council to eventually pay the property owner directly – which, if Berkshire invested directly, could be a council-controlled entity.The decision to launch a wholly owned subsidiary came after Berkshire considered a number of options for growing its real estate holdings, including acting as an equity partner to an unnamed housing association, asking a developer to construct a local PRS portfolio or developing its own housing stock through a subsidiary.Greater Manchester Pension Fund, England’s largest local authority fund, has previously committed £25m to the construction of several hundred social and affordable homes in Manchester.The pension scheme for the London Borough of Islington, meanwhile, invested in a residential property fund in 2012. However, residential property is still a fairly new asset class for UK pension schemes, despite its popularity with many Continental pension schemes.last_img read more

Finland’s Etera rebounds with 3.4% return in first half

first_imgFinnish pension mutual Etera has seen a rebound in its investment performance this year after moving to a more dynamic asset allocation policy.The fund, which saw assets under management fall in 2013, made a 3.4% return from January to June, mainly through better returns from assets that failed the fund last year.Assets increased in value, hitting €5.7bn at the end of June, almost €200m higher than at the same point in 2013.CIO Jari Puhakka told IPE the 3.4% return was split evenly across the two quarters, and that he was pleased with the consistency of the return after the poor returns seen previously. Its quoted shares returned 9.6%, compared with -5.7% in 2013, and its equity investments returned 6.9%.The fund’s real estate holdings returned 2.1%, an asset class Puhakka said was going to be a part of future diversification away from bonds and equities, while still maintaining an appropriate solvency ratio.“It is difficult to find areas where you get returns [appropriate to maintain solvency requirements],” he said.“We own land for a fund for which we receive payments from the builders. It is a good example of a risk/return profile.“There is a good motivation for regular payments from the residents, and it is inflation-linked. We have been concentrating on finding these other areas of return other than listed equity.”Puhakka was positive about the fund’s performance after it only provided 0.3% over 2013, with significant losses in emerging market debt and equity strategies.At the time, Puhakka cited the lack of significant change in the economic market, which meant the investment team could not take advantage of tactical investments.In response, the team changed its strategy to focus more on the optimisation of asset allocation strategies, rather than tactical investments.After the successful first half of 2014, the fund’s solvency ratio hit 16.6%, up from 15.2% at the end of 2013, but still lower than the 21.3% of December 2012.Etera chief executive Stefan Björkman said the fund now wanted to be more transparent with policy holders about investment returns.The fund will now publish monthly updates on returns and how the investment team is allocating to assets.last_img read more

Irish pension liabilities hit 167% of GDP

first_imgClaire Hanley, statistician at the CSO, said: “Ireland’s liability as a percentage of GDP is low relative to other countries, reflecting Ireland’s comparatively young population.”Of Ireland’s total liability, state pension schemes accounted for 53% (€231bn); public service defined benefit plans for 26% (€114.5bn); and non-government or private pension schemes for the remaining 21% (€90.8bn).Hanley said it was important to note that government liabilities should not be considered to be similar to a debt that has been borrowed and has to be repaid.“They are deemed to represent the pension commitments of government as outlined by current pension rules and regulations,” she added.According to figures published in February by LCP Ireland, an actuarial consultancy, the overall deficit for Irish defined benefit schemes fell by €300m from the end of 2016 to October 2017.However, the report revealed that the deficit had grown by almost 40% over 12 months since 31 December 2015.The liabilities of UK government-run pension schemes totalled £5.3trn or 279% of UK GDP at the end of 2015, Hanley noted. Over five years, the UK’s overall pension liabilities have grown by £1trn.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# Ireland’s accrued pension liabilities for occupational schemes reached €436.3bn at the end of 2015, according to the latest data from Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO).The numbers compared favourably with similar figures from the UK on a percentage of GDP basis.The CSO said the total liability represented 167% of GDP. By comparison, figures published in March this year for the UK to the end of 2015 revealed that UK pension providers had total accrued-to-date liabilities of £7.6trn (€8.7trn) – or 400% of GDP.The figures were published in compliance with recently introduced EU rules.last_img read more

