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NEWS:
NOVEMBER 2009

Volatility pushes increase in LDI strategy uptake
Adoption of liability driven investment (LDI) strategies has more than doubled across the globe, with the Netherlands taking the top spot, finds SEI

Gibraltar QROPS denial a waste of time and effort
HMRC is wasting time and effort by continuing to deny Gibraltar as an acceptable Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) jurisdiction, says London & Colonial

European Mandates
AllenbridgeEPIC Investment Advisers (AEIA) has been appointed by the London Borough of Hounslow as investment consultant to its pension fund

Positive link between responsible investing and financial performance
Responsible Investment does have an impact on financial performance, reports Mercer, with specific environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors affecting portfolio returns positively

ABP reviews pensions due to improved financial position
The average growth in wages in the Government and Education sectors has caused the board of Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP to adjust pensions in 2010

News in Brief
Credit Suisse
is to expand its Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) platform to Germany by listing 16 ETFs on the Deutsche Börse on 25 November 2009, subject to regulatory approval

AIMF Directive proposed changes welcomed by AIC
The possible amendments to the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFM Directive) published by the Swedish Presidency are wide-ranging and highlight possible changes to the specific obligations implied by the Directive, such as leverage and liquidity management, and for the overall framework for its application

News in Brief
Watson Wyatt has hit the one million mark for the number of pension scheme members it administers in the UK, with numbers more than doubling in the past five years

 

 

 

 

Experts predict next European pensions market trends
Realistically, it is unlikely that Europe will see the evolution of a pan-European pensions market within the next ten years, say leading pension experts in a survey by Allianz Global Investors AG (AllianzGI)

European Mandates
River and Mercantile Asset Management LLP (R&M) has won its first global equity mandate with its appointment to manage a segregated global equity mandate by Royal Liver Asset Managers

News in Brief
FOUR Capital Partners Limited has announced that it has entered into an investment partnership with Sanlam International Investment Partners, with Sanlam taking an initial 29.9 per cent equity interest in the firm for an undisclosed sum

European Products
Barclays Capital has launched the Barclays Capital US TIPS Real Income Index Family, an index family designed for investors seeking an investment solution that provides steady inflation-protected cash flows over a specific period of time

Mercer expands its services to wealth managers across Europe
European wealth managers can now benefit from Mercer’s expertise with the launch of a new service aimed specifically at private banks, family offices, fund platforms and insurance companies

Investment professionals support greater transparency of alternatives managers
Support for greater transparency within the alternatives investment management industry is high among members of the CFA Institute Centre for Financial Market Integrity

Insight Investment acquisition complete
Insight Investment has been bought by BNY Mellon for a total sum of £235m, comprising a cash consideration of £200 million and an equity consideration of £35 million

OCTOBER 2009

CEIOPS selects new chairman and managing board members
Members of the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors (CEIOPS) have elected Gabriel Bernardino as the new chairman of CEIOPS, and Antoine Mantel as vice-chairman

News in Brief
BNY Mellon has received a banking licence in Ireland following approval from the Irish Financial Regulator

European Mandates
State Street Corporation has been chosen to provide fund administration services for Intermountain Equity Group’s (IEG) private equity fund

EFAMA releases Q2 2009 investment fund assets results
The second quarter of 2009 (Q2 2009) has brought with it good news for investment fund assets worldwide with records showing a 5.4 per cent increase to €14.39trn

European Mandates
RBC Dexia Investor Services has been chosen by Swedish-based Keel Capital AB as custodian, domiciliary agent, administrative agent, registrar and transfer agent for its new SIF SICAV Hedge Fund

European Products
Scottish Life has added ten new funds to its core fund range in response to feedback from IFAs and market analysis

Cross-border fund automation rises in H1 2009
The European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) and SWIFT have published a mid-year status report on the evolution of standardisation rates for the first half of 2009, finding that 69 per cent of cross-border fund orders are now automated

Europe’s retirement provisions insufficient to serve ageing populations
Long-term savings provisions in Europe are flawed and are no longer able to meet the needs of ageing populations, finds the Janus Capital European Consumer Finance Survey

News in Brief
On the basis of unaudited estimates, the net annualised performance of the Fonds de Reserve pour les Retraites (FRR) is +12.8 per cent, constructed of -6.5 per cent for the first quarter, +10.5 per cent for the second quarter, and +9.2 per cent for the third quarter

OECD country pension funds on the road to recovery
Despite the first half of 2009 showing marked improvements on returns for pension schemes globally compared to the huge losses in 2008, structural challenges remain, reports the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

UCITS IV directive largely embraced by asset managers
UCITS IV’s arrival has been welcomed with open arms by asset managers, says RBC Dexia and KPMG, with the vast majority of UCITS managers taking a proactive approach to the new directive

News in Brief
Almary Green Investments has merged with Hopkinson Financial Consultancy, a specialist in financial and investment advice for employers and business owners, in the latest phase of its expansion

European Mandates
Hewitt Associates has been appointed to provide scheme actuary and investment consultancy services to the AA Pension Scheme

European Products
The world’s first hedge fund secondary market index has been launched onto the market by Hedgebay Trading Corporation

Aviva sets out plans for European business
Aviva is set to transform its European business by taking full advantage of the growth opportunities presented in the area, and will be integrating its businesses across Europe

News in Brief
Crédit Agricole S.A. and Société Générale have unveiled their combined asset management arm, Amundi

IOPS AGM sees strengthening measures for global oversight
The International Organisation of Pension Supervisors (IOPS) has approved a series of guidelines and reports which are designed to strengthen the supervisory oversight of global pension systems, and to protect vulnerable fund members and retirees

News in Brief
Hedge funds and private equity houses should prepare for a backlash following the financial crisis, warned Rob van Kuijk, CEO at Finles Capital Management, at a seminar in Utrecht

 

 

European Mandates
BNY Mellon has been selected to provide derivatives collateral management services to the Invensys Pension Scheme (IPS), which it will deliver via its DM Edge platform

EFAMA unveils President’s Advisory Council
The European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) has established the President’s Advisory Council, which will act as an advisory group to the Presidency on industry matters

News in Brief
The Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors (CEIOPS) has published an overview of legal requirements under the institutions for occupational retirement provision (IORP) Directive, which is based on a selection of topics relating to the relevant national social and labour law provisions, investment restrictions and information requirements

European Products
Schroders has launched a UCITS III hedge fund platform, Schroder Global Alternative Investor Access (GAIA), a transparently operated and regulated platform for UCITS funds

European Mandates
The Merseyside Pension Fund has announced that it has chosen to continue to work with its existing managers, Schroders and Legal & General, to manage mandates to run active unconstrained UK fixed income portfolios, worth a combined £372million, or nine per cent of the £4.1bn Fund

European Products
HSBC Global Asset Management has launched its HSBC GIF Middle East and North Africa (MENA) fund, which was initially set for launch in October 2008, but postponed due to financial volatility

Automatic features to become the norm for plans worldwide
A third of employers worldwide already offer at least one of the automatic features of enrolment, rebalancing or escalation, according to a survey of ‘automatic features acceptance’ by Mercer

News in Brief
AEGON Global Pensions has extended its multi-client asset pooling solution to France, with Arial assurance, part of the AG2R LA MONDIALE Group’s initial investment of €52million into AEGON Global Multi Manager Funds

European Products
Scottish Life has launched a service to allow independent financial advisers (IFA) to monitor the progress of new business cases

Cross-border fund distribution blocked by regulation and tax legislation disparity
A fully functioning cross-border fund distribution market will not be active in Europe for at least five years, due to discrepancies in regulation and tax legislation between member states, warns KNEIP

News in Brief
Mercer has opened a new state-of-the-art customer relations centre to support members of its clients’ pension schemes in the UK

European Mandates
Northern Trust has been selected to provide fund administration services to three niche real estate funds managed by boutique investment manager Apache Capital Partners LLP

European Products
Crédit Agricole Structured Asset Management (CASAM) has expanded its equity exchange traded funds (ETF) range with ten new products listed on the Euronext Paris

UCITS funds back in European investors’ favour
Investors across Europe are moving back into UCITS funds, said the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) at its Annual Conference

CEE a positive place to be for growth revival
A growth revival is on the cards for countries within Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) if the European Institutional Conference, held by Generali Investments, is anything to go by

News in Brief
Financial services and professional services PR company Broadgate is to merge with retail financial services agency Mainland, creating Broadgate Mainland

European Mandates
The UK branch of German industrial insurer, HDI-Gerling, has appointed Friends Provident to supply a new group stakeholder pension scheme for UK employees

European Products
Summit Global Investor Services has launched its online monitoring and reporting tool, Zenith Reports

SEPTEMBER 2009

News in Brief
Aviva has opened its Pension Tracker up to more than one million customers and 8,000 group pension schemes, available online

European Mandates
Principal Global Investors has been awarded a $146million global emerging markets equity mandate from the Netherlands’ Pensioenfonds PNO Media (PNO)

European Products
State Street Corporation has launched eHorizon, an enhanced global accounting solution to deliver new levels of functionality, accommodating multiple accounts bases and greater flexibility in managing complex fund structures such as funds of funds, pooling, master-feeder and multi-managed arrangements

Tax contributions sufficient to fund EU’s overseas aid budget for 12 years
Hedge fund and private equity industries contribute €9bn in tax revenues to the European Union governments, according to research by the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA)

News in Brief
Canada Life has added the range of Tactica Portfolios, managed by Goldman Sachs International, to its Canlife external fund links

European Products
Dentons Pensions Management Ltd has launched its Single Portfolio SIPP, a lower-cost product designed for investors who want to create a bespoke single discretionary portfolio

AIMA revises Hedge Fund guidance
The Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) and the Irish Funds Industry Association (IFIA) have published a new, revised edition of the AIMA Guide to Sound Practices for Hedge Fund Administrators

Romanian pension funds record positive 2009 returns
Romanian pension funds posted positive returns for the first eight months of 2009, with average results of 11.31 per cent in mandatory pension funds, and 10.73 per cent for voluntary pension funds

News in Brief
Specialist Lloyd’s insurer Jubilee Managing Agency Limited (Jubilee) has launched a new brand across its operations as a reflection of the company’s strategic plans to expand and grow its business lines in the future

European Mandates
Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) is to insure three Denso Manufacturing Midlands Ltd pension schemes in a buyout transaction

European Products
Vanguard has launched a suite of 30 low-cost funds for sale in Denmark, comprising of 22 index tracker funds and eight actively managed funds in Denmark

KAS BANK to provide services to Neonet in Nordics
KAS BANK has been chosen by Neonet to act as its General Clearing Member for the Stockholm segment of NASDAQ OMX

News in Brief
Following the recent deadline for comments on the Solvency II framework passing last week, Deloitte has commented on the second wave of Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors (CEIOPS) consultation papers

European Mandates
Brent Pension Fund has appointed Alinda Capital Partners LLC to manage an infrastructure mandate worth around £25million (five per cent) of the council’s assets under management

European Products
Cambridge Investments Ltd has launched a new Master Portfolio Services, investing within a specifically constructed portfolio of funds

News in Brief
The Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors (CEIOPS) received more than 20,000 comments from stakeholders on its second set of Consultation Papers on Solvency II, Level 2 Implementing Measures, which closed to replies on Friday 11 September

European Mandates
Punter Southall has been appointed by The Fairhurst Partnership to provide full services to the trustees of its defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) pension schemes

Pension funds add €25bn to portfolios
Positive revaluation of investments and favourable price movements of financial assets have added €25bn in value to Dutch pension funds’ investment portfolios in the second quarter of 2009, according to De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB)

CESR proposal of single risk measure ‘riskiest’ plan for building pension pots
The Committee of European Securities Regulators’ (CESR) proposal to compress the riskiness of an investment fund into a single number will cause investors to make inappropriate investment choices and suffer losses as a result, warns EM Applications

