IPE Top 400: SEB Wealth Management takes top spot in Nordic region

first_imgSweden’s SEB Wealth Management has moved up IPE’s global ranking of the 2014 Top 400 Asset Managers survey to take 69th place, rising from number 72 the year before, and remained the top Nordic asset manager in terms of assets. Within Sweden, SEB Wealth Management increased its lead as the country’s number one asset manager in 2014, with assets rising last year to €158bn from €143.1bn. Swedbank Robur again took second place in Sweden in terms of assets under management (AUM), with assets rising last year to €90bn from €87.9bn – although this rise in percentage terms was not as strong as others in the country’s top three.Handelsbanken Asset Management entered Sweden’s top three in 2014, just overtaking the pension provider AMF Pension, as its AUM grew rapidly last year to €50.6bn from €35.8bn.  31/12/13 (€m)31/12/12 (€m) SEB Wealth Management158,000143,063 Storebrand Asset Management57,81660,400 IPM Informed Portfolio Management5,3034,881 Evli Bank6,0005,400 Moritz Wendt, global head of institutional clients within SEB Wealth Management, told IPE: “We had a very good market last year and good net sales, with more business from existing clients, as well as business coming in from new clients.” He said underlying market appreciation had been one of the factors behind the asset manager’s business growth last year. Around 30% of the assets the company managed were in equities, he said, adding that prices on stock markets had increased at double-digit percentage rates in 2013, with the Nordic markets rising particularly rapidly. Wendt said last year had seen a lot of RFPs from institutional clients, adding that SEB Wealth Management had seen strong business growth momentum across different products. Growth is continuing at a faster pace this year, he said. “Right now, it’s looking better than last year,” he said. “At this point, we’re above net sales for the whole of 2013.” AMF Pension50,39738,881 Alfred Berg18,00018,200 Holberg Fondsforvaltning2,5652,413 Company2014 Total2013 Total 31/12/13 (€m)31/12/12 (€m) Meanwhile in Norway, AUM figures in the Top 400 survey were marked by last year’s sharp falls in the value of the Norwegian kroner on foreign exchanges. DNB Asset Management regained its 2012 number one ranking in terms of AUM, even though assets fell slightly last year in euro terms to €57.9bn from €59.4bn.  It narrowly overtook Storebrand Asset Management, which had been number one in the 2013 survey with €60.4bn, before AUM fell in euro terms to €57.8bn in the 2014 survey. KLP Kapitalforvaltning took third place in the ranking in Norway again, though AUM increased strongly during the last year to €43.8bn from €30.7bn. Torkild Varran, head of investments and wealth management at DNB AM, said factors behind the manager’s growth in AUM in kroner terms included the fact it had set up wealth management as a new area, which gathered private banking, defined contribution plans and asset management together. This benefited all these areas and increased the focus on the new business area overall, he said. “This development has also been strengthened by the ongoing change in the pension system in Norway from DB (defined benefit) to DC (defined contribution),” Varran said. Along with the rest of the industry, DNB AM is focusing on coping with new regulations that would increase costs, he said. “On the other side, we expect volumes will continue to increase, and we hope to further strengthen our position both domestically and abroad,” he said.   East Capital3,5203,875 Norway   Company2014 Total2013 Total Swedbank Robur90,00087,914 Pohjola Asset Management37,94032,700center_img A spokesman for Storebrand explained that the fall in assets under management in the league table was due to exchange rates. “Our AUM increased by 10% in Norwegian kroner in 2013, to NOK487bn from NOK442bn,” he said.“The reason for the decrease in assets under management in euro, is that the euro went from 7.3 kroner to 8.4 kroner in 2013.” Storebrand expects a moderate increase in assets under management in 2014, its spokesman said, with most of that growth coming from DC pensions in the private sector and pension funds from municipalities. “On the negative side,” he added, “we expect to have a decrease in AUM due to the winding up the defined-benefit pensions aimed at the public sector in Norway.”Among Finnish asset managers, the clear leader was once again Pohjola Asset Management, with assets increasing to €37.9bn by the end of December 2013 from €32.7bn a year before.  Finland   SKAGEN Funds15,31514,873 Folksam31,80030,157 Aktia7,0757,597 Sweden   KLP Kapitalforvaltning43,86830,742 Pareto Forvaltning5,000- LocalTapiola Asset Management9,1008,100 31/12/13 (€m)31/12/12 (€m) LocalTapiola Asset Management increased its AUM to €9.1bn by the end of last year, up from €8.1bn 12 months before, and took second position in the Top 400 ranking for the country. Aktia, with €7.1bn under management, came in at number three in Finland, despite a fall in assets from €7.6bn the year before. Company2014 Total2013 Total FIM Asset Management2,400- DNB Asset Management57,89859,386 Alandsbanken Asset Management1,6001,500 Handelsbanken Asset Management50,62135,800last_img read more

