Dutch state secretary fleshes out new governance legislation

first_imgJetta Klijnsma, state secretary for the Netherlands, has decided Dutch pension funds’ supervisory boards (RvTs) will have the right under new governance legislation to suspend or fire board members if they are functioning improperly.Klijnsma, detailing additional governance rules following Parliament’s approval of the legislation last summer, said RvTs would also be able to reject nominated board members if they failed to comply with the set profile.She said she was responding in particular to demands from the Senate for more powerful RvTs.Klijnsma also decided that non-executive board members – or stakeholder representatives – of one of the five board models must establish an audit committee for business aspects and risk management. The committee must act as a countervailing power towards the executive part of the board, which is to be composed of professionals.In addition, the independent chairman of the board model would have the right to agenda-setting, as well as the supervision on the structure and functioning of the scheme’s board, Klijnsma said.With the detailing of these additional governance rules, the principles for good pension fund governance – launched by the Pensions Federation and the Labour Foundation (StAr) earlier this year – now have a legal basis.However, the state secretary conceded that the code was “less ambitious” than the Cabinet had hoped for, particularly on the issue of remuneration.The new governance legislation is to take effect on 1 July 2014.last_img read more

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Pension Protection Fund wins IPE’s Best European Pension Fund Award

first_imgPeter Borgdorff, director at PFZW and a veteran of the Dutch pensions industry, won the Gold Award for Pension Fund Personality of the Year, while Richard Balfe, chairman of the MEP Pension Fund for European parliamentarians, won the Outstanding Industry Contribution Award.Borgdorff said he was collecting his award on behalf of PFZW’s members – workers within the health and welfare sector – and stressed the importance of working on behalf of the beneficiaries.Balfe, meanwhile, said he was “very surprised and deeply honoured” to be collecting his Outstanding Industry Contribution Award.“My principle in all the things I’ve done in pensions over the years has been to remember that the basic duty of pension funds is to pay pensions to pensioners,” he told attendees at the dinner.“We must never forget that, were it not for the pensioners, we would have no job left at all.”British Steel Pension Fund landed the final Gold Award for Best Long-Term Investment Strategy.Other big winners on the night included the Belgacom Pension Fund, which won the Silver Award for Best Corporate Pension Fund and the Country Award for Belgium.The SEB Pension won the Bronze Award for Fixed Income and the Country Award for Denmark, while the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund in the UK won the Bronze Award for Alternatives and the Themed Award for Specialist Managers.Finland’s Etera Mutual Pension Insurance Company won Themed Awards for Emerging Markets and In-House Investment Team.The remaining Silver Awards went to Denmark’s Industriens Pension, which won Best Industry-wide Pension Fund, and Italy’s Fondo Pensione per gli Agenti Professionisti di Assicurazione, which won Best Small Pension Fund.NEST Corporation landed both the DC/Hybrid Strategy Award and the Risk Management Award.The final Bronze Award, for Equities Investment, went to Switzerland’s CERN Pension Fund. Themed Awards            Active Management: Bosch Pensionsfonds AGCommodities: Empleados de Telefónica de EspañaDC/Hybrid Strategy: NEST CorporationEmerging Markets: Etera Mutual Pension Insurance CompanyESG: IrcantecIn-house Team: Etera Mutual Pension Insurance CompanyInnovation: Danica PensionLDI: PKAPortfolio Construction: Fonditel AlfaReal Estate: PensionDanmarkRisk Management: NEST CorporationSmart Beta: Environment Agency Pension FundSpecialist Managers: Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund The full winners list for the 2013 IPE AwardsGold AwardsBest Long-Term Investment Strategy: British Steel Pension FundPension Fund Personality of the Year: Peter BorgdorffOutstanding Industry Contribution: Richard BalfeBest European Pension Fund: Pension Protection Fund Jean-François Pinçon of Amundi (left) and Martin Clarke of the PPF (right)Accepting the Gold Award for the Best European Pension Fund, the PPF’s executive director of financial risk Martin Clarke said the win was a “fantastic and tremendous” endorsement of the UK lifeboat fund’s work.“It’s great to recognise the asset owners of this industry, the ones who make the decisions, place the money and provide that link between the markets and the beneficiaries,” he added. Country Awards            Austria: fair-finance Vorsorgekasse AGBelgium: Belgacom Pension FundCEE: Swedbank Pension Investment Plan DinamikaDenmark: SEB PensionFinland: The State Pension Fund (VER)France: ERAFPGermany: Bosch Pensionsfonds AG and Ärzteversorgung Westfalen-LippeIreland: Accenture Defined Contribution Pension PlanItaly: LaborfondsNetherlands: PMTNorway: Oslo PensjonsforsikringPortugal: BPI Vida e PensõesSmall Countries: Frjálsi Pension Fund (Iceland)Spain: Caixa 30, FPSweden: SPK – Sparinstitutens PensionskassaSwitzerland: Lombard Odier Pension FundUK: Pension Protection Fundcenter_img Bronze Awards            Alternatives: Merchant Navy Officers Pension FundEquities: CERN Pension FundFixed Income: SEB Pension Silver Awards             Best Corporate Fund: Belgacom Pension FundBest Industry-wide Fund: Industriens PensionBest Public Fund: Pension Protection FundBest Small Fund: Fondo Pensione per gli Agenti Professionisti di Assicurazione The UK’s Pension Protection Fund was the standout winner at the 2013 IPE Awards in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, taking home the Gold Award for the Best European Pension Fund, the Silver Award for the Best Public Pension Fund and the Country Award for the UK.last_img read more