 

 

 

 

 

 

News in Brief
Northern Trust has opened a branch office in Stockholm, Sweden, as part of its expansion into the Nordics

European Mandates
Neptune Investment Management has appointed Penrose Financial as its media advisor

European Products
Dow Jones Index has launched the Dow Jones UK Smaller Companies Index, allowing market participants a comprehensive measure of the UK’s small and micro cap segments

News in Brief
The deadline for comments on the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors’ (CEIOPS) consultation paper on Solvency II level 2 implementing measures is 11 September 2009 at 16.00 CET

European Mandates
Penrose Financial has been appointed as media adviser for investment manager Impax Asset Management, which focuses on the environmental sector

Norwegian fund excludes further company on ethical grounds
Norway’s Government Pension Fund – Global has excluded an Israeli company from its portfolio, on the basis of the Council on Ethic’s recommendation

European Mandates
Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) has been chosen to insure the remainder of the Thomson Regional Newspapers (TRN) Pension Fund, sponsored by Citigroup

EFAMA states position for next two years
The European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) has outlined its strategy for the next two years, working towards its position of creating a single voice for the industry

EC’s OTC Derivatives consultation met largely with praise from industry
The Investment Management Association (IMA) has welcomed the European Commission’s consultation of OTC Derivatives, which aims to improve market infrastructure and to ensure an efficient, safe and robust derivatives market

Irish funds steam ahead with yet another month of positive returns
Irish pension funds are continuing on their upbeat paths with the sixth consecutive month producing a positive performance, with an average 2.8 per cent return, says Rubicon Investment Consulting

Retirement time bomb must be addressed worldwide
Employers will play an increasingly critical role across the globe in shaping public policy and addressing concerns over pension benefit costs, as the ratio of elderly persons to the working-age population rockets over the coming years, warns Mercer

BNPP IP and CAAM join to create new fund distribution service
BNP Paribas Investment Partners (BNPP IP) and Crédit Agricole Asset Management (CAAM) have joined forces to create a European provider of fund distribution services

News in Brief
Edgewood Management LLC has decided to continue its work with SEI, with a contract renewal providing an operational outsourcing solution for Edgewood’s investment products

European Products
Sector Investment Managers has launched a Junior Mining fund, which aims to provide investors with diversified exposure to undervalued mining stocks

ETFs continue on their path to success
Exchange traded products (ETPs) have seen €41bn of net inflows over the last year, with particular demand for broad-based European funds, commodity and fixed income funds

News in Brief
The Rolls-Royce pension fund has taken the lead in the pensions race with a £1.4bn IAS 19 pension surplus

AUGUST 2009

News in Brief
Northern Trust has enhanced its transfer agency product, which supports asset managers in the UK, Ireland, Luxembourg and the Channel Islands, to increase automation and provide increased straight-through processing (STP) for clients

Investors' returns under threat from proposed alternatives regulations
The European Commission’s (EC) proposed regulations for the alternative investment industry could damage institutional investors’ investment returns unless substantial amendments are made, warns Mercer

European Mandates
The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) has chosen UBS Global Asset Management – Fund Services to provide hedge fund of funds administration services

AP2 records positive first half 2009
A solid recovery in the Second Swedish National Pension Fund (AP2) has been secured thanks to continuing high share of equities, says the Fund

HSBC expands into European ETF sector
HSBC has announced that it is to break into the European exchange traded funds (ETF) market with the launch of a suite of ETFs, beginning with the HSBC FTSE 100 ETF, tomorrow (25 August 2009)

News in Brief
JLT Benefit Solutions Ltd has launched its new employee transfer value (ETV) management service, an administration service for these exercises

European Mandates
Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) has been chosen to insure the Walthamstow Stadium Limited Retirement Benefits Scheme, which has assets of £19million

PRI removes five companies from signatory list, and pledges to step up transparency
The UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative (PRI) has delisted five financial institutions from its signatories for failing to participate in its annual Reporting and Assessment process

Asset managers continue to favour opportunism
Opportunism has remained popular with asset managers, in particular those from defined benefit (DB) pension schemes, despite the severity of the current financial crisis, reports CREATE-Research, in association with Citi’s Global Transaction Services and Principal Global Investors

Proposed IAS19 amendments could reduce liabilities by up to a third
Proposals for amending the discount rate for measuring employee benefits have been published for comment by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), following calls from stakeholders to address a problem exacerbated by the global financial crisis


Sterling performance continues from gold

Despite pressure on the economy and high gold prices, investor demand in the metal has remained strong in the second quarter of 2009, says the World Gold Council (WGC)

News in Brief
Aon has been appointed by Cordea Savills, an international property fund manager, to consolidate its current insurance arrangements into a pan-European insurance programme

Norwegian fund reports record-high Q2 return
Norway’s Government Pension Fund – Global, saw a 12.7 per cent return (NOK 270bn) in the second quarter of 2009, following dramatic improvements in international equity and fixed income markets, says Norges Bank

 

News in Brief
Onyx Group is to expand into the financial services market following the acquisition of hedge fund supplier Moffat Communications

European Mandates
South Wales Police has chosen Capita Hartshead to provide pensions administration services to members of its Police Pension Scheme

Friends Provident rounds off busy week with fund launches
At the end of a busy week for Friends Provident International comes news that the group is to launch investment-linked funds which embrace volatility

Aon redefines Insurance Managers division
Aon Consulting is to streamline its Aon Global Insurance Managers division into a new regional leadership structure with hubs in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); the Americas; and Asia Pacific

News in Brief
Prudential plc has published strong half year results for 2009, with a capital surplus for the Insurance Groups Directive (IGD) of around £3.0bn at 31 July 2009

Study to question popularity of environmental investing
GLG Partners will work with Mercer’s investment consulting business to determine whether environmental investing has become the norm

News in Brief
Aon Private Risk Management (APRM) has opened an office in Geneva. APRM, an insurance broker and risk adviser for the ultra high net worth sector, is responsible for assessing the risks facing wealthy individuals and families’ tangible assets, liabilities and well-being, providing insurance protection and risk management advice

European Mandates
SEI has been appointed by the East of England Co-operative Pension Schemes to represent £78million of assets across two defined benefit plans

European Products
Friends Provident will deliver a new corporate platform following the signing of a long-term contract with FNZ

EC alternatives directive could land funds with €25million bill
The European Commission’s draft directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers could cost the pension fund industry up to €25bn a year if it is put into place in its current form, warns the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA)

News in Brief
Jubilee Financial Products has announced that it is to delay the launch of four new investment products until 25 September as it believes the market will be lower in September, following the recent bull run

European Mandates
Devon County Council Pension Fund has appointed a number of new investment managers following searches by bfinance

European Products
Foster Denovo has launched its new division, Foster Denovo General Insurance, which will allow the company to provide business and personal insurance policies directly to new and existing clients

JULY 2009

Greek economy in dire need of reforms
Greece is in need of radical reforms to its pension system if it is to cease being a burden on longer-term fiscal sustainability, and to prevent a rise in pension costs that would otherwise see these accounting for more than 20 per cent of GDP by 2050, warns the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

News in Brief
Investment fund industry service provider, KNEIP, has announced that it is to open an office in London as part of its network expansion

European Mandates
The O2 Pension Plan has selected BlackRock as investment only defined contribution (DC) provider, to £30million in assets

European Products
Standard Life Investments has strengthened its distribution links in Germany with the announcement that its Luxembourg-domiciled SICAV fund range is now available to key intermediaries in Germany, via Moventum’s fund platform

Financial market players back calls for improved supervision
The European Council’s Conclusions back in June that improved financial supervision is necessary have been supported by BUSINESSEUROPE and financial market players

News in Brief
State Street Corporation’s Swiss Pension Fund Index recorded a 3.35 per cent performance from Swiss pension funds for the first half of 2009

European Products
db x-trackers has listed its DB Commodity Booster DJ-UBSCI ETF (exchange traded fund) on the Deutsche Boerse, linked to the DB Commodity Booster DJ-UBS Index

European Mandates
The £85million Macmillan Limited Pension and Life Assurance Plan has selected Hymans Robertson to provide investment consulting services, including advising on investment strategy, the Plan’s structure and manager selection

DC systems need risk overhaul
Quantitative regulations may help to limit the retirement income risk in defined contribution (DC) pension systems in countries where payments from DC are the most prevalent source of income in old age, says Allianz Global Investors AG (AllianzGI) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Irish government releases hotly-anticipated report recommending Pensions Board merger
Merges between the Pensions Board and the Financial Regulator, and the Pensions Ombudsman and the Financial Services Ombudsman, have been recommended in the Irish government’s much-anticipated Report of the Special Group on Public Services Numbers and Expenditure Programmes

ABP records positive first half of 2009
Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP (ABP) has seen an increase in its coverage ratio, the most important indicator for the Fund’s financial position, from 90 per cent to 98 per cent over the first six months of 2009

 

 

 

European Mandates
The Jotun Paints (Europe) Limited Pension Scheme has appointed SEI to act as Fiduciary Manager for its £14million scheme

Crisis fails to dent responsible investment’s popularity
Responsible investment has continued to rise in popularity despite difficulties in the markets, demonstrated by the 560-plus signatories to the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Initiative

Deloitte appointed to assess impact of Solvency II
The European Commission has appointed Deloitte to assist in its research in relation to the impact of
Solvency II

European investors remain cautious over equities
The financial crisis has changed the attitudes and practices of European institutional investors with a notable shift away from equities and towards fixed income and cash, according to a survey supported by Invesco

Finnish pension institution chooses Ortec solution for schemes
The Local Government Pension Institution (LGPI) has signed an agreement with Ortec Finance to license its Asset Liability solution for pension plans

News in Brief
Premier Pension Services has been chosen by Save & Prosper to assist in exiting as professional trustee on its portfolio of 178 Small Self Administered Schemes (SSAS)

European Products
Liontrust Asset Management has launched its European Absolute Return Fund, which uses the same investment process as its Cashflow Solution, to make money for investors over the medium-term in rising and falling markets

European Mandates
Watson Wyatt has been selected to administer the HSBC Bank (UK) Pension Scheme, one of the largest private sector pension schemes in the UK to outsource pension administration with 170,000 membership records

EC chooses Hewitt to carry out pan-European pension fund study
The European Commission has selected Hewitt Associates to conduct a feasibility study and advise on the establishment of a pan-European pension fund for researchers

Irish funds continue to record positive results
Irish pension managed funds have succeeded in another consecutive month of positive returns, according to both Hewitt Associates and Rubicon

News in Brief
The Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors (CEIOPS) has released its second set of Consultation Papers on Solvency II, Advice on Solvency II – Level 2 implementing levels, for consultation

 

 

JUNE 2009

Watson Wyatt and Towers Perrin plan merger to form consultancy super force
Towers Perrin and Watson Wyatt are to merge to form Towers Watson & Co., creating a company ‘stronger than the sum of its parts’

News in Brief
Royal Bank of Canada’s corporate and investment banking arm, RBC Capital Markets, has made further hires in Europe in an effort to bolster its European platform

European Mandates
Pension Insurance Corporation has appointed Schroders to manage an initial £100million segregated Global Corporate Bond Portfolio

European Products
Standard Life Investments
has made its Luxembourg-domiciled SICAV fund range available through MFEX’s Mutual Fund Exchange, an independent fund marketplace in Europe, in all countries where the SICAV is registered for public distribution and where MFEX clients operate

CEIOPS’ half-year report makes for a sober read
Insurance companies’ roles as investors have been increasingly affected by the decade’s financial turmoil followed by the current crisis and recession, says the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors (CEIOPS)