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Friday people roundup

first_imgNow Pensions, Schneider Electric, SEI, Credit Suisse, Syntrus Achmea, INREV, Milestone Group, BNP ParibasSchneider Electric – Jerry Gandhi, former COO at the UK’s Now Pensions, has been hired by French energy firm Schneider Electric to oversee its UK and Irish pension activities. Gandhi, who stood down as Now’s COO last summer, will now be in charge of the Invensys Pension Scheme, he told IPE. Prior to joining Now in 2011, Gandhi was group pensions director at RSA Insurance Group and in 1999 founded consultancy CAP Services. He also spent nearly a decade at Inchcape as group pensions director.SEI – Paul Nevin has been appointed director in SEI’s institutional group, based in London. He will be responsible for servicing defined benefit clients in the UK. He joins from Credit Suisse, where he was managing director of Structured Solutions. Before then, he worked at Towers Watson as a senior investment consultant.Syntrus Achmea Real Estate & Finance – Casper Hesp has been appointed head of the portfolio management team. He joins from the European Association for Investors in Non-Listed Real Estate Vehicles (INREV), where he worked for seven years and was director of research and market information for the past two years. He will focus on client portfolio management, institutional client relationships and business development. Milestone Group – Enrique Gonzalez has been appointed as head of product management for the APAC region. He joins from BNP Paribas, where he helped develop and expand the bank’s global custody offering. Before then, he held senior positions at JP Morgan, Citibank, Chase Manhattan Bank, State Street and Westpac Financial Services.last_img read more

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Do not trust adjusted company earnings, investors warned

first_imgAnalysing the 20 companies in the Swiss Market Index (SMI), the bank found that if these firms had been gradually writing down the value of goodwill, their net profits would have been 10% less than they actually been reported as being in 2013.But while the treatment of goodwill was transparent, the way adjusted profits were reported was out of control, it said in the paper.“Unlike the statutory profit figures, there are no set accounting rules governing the way adjusted earnings figures are reported,” it said, adding that this meant there were effectively no limits on how creative companies could be.Examples of items that could be included or excluded in the adjusted earnings figures were extraordinary income or expenses, extraordinary amortisation of tangible assets, foreign currency gains and losses and restructuring costs, it said.Data showed that 56% of EURO STOXX 50 companies had reported adjusted net profit in 2013 that was higher than the statutory equivalent, and for a further 20% there was no difference between the two types of reported profit.“This suggests that companies are also using the adjusted profits to conceal operating weaknesses or the negative aspects of an aggressive acquisition policy,” it said.These adjusted figures were then often pushed to the fore in press releases and presentations, it said.“Investors are therefore best advised to analyse not only the income statement but also the reported cash flow,” the paper went on.Since free cash flow could fluctuate widely from one year to the next, it made sense to assess it using cumulative figures over several years, the bank said. Investors should pay little attention to adjusted profit figures published by companies, as a large proportion of listed businesses seem to be using the method to make themselves look more profitable, according to Bank J. Safra Sarasin.In a paper on sustainable investment and governance in particular, the bank said that adjusted earnings figures were “tricky to compare”.“A better way to assess a company’s long-term performance is to look at the cumulative free cash flow figures reported over several years,” the paper said.It also said that because goodwill no longer had to be amortised on company balance sheets, starting in 2004, reported net profits had been higher since then.last_img read more

