Serious barriers to long-term investment do seem to exist, and governments around the world need to do something to remove them, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has warned.Data in the latest OECD report on pension funds’ long-term investments clearly show evidence the pension fund managers have a strong interest in long-term investment, the organisation said.But the level of such investment is still low and on average stable, it said.The report surveyed 86 large pension funds and public pension reserve funds in more than 35 countries, managing nearly $10trn (€7.3trn) in all – more than one-third of total assets held by this type of investor worldwide. The average allocation to alternatives increased between 2010 and 2012 to 15.6% of total portfolios from 14.4%, while exposure to fixed income and cash rose to 56.1% from 53.4%. Equities allocations fell on average to 28.3% from 32.2%, according to the report.As a proportion of total assets under management for the complete survey, infrastructure investment in the form of unlisted equity and debt was just 0.9% or $72.1bn in 2012, the OECD said.The report said: “This year’s survey yet again reveals a low level of investment in infrastructure on average among the surveyed funds, despite evidence of a growing interest by pension fund managers.“This seems to confirm the importance of barriers and disincentives that limit such investments and the relevance and need for policymakers to address them.”One barrier to long-term investment is the lack of clear definitions, it said.Although pension funds do have data on their long-term investment – and infrastructure investment in particular – methodologies and definitions used to classify such investments differ, making comparisons difficult, the OECD said.“There is clearly a need to standardise definitions and classifications to facilitate international monitoring of long-term investment,” it said in its report.These definitions are vital not only for investors but also for regulators and other policymakers to develop appropriate regulation, it said.The absence of objective, high-quality data on infrastructure investments makes it hard for investors to assess investment risks and understand correlations with the returns of other assets, it said.The OECD also underlined the need for pooled infrastructure investment vehicles for smaller institutional investors.It said its set of high-level principles for long-term investment, which G20 leaders endorsed at last month’s St Petersburg summit, give several directions on facilitating such investment.Further work will identify effective approaches to take, it said.Governments have already taken some steps to tackle some of the problems, the report noted.The UK government has a policy to attract £20bn (€24bn) of institutional investment into infrastructure and has been talking to investors, while at the EU level, the ‘Project Bonds Initiative’ approved in May 2012 aims to finance infrastructure projects in Europe using the capital markets.And recent G20 meetings have recognised the urgent need to deepen and broaden capital markets so developing countries can use their own financial resources and attract capital from abroad, the OECD said.
Part of the GPFG’s investment income can be used to help fund government spending.There is a fiscal rule, the so-called 4% rule, which stipulates that the structural mainland budget deficit – the central government deficit excluding petroleum revenues – should, over time, be equivalent to 4% of the value of the GPFG at the end of the year prior to the budget year.The figure of 4% is used because it was estimated to be the real rate of return the fund could expect in the long run.But the report says the average return from 1997 up to late 2013 has been only 3.25%.It goes on to say: “Under the previous government’s policy of maintaining the average level of taxation unchanged, rising GPFG revenue has been used to fund increasing levels of public expenditure.“This keeps the burden of taxation at relatively high levels, likely to induce distortions and inefficiencies in private sector behaviour.”It then recommends: “Levels of taxation could be reduced over time, especially if public spending efficiency were improved. Stronger impact evaluations and cost-benefit analyses could help raise efficiency.”The new government is considering establishing an independent efficiency unit for the public sector with a remit to audit cost-benefit analyses.However, the previous Economic Survey in 2012 suggested creating a more powerful cross-ministry agency to monitor such impact evaluations and cost-benefit analyses.Siv Jensen, Norway’s minister of finance, said: “The OECD’s recommendations are in line with our efforts to increase efficiency in public spending.“In this way, we can make room for a gradual reduction in the level of taxation.“By lowering taxes, we allow the economy to work more efficiently and release more of its growth potential.”He also said the country’s 2014 Budget introduced “growth-enhancing” tax cuts and redirected spending towards investments in infrastructure and knowledge. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has warned Norway that spending down income from its national pension fund is hampering much-needed fiscal reforms.The comments came in the OECD’s latest economic survey of Norway.Norway’s fiscal policy works within guidelines for the use of revenue from oil and gas production.All government revenues from oil and gas production are paid into the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG).