ESG disclosure must improve to support emerging market investment
A lack of disclosure on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues is a key challenge when asset managers an institutional investors consider investing in emerging markets, says a survey by the Ethical Investment Research Service (EIRIS) and the International Working Group of the Social Investment Forum

News in Brief
AEGON has completed its acquisition of Banca Transilvania's 50 per cent shareholding in Romanian pension business BT AEGON set up by the two companies last year

European Products
BlackRock has launched its BGF Global Inflation Linked Bond Fund, aimed at investors with a long-term asset needing protection against the erosion of returns

Crisis highlights the need for reforms
The Organisation for Economic and Co-Operative Development (OECD) has called for governments worldwide to push ahead with reforms to ensure that public and private income provision remains socially and financially sustainable

Fund managers must re-think client relationships
The investment management industry must employ a ‘back-to-basics’ approach when it comes to client relationships in order to rebuild trust with investors, says KPMG

EFAMA elects new president
The European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) has chosen Jean-Baptiste De Franssu as its new president for a two-year term, and Claude Kremer as vice-president

European Products
Investment Solutions has launched its Fiduciary Management Solutions product, designed for defined benefit (DB) pension schemes

European reform frozen as result of economic turmoil
Pension reform will remain in limbo if the economic crisis continues, warns Allianz Global Investors AG (AllianzGI)

International Retirement Scheme opens to UK Limited Companies
A new tax-efficient Pension Trust that allows UK Limited Companies to provide retirement packages for their employees who have responsibilities outside the UK has been launched by s615(6) Limited

More conservative measure required for UCITS funds
Proposals by the EU to control the risk of UCITS funds could leave them more risky than hedge funds, as they will not protect investors from the risk of a huge loss of investment value, says EM Applications

News in Brief
KAS BANK has expanded its clearing and settlement services to include the Nordics

European Mandates
Hymans Robertson has been chosen by the £200million Doosan Babcock Energy Pension Scheme to provide investment consultancy. Investment strategy, scheme structure and manager selection advice will all be provided by the independent benefits and investment consultant

European Products
European companies will have the opportunity to save up to 15 per cent off of their total cost of risk with the launch of Aon’s Risk Financing Decision Platform (RFDP) in Europe

European Mandates
Hymans Robertson has been chosen by the £200million Doosan Babcock Energy Pension Scheme to provide investment consultancy. Investment strategy, scheme structure and manager selection advice will all be provided by the independent benefits and investment consultant

European Products
European companies will have the opportunity to save up to 15 per cent off of their total cost of risk with the launch of Aon’s Risk Financing Decision Platform (RFDP) in Europe

New platform launch brings pan-European provision one step closer
The first multi-client cross-border asset pooling platform has been launched by AEGON and Citi, developed with TKP investments, with total assets invested of more than €9bn

SEI launches engagement service for European clients
UK and European clients will now benefit from new corporate governance, social and environmental engagement service from fiduciary management provider SEI, in association with F&C Management Limited, for its Dublin-registered equity funds

CEIOPS demonstrates continued commitment to cross-border provision
The Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pension Supervisors’ (CEIOPS) annual report shows its continued support for the development of cost effective multi-country pension funds, says Watson Wyatt

News in Brief
BlackRock has agreed to acquire Barclays Global Investors, including its iShares business, in a cash and share deal worth £8.15bn

European Products
Zurich International Life has launched the International Pension Plan (IPP) in the UK, a unit-linked group savings plan

Green shoots for Irish pension funds?
Irish pension funds delivered positive returns during May for the third month in a row

Pension fund trustees champion Responsible Investment
A report from UKSIF, the association which promotes Sustainable Investment and Finance, indicates that Responsible Investment is growing in popularity among UK corporate pension funds, a change led by trustees

News in Brief
Watson Wyatt has opened an office in Moscow in response to increasing demand for their services in Russia

European Mandates
Pension Insurance Corporation has announced that it has agreed its first pension insurance buy-in agreement with the Trustees of the Warwick International Group Pension Scheme, valued at around £57million

European Products
PIMCO has launched the GIS Global Advantage Fund, which is designed to help fixed-income investors to take advantage of opportunities created by shifts in the global economy

Landmark securities fraud settlement reached against Shell
The largest securities fraud settlement ever has been reached in Europe, with a Dutch appeals court ordering Royal Dutch Shell plc to begin the payment of $381million, plus interest, to a foundation representing a group of institutional investors from 17 European countries

Aon Trade Credit becomes international
Aon Trade Credit UK is pushing out of the UK by launching an international team to support global companies in managing their receivables more proactively to prevent bad debt

European Mandates
Capita Hartshead has been appointed by Waltham Forest for its Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) for a period of four years, with the potential of a two-year extension

MAY 2009

EC makes plans to replace CEIOPS
Reforms have been proposed to the current architecture of financial services committees by the European Commission (EC) adopted Communication on Financial Supervision in Europe, which would in effect replace the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors (CEIOPS)

UCITS contradiction leads to VaRs errors
VaR calculations are at odds with one another in some European countries due to a contradiction in UCITS Rules, says EM Applications

Significant variations in European countries’ reactions to global downturn
European countries’ pension markets have experienced mixed reactions to the global crisis, although UK businesses are at a ‘severe competitive disadvantage’ in Europe due to weaknesses in private and state pension systems, says Aon Consulting

Dividend forecasts should lead to recovery in Continental Europe
Continental Europe is showing signs of a recovery with increases in European stocks dividend forecasts and robust corporate balance sheets, says Ignis Asset Management

European Products
Henderson Global Investors has launched its Global Currency fund, aimed at institutional and pension fund clients

LCP moves further into Swiss market
Pensions and investment consultants Lane Clark & Peacock has expanded its Swiss operations with the launch of LCP Asalis

News in Brief
Ignis Asset Management has reinforced its European presence with a deal meaning that its international fund range will be available through European platform Allfunds Bank

Dutch pension funds need ‘firm measures’ to return to satisfactory funding levels
Firm measures are necessary to bring scheme funding levels of Dutch pension funds up to the minimum required funding ratio of 105 per cent within five years, warns De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) in its Annual Report 2008

European Mandates
Vopak Pension Fund has awarded a €500million fiduciary mandate to BlackRock

European Products
Property asset management business, F&C REIT, is looking to raise £300million in commitments from institutional and high net worth investors to launch a UK real estate opportunity fund, the Devonshire UK Opportunities Fund

 

News in Brief
REAAL, the Netherlands’ second-largest life insurer, has chosen to purchase and implement VIPitech, Watson Wyatt’s actuarial projection system, in preparation for Solvency II

Danish pension fund faces ‘extremely unsatisfactory’ 2008 returns
Bankpension, a pension fund for employees in the Danish financial sector, has reported “extremely unsatisfactory” 2008 results, with yields after tax standing at -19.7 per cent

News in Brief
Zurich has launched an online self service quotation and straight through processing (STP) facility for all members of its defined benefit scheme

AIMA produces world’s first global sound practices guide for FOHF managers
The Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) has published the world’s first global Guide to Sound Practices for Funds of Hedge Funds Managers, developed by some of the world’s leading fund of hedge funds (FOHF) practitioners

European Mandates
BNY Mellon Asset Management has been awarded two global equities mandates by Japan’s public pension fund, the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF)

European Products
Neptune Investment Management has launched its US Dollar and Euro share classes across a number of its core funds, and five funds are now available for investment in these currencies to complement the existing GBP share class

News in Brief
Neuberger Berman Group LLC has completed the purchase of Lehman Brothers Asset Management (Europe) Ltd from the Lehman Brothers entities that are in administration

Irish funds back in the black
At last some positive news for Irish Pension funds, with Hewitt’s monthly Managed Fund Index reporting that the month of April 2009 returned 8.7 per cent

European Products
Rowanmoor Pensions has come out of its SSAS provider shell and launched a bespoke Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), offering further options to customers

News in Brief
Bermuda-based insurance company Bridge Pointe Insurance Ltd has entered the European defined benefit (DB) pensions market, with particular focus on the UK

APRIL 2009

Aviva reports ‘resilient’ sales
Aviva plc has reported “resilient” new business sales in its three month statement to end March 2009, with life and pensions sales worldwide increasing by 11 per cent to £9,569million over this period

Ireland granted further pension protection
Ireland’s defined benefit (DB) pension scheme members will gain further support with news that a new Pensions Insolvency Payment Scheme (PIPS) is to be introduced in the Social and Welfare and Pensions Bill 2009

UCITS damaged by recession, but outlook remains positive
Cross-border UCITS in Europe suffered in 2008 due to the financial crisis, with EUR 20.8bn of total net outflows sourced in Europe

European Mandates
Pension consultants Gissings has been appointed by Age Concern England and Help the Aged to advise on the development, communications and governance arrangements for their future pensions procedures

OECD/IOPS sets out pensions recovery recommendations
Global pension assets have dropped by over 20 per cent, or $5.4trn, as a result of the financial crisis, says the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Alternative asset allocations move onto Europe’s radar
Non-traditional asset classes are receiving more attention from European pension schemes as they strive to manage future investment risk, according to Mercer’s annual European Asset Allocation Survey

2009 Morningstar® Investment Conference, held in association with the Institute of Financial Planning
Morningstar, a leading provider of independent investment research, has announced keynote speakers and programme details for its annual investment conference in London on the 12th and 13th of May

 

European Products
Gartmore has launched its UK Absolute Return Fund, the latest in its absolute return range

European Mandates
The trustees of the International Power Group of the Electricity Supply Pension Scheme (ESPS) have appointed Lane Clark & Peacock LLP (LCP) to provide scheme actuary and associated services

Aviva strengthens Europe position
ING Group’s holding company in Russia and non-state pension fund business, which had assets under management of £30.4million at 31 December 2008, have been acquired by Aviva plc

European Products
Zurich has launched its Guaranteed Capital Account 23, the latest in its series of guaranteed capital accounts

Henderson Group completes acquisition of New Star
Henderson Group plc, the parent company of Henderson Global, has announced that it has acquired New Star Management plc

European Products
BlackRock has launched the new BlackRock European Absolute Alpha Fund, using a similar investment model to BlackRock’s successful UK Absolute Alpha Fund

Salary sacrifice can offer employers huge savings
Pension salary sacrifice can offer employers massive savings in under a year if their employee pension contributions top £500,000 per year, says Watson Wyatt

Swedish AP Funds’ Ethical Council releases 2008 report
The Ethical Council of Sweden’s First to Fourth AP Funds has reported on 2008’s progress in its engagement with companies suspected of violating the ethical guidelines which preside over the four Funds’ investments, with success in several cases

Positivity at last for Irish Managed Pension Funds
Following tales of woe for the Irish pension fund sector, Hewitt Associates’ monthly Fund survey and index has revealed that they returned 2.6 per cent for the month ending 31 March 2009

MARCH 2009

Irish scheme assets drop not as bad as expected – IAPF
Irish pension scheme assets fell by 23% in 2008, the Irish Association of Pension Funds (IAPF) has reported as part of its annual asset allocation survey, which, says the association, is less than might have been expected given recent market conditions

Hedge funds remain firm favourite with institutional investors
Institutional investors remain committed to hedge funds despite the bashing the asset class has received in recent months. In fact, a large number even plan to increase their allocations in 2009

Irish private pensions ‘need support’ – IAPF
Irish private pension provision will be destroyed if the Irish Government goes ahead with a reduction in tax relief, says the Irish Association of Pension Funds (IAPF)

BNY Mellon expands across Europe
BNY Mellon Asset Management has opened an office in Paris as part of its plans to branch out within Europe

Swiss economy still suffering
The prospects for the Swiss economy have changed marginally in the latest Financial Market Test Switzerland, conducted by Credit Suisse in cooperation with the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW)

European Products
Kotak Mahindra Ltd has launched a Fixed Maturity Plan to help foreign investors to access the Indian Corporate Debt marke