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UK regulator sets out three-year plan as budget doubles for auto-enrolment

first_imgThe Pensions Regulator (TPR) has set out its three-year plan and resource allowance until 2018 as the body plans a rapid jump in expenditure to cope with auto-enrolment.The UK body, generally funded through a levy on pension schemes, with state support for auto-enrolment, will spend £136.8m (€186m) on regulation in 2017-18 compared with just £62.6m the current year.However, while the regulator is set to increase expenditure down the line, it has reduced its planned expenditure for the coming 2015-16 year from £84.8m to £76m.The Brighton-based organisation also under-spent in the 2014-15 year, which ends this month, after making delays in staff recruitment due to “restructuring” last summer and over-estimating on provisions and contingencies for auto-enrolment. For 2015-16, the organisation will see its headcount increase from 452 to 499.However, the number currently being employed is significantly lower than its forecasts last year, which said it would employ 583 staff.Over the next year, the regulator said it would continue its focus on ensuring smaller companies complied with their auto-enrolment duties.However, it would also have a significant focus on revising its Defined Contribution (DC) Code.This is due to the regulator’s adapting to the Budget freedoms, which will see a shift in the way people access their pension savings at retirement, with compulsory annuitisation no longer applicable.It is also expecting to create the regulatory environment for the 75 basis point charge cap that will be in place for auto-enrolment default investment funds in trust-based DC schemes.TPR said it would also monitor the defined benefit (DB) to DC transfer market, which could see an increase in activity due to the Budget freedoms, and intervene where appropriate.Chief executive Lesley Titcomb said the organisation’s work would be dominated by the DC at-retirement market transformation, evolving scam models and risks within the DB market.“During a time of such significant change, it is important the regulator be seen as an authoritative, trusted voice within the pensions sector,” she said.“The corporate plan sets out how we will provide trustees, employers and advisers with the information they need to see these major changes through.“Where we take regulatory action, I want that to be transparent and for our actions to be understood.”TPR chairman Mark Boyle added: “It is vital we reach all our audiences, remain on top of market developments, anticipate future risks and work collaboratively with government departments and industry bodies to ensure the overall retirement system runs smoothly.”Over the next three years, the regulator will also implement its new DB Code of Funding that it created to implement a new statutory objective.The code was widely accepted among the UK industry and sees the implementation of a new, holistic, risk-based model of DB funding.In October last year, Boyle said TPR was working to create guidance for DB and DC trustees, and that it would assert its presence in the European regulatory agenda.last_img read more

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AP7 challenges car industry over inaction on emissions transparency

first_imgSweden’s AP7 has warned of a lack of transparency within the car industry, after several of the world’s largest manufacturers failed to disclose details of their lobbying efforts over emissions legislation.Ford, PSA Peugeot Citroën (PSA) and Renault/Nissan are alleged to have failed to engage with an investor group worth £625bn (€842bn), which in October wrote to 10 car manufacturers requesting they disclose their contribution to lobbying work undertaken by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (EAMA).The consortium – which includes three of the AP buffer funds, AP7, the UK’s Environment Agency Pension Fund and Finland’s Ilmarinen – did receive responses from seven companies, praising Toyota, Honda, General Motors and BMW for providing a “good degree” of information.But Charlotta Dawidowski Sydstrand, environmental, social and governance manager at AP7, said the lack of responses from several large companies revealed a problem within the industry. “From a long-term investor’s perspective, this is bad news,” she said. “Lack of transparency impairs the ability of the market to price risks properly.“AP7 wants to be reassured carmakers’ political lobbying activities are contributing to a safe climate, in turn protecting the long-term value of our portfolios.”Action by the coalition of investors came in the wake of Volkswagen’s admission last year that it used software to beat emissions tests.According to a statement released by ShareAction, the German car manufacturer responded to the coalition’s requests but “made no mention of the scandal and its implications in its response”.WHEB Group – which, alongside AXA Investment Managers, also supported the October letter – said the Volkswagen “debacle” had firmly established the importance of vehicle emissions, and that leading companies were capable of demonstrating “coherent” strategies.Seb Beloe, head of research at WHeB, added: “The lack of response from other companies including Nissan/Renault, Peugeot, Citroen and Ford raises real questions about the approach these companies are taking to this issue and potentially undermining their ability to maintain share in markets characterised by rapidly strengthening emission standards.”ShareAction, the UK charity that helped coordinate the letter, also noted that fellow German manufacturer Daimler only issued a one-line statement arguing there was “no reason to be concerned” by its involvement with the legislative process.The charity’s chief executive Catherine Howarth praised the asset owners backing the initial letter.“The investors that came together to question global automakers on their lobbying activities have done the wider market a service in helping identify those car makers that remain unwilling to come clean about this murky and increasingly risky aspect of their business,” she said.last_img read more

