South Yorkshire scales back currency hedge as fund returns 5.7%

first_imgIts 10.7% property exposure saw returns hit 13.3%, slightly below benchmark but enough to convince the fund to increase allocations to the asset class.In the fund’s annual report, fund director John Hattersley said the investment team became concerned after fixed income and equity failed to provide the risk/return trade-off the fund desired.“As the belief grew that neither fixed income nor equity markets appeared to have adequately priced in the potential downside risks to their valuations, the allocation to property was added to,” he said.Private equity, a relatively new asset class for the fund, continued to perform well, as returns reached 7.9%. It now allocates 4.7% of its overall portfolio to this asset class.“The fund did more than survive,” Hattersley said. “It actually performed quite well despite it being a period through which being a successful buyer and a seller was not easy.“The world is neither monolithic nor stagnant, and the fund adapted its strategy as the situation evolved.”The fund also revealed it was curtailing its currency hedging programme as the scheme began its triennial review at the end of March this year.It began preliminary work on pre-empting the results of its triennial valuation, which means it needs to ensure the investment strategy remains workable with actuarial assumptions.“The valuation took longer than expected to finalise,” Hattersley added.“We will probably concentrate on re-jigging the fund’s allocation to corporate bonds and absolute return funds.”The fund’s asset value rose from £5.2bn to £5.5bn after successful investment performance.In March 2013, the scheme had a funding level of 76% on an actuarial basis. The £5.5bn (€6.7bn) South Yorkshire Pension Fund returned 5.7% over the year to 31 March 2014 as it slowed its currency hedging programme to accommodate its triennial valuation.The local authority fund, which provides defined benefit (DB) pensions to council works in Yorkshire’s southern most county, made significant returns on European and US equities, which form part of its 40.3% international equity portfolio.Those holdings returned 17.2% and 10.4%, respectively, but its overall international portfolio returned 4.4% due to losses in Pacific ex Japan and other economies.The pension fund manages its equity portfolios actively, and in-house, since setting up an internal management team in the 1980s.last_img read more

UK pensions regulator given power to oversee master trusts

first_imgThe announcement comes after repeated calls from the regulator to grant it further powers to scrutinise the master trust market, which has been taking in the vast majority of new pension savers enrolled into an occupational scheme as the UK continues with its auto-enrolment reforms.Andrew Warwick-Thompson, executive director for regulatory policy at TPR, has previously told IPE the growing number of master trusts – estimated to be more than 100, with 73 active – needed to be restricted.“We need to think very hard about how we prevent more master trusts coming into the market, and what we do with those that struggle to reach any kind of sustainable level of business in the next year or so,” he said in January.In April, he then hinted that a licensing regime might be forthcoming. However, Altmann said in an interview with IPE in early May she was opposed to the idea of restricting the number of master trusts.“Let a thousand flowers bloom,” she said. “I am happy for as many master trusts to set up as want to as long as members’ money is protected – and there are proper controls on who can set them up and what they can do.”Tom Barton of law firm Pinsent Masons questioned whether the greater powers granted TPR came too late.“There are already very large numbers of master trusts up and running and taking in contributions,” he said.“This looks like a fairly belated attempt to create a barrier to entry – unless it is to apply to existing schemes, too.”Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon UK, echoed Barton’s call for the stricter entry requirements to be retrospective.“All existing master trusts must demonstrate they meet the new criteria or have plans in place to achieve them within a reasonable timeframe,” she said.“This should give confidence to all pension savers.”IPE’s full interview with Ros Altmann will be published in the upcoming June issue of IPE The UK’s Pensions Regulator (TPR) is to be granted greater powers to regulate the growing master trust market under plans announced by government.The government, unveiling its legislative agenda for the next year as part of the Queen’s Speech, confirmed its earlier pledge to change the way the market is regulated. Although not directly mentioned by the British monarch during her speech to Parliament, the forthcoming Pensions Bill will also cap early-exit fees charged by trust-based pension providers.Pensions minister Ros Altmann said the bill would provide “essential protections” for members of master trusts, with any new master trusts entering the market expected to meet “strict new criteria”, according to the government.last_img read more