Dutch pension funds sell off securities
EUR 26bn worth of securities were sold by Dutch pension funds in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to figures published by De Nederlandsche Bank

European Mandates
bfinance and the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Pension Fund have announced the appointment of two fund managers to manage a £40million mandate in active currency

European Products
Bespoke pension provider Dentons Pensions Management Ltd is to launch two new SIPP products as part of its strategy to expand business through organic growth and acquisition

 

EU pensions prove to be robust despite downturn
The European Union (EU) has admitted that pensions are not ‘immune’ from the financial crisis, but have shown themselves to be ‘robust’ in comparison to other financial institutions

European Mandates
Following a search by bfinance, Avon Pension Fund has selected Partners Group and Schroders to manage a £180million mandate

European Products
Standard Life Investments has announced the launch of its UK Equity Recovery OEIC Fund, managed by head of UK Equities, David Cumming

More woe for Norwegian pension funds
Norway’s Government Pension Fund – Norway lost NOK 29.6bn (€2.95bn) in 2008, a massive drop attributed to the equities, according to figures from Folketrygdfondet

European Products
Crédit Agricole Structured Asset Management (CASAM) has launched an additional 11 Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) on the NYSE Euronext, increasing the total number to 35

No letup for Irish pension funds
The credit crunch is not letting up on Irish pension funds, with February recording further losses of 5.7 per cent

New wealth manager services to improve compliance and efficiency
SEI has launched a set of services for UK wealth managers to enhance their ability to manage client accounts more efficiently and in a more compliant manner

European News in Brief
Navigant Consulting has expanded its European Financial Services team with the addition of 25 investment management experts

European Products
Invesco Perpetual has launched its Global Equity Income Fund, a diversified global equities fund that seeks to achieve a total return of income and capital growth by investing in investment ideas from regional equity specialists based in Henley

FEBRUARY 2009

Iceland moves to abolish public officials’ pension privileges
In a bid to level out the playing field between Iceland’s pensions for public officials and the general public, the Minister of Finance has moved to abolish the Act that provides these pension privileges to senior public servants and politicians

Ilmarinen reveals negative 2008 results
Finnish pensions advisory and insurance services provider, Ilmarinen, has revealed overall 2008 results of €-4,338.1million, with investment returns of -17.7 per cent

Portfolio diversification can add 22% to performance
Diversification within an investment portfolio can result in outperformance of an equity and bond only portfolio by 22 per cent, says Global Pensions and Strategy Group at Deutsche Bank

European Products
SVM Asset Management Limited has received approval from the FSA to launch its SVM UK Absolute Alpha Fund, with a launch period that will run from Wednesday 11 March to 7 April 2009

AP1 puts 2008 dramatic losses on equity market's shoulders
Sweden’s Första AP-fonden (AP1) pension fund has blamed falling equity markets for its SEK 47.2bn loss in 2008

New Dalriada recruits to aid trustees against downturn
A team of wind-up specialists has been added to independent trustees company Dalriada to help prepare trustees for a downturn

European News in Brief
Life and Pensions software solutions company Mastek has been ranked among the top 100 global outsourcing providers for 2009

European Products
Argonaut Capital has launched its European Absolute Return Fund, managed by founding partner Barry Norris

Schemes forced to rethink investment strategies
Pension schemes all over the world are re-evaluating their investment management following the effects of the financial turmoil

iShares fixed income fund hits €2bn
iShares has announced that investor demand for its iShares € Corporate Bond fund has surpassed €2bn in assets under management (AUM)

European News in Brief
Chubb Insurance has launched a new Pension Scheme and Benefit Plan Liability policy in response to the increasing obligations being placed on trustees and the rising risks they face

European Products
db x-trackers has listed three new exchange traded funds (ETFs) on the London Stock Exchange, and has cross listed two existing ETFs

 

Towers Perrin pushes forward in Munich
Financial consultant Towers Perrin has built upon its pension related investment consulting business by forming a new European Investment Consulting Group based in Munich, Germany

bfinance lands in Dutch market
The Netherlands has launched onto bfinance’s radar with the company’s latest appointment to its Northern Europe team

European News in Brief
The European Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) market grew by 6.49 per cent in 2008, reaching €91.228bn, says Lyxor Asset Management (Lyxor)

European Mandates
Nuffield Health has appointed Mercer as corporate adviser on their pension liabilities

European Products
HEXAM Capital has launched its UK-domiciled Ignis HEXAM Global Emerging Markets Fund, which will mirror the Dublin-domiciled Ignis International HEXAM Global Emerging Markets Fund

Second Swedish Pension Fund takes huge tumble
The Second Swedish National Pension Fund/AP2 has recorded a sharp fall in its market worth for 2008, amounting to a return of -24 per cent on net assets

Chuo Mitsui launches in UK
Chuo Mitsui Trust International has launched into the UK with a London office

Norwegian Government Fund makes further exclusions towards more ethical investments
Following a recommendation from the Council on Ethics for the Government Pension Fund – Global, Norway’s Ministry of Finance has excluded American company Textron Inc. Corporation from the fund

European Products
Standard Life Investments has launched a Strategic Bond Fund, available to retail investors with immediate effect

Western Europe pension systems in need of reform
Allianz Global Investors has published a study examining the development of the pension systems and markets in 17 Western European countries

Growing number of multinationals considering global policies
The number of multinationals that plan to implement global funding policies across all aspects of retirement plan management by 2010 has increased to 87 per cent, according to Mercer

European Mandates
The Vivendi 2008 Pensioners’ Scheme has chosen MetLife Assurance Limited to secure its pensioners' benefits through a bulk annuity contract

JANUARY 2009

Standard Life’s Europe results drop
Standard Life plc’s new business results for 2008 show a drop in worldwide life and pensions sales of six per cent to £15.6bn

Dutch tax authorities rule on landmark tax rebate for UK pension funds
UK pension funds are set to enjoy a €100million rebate from the Dutch tax authorities following a tax ruling, says the UK branch of KPMG

European Mandates
Scottish Widows has been selected to provide a group pension scheme to Lothian Buses

European News in Brief
The European Commission’s Decision 2004/6/EC of November 2003 which establishes the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors (CEIOPS), has been repealed and replaced by Decision 2009/79/EC

Pensioners expected to live 11 months longer
Life expectancy assumptions for funding valuations in UK pension schemes have been increased by eleven months, according to Mercer’s valuation survey

Global pension systems ‘tested on every level’
Global institutional pension fund assets shrivelled by 19 per cent across the 11 major markets during 2008

European News in Brief
T. Rowe Price has opened an office in Zurich, expanding its European presence

European Mandates
RCM has been chosen by Kentucky Fried Chicken Pension Trust Limited to manage a Global Equity High Alpha mandate, valued at £17million

European Products
Canada Life has launched two new funds, the Canlife Gilt and Bond Fund and the Canlife Defensive Cash Plus fund

Cases mount up for Irish Pensions Ombudsman
The Irish Pensions Ombudsman saw a forty-three per cent rise in new cases compared to 2007, with the number of cases closed in 2008 up by ten per cent on last year

Finnish insurer records negative 2008 return
Finnish private sector pension insurer Varma has revealed in its preliminary figures that its 2008 return on investments was -15.2 per cent

European Products
db x-trackers has listed the world’s first Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) linked to a global sovereign bond index on the Deutsche Boerse

European Mandates
The Avon Pension Fund, which is administered by Bath and North East Somerset Council, has appointed Schroders to manage a £90m UK property multi-manager mandate

European Research Strategy launched into market
A European Research Strategy for professional investors has been launched by Janus Capital International Limited, the international arm of Janus Capital Group Inc

Mercer strengthens remuneration service
Financial consultant Mercer has enhanced its executive remuneration consulting capabilities in Europe

 

European News in Brief
Japanese and Asian equities specialist Tokio Marine Asset Management (TMA) has launched its new business in London, demonstrating its commitment to the European market

iShares Europe enjoys record 2008 inflows
iShares Europe has reported a record year of net inflows into its European Exchange Traded Funds (ETF), securing €17.7bn in net new ETF assets at the end of 2008

Schemes disenchanted with fee levels
Pension schemes are calling on investment managers to cut their fees, according to a survey by bfinance

European Mandates
Cardano has been appointed by the Trustees of the Asda Group Pension Scheme to take responsibility for managing the overall relationship between the Scheme’s assets and liabilities for part of the Scheme’s assets

Global markets not out of the woods yet
Global financial markets are set to remain volatile while investors monitor a series of policy measures needed to guard against a deep recession, according to Standard Life Investments

European News in Brief
The acquisition of Polish pension company PTE Skarbiec Emerytura SA by AEGON has been completed

European Products
Invesco Perpetual has announced the launch of the Invesco Perpetual Global Equity Income Fund, which brings together regional investment ideas from Invesco’s team of fund managers

Recession looms for Swiss economy
The Swiss economy is set to slide into recession in 2009, predict experts at Credit Suisse

Norwegian pension fund reconsiders Israel investments
Norway’s Ministry of Finance is referring to its Ethical Guidelines for the Norwegian Government Pension Fund – Global following the situation in Gaza

European Mandates
Punter Southall’s Birmingham, UK office has been awarded a hat-trick of mandates in just one week

Irish funds record huge 2008 losses
A turbulent 2008 took its toll on Irish pension funds, with recorded losses of €27bn as managed funds declined by 34.8 per cent, according to Rubicon Investment Consulting

Polish pension funds lose almost 20%
Polish open pension funds OFE have recorded a negative rate of return of 14 per cent for 2008

AXA puts down roots in Vienna
The private equity branch of AXA Investment Managers is to open an office in Vienna, boosting its presence in the Eastern European markets and pursuing further international growth

European Mandates
Standard Life Investments has won a £90m UK equity portfolio from Fujitsu Services’ defined benefit pension schemes

DECEMBER 2008

SGAM sells London business
Société Générale Asset Management (SGAM) has sold its London subsidiary (SGAM UK) to GLG Partners, Inc

Credit crunch has created liability mirage
The credit crunch has distorted global pension liabilities by up to €250bn, according to Lane Clark & Peacock’s (LCP) European Pensions Briefing

LGIM sees weakest post-war economic growth in 2009
Next year’s world economic growth rate could be less even than in 1982, until now the weakest since the Second World War, predicts Legal & General Investment Management

European Products
PIMCO has launched the Unconstrained Bond Strategy, which is not tethered to benchmark-specific guidelines

‘Life-threatening’ pension risk must be addressed
Pension risk is now an issue of life-threatening importance, according to Hewitt Associates’ latest Global Pension Risk Survey

New outlet for bonds education
A new financial website, InvestinginbondsEurope.org, has been launched to offer retail investors free access to comprehensive, non-commercial and unbiased education, by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)

European News in Brief
Northern Trust now provides an enhanced suite of quarterly client reports to meet asset owner trustee needs for transparency and fiduciary oversight of institutional investment programs

European Mandates
The Islington Council Pension Fund has appointed RCM to actively manage a £100million global equity mandate

Retirement investment concerns top employee concerns
Concerns over retirement investment has topped the list of employee concerns in a global survey conducted by Mercer, Leading Through Unprecedented Times

SRI needs gold standard
Sustainable and Responsible Investment (SRI) needs an industry tracker as it moves forward, says Eastern Europe energy and property developer, Oxford Management

 

European Products
BlueBay Asset Management has launched its Global Convertible Fund, which will invest in convertible bonds and is benchmarked against the UBS Convertible Global Focus Index

Aberdeen favours Asia in 'tough year' for investors
Asian companies could offer some of the best opportunities in 2009, in what promises to be another “extremely tough year” for investors, says Aberdeen Asset Management

European News in Brief
Investment Solutions has launched a Multi-Strategy Fund designed to help pension schemes target long-term growth with lower expected volatility, compared to equities alone, with improved levels of diversification