UK government rejects call for default at-retirement option

first_imgThe government noted that the select committee had recommended it take forward proposals from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to introduce default decumulation pathways, but that the regulator’s emphasis was on consumers actively choosing particular retirement outcomes and providers being encouraged to offer products to suit those choices.The government’s stance triggered mixed reactions from the pensions industry.Former UK pensions minister Steve Webb, director of policy at insurance group Royal London, said the government was “right to reject the idea of a one-size fits all approach at retirement”.“The whole point of pension freedoms is that everyone is different and has a different pension history and different goals for the future when they reach pension age,” he said.“Much more can and should be done to help people make the choice that is right for them, but defaulting them down the route that the provider thinks is best is not the answer.”However, Tim Gosling, policy lead, DC, at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, disagreed.“We… urge the government to reconsider the benefits of implementing a signposting system to help savers,” he said. “A default or signposted pathway leading to an income product would make accessing an income easier while preserving the right to a free choice.”Troy Clutterbuck, CEO of master trust NOW: Pensions, called for a “twin track approach” that would allow both active choice and a default option.“While the government does not believe that default decumulation pathways are consistent with the freedom and choice reforms, they are entirely consistent with auto enrolment where savers often are unengaged and make no active decisions at all,” he said.“There needs to be a twin track approach for engaged and disengaged savers with defaults available to those who have relied on our trustees to safeguard their interests throughout and want to continue to do so.” The UK government has rejected calls from an influential group of MPs to introduce default drawdown products for retirees, saying it was “not convinced” they would be suitable for the majority of the population.In April, the Work and Pensions Select Committee, made up of a crossbench group of MPs, called on the government to work with the regulator to introduce a “suitable and regulated default product” for those people who did not make an active choice about how to use their pension savings. It referred to these as “default decumulation pathways”.In its response to the committee’s findings, however, the government has said such a move would run counter to the central idea behind pension freedoms.“There is insufficient evidence to suggest a common default pathway would be suitable for the majority of people at this time,” it added, “particularly given that most people reaching retirement with DC savings now and in the coming years will also have other retirement provision to take into account in their planning.”last_img read more

​Swedish minister defends salaries at AP Funds, urges cost efficiency

first_imgPer Bolund, Sweden’s financial markets minister, has defended the salaries paid to staff at the country’s national pension funds — the AP Funds — saying they do not deviate in any major way from policy.Responding to a written question from Ulla Andersson, a member of the Swedish parliament (Riksdag) who belongs to the Left Party (Vänsterpartiet), Bolund said: “It is the boards of the AP funds that decide on guidelines for remuneration to senior executives in the funds, but these must be consistent with the guidelines adopted by the government.”Later in his reply, he said: “The auditors’ audit for the fiscal year 2018, as in previous years, only shows minor deviations from these guidelines.”These deviations related to longer notice periods stated in the guidelines, he said, which originated from the time before the guidelines were established. Andersson’s original question to Bolund was: “Is the State Council prepared to review the guidelines that form the basis for salaries and remuneration within the AP funds?”She said that while people in Sweden were getting stuck with pensions that were difficult to live on despite a long working life, people managing the pensions money in the AP funds had wages that ordinary people could not even dream of.“The AP funds manage large pension assets and must be skilled at it, but that does not mean that they should have salaries and benefits that are fundamentally different from society at large,” she said, adding that this undermined confidence in the state authorities and society as a whole.“In the various AP funds, heads of asset management and equities chiefs often have monthly salaries almost equivalent to an annual salary for a worker, and funds’ chief executives earn considerably more than that,” Andersson wrote.The prime minister of Sweden was paid less than half of the highest earning chief executive’s salary in the AP funds, she said.“It is unreasonable that wages and remuneration in the AP funds deviate so much from the rest of society,” she said.Minister stresses need for cost efficiencyIn his response, Bolund said the government’s guidelines on remuneration at the funds showed that the total remuneration to senior executives had to be reasonable and well-balanced.“It should also be competitive, capped and appropriate, and contribute to good ethics and organisational culture,” he said.But Bolund also said that the role of administrator of state pension resources carried with it the requirement that the AP Funds had the trust of the general public. Remuneration conditions for the funds’ leaders were very significant in this regard, he said.“It is important that the AP funds continually work towards a high level of cost efficiency in their business,” he wrote.last_img read more

Auction preview: top three Gold Coast homes on the chopping block

first_img63 Kalimna Drive, Broadbeach Waters.“It’s north-facing with 18.5m of water frontage.“It looks more likely that it will be knocked down but I do have groups interested in renovating it as well because it’s super unique.” 63 Kalimna Drive, Broadbeach Waters.An hour later, an A-frame house will go under the hammer.The deceased estate at 63 Kalimna Drive, Broadbeach Waters has attracted plenty of attention for its quirky character.“It’s mainly interest in the block,” Ray White Broadbeach — Mermaid Waters agent Conner Malan said. 7 Pindari Ave, Burleigh Heads is going under the hammer at noon on Saturday.HOUSE hunters are spoiled for choice this weekend with an array of properties going under the hammer.Among the standouts is a modern abode at Burleigh Heads that’s set to go to auction on Saturday. 7 Pindari Ave, Burleigh Heads.Mr Smith said prospective buyers had been impressed with the views, floor plan and location.“The fact that it’s up high and it’s got views has been a big selling point,” he said.“Also, the way the owners have renovated the inside and it’s got four different levels and plenty of space has been a drawcard.“And of course the location — you can grab your paddle board and walk across the street and go for a paddle.”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 agoThe property will be offered to the market at noon.center_img 7 Pindari Ave, Burleigh Heads.The four-storey house is built into a hillside, giving it just enough elevation to see as far as Burleigh Heads National Park and the beach.“I know we’ve got bidders coming along and we are realistic price wise so I’m quietly confident it will sell under the hammer,” Sean Smith of Black & Young Burleigh Heads said.“We’ve had about 50 groups through so I’m hopefully we will have a good turnout on Saturday.” 62 Monaco St, Broadbeach Waters.Ray White Broadbeach selling duo Sam Guo and Julia Kuo are in for a busy weekend, taking three properties to auction.Among them is a waterfront home at 62 Monaco St that will be offered to the market on Saturday at 5pm. WHY THE BEACHFRONT IS BOOMING TEE OFF FROM YOUR OWN BACKYARD Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:28Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:28 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p270p270p180p180pAutoA, 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: Location, location, location01:29“We have had a few second inspections on this one and look forward to the auction on Saturday,” Mr Guo said.“You never know what will happen at auction — this property is in a great street and has a great house on it.”The pair will also auction 8 Istana View, Clear Island Waters and 105 Commodore Drive, Paradise Waters over the weekend.last_img read more