Regulating investment consultants not the answer, says Avida’s Heenk

first_imgRegulating investment consultants will not solve the problem of ensuring pension investors are not losing out as a result of “murkiness and complexity” in the asset management and investment consultant industry, according to Bart Heenk, managing director and UK head at Avida International, an independent adviser for corporate pension schemes.Heenk was speaking to IPE about the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) interim report on its asset-management market study, which also led the regulator to consider the role of investment consultants. He complimented the FCA on its work, saying he was “very impressed” with the report.“It’s very thorough, addresses the right issues, asks the right questions and doesn’t shy away from challenging the status quo,” he said. He suggested it was regrettable that the FCA needed to step in to investigate the asset management industry and said that, ideally, pension fund users of its services would be asking the same sort of questions about fees and performance through their providers, such as investment consultants.But this is not happening, according to Heenk.“Investment consultants benefit from the murkiness and complexity just as much as asset managers,” he said.The FCA, having identified problems with investment consultants and the outcomes they deliver for institutional investors, has provisionally decided to ask the UK government for powers to regulate investment consultants.It has also called for greater disclosure of fiduciary management fees and performance, and for an investigation into competition in the institutional investment advice market.In an initial reaction to the FCA’s report, Willis Towers Watson, one of the largest investment consultants, said it had long been in favour of “increased regulatory oversight” of the industry.Its EMEA head of investment, Ed Francis, warned of the extra costs this could bring but argued that consultation on portfolio advice should be regulated.   Heenk said he did not think regulation would solve the problem, which is that “pension funds should be able to ask the right questions and need to arm themselves with sufficient expertise to be able to be a proper negotiating partner for the industry, which includes the asset management and the investment consultant industry.”What is needed instead, he said, is for smaller independent consultants to “cannibalise the business models” of larger consultants or for pension funds to develop the in-house expertise to allow them “to ask the right questions and demand the right answers”.Independent advisers like Avida, that “don’t have their own products in their toolkit”, can also help trustees, Heenk said.The FCA said the “fragmented” demand side of institutional asset management was problematic and suggested that greater pooling of pension scheme assets could be a remedy.Heenk said this could be beneficial as a means of increasing pension funds’ bargaining power, but he added that it was also important for pension funds to combine forces by sharing expertise, resources and experience.last_img read more