ABP, Cardano, William Blair, Jupiter Asset ManagementABP – Xander den Uyl and Conchita Mulder have been appointed to the board of the €344bn Dutch civil service pension scheme, as of 1 April. Den Uyl was previously a trustee and vice-chairman until 2013. He is currently vice-chairman at PWRI. Between 2004 and 2010, Den Uyl was general secretary of the large civil service union AbvaKabo FNV. Mulder is a registered controller and was a board member of the pension fund of telecoms firm KPN between 2004 and 2009. The accountability body (VO) nominated both candidates. The ABP board now consists of Corien Wortmann-Kool (independent chair) and employer representatives Cees de Veer (vice-chairman), Mariette Doornekamp, Carel van Eykelenburg, Erik van Houwelingen and Joop van Lunteren. Jose Meijer (vice-chair), René van de Kieft, Willem Jelle Berg, Ton Rolvink, Mulder and Den Uyl represent employees.Cardano – Michaël De Lathauwer has been appointed co-chief executive at the Dutch fiduciary manager, alongside Theo Kocken, who founded the company. De Lathauwer joined Cardano in 2013, arriving after a 23-year stint at Goldman Sachs, where he ended his tenure as head of the pension and insurance solutions group. De Lathauwer will focus on business and solutions development, with Kocken on research and future pension scheme design. Alongside Harold Naus, chief executive at Cardano NL, and Kerrin Rosenberg, chief executive at Cardano UK, they will comprise the senior management team.William Blair – Gordon Strachan has been appointed senior client relations manager for the US asset manager to liaise with clients in the UK, the Netherlands, the Nordic region, France and the Middle East. Strachan joins from Fidelity Worldwide Investment, where he was a relationship director. Prior to that, he worked at Axa Rosenberg and Rothschild Asset Management. Jupiter Asset Management – Ian McVeigh is now head of governance at the UK-based asset manager, moving away from the day-to-day management of the firm’s flagship UK Growth Fund. McVeigh has been running the fund alongside Steve Davies, who will now assume full control of the fund. In his new role, McVeigh, who joined Jupiter in 2003, will now lead the firm’s approach to engagement and its stewardship and investment work.
However, while insurance companies can perfectly match pensioner liabilities in DB schemes, this is not possible for deferred and younger members where the liability is impossible to determine.This results in the insurance company needing to hold more capital for such liabilities.Insurers are currently negotiating with the PRA as to exactly how much capital should be required for each type of liability, based on their own capital and investment structures, with final determinations expected next month.The resulting system would see different capital requirements imposed on each insurer for the same liabilities based on how these are matched by investments.Melcer said the 10% was slightly “finger in the air” but that business written in 2016 would certainly be more costly to pension schemes than 2015.“There will be a range of outcomes depending on the insurer so the extent of cost increases will vary among providers,” he said. “The 10% is based on the insurance companies not adapting to the new environment.”Hymans Robertson partner James Mullins, said the 10% figure was an exaggeration, but accepted that prices could certainly rise at the start of 2016.“Insurers have been pricing for Solvency II for some time now. Pricing will change, but not a steep change to [10%],” he said.Mullins also suggested Solvency II, and the risk of higher pricing early in 2016, would see a boom in business towards the end of this year.“Some insurers have been quiet [on buyouts] waiting for Solvency II requirements to be signed off, so there could be a rush before it comes into play because of the 16-year rule,” he said.Charlie Finch, partner at consultancy LCP, also declared the 10% estimate was an over-exaggeration, but again agreed the start of 2016 could be more expensive.“Insurance companies will work on updating models over time to remove the consequences of new capital requirements.“Trustees probably shouldn’t buy in January or February but over time the pricing will not make a difference,” he said.Competition is also expected to impact the buyout market, as new entrants join the bulk annuities market.Scottish Widows is set to begin tendering for deals this month but will focus on pensioner buy-ins in the short-term, and assess buyouts by mid-2016.While buyout pricing could rise, insurance buy-ins, where the scheme exchanges assets for an insurance contract, will not as they are easily matched under Solvency II. Insurance companies could raise bulk annuity buyout pricing as deferred members will demand higher capital reserves under Solvency II, consultants warn.PwC suggested a “worst case scenario” of the cost of a buyout, where the insurance company takes on all liabilities of a defined benefit (DB) pension scheme, rising by 10% in 2016.However, pensions director and buyout adviser, Jerome Melcer, said this was a rough estimate based on a combination of stringent capital requirements by the UK’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), unfavourable discount rates, and a high average liability duration.The issue stems from revised capital requirements under Solvency II coming into effect from 2016, meaning all business written in 2015 would be cheaper for insurers, with regulations allowing for a transitional period of 16 years for old liabilities to be covered under the new regime.