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PIMCO hires chief executive of Man Group as Hodge steps down

first_imgRoman comes to PIMCO from Man Group, which he joined when the firm acquired GLG Group in 2010.He went from being GLG’s co-chief executive, a role he held for five years, to COO of Man, and in 2013 was named Man’s chief executive.For its part, Man announced Luke Ellis, since 2012 the firm’s president, as Roman’s replacement.In his nearly 30 years’ experience in the financial sector, Roman also worked for Goldman Sachs, spending 18 years at the firm and acting as its co-head of global securities and co-head of its European services division.He has further served as a trustee of the Hedge Fund Standards Board, in addition to a number of trustee roles at museums and universities.Ivascyn added that he was pleased Hodge would stay with the firm to provide council during the period of transition.Hodge has been with PIMCO since 1989, holding a number of senior roles, including seven years as head of Asia-Pacific and five as COO, after which he was named chief executive. Emmanuel Roman, former chief executive of Man Group, has been hired to lead US asset manager PIMCO.Roman will take over as PIMCO’s chief executive from Douglas Hodge, who will become managing director and senior adviser from 1 November. Daniel Ivascyn, managing director of the firm’s group CIO, praised Roman’s understanding of global markets.“Manny’s skills and experience include all of the attributes key to delivering value to PIMCO’s clients – investment acumen, intellectual capacity and thought leadership, broad industry experience, executive leadership and an excellent fit with PIMCO’s cultural values,” he said. last_img read more

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LAPFF urges FTSE 350 firms to disregard ‘defective’ accounting advice