German pension reform back on track after coalition agreement

first_imgThe German investment management association, BVI, said the reform package agreed by the coalition was a “milestone” for occupational pensions in Germany.“The draft BRSG is the best thing in a while that politicians have come up with when it comes to pensions,” said Thomas Richter, chief executive of BVI. “With voluntary opting-out, defined ambition pensions, and the ban on guarantees, the social partner model offers advantages for employers and employees.”Klaus Stiefermann, chief executive at aba, said the German occupational pensions trade body was pleased that the coalition was able to resolve the main points of contention before the summer break and ensure that the law could be passed in its revised form.He told IPE that aba had had concerns the reform would be diluted in certain key aspects, to the point that it wouldn’t have been clear if the social partner model option would even be taken up.The “social partner” model is a central pillar of the BRSG. It means sector-wide collective bargaining parties – including unions and employers – can introduce defined contribution (DC) or “defined ambition” pension schemes, with neither the employer nor the pension provider allowed to provide guarantees. Both these aspects were heavily debated by the coalition in preceding weeks. Defined contribution pensions have not been possible in Germany so far.Stiefermann said a weakening of the guarantee ban was a big concern: “We are happy that this dilution did not and won’t occur.”Resistance to aspects of the reform is said to have come from the CSU in particular, the Bavarian sister party to the centre-right CDU. It is said to have had the ear of insurance companies opposed to the proposed ban on guarantees.However, Andrea Nahles, the German labour and social affairs minister spearheading the reform drive, had earlier this month said she was optimistic about being able to overcome concerns about the ban on guarantees.aba said some changes were being made to the draft law as a result of the agreement reached by the coalition last week. Collective bargaining parties will be required to consider opening any new DC scheme they set up to companies that are not part of the collective bargaining agreement.Other changes agreed by the coalition parties included a requirement for the employer to pass on to its pension vehicle the social security contributions it saves when it implements “salary conversion” (Entgeltumwandlung).Also, the regulation on pension fund supervision is to be amended to require a sufficiently large buffer to be in place when benefits are increased to ensure a fund’s coverage ratio amounts to at least 110%.According to aba, this would help the pension fund withstand a stock market collapse of 25% without having to cut benefits, even if 35% of assets were invested in equities.In its comment on the coalition agreement on the draft law, BVI said the ban on guarantees under the social partner model meant equities could contribute more to investment returns than before.Other changes agreed by the coalition parties included an increase to the basic allowance for Riester contracts – state-subsidised private pensions – from €165 to €175, and an extension of the tax incentives for employers contributing to low income earners’ occupational pensions. Previously the tax incentives were available in relation to employees on a gross income of up to €2,000, but this is to be raised to €2,200. The German government’s pension reform package is back on track after the coalition parties came to an agreement on the proposed legislation last week, leaving untouched a proposed ban on guarantees for new defined contribution plans.The draft Betriebsrentenstärkungsgesetz (BRSG), which is designed to boost occupational pensions coverage, can now resume its passage through parliament.A slightly revised draft will be debated in the Bundestag – one of the two chambers of parliament – on Thursday, after a final review of the reform by the parliamentary social and labour affairs committee the day before.The draft law will then be debated by the Bundesrat, the upper house of parliament where the federal states are represented. This is planned for early July.last_img read more