European Products
Blue Sky Asset Management has launched a defensive plan for savers and investors which promises an annual growth potential of eight per cent

Irish DC funds given option to defer annuity purchase
A new option for members of defined contribution (DC) occupational pension schemes which will defer the purchase of a retirement annuity for a specified two-year period has been announced by Ireland’s Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan

European Commission closes Solvency II consultation
The European Commission’s (EC) consultation on its document on Solvency II rules for pension schemes has closed

EC urges UK to relax non-UK plan tax relief rules
Moves by the European Commission (EC) to ask the UK to ease legislation applicable for tax relief contributions to non-UK pension plans would create a single, open pensions market across Europe, according to Towers Perrin

Yet more woe for Irish Pension Managed Funds
Irish Pension Managed Funds recorded a negative return of four per cent for the month of November 2008, a continuation of its downward trend, although there are signs of stability, says Hewitt Associates

European Mandates
Ignis Asset Management has been selected by a major international bank to run two Asia Pacific portfolios, which sit within a sub-advisory structure to the bank’s globally distributed range of branded products

NOVEMBER 2008

Norway Global fund suffers 7.7% drop
Norway’s Government Pension Fund – Global recorded all-time low returns of -7.7 per cent in quarter three of 2008 (Q3 2008), 1.8 percentage points lower than that on the benchmark portfolio defined by the Ministry of Finance, according to the latest quarterly report by Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM)

Product Launches round-up
The Veritas Asian Fund has been reopened to new investors by Veritas Asset Management, which aims to capitalise on low valuations in Asian and Pacific markets which have risen from the current economic climate

European Mandates
State Street Global Advisors (SSgA) has been appointed by the London Borough of Hillingdon to manage a £85million multi-asset passive mandate

Reforms enhance pensions role in emerging markets
Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Asia have undertaken far more extensive and fundamental pension reforms than those in Western industrialised countries, according to a new report from Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI)

Pension funds ‘unfit to meet credit crisis’
The credit crisis has confirmed that pension funds can no longer rely on their consultants and asset managers to safely steer them through uncharted waters and will need to “up their game”, claims a new study

News in Brief
The New Star International Property Fund has temporarily suspended dealing with immediate effect, due to an increase in the level of redemptions from the Fund, mainly from a few institutional clients

Product Launches round-up
T. Rowe Price has expended its global investment opportunities with the launch of a Global Real Estate strategy

Call for new pension fund governance model
A report has been launched following an independent review of the governance principles and structures of occupational pension funds which recommends that a new pension fund governance model be developed

TOBAM rises from Lehman ashes
Lehman Brothers Asset Management France SA, a fully owned subsidiary of Lehman Brothers, has been reformed through a transaction with the team responsible for the Anti-Benchmark methodology, to form an independent organisation called TOBAM

Gold demand hits new height in Q3 2008
The third quarter of 2008 saw dollar demand for gold reach an all-time quarterly record of US$32bn, with investors around the world seeking refuge from the global financial meltdown, according to the Gold Demand Trends report

Net worth of Dutch investment funds decreases further
The net worth of supervised Dutch investment funds fell by €6.4bn (eight per cent) in the third quarter of 2008 (Q3 2008), with De Nederlandsche Bank attributing losses to investment write-downs and net withdrawals by investors

Portfolio and manager reviews on the way
The financial and economic crisis will have a notable impact on asset allocation, and will trigger a comprehensive review of investment managers, according to bfinance

News in Brief
UBS Global Asset Management has joined forces with MerchantBridge, a direct investment and private equity company focused on the Middle East, to form a 50/50 venture, MerchantBridge-UBS Private Equity

 

European Mandates
Lloyds TSB has awarded a £300m absolute return mandate to the Julius Baer Absolute Return Bond Fund, and it is expected that up to five per cent of future inflows into the Lloyds TSB Private Banking service will also be allocated to the fund

Switzerland still struggling in current climate
Economic prospects for Switzerland have slightly improved in November, according to the Financial Market Test Switzerland conducted by Credit Suisse and the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW)

Retirement is top concern for employers worldwide
The changing concept of retirement and the rising cost of healthcare are the top concerns around the globe for employers, according to Mercer’s Introduction to Benefit Plans across the World: a guide for Multinational Employers

Sarasin carves way into Irish market
London-based investment management company Sarasin & Partners LLP has chosen to open an Irish branch of its offices

Product Launches round-up
Aviva Investors has launched its European Renewable Energy Fund, specialising in developing and financing renewable energy infrastructure projects throughout the European Union (EU)

DNB extends recovery plan deadline
Dutch central bank, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) and the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment have ruled to extend pension funds’ deadlines for submitting recovery plans to 1 April 2009

Liquidation shock provokes industry warning
The importance of pension fund trustees continuing to review the strength of their sponsoring employers is highlighted by a sharp rise in the number of insolvency events, according to Watson Wyatt

Irish pension funds lose third of value
Irish pension funds have lost a third of their value in just 12 months, falling by 33.4 per cent, according to investment consultant Rubicon

News in Brief
Aon Re Global is launching its first reinsurance unit in Poland, Aon Re Polska

Product Launches round-up
Thirteen new equity Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) have been launched by ETF Securities, the market leader in exchange traded commodities (ETCs)

Fiduciary Management – the start of something enormous? – EXCLUSIVE
Fiduciary management is “a way to cope with an unfriendly environment,” according to Anton van Nunen, pension fund advisor and owner and director of Dutch advisory service, Van Nunen & Partners

db x-trackers achieves massive global growth
The year 2008 represented a record growth in assets under management (AUM) for db x-trackers, Deutsche Bank’s exchange traded fund (ETF) platform, amongst all ETF providers globally

Product Launches round-up
Barclays Global Investors (BGI) has launched its BGI Sterling Government Liquidity Fund, which provides access to Sterling denominated government securities

OCTOBER 2008

IOPS summit addresses supervisory issues
The global financial crisis has provoked a reaction from the International Organisation of Pension Supervisors (IOPS) at its Annual General Meeting, which saw the green light given to a new set of guidelines for the supervisory assessment of pension funds

Are international retirement plans the future for expatriates?
The number of employees on international assignments has increased by almost 90 per cent over the last three years, according to Mercer’s 2008/2009 Benefits Survey for Expatriates and Globally Mobile Employees

EFAMA reveals second quarter results
The second quarter of 2008 saw investment fund assets worldwide drop by 0.4 per cent to €15.6trn, according to the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA)

Product Launches round-up
The CFA Institute has launched the Environmental, Social, and Governance Factors at Listed Companies: A Manual for Investors in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region

White Rock moves home from Gibraltar to Malta
Aon subsidiary company White Rock, a group of insurance and reinsurance vehicles which holds operations in key domiciles including Gibraltar, Guernsey and Bermuda, has redomiciled White Rock Insurance PCC Ltd to Malta

Europe to become main driver in RI market
Responsible Investment (RI) will become ‘mainstream’ by 2015 with 20 per cent of pension funds’ assets under management invested in this way, according to a report published jointly by Dutch asset manager Robeco and global consulting firm Booz & Company

Irish market opens up to China
The Irish funds market has opened its doors to Chinese investors in a move by the Irish Funds Industry Association (IFIA)

News in Brief
The Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP has announced that its return on investment over the first nine months of 2008 was -9.8 per cent

Fidelity sees opportunities in telecoms and healthcare
European equities and their related securities still offer attractive total returns and absolute value in stock selection, despite the turbulent global financial markets, according to portfolio manager, Anas Chakra

CASAM storms into ETF market
Crédit Agricole Structured Asset Management (CASAM) has proven its ambitions to break into the European exchange traded funds (ETF) market with the launch of ten new equity ETFs

ETFs not flustered by market turmoil
While much of the global financial sector is suffering from battered reputations and returns, exchange traded funds (ETFs) have reportedly gone from strength to strength, with the growth in uptake of ETFs being driven by the current market turmoil, according to ETF provider iShares

New tool unveiled for a more transparent financial sector
A new environment and social reporting standard has been launched by the United Nations (UN) which will benefit banks, insurers and asset managers who are fighting to rebuild their reputations after a turbulent 2008, says a senior UN official

Pension funds must keep the faith in commodities – EXCLUSIVE
Pension funds must continue to invest in commodities, despite recent scares and turmoil across the financial sector, says veteran commodity investor, Jim Rogers

KAS BANK reports tough third quarter
KAS BANK has seen a difficult third quarter in 2008 as a result of the credit crunch, with a decrease in operating profits of 20 per cent

European Mandates
Gissings Consultancy Services has been appointed by Chas A Blatchford and Sons Ltd to provide advisory, trustee secretarial and administration services for its occupational pension plan for a five-year period

Emerging markets are ‘a victim of their own success’ - EXCLUSIVE
Emerging markets have suffered from “indiscriminate selling”, as a result of a reduction in investor appetite for risk and are “a victim of their own success” according to a Nomura spokesperson

EIRIS launches PRI toolkit
The Ethical Investment Research Service (EIRIS) has launched a new toolkit designed to help asset managers and owners to implement the United Nations’ (UN) Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)

 

 

Mercer and Tesi merge to create consulting superbrand
Mercer’s Italian human capital operations and Tesi, one of Italy’s premier consulting firms, have merged to provide domestic and international companies with advice on human capital issues

Lowest asset growth among world top managers
The total assets under management among the world’s 500 largest fund managers grew by around nine per cent in 2007 to US$69.4trn, according to the Pensions & Investments/Watson Wyatt World 500 ranking

Standard Life paves way to Southern Europe
Standard Life Investments (SLI) has reinforced its interest in expanding into Spain, Portugal and Italy by appointing Will Pawson as investment director of Southern Europe

European Mandates
Standard Life Investments (SLI) has been chosen by Somerset County Council to manage an aggregate bond portfolio which is worth around £200 million

Product Launches round-up
James Hay has expanded its Collect platform by adding five Insight funds, bringing its total offerings on this platform up to 1,032 funds from 45 different providers

Hurdles still hamper Pan-European pensions development
Complex EU legislation, taxation issues and perceived lack of products are among the hurdles slowing down the development of Pan-European pensions arrangements, according to a recent study carried out by Mercer.