first_imgThe Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) has made a fresh call for FTSE 350 boards to disregard regulatory advice over the application of “defective” accounting standards when deciding the level of dividend.The move by the LAPFF, whose 71 members have £175bn (€205bn) in assets, is the latest development in a long-running row over the interpretation of the Companies Act 2006 in relation to dividend payment based on accounts prepared under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).The LAPFF argues that documents released by the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) under the Freedom of Information Act cast further doubt on advice offered by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), the regulator with oversight of accounting matters.The letter to FTSE 350 boards, signed by LAPFF chairman Cllr Keiran Quinn, calls on the chairs of UK listed companies to disregard the advice offered by the FRC, and consult with company lawyers about the concerns raised. “We would also encourage you to have a boardroom discussion,” Quinn, also chair of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, adds.Having taken legal advice on two occasions from George Bompas QC, LAPFF argues that accounts prepared under what it calls “defective” International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), mean companies risk paying dividends out of illusory IFRS profits. It previously warned that FRC guidance was “contrary to the requirements of the law”.The FRC has consistently argued that this is not the case and that companies can safely rely on the figures reported under IFRS, subject to applying the true and fair view override in exceptional circumstances.Sparking the latest furore is the release of 53 pages of partially redacted correspondence between BIS and the FRC.In those exchanges, BIS officials are shown to have restrained as-yet unidentified FRC officials from publicly stating that Bompas and LAPFF were wrong.One unnamed BIS official wrote: “I am concerned by the wording in the first paragraph. We have never said that the views are ‘incorrect and may be disregarded’.“What we have said is that the Companies Act 2006 does not require the disclosure of a separate figure for distributable profits. Ultimately, whether the views of the LAPFF are incorrect would be a matter for the courts.”In a further warning, BIS officials wrote on 3 December last year: “I really think this needs to be kept factual.”The email continues: “If your lawyer was [sic] comfortable, you might include the line: ‘The FRC does not agree with the LAPFF’s interpretation of company law on this matter’ but I couldn’t agree to you including a reference to the [g]overnment.”The author then goes on to explain that BIS staff “haven’t had time to speak with our lawyer on the point (and may not be able to do so quickly as he is not in the office today).”The BIS intervention came in response to a proposed reply to a second Bompas legal Opinion obtained by the LAPFF last year.An FRC representative wrote: “The FRC and the government have confirmed that the views of the LAPFF on this matter of company law are incorrect and may be disregarded.”In response to the disclosures, an FRC spokeswoman told IPE: “The FRC discusses policy issues on a regular basis with central government as this [freedom of information] response shows.“Our position on this issue is clear: the Companies Act 2006 does not require the separate disclosure of a figure for distributable profits.”Crucially, LAPFF writes that neither it nor its legal experts have disputed this point. The FRC has refused to clarify why it has made a reference to a separate disclosure.The FRC’s statement continues: “Ultimately interpretation of the Act is a matter for the courts.“The FRC stands by what it has previously said on this matter. It was aware that the LAPFF had written to company Chairmen in late 2015.“Their letter dealt with a very narrow point of company law in terms which we cannot support and which raises uncertainty unnecessarily.“The LAPFF’s new letter is drawing on emails regarding a draft statement. The final version of the statement was agreed with BIS.”The FRC has declined to identify the individuals involved in the released correspondence.last_img read more

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People moves: USS loses chief financial officer