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CERN pension fund appoints CEO following Economou departure

first_imgThe CERN Pension Fund has hired a new chief executive, nearly a year after Theodore Economou announced his departure from the CHF4bn scheme.Matthew Eyton-Jones has previously worked in the area of pensions at UK retailer John Lewis Partnership, which earlier this year confirmed the closure of its defined benefit fund, and for consultancy Mercer, prior to joining the nuclear research facility’s pension fund in July. Additionally, he has worked for Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, studying at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge and at the London Business School.Eyton-Jones told CERN’s staff bulletin that he would work to ensure its pension fund became “a benchmark in the world”. He has previously acted as a trustee for the Villiers Park Educational Trust, based in Cambridge, and has spent a number of years as a Royal Navy reservist. Eyton-Jones’ appointment comes nearly a year after Theodore Economou announced he would not seek a further term as chief executive of CERN’s scheme, halfway through his second of two three-year terms as its CIO. Economou announced in January he would join Lombard Odier Investment Managers as its CIO of multi-asset, and more recently was named chairman of the manager’s three pension funds investment committees.last_img read more

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Active management under pressure as buyers favour passive – survey

first_imgGlobal assets under management barely grew in 2015, with traditional active managers suffering outflows, according to a survey.The survey was conducted by consultancies Casey Quirk by Deloitte and McLagan, and was of members of the US Institute and European Institute, forums for senior leaders at investment management firms.The 2016 survey, the fifteenth annual version, found that there was low growth overall in the global asset management industry, with assets under management (AUM) rising from $68trn (€61bn) in 2014 to $69trn in 2015.Industry revenue fell, from an estimated $346bn in 2014 to an estimated $344bn last year. Index-linked and multi-asset class investment strategies attracted more than 90% of net new money worldwide last year.Of firms surveyed with more than $10bn in AUM, 56% reported positive net flows compared with 60% in 2014 and 63% in 2013.The share of those reporting negative net flows was up, from 40% in 2014 to 44% last year.Net flows into passive strategies globally doubled in the past two years to reach 72% of the total in 2015.Traditional active strategies saw outflows in 2015, “against gains in 2014”, according to the consultancies.Net inflows into multi-asset class strategies increased from 18% to 24%, while new investments into alternatives fell from 10% to 8% of total net flows in 2015.Jeffrey Levi, principal at Deloitte Consulting LLP, said: “Individual investors – increasingly sceptical of active management, fee-sensitive and outcome-oriented – are the drivers of industry growth.”Traditional active managers need to adapt their business models to this environment, which also features increasing scrutiny of fees and more regulatory pressure, he added.“This shifting marketplace will, in turn, drive greater convergence in the industry across wealth management, asset management, insurance and financial technology,” he said.Credit ratings agency Moody’s recently predicted traditional active asset management would “shrink substantially” due to the shift towards passive investment.last_img read more