PRI and EAI join forces to create more research noise
The Enhanced Analytics Initiative (EAI) and UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) will join forces under the PRI name, effectively internationalising the call for better investment research

BNP Paribas announces new multi-management structure
FundQuest, BNP Paribas Investment Partners’ multi-management specialist, has confirmed its new structure following a successful integration period

Interest rises in commodity investments
Commodity investment is set to rise, according to Lyxor Asset Management (Lyxor), with 30 per cent of UK institutional investors set to increase their allocation over the next five years

News in Brief
The Multinational Group of Actuaries and Consultants (MGAC) has added SPP Konsult AB, a Swedish pension and employee benefit consultancy, to its membership. MGAC, a global network of independent consulting firms, has its roots firmly planted in Europe

European Mandates
BNY Mellon Asset Servicing has been awarded a €38bn mandate by Eureko B.V. BNY Mellon will provide global custody and value added services for group assets, datawarehouse, reporting, accounting, fund administration, asset pooling services and securities lending

Launch of world’s fifth largest insurance company
Aviva Investors has officially launched, marking the creation of the world’s fifth largest insurance company

Construction company director faces arrest for pension scheme failings
A construction company and its director have been charged with failing to remit the contributions it deducted from the wages and salaries of employees to the Construction Workers Pension Scheme (CWPS)

European Mandates
Gissings Consultancy Services Ltd has been appointed by The Coughlan Companies, Inc. to advise on the establishment and launch of a new benefit plan for UK employees who are transferring to its UK subsidiary Capstone Global Library Limited from Pearson Education Ltd

Product Launches round-up
Asset management business Aviva Investors has launched a new Aviva Investors Global High Yield Bond Fund

SEPTEMBER 2008

Swiss economy will neither boom nor bust
The Swiss economy is expected to neither boom nor go bust in 2009, according to economists at Credit Suisse

Sarkozy accusation leads to industry call for clarification
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has blamed the current financial turmoil on hedge funds

Swedish pension funds sell cluster-bomb holdings
Holdings in companies that market cluster weapons are to be sold by the Second Swedish National Pension Fund (AP2) and Första AP-fonden (AP1)

BNY Mellon announces Iberian merger
BNY Mellon Asset Management has announced that its Portuguese, Andorran and Spanish operations are to merge with WestLB Mellon Asset Management

News in Brief
When it comes to guaranteed income and death benefits, British consumers are increasingly looking towards offshore bond products, according to research by The Hartford

Employers crucial in handling rising pension costs
Elderly persons will outnumber the working age population in the coming years, pushing up healthcare and pension benefit costs in many parts of the world, according to the World Economic Forum’s the Future of Pensions and Healthcare in a Rapidly Ageing World: Scenarios to 2030

Norway’s Government Pension Fund not addressing climate change
Norway’s Government Pension Fund has neglected to apply best practice in sustainable investments and is not yet fully addressing the impacts of global warming, according to the World Wildlife Fund, Norway (WWF-Norway)

Product Launches round-up
Zurich has launched the Zurich Green Guaranteed Account 2 (GGA2), which offers intermediaries and their clients a Guaranteed Account which is linked to the green business sector

Responsible investment academic network launched
The UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Initiative has launched the first global network of academics dedicated to the advancement of responsible investment

First ETF launched on Portuguese market
Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) provider SPA ETF has signed an agreement with NYSE Euronext and Portuguese bank Caixa – Banco de Investimento (CaixaBI) to list and distribute the first ever ETF in Portugal

European Mandates
BNP Paribas has been appointed by European Multilateral Clearing Facility N.V. (EMCF) for its settlement outsourcing in Italy and Spain

News in Brief
The European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) has released a statement to concerned investors in light of the recent market turbulence

Product Launches round-up
Policy Selection Ltd (PSL), based in the Cayman Islands and the UK, has launched the Assured Fundo onto the Swedish market

Deutsche Bank facing securities action – EXCLUSIVE
As pressure mounts to patch up the damage caused by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, it has emerged that a securities class action has been brought against European firm Deutsche Bank

News in Brief
The Pensions Trust, the multi-employer scheme in the UK for the charitable, social, educational, voluntary and not-for-profit sectors, has offloaded over £225 million of its pensioner liabilities to insurance company Paternoster

 

 

Pension funds facing testing times in wake of Lehman Brothers collapse
Pension funds’ risk management strategies will be put to the test as the Lehman Brothers saga continues, according to financial consultant Mercer

Belgian employers in for a retirement surprise
Belgian employers are in for a shock when their workers receive their retirement income, according to financial consultant Watson Wyatt

International shift towards Defined Contribution pensions
A series of working papers released by the International Organisation of Pension Supervisors (IOPS) has highlighted the increasing importance of Defined Contribution (DC) pension schemes

Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy, Merrill Lynch taken over
Financial markets have been shaken to the core with the breaking news on Monday morning that US investment bank giant Lehman Brothers had filed for bankruptcy

Despite success of UCITS, more work is necessary
Although the UCITS framework has produced benefits for the industry it has also posed new challenges, according to the Global Fund Distribution – Bridging New Frontiers report

IOPS releases four Working Paper reports
Four reports have been released by the International Organisation of Pension Supervisors (IOPS) as part of its Working Paper series, providing important additions to the study of worldwide pension supervisory practices

New name unveiled for newly-split Dawnay Day Quantum
Dawnay Day Quantum (DDQ) has been renamed Quantum Asset Management (Quantum), following the recent management buy-out, with immediate effect

European Mandates
State Street Global Advisors (SSgA) has been appointed to manage US$200 million of pension fund assets for Denmark’s Bankpension of Copenhagen, which offers company pensions to Danish financial sector employees

Dim outlook for Nordic economies
Nordic countries are facing an economic slowdown as stronger inflation and higher interest rates begin to take their toll, says Nordic and Baltic financial services group, Nordea

AEGON continues international expansion
Financial services organisation AEGON has entered into a partnership with Catalan-based savings bank Caixa Terrassa Vida, which will distribute AEGON life insurance, pension and health products through its network of almost 300 bank branches

Dutch pension funds receive €4.9bn in dividends over 11 months
Between April 2007 and March 2008, Dutch pension funds are reported as having received €4.9bn in dividends on quoted shares, according to De Nederlandsche Bank

European Mandates
Principal Global Investors has been awarded a €200 million Global Emerging Markets equity mandate from Ireland’s National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF)

World pension assets grow to US$12 trn
The world’s largest 300 pension funds saw total assets grow by over 14 per cent in 2007 to around US$12 trn, according to The P&I/Watson Wyatt global 300 ranking

APG Group and Cordares finalise merger
APG Group N.V. (APG) and Cordares Holding N.V. have completed their merger, creating a pension administration organisation based on solidarity and collectivity, and in strong support of the Dutch pension system

KAS BANK reports restricted revenue growth in H1 2008
European bank KAS BANK has reported a growth in total income of six per cent in its first half of 2008 report, rising from €67.3 million in the first half 2007 to €71.0 million in the same period of 2008, attributed to rising interest income and stable commission income

Product Launches round-up
A new Pension Trustee Liability (PTL) product has been unveiled by ACE Europe (ACE), the ACE Elite PTL IV, designed to provide comprehensive protection for trustees, schemes and employers in the Republic of Ireland

AUGUST 2008

Netherlands streets ahead in use of Liability Driven Investment
Sixty-one per cent of Dutch pension funds are currently employing a Liability Driven Investment (LDI) strategy, an increase of 18 per cent on last year’s figures

ABP commits first investment to private equity microfinance fund
Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP (ABP) has placed US$75 million into microfinance investment manager BlueOrchard’s Private Equity Fund

Pioneer Investments plans to break into Irish market
Pioneer Investments has revealed that it is to enter the Irish Institutional Market, launching its institutional business in Ireland as part of the company’s ongoing growth strategy

Watson Wyatt releases Western Europe updates
Financial consultant Watson Wyatt has published the latest editions of its employee benefits and employment terms and conditions for Western Europe

Zurich Ireland outperforms market despite slump in new Life Insurance business
The Irish branch of Zurich (Eagle Star Life) has revealed that for the six months ending June 2008 it has outperformed the market, with Pensions Annual Premium new business of €47.4 million

Lithuania repays old-age and disability pension members
The share of unpaid old-age or disability pensions in Lithuania was paid back to pensioners who worked between 1995 and 2002 in July 2008, according to the Republic’s Ministry of Social Security and Labour

General Motors and Deloitte & Touche in $303 million securities class action
A securities class action brought against General Motors (GM) by German’s DekaBank has led to a cash settlement of $277 million

Product Launches round-up
AvivaSA has chosen Citibank to provide private pension products in 15 cities via its 57 branches

Investors offloading expensive sectors
Investors are reacting to the slowing global economy by selling sectors which had previously prospered but are now expensive in relation to their history, says Andrew Capon, vice president at State Street Global Markets

Norway’s Economic Survey shines light on future of pensions
The medium-term outlook for public finances in Norway are in relatively good shape, partly due to increasing pension fund revenues, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Economic Survey of Norway, 2008

Borsa Italiana and London Stock Exchange leader in Europe for ETF trades
Aggregated figures show that July 2008 set a record in trading of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) on Borsa Italiana and London Stock Exchange markets, with 140,452 trades amounting to a highest ever total of €8.8bn (£7.0bn)

 

 

Product Launches round-up
New Star’s recently-launched New Star Indian Equity Fund has been listed and is now available on the following platforms: Cofunds; Funds Direct; Hargreaves Lansdown; Royal Skandia; Skandia; and Transact

European Pension Mandates
Kas Bank N.V. has been chosen by Turquoise, a new pan-European alternative trading platform, to act as General Clearing Participant

Pioneer sees threats to Euro investments
Pioneer Investments has maintained an underweight position in Euro Government bonds and increased its overweight in US corporate and high yield bonds

European investor confidence falls
European investor confidence saw a three-point decline from 80.3 to 77.3 between July 2008 and August 2008, according to research by State Street Global Markets

European Pension Mandates
The SCA ‘t Anker and SCA Hygiene Products Nederland company pension funds have appointed Mn Services as fiduciary manager of their pension assets, which total €360 million

AEGON reports strong Q2 performance
AEGON has reported solid business performance and a strong capital position as part of it Q2 2008 results, in spite of recent market turmoil

DB risk survey launched
Pension funds and multi-nationals across the globe have been called upon to offer their thoughts on managing defined benefit risks in today’s market

db x-trackers predicts continued popularity of ETFs
The European fixed income market has seen a rise of 67.8 per cent in assets under management since the beginning of the year

Insurers urged to take action on Solvency II
Insurers must act now on Solvency II and learn lessons from Basel II experiences, says Aon Consulting

Hewitt reports negative Irish returns
July 2008 has been another disappointing month for Irish pension managed funds with a return of -2.6 per cent, according to the Hewitt Managed Fund Index survey

Product Launches round-up
db x-trackers has listed the only sector ETFs on the London Stock Exchange, cross-listed from Frankfurt and Milan

ABP breaks into Norway
ABP’s recent investment in the Nordics is down to research showing that “GDP growth in the Scandinavian countries will be the highest in Europe in the coming years,” according to ABP investment spokesman, Michel Meijs

Commercial property markets take an early holiday
Yields in the European commercial property investment market gathered pace in the second quarter of 2008 rising to their highest since 2006, according to Cushman & Wakefield

Calls for comment on OECD draft Guidelines
Stakeholders in private pension schemes are urged to contribute their views on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) draft text of their Guidelines for Pension fund Governance

Product Launches round-up
Schroders has launched the Schroder Agricultural Land Fund plc, opening to investors in September 2008

JULY 2008

The Russian investment paradox
Policy concerns remain despite news that Russia’s international investment flows reached record levels in 2007, according to a new report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

European solvency hit by crashing markets
Funding levels have been affected by falling markets, according to Lehman Brothers’ latest Pension Fund Solvency Indicators released in its 2008 European Pensions Briefing for the first half 2008

Product Launches round-up
FTSE Group has extended its Global Equity Index Series (GEIS) to cover the Frontier markets, alongside its existing Developed and Emerging market indices

IBOA welcomes hybrid scheme
The Irish Bank Officials’ Association (IBOA) has welcomed proposals for a new hybrid pension scheme at the National Irish Bank for new employees who join the company after 1 August 2008

NPRF reports negative return
The Irish National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) has reported a return of -12 per cent for the first half of 2008, bringing the fund’s value at the end of June to €19,462 million

Product Launches round-up
Deutsche Bank’s ETF platform, db x-trackers, has listed the first ever regional Shariah-compliant ETFs on the London Stock Exchange

Applause for Italian mutual fund industry report
The proposals set out in an industry report on the state of the Italian mutual fund industry have been welcomed by the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA)

Citi launches pan-European service
Citi has announced a new service which will allow clients direct access to European markets on a direct basis and benefit from the consolidation of securities and cash accounts, through its Global Transaction Services business

Slight growth in Dutch mutual funds
Dutch mutual funds expanded their share in Dutch household investments from 54 per cent to 55 per cent in the first quarter 2008, according to De Nederlandsche Bank

Product Launches round-up
Standard Life Investments has launched its entire Luxembourg-domiciled SICAV fund range to the German market for investment through dwpbank

CLO manager numbers to decline
The number of European collateralised loan obligation (CLO) managers is expected to decline, according to Fitch Ratings