It also argued that the FTT would significantly reduce hedging activities of Europe’s pension funds and companies, as well as increase the cost of capital for FTT-zone issuers.“FTT-zone member states,” it said, “would become less attractive, and the movement of capital – particularly between the FTT-zone and the rest of the EU – would be impaired.”As such, PensionsEurope said the tax should be withdrawn, or that pension funds be exempt from its scope.“There is a contradiction,” it said, “if the Commission explicitly intends to promote supplementary pensions on the one hand, and some member states introduce a new tax also applicable for pension institutions on the other hand, as the FTT would have a negative impact on these pensions.“In addition, introducing an FTT will be not in line with the Commission recommendation on EET taxation for supplementary pensions. The FTT should not unjustifiably punish pension funds.”The industry group contested claims the FTT would only have a small effect on occupational pensions, given their long-term horizons.“This is due to their increasing risk-management needs – overlay structures or hedging, for example – and prudential requirements,” it said. “The pending IORP II proposal aims to increase the risk-management requirements for IORPs.”It further argued that pension funds will need to use financial instruments increasingly to comply with these rules, including OTC derivatives, “which play an important role in risk management”.PensionsEurope said the negative effects of the FTT would be likely to prevent pension funds from employing some strategies.“Pension funds use OTC derivative contracts for risk-management purposes, to manage their risks in their balance sheet and liabilities by hedging their interest rate, inflation or currency risks, among others” it said.“The IORP Directive explicitly allows pension funds to use derivatives for mitigating investment risks and for efficient portfolio management. The FTT would make this more expensive and thus in practice limit the ability of pension funds to hedge risks.”Due to volatility on financial markets, the “limits” of strategic asset allocation are often reached, it added, necessitating financial transactions for the purpose of rebalancing.It pointed out that, even if pension funds were exempt from the FTT, the tax would still affect them due to the “cascading effect”.“For these reasons,” it said, “PensionsEurope calls on the 11 member states participating in the enhanced cooperation on the FTT to withdraw the initiative.”The controversial tax, which would levy 10 basis points on debt and equity transactions and 1bps on those involving derivatives, was first mooted in Brussels more than three years ago.In May 2013, the UK challenged the tax, which will not be levied within the country, arguing that it would still affect the City of London’s activities.In April 2014, however, the European Court of Justice dismissed the case. PensionsEurope has reiterated its opposition to the proposed European financial transaction tax (FTT), arguing that it would be “counter-productive” to efforts to “get Europe growing again, foster investments and create jobs”.In a position paper on the negative effects of the FTT, the industry group said it supported both the Capital Markets Union initiative and the Better Regulation agenda but repeated its assessment that the so-called Tobin tax would ultimately hurt pension savers.“The FTT is widely known as a tax on financial services,” it said. “That is a misapprehension – it actually is a tax on savings and retirement incomes. The FTT will ultimately be paid by pension funds’ members and beneficiaries.”It said the tax, as currently negotiated, would increase the costs, lower the returns and reduce the efficiency of pension funds’ investment strategies.