People moves: LPFA hires to strengthen ESG capability

first_imgDNB – Pensions regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) has named Albert van der Meer as supervisor of medium-sized pension funds as of 1 September. He joins from Strategeon Investment Consultancy, where he has worked since 2011. At Strategeon, Van der Meer advised pension funds on risk management, risk budget, the assessment of fiduciary asset managers, and operational processes at asset managers and pension funds.T Rowe Price – Peter Preisler, head of global investment services for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), is to leave the asset manager later this year. Preisler has worked at T Rowe Price for more than 14 years, having previously spent 15 years at Danske Bank in various senior roles. He is leaving “to pursue other opportunities in the industry outside of the group”, said Robert Higginbotham, head of global investment services.Higginbotham – who will take on Preisler’s responsibilities – added that he had played a “key role” in T Rowe Price’s development in Europe. “I would like to thank Peter for everything he has done for our clients, our associates, and our firm. He leaves with our very best wishes for the future,” Higginbotham said.Pensioenfonds Notariaat – Sjoerd Hoogterp is to leave as director of the new €2.7bn merged pension fund for notaries and their staff, as of 1 September. Initially director of the pension fund for notaries (SNPF), Hoogterp had been closely involved in the merger of SNPF and the scheme for notaries’ staff (SBMN) during the past two years. Previously, he was temporary director of the pension funds PWRI and Sabic as well as the schemes Mercurius (PMA) and Celtona that have liquidated. Currently, Hoogterp is a board member of the €8.9bn sector scheme for the hospitality industry (Horeca & Catering). He is also chief financial officer at publisher SDU.State Street Global Advisors – SSGA has appointed Jacqueline Lommen as senior defined contribution (DC) pensions strategist for Northern Europe. Based in Amsterdam, Lommen will become responsible for developing SSGA’s DC operations, focusing on the Netherlands as well as cross-border arrangements. Lommen joins from asset manager Robeco, where she was vice president for European pensions. Prior to this, she co-headed the pan-European pensions department of Aon Hewitt and was responsible for Aon’s first cross-border IORPs in Belgium. Lommen has also worked at DNB and Aegon.Separately, SSGA has also hired Rakhi Kumar as head of environmental, social and governance (ESG) and asset stewardship, while Matt DiGuiseppe and Robert Walker have been appointed to lead the asset stewardship team’s work in the Americas and EMEA, respectively. Lynn Blake, CIO for global equity beta strategies, said the expanded stewardship team would “enable us to capitalise on the success of our asset stewardship programme and position us for continued growth in ESG”.“ESG concerns continue to play a larger role in asset management, not only as an investment tool, but also as a way to assess and engage the companies our clients invest in through index strategies,” added Kumar.Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) – The UK’s trade body for pension schemes has named Chris Hogg, chief executive of Royal Mail Pension Trustees,as chair of its defined benefit council. In addition, Carol Young, head of pensions, policy and products at Royal Bank of Scotland, has been appointed chair of its defined contribution council. The two councils are responsible for developing policy positions and improving PLSA member representation. The pair will take up their new positions from 20 October 2017, coinciding with the trade body’s annual conference.Pensioenfonds IBM – Rijk Griffioen and Rob Houweling have joined the board of the €4.5bn pension fund of IBM in the Netherlands (SPIN), succeeding Paul Snoek and Joep Wijffels. Griffioen had been nominated by the employer. Previously, he was an investment manager at SPIN and a pensions manager at IBM Japan, and has also worked at IBM Retirement Funds EMEA. Houweling was nominated by the works council, and was previously chairman of SPIN’s former participants council.Algemeen Pensioenfonds KLM – The €8.3bn KLM pension fund for ground staff has named Marianne Meijer-Zaalberg as board member on behalf of the scheme’s pensioners. She succeeds Henny Essenberg, who has stepped down. Currenty, Meijer chairs the supervisory board of the sector pension fund for public libraries (Openbare Bibliotheken) and is also a member of the visitation committees of several schemes. Prior to this, she was a senior pensions lawyer at law firm Loyens & Loeff and director of the €347m pension fund Sagittarius, the company scheme of electronics wholesale firm Rexel.Kirstein – Mikkel Kirkegaard Hansen has been hired by Kirstein Intelligence as an investment consultant with effect from 1 August. He will manage customer relations with certain asset managers, advising clients using information collected by Kirstein from investors in Europe, the firm said. Kirkegaard Hansen previously worked at Danske Bank Wealth Management.Actuarial Society – The Dutch Actuarial Society and the Actuarial Institute have appointed Hans Duijn as their new chief executive officer as of 1 August. He succeeds Jeroen Breen, who headed both organisations since June 2011. Previously, Duijn was chairman of pensions insurance at Achmea and director of group life at insurer Fortis/ASR. He has also served on the boards of the Dutch Association of Insurers, employer organisation VNO-NCW and pensions think tank Netspar.KPMG – The accountancy and consulting giant has hired Neil Macdonald as a managing director in its asset management business. The newly created London-based role was designed to improve the company’s ability to help clients navigate major issues such as new technologies, new regulations and Brexit. KPMG said. Macdonald has held senior positions at asset managers JP Morgan, BlackRock and Barclays Global Investors. LPFA, DNB, T Rowe Price, Pensioenfonds Notariaat, SSGA, Robeco, PLSA, IBM, KLM, Kirstein, Dutch Actuarial Society, KPMGLondon Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) – The £4.5bn local government pension scheme has appointed Nigel Topping and Barbara Weber to its trustee board. Weber is founding partner of B Capital Partners, a specialist adviser on infrastructure and clean energy investments. She worked in infrastructure, private equity and project finance roles at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson and PolyTechnos before setting up B Capital Partners in Switzerland in 2003.Topping is CEO of We Mean Business, a coalition of organisations focused on climate change. He was executive director of the Carbon Disclosure Project between 2013 and 2015.LPFA’s board recently adopted a new investment policy aligned with London mayor Sadiq Khan’s policy on divestment. Where the scheme’s fiduciary duty permits, LPFA “will not consider new active investments in fossil fuel companies directly engaged in the extraction of coal, oil and natural gas as sources of energy which are ignoring the risks of climate change”, the fund said. It has also stated its intention to divest from existing holdings in such companies, if engagement is not possible and there is no financial detriment to the fund.last_img read more