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Wednesday people roundup

first_imgKempen Capital Management – Gijs Spijkers has been named fiduciary manager at Kempen. Spijkers is to focus on fiduciary services for Dutch pension fund clients. He joins from risk manager Cardano, where he was client director as well as advisor on balance risks.BNP Paribas Investment Partners – Claus Hecher is set to join as head of business development for Germany, Austria and Switzerland, responsible for growing BNP Paribas’ index fund and ETF business. Hecher previously ran his own consultancy, Delta One, launched in 2013 after he left Natixis Global Asset Management, where he was distribution manager for Ossiam’s ETFs. Hecher has also worked at Bear Stearns, Deutsche Bank and BlackRock.Universal Investment – Marc-Oliver Scharwath has been promoted to managing director for the company’s Luxembourg business. Scharwach joined Universal’s Luxembourg business in 2012 as head of legal after several years at local law firm Hauck & Aufhäuser. NSN Pension Trust, Now Pensions, UBS Asset Management, Kempen Capital Management, BNP Paribas Investment Partners, Universal InvestmentNSN Pension Trust – Amin Obeidi is to succeed Thomas Friese as head of global head of pensions at Nokia-Siemens Network, after the latter announced his retirement effective 1 September. However, Friese will remain at NSN as chairman of the €1bn NSN Pension Trust.Now Pensions  – Troy Clutterbuck is to join the UK master trust as CFO. Clutterbuck previously worked at JLT Group where, during his 15 years at the firm, he was CFO UK employee benefits and, more recently, regional CFO for Latin America and Canada. In his new role, he will join the pension provider’s commercial board.UBS Global Asset Management  – Tim van Duren joined the asset manager as executive director, institutional sales Benelux and Denmark at the beginning of August. Previously, Van Duren, worked in Amsterdam, Londen and Zurich in several institutional sales and product management positions for Schroders, most recently as product manager insurance-linked securities.last_img read more

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Switzerland: Record backing for international assets, alternatives

first_imgSwiss pension funds have an all-time high exposure to foreign assets, according to Swiss consultancy Complementa.In its latest risk check-up on the domestic pension industry, Complementa found Switzerland’s Pensionskassen invested almost 70% of their equities portfolios outside the country, while a decade ago this figure was 60%. In bonds, the exposure to foreign securities was also at a record high of around 45%. When other asset classes were included, it gave a record exposure to foreign investments.“For the first time in the Swiss second pillar half of the assets are invested abroad,” Complementa said. At the same time, the foreign currency quota in the portfolios Complementa looked at continued to decline, reaching 17%.“The FX hedging quota is at an all time high,” the consultancy said.As Pensionskassen search for yield and diversification, their exposure to alternative investments also continued to increase. It now stands at 9.1%, another all-time high.  Additionally, Complementa said alternatives allocations were much more diversified than four years ago, when portfolios were typically made up of private equity, commodities, and hedge funds.Complementa said there had been an “unbroken trend” of adding alternative asset classes.“Pensionskassen increase exposure to or make first-time investments mainly in insurance-linked securities, private debt and infrastructure,” the consultancy said.At the same time, commodity allocations shrank in light of disappointing returns.Looking to the future, Complementa said it was pessimistic about future returns of Swiss Pensionskassen. For the first four months of 2017 the firm calculated a 2.9% return on average, after a full-year return of 3.7% for all of 2016.However, it noted the returns over the last five years were “uncharacteristically high”. This was likely to change, Complementa said: “Currently our return outlook stands at 2.2%.”last_img read more