Newton is also set to run a global equity fund to be launched in the New Year, while Majedie Asset Management will run the CIV’s first UK equity fund, also to be launched in early 2017.Grover said he was “optimistic” of launching a fourth global equity fund, run by London-based boutique Longview Partners, in the near future.On top of these launches, CIO Julian Pendock and the CIV’s investment team have been assessing more than 200 submissions for other global equity mandates, Grover added.Up to nine managers are in talks about launching equity sub-funds later in 2017 as a result of the assessment process, including companies with emerging market or sustainability tilts, as well as “early stage” managers.In an announcement on its website, the London CIV said: “We anticipate being in a position to offer new dedicated global equity strategies for three products in the first half of 2017, with further strategies being opened in the autumn and winter as demand arises.“The strategies will offer [pensions] greater choice and the opportunity to diversify further should they choose to do so.”The CIV’s investment team fixed income research is planned to dovetail with triennial valuations for LGPS funds and subsequent asset allocation and strategy reviews.The CIV said: “We have held a number of meetings over the last few months encouraging investment managers to take a more holistic approach to income generation as funds become increasingly more mature and pension fund cashflows turn negative.”The London CIV is designed to pool assets across the UK capital’s 33 public pension funds.In almost exactly a year since the launch of the first sub-fund – a global equity mandate run by Allianz Global Investors – a further four equity and multi-asset sub-funds have been launched.Finally, Grover said he and the CIV’s investment advisory committee would be “advocating for change” as the Financial Conduct Authority seeks to implement Mifid II.Under the current wording, local authorities are to be reclassified as “retail investors”, which would significantly restrict the range of investments they could use.Grover said he would lobby for LGPS funds to remain as professional investors “as the proposed criteria don’t work”. The London CIV is to launch a multi-asset sub-fund in December ahead of a range of UK and global equity mandates in the next few months.The local government pension scheme (LGPS) pool has also begun research into fixed income mandates, according to announcements posted on its website yesterday.Newton Investment Management will run the multi-asset sub-fund, which will be a version of its £9.8bn (€11.5bn) Real Return fund.It will launch on 16 December, and initial investments will bring the pool’s assets to £3bn by Christmas, according to chief executive Hugh Grover.
One of the Commission’s proposals was to introduce a new funding system for the ESAs to ensure their resources were commensurate with the new tasks they were being assigned.The new funding system would involve scaling back funding from the public sector, to be replaced by industry contributions.It is unclear how these contributions would be determined. The Commission has proposed that they be “fair and proportionate” to the benefit that each contributor draws from the work of the ESAs.“Concretely, each subsector will have to bear the costs of the work carried out by the ESAs in relation to that sector,” said the Commission. “Within the sector, contributions will be distributed according to the size, reflecting the importance of financial firms.”James Walsh, EU and international policy lead at the UK’s occupational pension scheme trade body, noted that giving EIOPA the power to raise a levy had been on the agenda for some time.“It looks like we’re there,” he told IPE.Much was still unclear, he said, pointing to the language about industry contributions being linked to the extent institutions benefit from EIOPA’s supervision.This raised the question of whether a levy would only apply to institutions operating cross-border pension schemes, or apply proportionate to the extent such an institution ran a cross-border scheme.“We simply don’t know yet,” said Walsh, adding that there would be a delegated act and therefore future legislation on this.What was clear, however, according to Walsh, was contributions currently paid by national supervisory authorities would be replaced by new industry contributions.“This does suggest all UK schemes would be paying to EIOPA,” he said. The implications of the UK exiting the European Union were another “unknown” in relation to the EC’s proposals for UK pension funds, he added.The Commission said the proposals did not necessarily mean there would be a higher burden on the financial sector.“As industry contributions are being introduced, the contributions by national supervisors – in many cases also financed by the financial sector – will be reduced to zero,” it said. “Moreover, contributions will be collected by national authorities, who may where applicable use existing collection systems.”The next step for the Commission’s ESA reform proposals is for them to be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council. Other aspects of the proposals include changing the ESAs’ governance structures by introducing independent executive boards, giving ESA stakeholders a stronger say in the guidelines and recommendations issued by the supervisory authorities, and EIOPA being tasked with setting EU-wide priorities for supervision in the form of a strategic supervisory plan against which national supervisors would be assessed. The Commission has also proposed a greater ESG role for the authorities. The European supervisory authority for occupational pensions could be given the power to raise a levy on pension schemes, according to proposals presented by the European Commission (EC) today.The measure is part of a package of proposals for reform of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs), of which the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) is one.The overall thrust of the reform proposals is to further strengthen and integrate EU financial markets supervision. It provides for stronger powers for the ESAs in general, and new ones for the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), which looks after the financial system as a whole and coordinates EU policies for financial stability.“This proposal is a first concrete step towards the establishment of a single capital markets supervisor and towards completing the Financial Union (comprising the Banking Union and the Capital Markets Union) by 2019 to guarantee the integrity of the euro,” said the Commission.