ICGN: ‘Investors faced with regulatory schizophrenia on governance’

first_imgHigh corporate governance standards and shareholders’ rights are under threat from a race to the bottom by regulators and stock exchanges, the executive director of the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) has argued.In a comment on the organisation’s website, Kerrie Waring said the principle of ’one share, one vote’ was under attack. ICGN is an investor-led organisation seeking to promote effective standards of corporate governance and investor stewardship; several major pension investors, like France’s Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, are represented on its board. According to Waring, a growing number of companies were seeking to adopt multi-class share structures at the same time as stock exchanges and regulators were showing signs of being willing to accommodate companies with such share structures.She cited as an example last year’s initial public offering by the owner of Snapchat, a popular mobile app, which listed in the US only non-voting shares. She also pointed to the Singapore Stock Exchange last month issuing a clarification that companies with dual class structures who have a primary listing in developed markets are able to have a secondary listing in Singapore.   In the UK, meanwhile, the Financial Conduct Authority has launched a consultation on a new premium listing category for sovereign-controlled countries, a move that has worried investors. Many suspect it was linked to plans by Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company, to list on an exchange.Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing was also mulling changes that would involve lowering governance standards and weakening investor protections, Waring noted.Norway’s €824bn sovereign wealth fund recently criticised the Hong Kong plan.It was ironic, said Waring, that the threat to shareholder rights was coming at the same time as politicians and regulators were putting pressure on investors to do more to monitor and engage with boards to safeguard the value of underlying investments and protect shareholders’ and stakeholders’ interests.This was “regulatory schizophrenia of the worst kind”, she said.“Demanding investors do more to hold boards account while removing the most important means by which they can do so is setting them up to fail.”Investors needed to challenge this trend, according to Waring.One step they should take is to encourage global index providers to take more responsibility by excluding companies with lower governance standards, she said.Earlier this summer S&P Dow Jones announced it would exclude companies with multiple share classes from key benchmarks. FTSE Russell had shortly before announced it would exclude from its developed market benchmarks companies where 5% or less of the voting rights were in the hands of unrestricted shareholders. MSCI just finished a consultation on the treatment of non-voting shares.Waring said the ICGN encouraged regulators, stock exchanges and indices to pursue a “race to the top”.“The alternative,” she said, “is a decline in governance standards and a lack of effective oversight, which will leave markets ripe for another corporate failure at the expense of the investing public – pensioners, retail savers, insurance premium holders and society as a whole.”last_img read more

Diversity: On, up, or off investor and consultant agendas?