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Ireland’s SWF backs AI cybersecurity firm with €10m investment

first_imgThe €8.7bn Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) has invested €10m in an American cybersecurity firm that uses artificial intelligence to monitor threats to computer systems.Vectra, based in California, plans to open a research and development (R&D) office in Dublin and create “up to 100 jobs over the next five years”, according to the ISIF.One of the ISIF’s primary objectives is to invest in projects or companies that support economic activity and employment in Ireland.Fergal McAleavey, head of private equity at the ISIF, said: “This is an exciting investment for ISIF that promises significant economic impact. It is encouraging to see Ireland leverage its emerging expertise in artificial intelligence by attracting businesses such as Vectra that are on the leading edge of technology. Ha’penny Bridge, Dublin “With cybersecurity becoming critical for all organisations, we are confident Vectra will deliver a strong economic return on our investment while creating high-value R&D employment.”The investment is part of a €30m fundraising push by Vectra. It is the ISIF’s second investment in artificial intelligence, the fund said, following a $50m (€40.5m) investment in sales platform InsideSales.com in January 2017.The fund’s other recent investments include a $5m allocation to Nautilus Data Technologies, another US technology company expanding its presence in Ireland. The firm provides data centres and has pioneered an environmentally friendly cooling system for computer servers.The ISIF announced last month that it had allocated €3.4bn to domestic investments and helped attract a further €5.7bn from other private sector players into Ireland’s economy.last_img read more

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Pensions at UK subsidiaries ‘an extra burden for French firms’

first_img“However, the impact upon performance and return on investments of the UK subsidiary companies can be more pronounced,” he said.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# Large French companies with UK defined benefit (DB) pension liabilities are finding these schemes a disproportionate drag on overall profitability compared to pension costs in their other operations, according to a new study.Data compiled by UK consultancy Barnett Waddingham showed that, although UK subsidiaries on average produced only 5% of global revenue for French companies, they accounted for 32% of global DB liabilities and 31% of total contributions.Andrew Vaughan, partner at Barnett Waddingham, said: “The costs and risks associated with DB pension schemes are well known within the industry.”In most cases, he said, the parent companies in the survey were leading players in their industries and able to absorb reasonably substantial pension costs. Source: Barnett WaddinghamFrench companies’ UK scheme funding levelsThe analysis of DB schemes covered 27 French companies with around £45.7bn (€52.3bn) of UK pension liabilities between them, and a combined deficit of £3.3bn. Most were constituents of the CAC40 stock index.The report revealed a similar picture to a survey of Spanish and Italian companies with UK subsidiaries, which Barnett Waddingham published in January.However, for the Spanish and Italian parent companies, the UK subsidiaries on average produced 15% of their companies’ global revenue, while their DB schemes accounted for an average 60% of the parent companies’ global DB liabilities.“In both France and southern Europe, UK subsidiaries on average only produce a small proportion of the global revenue, but they account for a much larger proportion of the global DB liabilities and contributions,” the consultancy said. “This suggests that in both regions, UK pensions may have a disproportionately large effect on the performance of the global company.”#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*#center_img Source: Barnett WaddinghamFrench companies’ UK scheme contributions as percentage of profitslast_img read more

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Net-zero asset owner club gains UNJSPF, nears targets framework