She said there remained “significant pockets” of poor governance despite years of work on trustee training and support from TPR and other bodies. As a result, Frobisher said the regulator would be “tougher” on governance standards in the future.“We do understand that one of the outcomes of that might be that we lose some trustees,” Frobisher said. “There might be some trustees who are not willing or able to reach those standards because they don’t have the resources, they don’t have the skills, or they don’t have the time.”In such a situation, she said, the regulator would be interested in proposals for consolidation of schemes to improve overall governance. Frobisher was speaking at an event to launch the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association’s report into its “superfunds” consolidation proposal.Active pension membership numbers soarAuto-enrolment helped push the number of people actively saving in an occupational pension scheme in the UK to an all-time high by the end of 2016, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).There were 7.7m people in private sector schemes at the end of last year, the ONS reported, up by 40% from the end of 2015. Including public sector schemes, total active membership reached 13.5m.Private sector defined contribution membership rose to 6.4m at the end of 2016, double the figure from two years previous. In contrast, membership of private sector defined benefit (DB) schemes fell to 1.3m, from 1.6m a year earlier. Of this, just half a million people were in DB schemes still open to new members or accrual. The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has hinted that some trustees could be forced out of their roles if they do not meet minimum governance standards.Fiona Frobisher, head of policy at TPR, said the regulator aimed to become “clearer, quicker, tougher”, particularly regarding governance standards.However, one result of the new approach “might be that we lose some trustees”, she warned.“We are going to put a lot of emphasis over the next few years on what we can do to improve standards of governance, because we know they are not as good as they should be,” Frobisher said. “This is not because we are trying to raise the bar to a higher standard. This is because there are lots of schemes that are not meeting the standard that’s required.” Source: ONSThe figures coincided with the fifth anniversary of the launch of the UK’s auto-enrolment regime.Chris Noon, partner at Hymans Robertson, said: “Auto-enrolment has clearly been a success in increasing the number of people saving for retirement. The challenge now is to ensure that we don’t see significant numbers opting out over the next couple of years as minimum contributions increase to 8% of pay in April 2019.“Even if we can avoid high levels of opt-out, at 8% of pay, minimum contributions will not be sufficient to provide adequate incomes in retirement. Ideally, we need to see overall saving rates in excess of 15% of pay and begin to set expectations of working lifetimes.” PPF cuts annual scheme levyThe Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has cut by 10% the total levy it will charge UK DB schemes in the 2018-19 financial year. In aggregate schemes will be billed £550m (€623m).David Taylor, general counsel at the PPF, said: “While the risks we face are significant, we’re in a strong financial position and we’re still on track to meet our long-term funding target. As a result, we’ve been able to set a levy estimate for 2018-19 that is 10 per cent lower than last year. In doing so we have, as always, sought to recognise levy payers’ desire to limit costs while maintaining an appropriate level of protection given the risks we face.”The PPF also launched a consultation on “a small number of additional proposals” surrounding the levy calculations.“Collectively these changes will improve the risk reflectiveness of the levy,” the PPF said in a statement. “If these rules were in place now around two in three schemes would have seen a lower 2017-18 levy, with around one in five schemes seeing an increase. SMEs would have seen an aggregate fall in levy of around a third.”However, consultancy LCP warned that some of the UK’s biggest companies could see an increase in the amount they pay to the lifeboat scheme. Larger companies without a credit rating were expected to see higher bills as part of a number of changes to the PPF’s levy rules.LCP said the changes would “result in various winners and losers across the spectrum of sponsoring employers” depending on their circumstances.