F&C and REIT join forces
F&C Asset Management’s property operations in the UK and Ireland have been combined with REIT under a new brand, F&C REIT

AEGON releases €315million in securitisation transaction
AEGON has completed a €315million securitisation transaction to improve capital efficiency and optimise their capital structure as part of the group’s new strategy

Product Launches round-up
The JSE, in partnership with FTSE Group has launched the FTSE/JSE Shariah Top 40 Index, a selection of Shariah compliant companies from the FTSE/JSE Shariah All-Share Index

European Pensions Awards – winners announced
The inaugural European Pensions Awards took place last night at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel - the first ever awards dedicated to recognising outstanding achievement in the varied fields of European pension provision

 

 

ABP reports negative return H1 2008
The first half of 2008 brought a return on investments of -5.1 per cent for the Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP (ABP)

Mixed reaction to Commission proposal
The European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) has welcomed the European Commission’s UCITS IV proposal issued on 16 July

Product Launches round-up
The Emerging Inflation-Linked Bond fund has been launched by
Sinopia, the active quant branch of HSBC Global Asset Management

EFRP submits response to pension accounting
The European Federation for Retirement Provision (EFRP) has submitted its response on the Pro-active Accounting Activities in Europe (PAAinE) discussion paper on the financial reporting of pensions

EFAMA publishes annual asset management report
The European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) has published a report providing a comprehensive overview of the European asset management industry across the investment funds and discretionary mandates landscape

AEGON moves further into Eastern Europe
AEGON has further cemented its presence in Central and Eastern Europe with the acquisition of the Turkish life insurance and pension provider Ankara Emeklilik

Dutch pension liabilities fall
The value of the Dutch pension funds’ technical provisions stood at approximately €493bn at year-end 2007, a drop in liabilities of €14bn, according to De Nederlandsche Bank

Vote of support for Social Security agreement
The European Parliament has voted almost unanimously in favour of a new report supporting individuals who wish to exercise their right to free movement within the EU

IAM regains independence
International Asset Management (IAM) has undertaken a 100 per cent management buy-out of the firm from Fortis, signalling its return to independence

Allenbridge expands services
Investment consultants Allenbridge Group plc has formed a new division, Allenbridge HedgeSelect LLP (AHS) to provide consultancy services to the UK and European pension fund market, endowments and other financial institutions

Product Launches round-up
Meteor Asset Management has launched Property Recovery Plan 2, a kick-out investment linked to the performance of the FTSE EPRA Europe Index

Opportunities in wake of the credit crunch
The world economy will experience below trend growth as it recovers from a series of credit and inflation shocks, says Standard Life Investments

Commitment to multi-manager funds remains
Demand from European distributors for the distribution of multi-manager funds across Europe has remained high despite recent market volatility, according to a survey by Fidelity International

First global sound practices guide for FOHFs
The world’s first global guide to sound practices for fund of hedge funds (FOHFs) managers is to be published by the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) in early 2009

Top performance by commodities
Commodities were once again the top performing asset class for the first half 2008, according to ETF Securities

FSA reveals CfD plans
The FSA has decided that a general disclosure regime for long contracts for difference (CfD) positions will be employed as the most effective way of dealing with fears in relation to voting rights and corporate influence

F&C reveals investment favourites
F&C Investments, an investor in emerging markets, has recently announced that at country level its emerging equities team favours Russia, the United Emirates and Brazil

Product Launches round-up
European Pensions Management (EPM) has launched a no annual charge Funds SIPP, which will be run in conjunction with Selftrade

JUNE 2008

Credit crunch continues in downward spiral
The effects of the credit crunch have worsened in the previous quarter according to the latest financial services survey carried out by CBI and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC)

AEGON expands on Eastern European presence
AEGON Hungary Pension Fund is set to merge with UNIQA and Public Service Pension Fund in an attempt to further strengthen AEGON’s presence in the ever-developing pensions market across Central and Eastern Europe

Aberdeen opens in Zurich
Aberdeen Asset Managers (Aberdeen) has opened new offices in Zurich, allowing enhanced levels of business in Switzerland, where the group has already been present for ten years

Product Launches round-up
June 2008

A new suite of diversified fixed income funds for pension schemes and other qualified investors has been launched by Henderson

SDA of trades key in creating efficient marketplace
Automation of the trade verification process improves settlement performance for securities firms in Europe and reduces operational costs and risks, with benefits to end-investors, according to research by Oxera and Omgeo

New RI report for Pensions Funds
Responsible investment specialists RImetrics have published Responsible Investment 2008: an analysis and measurement of the competencies and practices of leading asset managers

EFAMA launches fund categorisation system
The European Fund and Asset Management Fund (EFAMA) has launched the European Fund Classification (EFC), a new industry initiative which aims to bring greater transparency to fund categorisation across Europe

Alternative assets growth driven by pension funds
During 2007 alternative assets managed on behalf of pension funds by the world’s largest 99 investment managers grew by 40 per cent to US$822bn from US$586bn the year before, according to research by Watson Wyatt and Global Investor magazine

Product Launches round-up

PIMCO has unveiled a Euro Liquidity Fund on its Dublin-based fund platform, the Global Investor Series (GIS), a euro cash management solution

ISME rejects mandatory pensions
June 2008
In a submission on the Green Paper on pensions, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) affirmed its outright opposition to the introduction of mandatory pensions, outlining that individual responsibility for retirement income was the only acceptable way forward

Currency overlay managers see mixed results
June 2008
Currency Overlay funds had mixed results in the first quarter of 2008, according to statistics released by BNY Mellon Asset Servicing

Solvency II debate continues
June 2008
Solvency II, the regulation aimed at establishing a solvency system that is better matched to the true risks of insurers, has been met with both support and opposition at conferences in the last week

Investors missing ETF potential
June 2008
A new EDHEC study shows that European investors are not taking advantage of the potentially beneficial features of their ETFs

Dutch metal pension funds launch joint in SRI policy
June 2008
The two Dutch pension funds for the metal industry, the €33bn Pensioenfonds Metaalelektro (PMT) and the €21.5bn Pensioenfonds Metaal en Techniek (PME), have launched a joint social responsible investment policy

BNP Paribas visible on Isle of Man
June 2008
BNP Paribas Securities Services (BNP Paribas) has opened premises in the Isle of Man

New Italian government suggests pension changes
June 2008

Following the appointment of the new Italian government, welfare minister, Maurizio Sacconi, has announced plans for the Italian pension system which may result in conflict with the country’s trade unions over the coming months

 

New long/short strategy launched to the market
June 2008

A new long/short product as has been launched for investors seeking equity market-like returns at substantially lower risk

Operational risk top priority for Nordic funds
June 2008

Reducing operational risk and increasing support for new products were among the key concerns for Nordic institutional investors surveyed as part of a recent White Paper published by BNY Mellon Asset Servicing

Europe ETFs overtake US market
June 2008

The assets under management (AUM) in European Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) are predicted to exceed the AUM of American ETFs in the next few months

Spanish workers in Gibraltar protest against pension conditions
June 2008
The associations representing Spanish workers in Gibraltar staged a protest on 12 June campaigning for better pensions and social security benefits

Reducing tax relief on pensions could have negative impact
June 2008
Reducing or eliminating the tax incentivisation of pensions and diverting the current cost into providing a higher State pension is “fundamentally unsound” in terms of the economy, says a report by Life Strategies

Pensions innovation rife in Eastern Europe
June 2008
Creative thinking when it comes to pensions and benefit provision is rife in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) among employers keen to attract and retain an evermore demanding workforce

IAPF urges barriers be broken to solve the pensions crisis
June 2008
Removing barriers rather than imposing compulsion is the best way to address the pensions crisis, according to the Irish Association of Pension Funds (IAPF) in its response to the Government Green Paper on pensions

Friends Provident targets Germany with investment roadshows
June 2008
Friends Provident International (FPI) is to hold its first German investment roadshows during July and August 2008 in five of the largest cities in Germany.

Investors to gain access to Pakistan with imminent fund launch
June 2008
The first ever Pakistan fund, the Melchior Selected Trust Pakistan Opportunities Fund (MSTPOF), will be launched on 19 June by Dalton Strategic Partnership LLP, advised by KASB Funds in Karachi

SEI wins first industry-wide mandate
June 2008
SEI has been selected as Fiduciary Manager by Dutch furniture industry pension fund Bpf Meubel in the company’s first industry-wide scheme appointment

Italian and Spanish Alpha League Table 2008 published
June 2008
EDHEC Risk and Management Research Centre (EDHEC) and EuroPerformance fund analysis company have released the Alpha League Table, their 2008 rankings of the top Italian and Spanish asset management companies

Pension schemes focus on volatility, not returns
June 2008
Risk avoidance and managing volatility are the top priorities for company sponsors in the wake of the credit crunch and the turbulent capital markets, according to SEI’s Global Quick Poll


Brits set to retire on less than minimum wage
June 2008
Brits are set to retire on average on just £215 per week, according to the latest Fidelity Retirement Index

Finland in need of pension reform, says OECD
June 2008
It will be vital that the Finnish economy keeps a large government surplus in the coming years and to ensure that labour force participation, especially among older workers, continues to rise, if it is to continue to perform well

Swedish pension fund pulls out of cluster bombs
June 2008
Swedish pension fund AP7 will sell all its holdings in companies making cluster bombs and nuclear weapons

Product Launches round-up
May-June 2008
Fidelity International has unveiled a new multi-asset fund to enable sponsors of defined contribution (DC) pension schemes to offer members more diversification in their saving for retirement

MAY 2008

People with larger pensions live longer
May 2008
People with larger pensions live longer, according to an investigation into the pensioner mortality experience of members of self administered pension schemes between 2003 and 2006, completed by the Society of Actuaries in Ireland

Seven Dials targets Northern Europe in latest asset allocations
May 2008
The Seven Dials European Property Fund has targeted Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Germany as primary territories in the latest round of asset allocation

UBP cites absolute return strategy as an end to the credit crisis
May 2008
Absolute return strategies are key to adding value in steps towards a solution to the current credit crisis, says Swiss private bank, Union Bancaire Privée (UBP)

European Pensions ‘Personality of the Year’ Award – have your say
Nominations are now open for the European Pensions ‘Personality of the Year’ award which, voted by our readers, aims to recognise those individuals that have truly made their mark in the European pensions space in recent years

BNP Paribas strengthens European presence
May 2008
BNP Paribas Securities Services (BNP Paribas) has entered the Hungarian and Polish markets with the settlement of its first client transactions in each country

EFRP says IORPs will not allow undermining of workplace pensions
May 2008
The European Federation for Retirement Provision (EFRP) has called upon European policymakers to reflect on the implications of imposing inadequate short term security requirements for long term investors

Product Launches round-up
May 2008
Inalytics, the specialist manager evaluation firm, has extended its services into the 130/30 space and now analyses the skills of fund managers participating in this new category of asset management

Mirae breaks into European market
May 2008
Mirae Asset Global Investments (Mirae Asset) has launched its business in Europe with the appointment of two senior executives to its London office

ABP reports a good year 2007
The past year has been a good year for Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP (ABP), according to its 2007 annual report

The DC default dilemma
Around 90 per cent of defined contribution (DC) plan members in the UK opt for the default option when choosing their investment arrangements, according to Watson Wyatt’s ‘The DC default dilemma’, an article in its recent publication Global Investment Matters

FI says pensions companies have a buffer for further turbulence
Pension and non-life insurance companies can withstand further fluctuations on the financial market, and thereby have a good capacity to fulfil their commitments to customers, according to Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, Finansinspektionen (FI)


Product Launches round-up
BNP Paribas Securities Services (BNP Paribas) has launched a comprehensive white-label self-invested personal pension (SIPP)