first_imgIt also said that joining the alliance would give it “access to the best-in-class knowledge from peers on Paris-aligned climate finance change and will help enhance our sustainable investing approach to convert our assets to carbon neutrality by 2050”.Investors joining the NZAOA commit to action to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their investments to net-zero by 2050, to be aligned with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. There is a strong emphasis on engagement, with asset managers and policymakers as well as corporates, as the means of delivering on the group’s net-zero commitment.As part of this, the group is very much seeking to advance the state-of-play with respect to net-zero portfolio target-setting. Members of the NZAOA commit to setting and publicly reporting on intermediate portfolio decarbonisation targets.The first such targets have yet to be published, but according to Anqi Dang, sustainable investment analyst at Allianz, one of the NZAOA initiating organisations, the tentative timeline is for the group’s target-setting framework to be ready for external feedback by the end of this month.The idea would be to be able to publish the finalised framework on the NZAOA website by the end of September, and for individual members of the group to have a bit more time to elaborate their respective targets, by the end of this year or perhaps the first quarter of next year for some members.Anqi was speaking during a webinar held last month by think tank 2° Investing Initiative in the context of international climate reporting awards that the latter organises with the French ministry for ecological transition and others.She emphasised that the NZAOA’s main focus was to have “real world impact”. In an apparent nod to some criticism of net-zero commitments, she said that alliance members were seeking portfolio emission reductions to “absolute zero”, but that the existence of hard-to-abate sectors entailed the necessity to consider carbon offsetting or negative emission technologies.This would only be as a “parallel effort or last resort,” she said. The UN Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF) has joined the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) as it looks to have its target-setting framework ready for external feedback by the end of this month.UNJSPF’s joining means the coalition has gained 15 members since it formally launched in September last year.In a statement, the UN pension fund’s investment management office said: “As a pension fund with long-term investment horizons and liabilities, UNJSPF is vulnerable to the financial impact resulting from both transition and physical risks caused by climate change. It is our fiduciary duty to protect the long-term financial interest of our beneficiaries.”“As codified in the Paris Climate Agreement and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, we have a key role to play in catalysing decarbonisation of the global economy and investing in climate resilience,” it added.last_img read more

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Cairns real estate: Smithfield home close to everything

first_imgVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:11Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:11 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, 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 Rate1xFullscreen5 tips to style your home for sale01:12EVERYTHING about this property is designed to make life easy.From its location close to shopping centres, cinemas, tourism attractions and the beaches to its modern, private and tech-savvy design, 10 Whipbird Drive, Smithfield will appeal to plenty.Current owners Geoff and Michelle Hiatt bought the 702 sqm piece of land six years ago and custom-built the five-bedroom, three-bathroom property which sits there today.A decision to downsize led to listing the home. Entertain in style.“We love the convenient location here at Canopy’s Edge,” Mr Hiatt said. “We can walk around the lovely walking paths in the area but for convenience you can’t beat being able to walk to Smithfield Shopping Centre for groceries, movies and restaurants. “Everything you could possibly need is within walking distance: doctors, dentists, Bunnings, even a brewery. “We can also walk through the cable ski park to Tjapukai, Skyrail, the Armoury Museum, and Caravonica School without going on the highway at all. “When we have visitors, they have access to everything.” A bathroom at 10 Whipbird Dr, Smithfield.In a perfect location to catch the breezes, the house remains cool even during the most humid of summer days. “The mountains and the trees mean that we are protected from the westerly sun in the afternoon,” Mrs Hiatt said. “We have space on all sides of the house and it is low maintenance.     “We have the solar power (battery-ready 6kW system) but the switchboard is also hardwired for a generator to connect to for power outages. Beautiful wooden floors throughout.“We have fast internet with Telstra’s Smart Community and Canopy’s Edge is secure with a closed circuit camera at the entrance – there is only one way in and out. “We are in a small section of the development with only local traffic. The whole area is well-maintained and the area outside our fence to the south is maintained by Cairns Regional Council as public land.”More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days agoCairns Property Office City agent Debbie North said the low-maintenance, prestige home came with a separate three-bedroom children’s wing plus a massive separate master suite with a luxury ensuite.A fifth bedroom or office is well-located and perfect for guests. Dining with a view.“Beautiful flowing open plan design includes an outstanding sleek kitchen with a walk-in pantry and very spacious main living area which open to a secluded large patio entertaining area,” Ms North said. “It’s incredible to find such high privacy levels in a modern subdivision. “Not only does this home have a wonderful outlook to the reserve out the back but also has only one neighbour. Neat as a pin.“There’s a good sized parcel of land beside the house with its own access which makes a great recreational space but would also allow for a separate dwelling or granny flat or large shed.”last_img read more

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