Source: Policy ExchangeXavier RoletCQS – Credit specialist manager CQS has appointed former London Stock Exchange CEO Xavier Rolet as its new chief executive, effective 14 January. The appointment is subject to regulatory approval.Rolet succeeds Sir Michael Hintze, founder of CQS, who will continue to lead the firm’s investment operations as senior investment officer, as well as continuing as executive chairman.Sir Michael said Rolet “has the experience and has demonstrated he knows how to build financial services businesses”, describing him as “a man of great integrity and one of the best CEOs I know”.Rolet added: “CQS has a strong platform from which to grow. It has a great brand, investment management platform and talented people. I am very much looking forward to working with our teams to grow the firm in a rapidly changing environment for investment management.”FCLT – The CEOs of Nuveen Investments, Kempen Capital Management and Schroders have joined the board of Focusing Capital for the Long Term (FCLT), the not-for-profit organisation working to encourage a longer-term focus in business and investment decision-making. Vijay Advani of Nuveen, Leni Boeren of Kempen and Schroders’ Peter Harrison were selected, as were three business representatives. Else Bos, chair of prudential supervision at the Dutch central bank and former chief executive of PGGM, is one of three inaugural members of FCLTGlobal’s board of directors to have stepped down, although she and the others remain involved in their capacity as strategic advisers. BBC Pension Trust, Legal & General, CQS, FCLT, CalPERS, Aargauische Pensionskasse, Centraal Beheer, Pensioenfonds Xerox, Metro Pensioenfonds, Telegraaf Pensioenfonds, Pantheon, Merian Global Investors, SEI, Amundi, M&G, Willis Towers Watson, Franklin Templeton, Newton Investment Management, Munich Re, JP Morgan Asset Management, Principles for Responsible Investment, EurosifBBC Pension Trust – Former BT Pension Scheme (BTPS) chief executive Eileen Haughey has joined the board of trustees of the BBC’s £16bn (€17.7bn) pension fund as an independent trustee.Haughey stepped down last year after five years at BTPS, the UK’s largest corporate pension fund. She was previously CEO of ICI Pension Funds, and has also worked for Deloitte, Marks & Spencer and Andersen in a variety of pensions, corporate finance and tax roles.Catherine Claydon, independent chair of the BBC Pension Trust, said: “Eileen has a wealth of relevant experience in pensions and corporate finance and we are very pleased that she is joining the board as an independent trustee. The role of these trustees is important in ensuring that the whole board continues to govern the scheme with a professional and independent approach.” Legal & General – The UK listed financial services giant has appointed Joanne Segars to the independent governance committee (IGC) of its defined contribution pension offerings. The IGC oversees the workplace and mature savings pension schemes operated by Legal & General (L&G), which currently have roughly £20bn in assets collectively. Segars has taken up a number of board positions since leaving UK pensions trade body the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association in 2017 after more than 10 years as its chief executive. Among her current non-executive roles are chair of the board of LGPS Central, trustee director at NOW: Pensions, and a member of the policy council at the Pensions Policy Institute.She has also previously chaired the boards of the Pensions Infrastructure Platform, Pensions Europe, and the Environment Agency Pension Fund. Elisabeth BourquiCalPERS – Elisabeth Bourqui has resigned from the giant US pension fund after less than eight months as chief operating investment officer. She moved to the US from Switzerland last year, having previously led ABB’s global pension operations.A spokeswoman for CalPERS confirmed Bourqui’s resignation but declined to provide further details.Aargauische Pensionskasse (APK) – Frank Meisinger has been named the new head of pensions and a member of the executive board at the public sector pension fund for the Swiss canton of Aargau. Meisinger took up the position on 10 December, succeeding Alain Siegfried. According to his LinkedIn profile, Meisinger was previously at Aon Hewitt. Centraal Beheer APF – Jeroen van der Put has started as board member for investment and client relations at the general pension fund Centraal Beheer APF. Last year, he left as director of Media Pensioendiensten, the provider and asset manager for the €6bn sector scheme PNO Media. He is also a trustee at the €8.5bn pension fund PostNL as well as chairman of the risk management committee of the Dutch Pensions Federation.Pensioenfonds Xerox – Paul van Aalst is the new chairman of the investment committee of the €870m Dutch pension fund of Xerox. Van Aalst, who joined the committee as a member in 2004, is founder of and partner at Strategeon Investment Consultancy. He is also a trustee and chair of the investment committees at the pension funds Grontmij and Wolters Kluwer.Metro Pensioenfonds – Ard Jansen and Edwin Helwerda have