German institutional market opens up
The German institutional market is opening up to non-German players as investors acknowledge that there is excellent investment expertise outside of Germany, despite the fact that German banks and asset managers have a global reputation, according to Olivier Lebleu, managing director EMEA of MFS Investment Management (MFSIM)

Italian annuity provider selection process met with questions
The Italian Association of Pension funds (Assofondipensione) has agreed to take responsibility on behalf of its pension fund members to look for a common annuity provider, and has chosen an adviser to help with the selection process

Focus Capital launches globally unique fund
Focus Capital has launched its first globally unique fund, the Focus Capital Emerging World Fund

LCP expands into Ireland
Consulting actuaries Lane Clark & Peacock (LCP) has furthered its international expansion with the establishment of offices in Ireland following the merger with HLD Actuarial Consultants (HLD), creating Lane Clark & Peacock Ireland

IAPF research highlights responsibility on employees to save more for retirement
As defined contribution (DC) schemes grow in importance, employees are not contributing enough to secure an adequate income in retirement, according to new research from the Irish Association of Pension Funds (IAPF)

AEGON builds on first quarter success with Poland merger approval
AEGON, the life insurance and pensions company, has reported a nine per cent rise in underlying earnings before tax in its first quarter 2008 report

State Street to operate in Poland
State Street Corporation has signed a lease for a new operations centre in Krakow, Poland

Product Launches round-up
Dawnay Day Quantum, the market leader in structured commodities, has launched two new capital protected commodities investments. Both provide diversified exposure to metals, energy and agricultural commodities

OECD and IOPS launch pensions guidelines
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Organisation of Pension Supervisors (IOPS) have agreed new guidelines to boost financial security and performance

Goodman sells GPI to Aberdeen
Goodman, the global integrated property group, has entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement for the sale of its wholly owned subsidiary Goodman Property Investors (GPI) to Aberdeen Asset Management plc (Aberdeen) for £109million

Product Launches round-up
Goodman launches second Eurozone fund of funds

New Parmalat settlement brings total payments to $90million
Parmalat SpA has reached a third settlement with investors amounting to $40million

OECD calls for increase in financial education
The Organisation for European Co-operation and Development (OECD) has warned that governments and industry should invest more in financial education

APRIL 2008

Product Launches round-up
MSCI Barra, a global provider of investment decision support tools, has announced the launch of a new set of indices belonging to the MSCI Thematic & Strategy Indices family

European Pensions Awards shortlists announced
European Pensions is pleased to announce the shortlists for its inaugural European Pensions Awards, which aim to recognise outstanding achievement in the varied fields of European pension provision

SWIP makes in-roads into Spain
Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) has strengthened its foundations in the Spanish market

NEWS FOCUS: Consultants make Italian pension reform predictions
Italian consultants have given their predictions on what Berlusconi’s election as Italian Prime Minister for a third term could mean for the future of the country’s pensions

Fidelity International Real Estate Business expands into Germany
Fidelity International’s Real Estate Business is planning to expand into the Continental European market with the opening of a dedicated Fidelity Real Estate Business office in Munich

BNP Paribas Investment Partners acquires UK multi-manager group IMS
Leading European asset manager BNP Paribas Investment Partners (BNPP IP) has acquired London-based multi-manager IMS Group (IMS) to join its flagship brand FundQuest

CEIOPS review of cross-border pensions
A supervisory organisation is calling on the European Commission to clarify what constitutes cross-border pensions activity as a result of findings in a new report

Effective governance structures key to European pension funds
European pension funds are paying more attention to implementing effective governance structures, according to a survey by Mercer’s investment consulting business

DC plans falling short on education
Less than a quarter of defined contribution (DC) pension schemes across Europe offer financial planning support to their DC members, a recent survey has revealed.

Irish pension funds feel the pinch as returns tumble
April 2008
Irish pension funds fell by 1.3% in 2007, the Irish Association of Pension Funds’ (IAPF) annual asset allocation survey has revealed, bringing assets down to €86.6bn at the end of 2007 from €87.7 at the end of 2006.

JAN / FEB / MARCH 2008

Pension fund mandate round-up
March - April 2008
Allianz Global Investors has been appointed by Cometa to run an additional €406million Absolute Return mandate managed by one of its affiliates. Cometa, the largest occupational pension fund in Italy, has total assets of around €3.5bn, and members are mostly workers in the mechanical industry.

Pension fund mandate round-up
February - March 2008
BNY Mellon Asset Servicing will be administering the back-office and provide custody for Cowen Asset Management, the newly launched asset management firm of Cowen Group.

Pension providers warned of discrimination dangers
March 2008
Pension providers should be more aware of potentially discriminatory clauses when drafting pension plans on behalf of their clients, a leading lawyer has warned, following a decision by the Brussels Labour Court of Appeal.


Pension funds lose out on what's rightfully theirs
February 2008
European institutional investors have lost out on nearly $3.6bn between 2000 and 2007 by failing to participate in US securities class actions


EFAMA calls for regulatory framework to support DC
January 2008
Any “outdated” and “stereotyped” views on Defined Contribution schemes should be abandoned to enable the EU to address the challenge of ensuring a decent standard of living for its ageing population, according to a report published by the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA).

Hedge fund investors urged to react
January 2008
Investors in hedge funds could be better off if they take the right action following the publication of a new voluntary code of conduct for hedge funds.

Note of caution for Ireland’s trustees
January 2008
Irish pension funds lost €10 billion in the first three weeks of 2008, according to figures released from Mercer.

Yet more hiccups for Italian reform
January 2008
The recent pension reforms in Italy may have left commentators underwhelmed but they are unlikely to be the final word on the subject.

Mercer penetrates German market
January 2008
Mercer has boosted its presence in the German pensions space with the acquisition of local player Höfer Vorsorge-Management, one of Germany’s leading actuarial and retirement consulting firms.

Not all bad news at Société Générale
January 2008
Société Générale, France’s second largest bank, has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons in recent weeks.

2007

Pensions barometer uncovers Europe’s best and worst
Nov 2007
Denmark has come top for the second year running in a report ranking European countries according to their success at addressing pension scheme risk.

Amurta decision could mean billions for pensions funds
Nov 2007
European pension funds could be set for significant tax windfalls following a recent decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) looking at the legality of withholding taxes levied on dividend income.

Pension fund mandate round-up
Oct / Nov 2007
Sjunde AP-Fonden (AP7) has appointed Northern Trust Global Investments (NTGI) to run two quantitative index portfolios which total approximately €2 bn in assets.

Holland must do more to promote itself as pooling hub
Oct 2007
Holland must do more to promote itself as a centre for international asset pooling, says a new report from the Netherlands, while also preserving the strength of the Dutch pensions system.

ABP abandons self administration in quest for better governace
Oct 2007
Stichting Pensioen-fonds ABP, one of Europe’s largest pension schemes with over €200bn under management, is to separate its fund and administration functions.

Market volatility creates confusion but it’s not all bad
Sep 2007
European pension funds shouldn’t panic in the face of recent economic unrest, experts have warned, although volatility, if it continues, is likely to create some odd results

Dutch financial confidence knocked by sub-prime crisis
Sep 2007
Financial stability in the Netherlands is less favourable than it was six months ago, according to the DNB’s most recent assessment of the region

Swiss rate decision sparks divide
Sep 2007
The Swiss government has announced plans to raise the minimum rate pension funds must credit to paid-in savings to 2.75% from 1 January, in response to the strong average returns that pension funds have been experiencing in recent months

Swedish companies avoid the red
Sep 2007
Swedish pension companies were given favourable evaluations by The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, Finansinspektionen (FI), in the Q2 2007 traffic light report

Sweden's AP funds update
Sep 2007
Sweden’s AP1 – one of the buffer funds assigned by the Swedish Parliament to manage the Swedish people’s pension funds – has posted strong performance figures in both absolute and relative terms for the first half of 2007

CEE states show pensions promise
Aug 2007
A new report on Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries has revealed that there are deep structural reforms fuelling a 19% per annum increase in private pension assets

Solvency II one step closer
July 2007
A draft EU directive on Solvency II has been published to positive reactions from the industry.

Compulsion not the answer in Ireland
July 2007
Butchers, florists and hairdressers in Ireland would be more inclined to set up a pension if the monetary benefits were simplified in the current voluntary system rather than through the introduction of mandatory pensions, according to a new survey.

Investment Trust Companies set for VAT windfall
June 2007
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled in favour of the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) and JP Morgan Claverhouse Investment Trust in a decision which could lead to huge VAT rebates for Investment Trust Companies (ITCs) across the UK and could also have implications for pension funds.

Flexibility is way forward for pan-European pensions
June 2007
The European Financial Services Round Table (EFR) has issued a paper in which it advocates a framework for Pan-European voluntary pension savings providing more flexibility and choice than exists today – with proposals on how to overcome some of the obstacles it currently faces.

European team set up to handle risk issues
June 2007
Mercer Human Resource Consulting has set up a specialist European Financial Strategy Group to address the demand for integrated, multi-disciplinary services in pensions risk management.

Pension reform leads to pension cuts across Europe
June 2007
Pension reforms in Europe and across the globe have resulted in a significant reduction in pension promises, a new study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has indicated.

ABN AMRO takeover battle rages on
June 2007
Bank of America has said a Dutch court’s decision to block its $21 billion purchase of LaSalle Bank was “shocking” in its speed, in the latest episode of the heated battle over Dutch bank ABN AMRO.

Leading Dutch funds allocate €500m to clean technology
June 2007
ABP and PGGM have re-inforced their commitment to sustainable investment with a joint mandate to invest in innovative, clean technology. The two largest pension funds in the Netherlands have appointed AlpInvest* to invest €500 million in innovative, clean technology in one of the largest mandates ever to be placed on the international private equity market.

Italian firms make pensions a priority
June 2007
Eight out of ten Italian companies have said that company pension provision is central to their employee benefit and total reward policy, following recent legislation that removes some of the previous constraints on company pension provision.

G-REITs open up German market
June 2007
The German Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is finally on the market, following the German President Horst Köhler’s signing of the G-REIT law at the end of May.

Aegon enhances CEE prescence
May 2007
AEGON has made further moves to bolster its presence in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) marketplace.

ABN Amro merger update
April 2007
A Dutch court will rule on Thursday whether or not to freeze ABN AMRO’s $21bn sale of US subsidiary LaSalle to Bank of America, according to reports in The Wall Street Journal, a decision which is likely to impact the agreed £45bn merger deal between ABN AMRO and Barclays

Dutch funds respond to SRI embarrassment
April 2007
Dutch pension funds have been shamed into smartening up their investment decisions after a current affairs TV programme in the Netherlands revealed that two of the largest funds were investing in US firms that produce cluster bombs and landmines

Governing bodies more comfortable with hedge fund investing
April 2007
Institutional investors are showing increased confidence in investing in hedge funds although there are ongoing concerns about risk management, accurate valuations and high fees, a new study
has found

Friends Provident targets Germany
April 2007
UK life and pensions provider Friends Provident has entered the German market as part of a long-term development of business in continental Europe

Hewitt boosts European foothold
April 2007
Hewitt Associates has enhanced its European presence by opening offices in both Russia and Italy in the last six weeks

UK pensions deficits hit low
April 2007
Pension deficits have hit a five year low and 25% of FTSE 100 companies are now in surplus following a three-month rollercoaster ride at the beginning of 2007 new analysis by UK actuarial firm Deloitte has found

Dutch fund returns down says WM
April 2007
Average returns for Dutch Pension funds in 2006 halved - from 14.8% in 2005 to 7.4% in 2006 – according to new performance figures by WM Performance Services (WM)

Mandate round-up:
Hewitt appointed to assist Belgian construction scheme

March / April 2007
The Belgian construction sector has appointed Hewitt Associates to help develop the administration of its pension scheme, “pensioB”