Gold Coast luxury penthouse sells for $5 million

first_imgNorth Residences at Burleigh Heads. Photo: Mindi Cooke“When the kids finish school they plan to sell the house on the river and move into the penthouse,” Mr Calvisi said.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 ago“They’re basically future downsizers.”The two-level apartment has an endless list of luxury features including a rooftop entertaining terrace with a glass edged pool, wine cellar and cold room.MORE: The Block couples’s tips for improving your home MORE: Coast’s ‘Brady Bunch’ selling house What a pool! Photo: Mindi CookeA LEISURELY stroll along Burleigh Heads has set a Gold Coast family back $5.02 million with a luxury penthouse purchase.David Calvisi, of Synergy Property Partners, said the penthouse at North Residences wasn’t on the market but interest throughout its construction caused the developer to reconsider.“Along the way we had quite a lot of interested parties approach us,” he said.“People were walking along Burleigh, seeing the building and calling our architects, and even the town planner.”The family who bought the 472sq m penthouse owns a riverfront house on the Gold Coast and plans to use the penthouse at weekends. North Residences at Burleigh Heads. Photo: Mindi Cooke North Residences at Burleigh Heads. Photo: Mindi Cookecenter_img Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:58 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 Rate1xFullscreenHow much do I need to retire?00:58 North Residences, at 296 The Esplanade, includes seven beachfront apartments in a residential-only building.Mr Calvisi said the design and high-end finishes were comparable to boutique apartment towers in Melbourne or Sydney.“We would look down on the street and see people standing there looking up and taking photos,” he said. “In my opinion the level of detail there is almost too good for the Gold Coast.”Architects Bureau Proberts worked the structure of each apartment to occupy an entire floor.Principal and project lead Kelly Geldard said Burleigh Heads was enjoying a rise in popularity, with a new generation of residents and travellers flocking to the area.“There’s a great deal of positive energy and excitement surrounding Burleigh at present and, as architects, we’re proud to make a contribution to the built environment of the area,” she said.The other six apartments at North Residences sold for prices between $2.9 and $5 million.Synergy Property Partners is also building Pacific Palm Beach, with all 15 apartments already sold.last_img read more

Waterfront block proves too good to pass up

first_imgThe home at 49 Biggs Ave, Beachmere, sold for $800,000. Picture: Supplied.A MODEST three-bedroom home has sold for $800,000 in Beachmere thanks to its absolute waterfront location. The 1224sq m property at 49 Biggs Ave sold for $800,000 on January 29. Marketing agent Tony Bristol of Ray White Bribie Island said buyers were drawn to the big block backing onto the ocean. “Standing in the backyard you can see Moreton Island, the bay and Redcliffe, and the waves are literally crashing onto the rear boundary,” he said. “We had a couple of people who were absolutely in love with the property but just couldn’t bring themselves to sign the contract. “It was their loss though when someone came in with a reasonable offer and the property sold with a 14 day settlement.”More from newsLand grab sees 12 Sandstone Lakes homesites sell in a week21 Jun 2020Tropical haven walking distance from the surf9 Oct 2019 The home looks out over Moreton Bay. Picture: Supplied.Mr Bristol said the buyer bought the home with plans to rent it out for the time being before moving into the property in the future. The Bribie Island agent said he was seeing buyers who were thinking ahead by getting into affordable seaside markets, where they would like to settle in the future, before prices increased. “(They) are looking to get in while they can, thinking that in the future they may not be able to afford it,” he said.“I think a lot of people think of Beachmere as a bit of an untapped market still.“It’s still like a sleepy little country town.” The median house price in Beachmere is $417,500 according to Core Logic, and has seen an annual growth of 0.9 per cent in the past 10 years.last_img read more