been named as new board members of the €580m Pensioenfonds Metro, representing workers and employers, respectively. Jansen is risk manager and head controller at Makro Nederland. Helwerda is a specialist for compensation and benefits at the same company.Telegraaf Pensioenfonds – Arne Mulder has been nominated as candidate board member on behalf of the sponsor at the €1.2bn pension fund for daily newspaper De Telegraaf. He is to succeed Monique Visser-Moos, who left last year. Mulder is business process manager at TMG. Pantheon – The $42bn (€36.4bn) alternatives manager has opened a Dublin office and appointed five staff to run its Irish operations. The office will be the official investment manager for Pantheon’s Luxembourg-domiciled funds.Stephen Branagan has been appointed to lead the team as CEO and head of Ireland. He joined the company last year from Farmgas Community Partners. In addition, Maeve Kelly has joined from Cantor Fitzgerald as head of compliance, Laura Kilduff has moved from HSBC Ireland to become operational risk manager and chief risk officer, while Sinead McQuaid has joined from Goldman Sachs as senior fund accountant. Naomi Daly will chair Pantheon Ireland’s board.Merian Global Investors – Richard Buxton has stepped down as CEO of Merian Global Investors to focus on his fund management responsibilities. Buxton led a management buyout of the asset management arm of Old Mutual Global Investors last year, rebranding it as Merian in the autumn.Mark Gregory has been appointed as the €38.6bn asset manager’s CEO, subject to regulatory approval. Buxton remains a major shareholder in the company, as well as its head of equities.Gregory, a former chief financial officer for Legal & General, joined Merian’s board in October 2018 as an independent non-executive director.SEI – Katherine Lynas has joined the fiduciary management specialist as head of alternative lead generation and defined benefit consultant relations, tasked with managing SEI’s relationships with UK consultants and building relationships with “key influencers” in the fiduciary market. Lynas was previously head of operations at XPS Investment, following four years as head of manager research at Punter Southall before its merger with Xafinity in 2017. She has also worked at Camradata Analytical Services as director of research and consulting.Amundi – Kasper Elmgreen has joined from Nordea Asset Management as head of Amundi’s equity investment platform, based in Dublin. At Nordea, Elmgreen was head of fundamental equities, and he has also worked for Bankinvest Asset Management. In his new role, he will oversee volatility, convertible bonds, Japanese equity, and global equity strategies, with a particular focus on European equity.M&G Investments – Ingo Matthey has been appointed as M&G’s head of institutional business development for Germany, a newly created role. He has been tasked with “developing and expanding client relationships with insurance companies, pension funds and corporates in Germany”. Matthey was previously a sales director at Wells Fargo, overseeing the company’s business in Germany and Austria.Werner Kolitsch, head of M&G for Germany and Austria, said: “With Ingo Matthey we are gaining a proven sales professional and expert in institutional asset management for our German sales team. His profound expertise in the field of alternative investments and illiquid strategies and his many years of experience and excellent networking will help us to effectively expand our institutional business in Germany.”Willis Towers Watson – The consultancy firm has appointed Costas Yiasoumi as a senior director in its pension de-risking transaction business as advisers and insurers continue to prepare for an expected bumper year of transactions. Willis Towers Watson believes as much as £30bn of new transactions could be completed in 2019.Yiasoumi joins from Legal & General where he was head of core business, focusing on the buy-in and buyout market. Prior to this he held senior roles at Partnership Assurance, SwissRe, JPMorgan and Mercer, where he led the UK bulk annuity team.Franklin Templeton Investments – George Szemere has been appointed head of alternative sales for the EMEA region, responsible for distribution of the US asset manager’s private equity, hedge, commodities, real estate, infrastructure and venture capital offerings.He joins from Columbia Threadneedle where he was most recently head of liquid alternatives and global strategic relations for EMEA. He has also worked for ABN Amro Asset Management and Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Newton Investment Management – The £51.8bn UK-based asset manager has appointed Jin Philips as head of strategic relationships for the EMEA region. It is her second spell at Newton, having previously worked at the company between 2008 and 2013, latterly as co-head of North America.Philips joins from SecureInsights, a management consultancy, where she was a consultant. She has also worked for IDSS Holdings, Barclays Global Investors and Cambridge Associates.Robeco – Rotterdam-based asset manager Robeco has appointed Jamie Stuttard as co-head