first_imgFIN-FSA/Veritas — Kaisa Forsström, the deputy chief executive of Veritas Pension Insurance Company, has been been appointed to head insurance supervision at the FIN-FSA, the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finanssivalvonta). She will take up the new role on 11 September to serve a five-year term. As a head of department at the regulatory body, she will be a member of the FIN-FSA’s management group and she will report directly to the Director General Anneli Tuominen.Pensions Management Institute (PMI) – Robert Branagh is the new president of the UK professional body, with effect from yesterday, 2 August. He succeeded Kevin LeGrand, who had been president since July 2015. Branagh has more than 30 years experience in the pension industry, in both the private and public sector, including as managing director of RPMI Railpen’s administration business. He is currently chair of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme, alongside several non-executive and trustee roles. He joined the board of PMI in the autumn of 2014 before becoming vice president in 2015.ING CDC, NN CDC – The pension funds ING CDC and NN CDC have named Sandra van Eijk as board member, focusing on finance, risk and investment. Since 2010, Van Eijk has worked as chief financial officer and chief risk officer for private clients at NN Bank. Prior to this, she worked at Postbank, ING, insurer RVS and WestlandUtrecht Bank, covering finance, accounting, actuarial and risk matters. The two pension funds were established in 2014, following banc-assurer ING’s split into ING Bank and NN. Although separate, the pension funds have a close co-operation and have many joint board members.Pensioenfonds AFM – Jaap Koelewijn has been appointed as board member of the pension fund of communication watchdog AFM. Koelewijn is professor of finance at Nyenrode Business University and was head of research at the AFM between 2001 and 2003. Earlier in his career he was internal supervisor at the company scheme of engineering firm DHV, the sector pension fund for housing corporations (SPW) as well as member of the investment committees at the pension funds Hoogovens and ANWB.Royal London – The mutual life, pensions and investment company has appointed Olivia Dickson as non-executive director. She has held many positions in financial services over a long career. Her current roles include being non-executive director of the Financial Reporting Council, where she chairs the actuarial council, and a member of the UK government’s advisory group on social impact investing.Cheyne Capital – The London-based asset manager has hired Anthony Robertson to launch a new sub-investment grade credit business. Robertson was formerly head of leveraged finance at BlueBay Asset Management. He will lead the new business – SVC – as its chief investment officer. Cheyne Capital has also hired David Lofts from investment banking firm Seaport Group as head of trading and origination, and two senior analysts, Jacopo Rubbia and Jorge Lazaro.The company said SVC would continue hiring with a view to building a team of 10 people across research, trading, strategy, origination and legal. The boutique’s first strategy will focus on “heightened illiquidity in European sub-investment grade credit”, Cheyne said.Law Debenture Pension Trustees – Andrew Harrison has joined the company’s investment team. He was most recently at Aberdeen Asset Management, where he was head of fixed income product specialists. He also been managing director at BlackRock, head of UK liability-driven investment strategy at Barclays Global Investors and derivatives portfolio manager at Salomon Brothers. Investcorp – Mohamed El-Erian has been appointed to the international advisory board of alternative asset manager Investcorp. El Erian is chief economic adviser at Allianz and was CEO and co-CIO of PIMCO for seven years. Mohammed Alardhi, executive chairman of Investcorp, said: “As one of the most respected voices on the international financial and economic stage, Mohamed brings with him unique insights that will benefit Investcorp as we deliver on our strategy to become one of the world’s leading global alternative investment firms.” VFPK, USS, BPL, FIN-FSA, Veritas, PMI, ING CDC, NN CDC, Pensioenfonds AFM, Royal London, Cheyne Capital, BlueBay Asset Management, Law Debenture, InvestcorpUniversities Superannuation Scheme (USS) – Jennifer Halliday, chief financial officer at the UK’s largest pension scheme, resigned on 31 March, according to USS’s annual report. She joined USS in 2014 from Quaker Chemical Corporation, and spent 13 years at Vanguard Group. Glen Lucken has been appointed CFO in the interim until a permanent replacement is found.Verband der Firmenpensionskassen (VFPK) – Andreas Hilka, member of the board of at the €7.9bn German Hoechst Pensionskasse and former European head of pensions at Allianz Global Investors, has been elected to the board of the German association of company pension schemes. He will be the board member with chief responsibility for investment and investment supervision. Hilka succeeds Norbert Schulte-Mattler, of the Philips Pensionskasse, who had been VFPK’s board for several years. Peter Hadasch of Nestlé Pensionkasse, Helmut Aden of the BVV insurance association for the banking sector, and Carsten Ebsen of the Hamburger Pensionskasse, were re-elected to the board.BPL Pensioen – Willem van den Nieuwenhof has been appointed board member of BPL Pensioen, the €16.4bn pension fund for the agriculture sector, representing the association of horticulturalists. He has also become a member of BPL’s committee for compliance and communication. Previously, Van den Nieuwenhof was a board member of the company pension fund of Heinz as well as the sector scheme for the fruit and vegetable processing industry, which both joined BPL last year.last_img read more

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Universities finalise panel to scrutinise USS valuations

