Monthly Archives: September 2020

UK mulls comply or explain, rigid fee cap for DC funds

first_imgThe UK government is to consider capping fees charged by defined contribution (DC) funds, imposing either an absolute limit of 0.75-1% or allowing a more flexible comply or explain approach.As the employer association CBI warned that a fee cap could lead to higher costs amid “historically low” charges by some pension providers, the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) said its consultation would also consider banning active member discounts (AMDs), whereby fees increase if a member ceases contributing to a pot.In the consultation’s foreword, pensions minister Steve Webb also stressed that examining the method of fee disclosure was as important as the potential for a cap.“We want to assess what can be done to improve transparency in pension scheme charges and to look at whether there is a role for the government in improving disclosure,” he said. “We also want to test the case for capping default fund charges and have offered a range of structures to help tease out some of the various issues.”The department proposed introducing either a 1% cap or a 0.75% cap, or imposing a 0.75% threshold while allowing companies to justify charges up to 0.25 percentage points higher when registering a new scheme with the Pensions Regulator (TPR).Webb hinted at a comply or explain approach during a recent speech, saying that if companies could justify a charge higher than the cap, they should be allowed to “make the case”.Under proposals, a cap would come into effect from April 2014 for any companies yet to reach their staging date for auto-enrolment, while any firms already compliant with auto-enrolment would have until 2015 to comply.Shadow pensions minister Gregg McClymont was quick to attack the proposals when announced by Webb in the House of Commons yesterday, arguing there was “a gap between the rhetoric and the reality” of Webb’s pronouncements on fees.The proposals also received a mixed response from the industry, with the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), Barnett Waddingham and master trust provider B&CE warning that it was more important to view fees in the context of value for money.The NAPF’s head of policy and advocacy Helen Forrest emphasised the importance of transparency and scale in delivering good pensions outcomes.She said: “Charges should be seen as part of a bigger picture that includes quality of services provided to savers through their working life and a robust investment strategy that generates good returns.”Mark Futcher, a partner at Barnett Waddingham, welcomed government action “to curtail overly high pension charges”.But he added: “Charges need to be viewed in context – it is the overall value that is important. Good-quality education, engagement and governance are important factors, and we have seen much legislation and best practice guidance in this area.”Meanwhile, Darren Philp – until recently the head of policy at the NAPF and now acting in a similar capacity for B&CE master trust The People’s Pension – urged the DWP to standardise the industry’s fee-charging structure, noting that, without such an approach, the attempt to lower costs would be “futile”.“Our view is that pension providers should focus on value for money – giving the best product possible at the cheapest possible price – rather than inventing new and often obscure methods of charging,” he said.Union umbrella group TUC was more positive about the cap, but said the potential for a 0.75% cap was only a “good initial step” to provide members the reassurance they required.The group’s general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “In the longer term, we want the charge cap to be reduced to 0.5% – the level that good schemes like NEST already charge.”Proposals for an inflexible fee cap come after Webb previously seemed opposed to such an approach, noting that it could result in employers getting “false comfort” that the annual management charge on offer was low enough to attract government approval, when better rates could be achieved.The consultation will close by 28 November.,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to DWP’s ‘Better workplace pensions: a consultation on charging’ paperlast_img read more

Investors expecting seamless recovery in European equities ‘naïve’