of its global fixed income macro team. In addition, Regina Borromeo has joined the team as a portfolio manager to focus on top-down credit allocation strategies within Robeco’s total return funds..Stuttard previously worked at HSBC in London as head of European and US credit strategy. He has also held several senior fixed income positions at Fidelity, Schroders and PIMCO. Borromeo joined from Brandywine Global Investment Management in London, where she was head of international high yield. Munich Re/JP Morgan – Reinsurer Munich Re has hired Nick Gartside as chief investment officer, starting on 18 March. He joins from JP Morgan Asset Management where he is international CIO for fixed income, currency and commodities. He has also led the fixed income operations at Schroders.Joachim Wenning, chairman of Munich Re’s management board, said centralising its asset management operations was “an essential pre-requisite” to improving the risk-return profile of the companies investment portfolio.Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) – The PRI has appointed five new signatory representatives to its private equity advisory committee, to replace five that have stepped down, effective this month. The committee advises the PRI on the strategy and execution of the private equity programme. The new members are: Scott Zdrazil, senior investment officer at LACERA, a US public sector pension fund; Jennifer Signori, senior vice president in ESG and impact investing at Neuberger Berman; Ignacio Sarria, managing director at New Mountain Capital; Stéphane Villemain, director of responsible investment at Canadian pension fund PSP; and Silva Dezelan, sustainability director at Robeco.Luxembourg Stock Exchange – Flavia Micilotta left Eurosif a few days ago to become the director of Luxembourg Green Exchange, Luxembourg Stock Exchange’s sustainable development platform. Micilotta was the European sustainable investment forum’s executive director, having joined Eurosif in December 2015 from the Brussels-based Foreign Trade Association. Micilotta introduced her last Eurosif newsletter as the organisation’s executive director on 4 January.
Last purchased in 2004 for $542,000, the real estate agent owner of a Wavell Heights home will buy locally again after the auction sale of 57 Highcrest Ave at 9am yesterday.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus16 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market16 hours agoRay White Albion principal David Treloar said three of four registered bidders put their hand up to buy the property as about 60 people watched on.He said it sold for $880,000 to a couple who had just moved to Brisbane.“They’re currently renting in Kedron after recently moving to Brisbane,” Mr Treloar said.Another Grange property almost hit the million dollar mark when it sold at its 9am auction yesterday for $990,000. The pool and entertaining zones at 91 Jean St, Grange.McGrath Estate Agents Wilson sales agent Craig Lea said about 70 people watched the property sell for $1,252,000.“Grange residents are extremely curious and somewhat nosy,” Mr Lea said.“We did have the coffee van there, so they were all having a free latte on the grass.”He said four of the six registered bidders vied to buy, but in the end it sold to a Gen X couple who were in attendance with their family.“Their folks were there and they were getting very involved with bidding as well in terms of direction — it was a family affair,” he said.According to CoreLogic the property last sold in 2016 for $1,050,000, and Mr Lea said the sale was a great example of the uplift in Grange over the past couple of years.“Since they’ve owned it, they’ve kept up the maintenance and freshened the house up for sale with paint and staging, they haven’t really made a lot of changes.” The renovated home at 39 Alcester St, Grange sold for $990,000.Place Newmarket sales consultant Ross Armstrong said about 40 people watched on as two of three registered bidders contested to buy 39 Alcester St.“It’s a beautiful aspect backing on to the parkland and just a nice up and coming pocket of Grange,” Mr Armstrong said.He said the vendor would move to the Gold Coast hinterland as a result of the sale and the young professional couple who purchased the home had plans to move in.According to CoreLogic the vendor purchased the property in May 2014 for $585,000, which had since undergone significant renovations. >>FOLLOW EMILY BLACK ON TWITTER<< AUCTION ACTION: 91 Jean St, Grange sold under the hammer for $1.252 million.MORE than $3 million in property sold before the clock turned to 10am yesterday.A Grange family can now fulfil their dream of moving to the country after the hammer fell on their property at 91 Jean St at 9am. The home at 25 Sunrise St, was presented to the market the first time in 36 years and sold for $1,010,000.Mr Armstrong said he also sold 25 Sunrise St, Ashgrove at its 11am auction for $1,010,000 million.He said a young family would move in and renovate.According to CoreLogic, it was the first time the property had been offered to the market since the vendor purchased it in 1982 for just $47,000.