first_imgSally Bridgeland – UUK nomineeA highly influential figure in the UK pensions industry, Bridgeland is a former CEO and CIO of the BP Pension Scheme.Currently, she holds a number of non-executive roles including trustee at both NEST and the Lloyds Bank pension schemes, and non-executive director at Royal London, Impax Asset Management, and the Local Pensions Partnership. The panel tasked with scrutinising the valuation of the UK’s largest pension scheme is complete following the nomination of three pensions experts.Universities UK (UUK) today put forward Hymans Robertson’s Ronnie Bowie, Avida International’s Sally Bridgeland, and the Pensions Policy Institute’s Chris Curry as its three representatives for the Joint Expert Panel, which will assess the various figures and methodologies used to value the liabilities and assets of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).UUK, which represents universities and employers, has been in a long-running dispute with the University and College Union (UCU) about how the £60bn (€68.5bn) USS is funded. The scheme reported an official deficit of around £5bn following its 2017 actuarial valuation, but other calculations have put the shortfall as high as £12bn-£17bn. Proposals to close the defined benefit section of the hybrid scheme led to weeks of strike action from university staff. Since stepping down from the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association last year, Segars has taken up a number of non-executive positions. Most notably, she is chair of the £41.9bn LGPS Central, one of eight asset pools formed by the UK’s local authority pension schemes. She is also a board member at the UK’s Environment Agency.Ronnie Bowie – UUK nominee Earlier this week the UCU named three professors as its nominees for the panel: Saul Jacka is professor of statistics at the University of Warwick and a Turing fellow at the Alan Turing Institute; Deborah Mabbett is professor of public policy at Birkbeck, and Catherine Donnelly is associate professor at Heriot-Watt University, where she heads up a unit focusing on pensions, investment and insurance research.Their appointments followed the announcement of Joanne Segars, former CEO of the PLSA, as chair of the group.The panelJoanne Segars – independent chaircenter_img Bowie joined consultancy group Hymans Robertson in 1980 and is now a partner at the firm. He is also chair of the £49bn Royal Bank of Scotland Pension Scheme, and is a former president of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.Among his other non-executive roles Bowie is chair of court at the University of Dundee. Chris Curry – UUK nomineeCurry is director of the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI), an independent think tank. He was one of three industry experts called upon by the UK government to review its automatic enrolment programme last year. He has also worked as an economic adviser at the UK’s Department of Social Security (now the Department for Work and Pensions), and as a senior economist at the Association of British Insurers.Catherine Donnelly – UCU nomineeAn associate professor at Heriot-Watt University, Donnelly has worked as an adviser on pension scheme valuations and investment strategies for several consultancy firms. At Heriot-Watt she heads the Risk Insight Lab with a focus on pensions, investment and insurance research.Saul Jacka – UCU nomineeJacka is a professor of statistics at the University of Warwick and a Turing fellow at the Alan Turing Institute. Much of his research over his 30-year career has focused on how mathematical finance links with actuarial science. He is also a trustee of Warwick’s pension scheme for non-USS staff.Deborah Mabbett – UCU nomineeMabbett is a professor of public policy at Birkbeck. According to the UCU, much of her research has focused on the relationship between the state and occupational or private pension schemes. Her current research focuses on the implications of rising and flexible retirement ages for the management of pension assets.last_img read more

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Economists advocate age-based approach to pension cuts

first_imgDutch pension funds should be able to reduce pensions based on the age of members rather than applying an equal percentage-based cut across all participants, two economists have argued.A number of underfunded Dutch pension funds could be forced to cut pension rights in the coming years, but Theo Nijman, professor for pensions and risk management at GAK Institute, and Lans Bovenberg, economist at Tilburg University, contended that age-dependent cuts would prevent “good luck and bad luck generations”.According to Nijman and Bovenberg – who are affilated with pensions think-tank Netspar – it would be fairer if rights discounts would be linked to expected pension income, or the time of additional work required to earn the same income.The large Dutch metal and engineering sector schemes PMT and PME are facing the prospect of rights cuts next year if their funding is still short of the required minimum of 104.3% at the end of 2019. Since the financial crisis, dozens of Dutch pension funds had to lower pension rights and benefits based on a percentage for all participants and pensioners.In an opinion piece for ESB, a Dutch publishing platform for economists, Nijman and Bovenberg also looked at the differences between the new pensions contract favoured by the social partners – a collectively accrued target pension – and individually accrued pensions with some risk-sharing, as currently being debated by the government.According to Nijman, the contracts were not very different, “as both variants were heading in the direction of a more individualised pension with the characteristics of personal assets, personal contribution and personal say”.The authors said that defining things in terms of assets would make the pensions system easier to explain, because benefits were an uncertain factor.“Clear-cut individual pension rights would avoid conflicts of interest,” Nijman said. “Young participants can see that their contributions are being invested, whereas it would be clear to older participants that the level of benefits depended on investment results.”He added that, in both pension contracts, the risk-sharing component of the contribution would be limited in order to prevent large parts being redistributed.Nijman and Bovenberg highlighted that an individual pensions system did not mean a personal say about the individual pension assets and paid-in premiums.“Pension funds could keep on sharing risks, continue investing in collective investment funds and keep on distributing their benefits through collective rules,” they said.last_img read more

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