first_imgIn the UK, New Financial’s research found that diversity questions were not yet standard on RFP documents, but some asset owners were considering it.According to the report, NEST, the £1.6bn (€1.8bn) UK government-created scheme to meet auto-enrolment demand, has “agreed to formalise” its diversity commitment in its next RFP.To just lead on why it adds [financial] value is missing the point. People do make economic returns and financial outcomes arguments but really, for us, it is just the right thing to do.Ian Baines, head of pensions, Nationwide Building SocietyInvestment consultants, according to the think tank, were “very clear on the benefits of diversity and are allocating more resources to the theme”.Early this year Luba Nikulina, global head of manager research at Willis Towers Watson (WTW), said the consultant was going to require workforce gender data from fund managers.Mercer, according to New Financial’s report, “has been looking at elements of diversity as part of its manager selection process for a number of years”.Reality check?Despite its research findings, the think tank noted there were still many people and organisations throughout the investment chain who were unconvinced and believed a focus on diversity comprised financial performance.Yasmine Chinwala, partner at New Financial and co-author of the report, said diversity had been moving up the agenda in the past two years, but there was “a real division between those who get it and those who don’t”.Lesley Williams, outgoing director of pensions at FTSE 100 hospitality company Whitbread and outgoing chair of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), warned against becoming complacent.Under the banner of ‘Breaking the Mirror Image’, the PLSA has been running a campaign to increase diversity on trustee boards. During a panel discussion Williams said she was still openly challenged by people arguing why diversity “misses the point, why it’s not important, why it will mean that they’re not able to deliver the right things for their members”. She said she was particularly surprised by the findings about consultants.“I didn’t know it was so high on their agendas,” she said. “It’s actually not my experience. I’ve never heard my investment consultants talking about the diversity at an asset manager at all.”Almost half of the asset owners in the research sample explained why diversity was important to them. The top three most common motivations for acting on diversity were to improve decision-making, attract and retain talent, and innovate and compete.Chinwala highlighted that enhancing financial performance was the fifth most common reason, which she said was encouraging because it constituted an argument to counter what was still “a very strong entrenched belief that looking at diversity as part of investment criteria compromises performance”.Some appear to believe the focus should not be on financial performance.The think tank’s report quotes Ian Baines, head of pensions at Nationwide Building Society, as saying: “To just lead on why it adds [financial] value is missing the point. People do make economic returns and financial outcomes arguments but really, for us, it is just the right thing to do.”The full report can be obtained here.Sample questions from RFP documents Do you have an equal opportunities policy? If yes, please provide the policy.Does your organisation have policies in place that promote diversity in the workplace?Are you compliant with equal opportunities policies?Please provide details of your equal opportunities policy.Do you actively recruit from diverse backgrounds?What is your commitment to gender equality?Please give a brief overview of the corporate commitment to diversity at your firm.What specific actions have you undertaken to support diversity in the work force e.g. training, networks, targets?How are you addressing cognitive diversity?How are you promoting equality?How are you addressing work-life balance?Please describe any programmes, partnerships or initiatives that promote or foster diversity in your organisation.What does your firm plan on doing to increase diversity in the future at all levels?How is cognitive diversity and inclusive culture being promulgated throughout the organisation?Source: New Financial, ‘Diversity from an Investor’s Perspective’ Diversity issues are beginning to influence manager selection decisions from asset owners and consultants, according to research from think-tank New Financial.Related criteria are appearing more frequently in requests for proposal (RFPs) and investment consultants’ due diligence processes, according to the group’s data.The think tank carried out research on 100 asset owners from across the world and conducted 40 interviews with a wide range of investment market participants.It found that, although asset owners may have already been considering workforce diversity in some way as part of manager selection, the discussion was increasingly explicitly framed. Questions were more focused and came up more frequently, it said.last_img read more

AP1, AP4 invest in cancer drug firm via directed share issue

first_imgTwo of Sweden’s national pension buffer funds have invested in a biotech firm developing a treatment for cancer.AP1 and AP4 have backed Cantargia, a Swedish company that is working on an antibody treatment for cancer, via a directed share issue.AP1 confirmed that it would subscribe for shares equivalent to SEK30.9m (€3.1m) in the company, as part of a total directed share issue of SEK101m.The biotech firm is raising new capital via two parallel rights issues, with the first of these in the form of a directed share issue, inviting specific non-shareholders to participate. The other leg of the rights issue is aimed at raising SEK131m, with previous owners entitled to subscribe for new shares.In the first issue, AP1, AP2 and AP4, along with Nordic Cross Asset Management and Handelsbanken Läkemedelsfond, have been invited to participate, according to a notification from Cantargia.Jannis Kitsakis, portfolio manager at AP4, confirmed that it took part in the share issue, describing it as a fairly small investment in an early phase of the company. AP4 would hold less than 5% of the company.“The investment is made into our internally-managed small cap portfolio,” he said.AP4’s small cap mandate spanned across sectors with no particular focus on biotech, he added.“However, we are constantly looking out for promising investments across sectors, and during the most recent years, there has been an inflow to the stock market of promising, well run and well capitalised companies within the biotech sector,” Kitsakis said.A spokeswoman for AP1 said biotech was not necessarily a particular focus for the pension fund, but it invested broadly across sectors globally.“We believe that Cantargia has a strong early-stage product candidate, that in combination with a strong patent position creates an interesting investment proposition,” she said.In August, Cantargia obtained patent approval in Europe for the antibody CAN04 in development for the treatment of cancer.AP2 has not commented on whether it will participate in the share issue.last_img read more

ATP plots more direct investments as returns stall

first_imgATP’s chief executive Christian Hyldahl, said of the Q1 result: “In a difficult market, a negative return of 1% for the first quarter of the year was satisfactory in light of the very high returns realised in 2017.“The result indicates that returns are about to be normalised as central banks place a tighter hold on liquidity and ramp up interest rates.” Christian Hyldahl, CEO, ATPATP’s allocations to credit, inflation-related instruments, state and mortgage bonds, and listed international equities all made a loss in the three-month period. Holdings in unlisted equities, infrastructure, real estate and listed Danish equities all made gains.Listed international equities lost DKK2bn, while state and mortgage bonds lost DKK1.4bn.In contrast, unlisted equities banked a DKK1.2bn profit, while infrastructure and real estate returned DKK932m and DKK787m respectively.Hyldahl told IPE that the Q1 result was a reflection of ATP’s diversified investment portfolio.“The core of our investment process is to construct a portfolio that is robust, built on risk factors and diversified into both illiquid and liquid markets,” he said.However, the CEO warned that market volatility was now coming back to a more “normal” state.“I think that with this type of volatility and this adjustment we will see for the rest of the year, we may have some negative quarters but hopefully our performance will be robust,” Hyldahl said.The latest quarterly results were confirmation that unlisted equities, real estate and infrastructure were strategically important asset classes, he added.“We see a lot of value in real estate,” Hyldahl said. “I’m not saying its cheap, but as a building block in the portfolio we see real estate as extremely important. In Q1 it is not the market value of properties that has been written up, but it’s the cashflow that has produced the positive return.”Direct investmentsIn February, ATP announced it was cutting its venture capital exposure and closing its office in New York, which was a base for its private equity subsidiary, ATP PEP.However, Hyldahl said the pension fund’s global direct investments would increase.Asset allocation via the ATP PEP fund of funds arm would be kept at current levels, he said, with the business to open a sixth fund to offset the run-offs from the older fund. Europe’s fourth largest pension fund, ATP, reported a loss on its investment portfolio in the first three months of this year as listed equity markets dived.The fund said it planned to increase its direct investments, which made solid profits in the quarter.The investment portfolio – which makes up less than a sixth of the Danish statutory pension fund’s total assets – lost DKK1bn (€134m) in the first quarter to stand at DKK116bn at the end of March.The loss followed a stellar 2017, in which ATP’s investment portfolio gained 29.5%, helped in particular by public and private equity allocations.center_img ATP wants to make more direct investments, such as its involvement in the takeover of TDCCredit: Uffe WengNew direct investments “could also be in the form of deals such as the transaction we entered into with TDC”, the chief executive added.Earlier this month, ATP – in a Macquarie-led consortium including fellow Danish pension funds PFA and PKA – won shareholder approval to buy TDC, the country’s former national telecommunications operator.ATP’s total assets across its guaranteed portfolio and its investment portfolio came to DKK768.5bn at the end of March, despite a total loss of DKK1.8bn loss across both segments.last_img read more

France’s ERAFP reveals successor to Desfossés

first_imgBefore joining the airport operator, he held several budget management positions in the French ministry for economy and finance, in the areas of infrastructure, transport and regional planning and local authority development.In 1999 he became director of the industry, transport and research sub-division of the ministry’s budget management department.Like his predecessor at ERAFP, Galzy studied at the École Nationale d’Administration, France’s post-graduate training ground for top-level civil servants.Desfossés, whose departure from ERAFP had already been reported, led the public service fund as chief executive since 2008. Laurent Galzy will replace Philippe Desfossés at the helm of France’s €30bn mandatory pension scheme for civil servants, it was announced today.Galzy was appointed to a four-year term by way of a government order published today, according to ERAFP.His term was to start next week.A senior civil servant, Galzy was at Aéroports de Paris from 2002 until 2016, most latterly as a deputy director general for “international and participation”.last_img read more