first_imgValuation growth in European equities is being driven by “incorrect” factors, with the Continent being seen as the default option amid ongoing emerging market volatility, Hermes says.Andrew Parry, chief executive at active equity manager Hermes Sourcecap, said market perceptions, rather than economics, were driving allocations to European equities.He said this was the case for inflows from the US seen in the latter half of 2013, as well as new interest coming from Asia in 2014, which Parry said was backed by the “perception of value, over the reality”.According to the asset manager, many areas of the Continent – the euro-zone economies in particular – are still showing GDP levels well below those seen before the global recession and financial crisis. Hermes chief economist Neil Williams said the mixed competiveness among the euro-zone countries was also hampering its recovery, with the competitiveness of France, one of the larger economies, continuing to slide relative to its peers.There is also the issue of deflation within the region, with concerns mounting as inflation remains persistently low.This led to predictions from BNP Paribas that a full-blown round of quantitative easing from the European Central Bank (ECB) would begin by the third quarter of this year.Laurence Mutkin, global head of G10 rates strategy at BNP, told IPE disinflationary pressure would leave the currency union’s central bank no choice, as other measures had proven ineffective.Hermes Sourcecap’s Parry said it was nominal GDP that drove overall sales growth in companies and pointed out that this was yet to be seen among the economies.He said it made him “nervous” that investors were so bullish on Europe, which he argued would lead to mispricing.Only 44% of listed companies in the European market beat sales expectations last year, with half meeting earnings expectations.Many stocks and indices have already priced in a full normalisation of GDP and earnings.“Investors talking about normalisation as though it will be seamless are naïve,” Parry said.“This is not a tide that will float all boats – some of these boats will have leaks, mainly in their valuations.“While we’re getting a recovery, it isn’t one that would excite you in real, or nominal, terms.”However, while Parry said there was still value to be seen in the market, as good companies would grow regardless of ECB decisions.“You can buy things where there really is value and a growth story,” he said.“A lot of the time, it is about the company’s ability to deliver, rather than taking the top-down view.”last_img read more

Norfolk plans national framework for actuarial, consultancy services

first_imgAn English council will soon launch the latest national framework agreement for local authority pension schemes (LGPS), with plans to tender for actuarial and consultancy services.Overseen by Norfolk County Council, the administering authority behind the national LGPS framework, the tender will act as a multi-provider framework for actuarial and consultancy services, as well as governance and administration support.Norfolk plans to broaden the framework to include all possible future configurations for the LGPS, noting that it could be used by any common or collective investment vehicle established by administering authorities as part of the government’s plans to pool pension assets in England and Wales.The framework, despite its being backed by seven English local authority funds, including Norfolk, will also be compatible for use by the Scottish LGPS and the Northern Ireland Local Government Officers Superannuation Scheme. Details of the four-year framework have yet to be finalised.Norfolk is asking interested parties to register their interest for a concept viability day to be held in London on 25 January.The council held a similar concept viability day for an earlier environmental, social and governance framework, which was built on the previous work by Norfolk and others in designing national agreements for legal advice, custody and investment consultancy services.Norfolk last year said the procurement exercises had resulted in cumulative savings of £16m (€21.8m) and that some of the income generated by the project would be used to hire a dedicated procurement officer.In November, it was announced that the vacancy would be filled by Nigel Keogh, who until recently was pensions technical manager at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.last_img read more

ABP to offer ‘personal pension pot’ visual

first_imgABP is to offer its participants a visual insight into pension rights they have accrued at the pension fund.The €389bn Dutch civil service pension scheme wants to use a simple graph to show how much is available for future benefits of an individual participant. The graph would show how much the worker and its sponsor have contributed and how much the amount has increased through returns on investment.It thinks this would be an important way of restoring faith in pension fund participation among its participants.ABP and its provider APG have developed a prototype of this ‘personal pensions pot’ overview (see image, in Dutch) together with a team of scheme participants. They surveyed 3,000 participants and carried out a focus group. Raoul Willms, APG’s programme director, took pains to emphasise that the concept is effective, saying that 80% of the focus group said they found the information “clear, useful and interesting”.The personal pensions pot visual led them to become more interested in their pension and willing to check their details on ABP’s individual pension portal, he said.The pension fund will provide the personal pensions pot information for all its participants next year, according to Nicole Beuken, director of the pension fund.The information would be on top of the mandatory uniform pensions statement (UPO), which shows workers their accrued pensions rights. The UPO is issued annually by the sponsor.ABP said the initiative was meant to counter “widespread misconceptions”, such as many younger participants expecting the scheme to run empty, or people assuming their premiums exceeded future benefits.The survey confirmed that the complexity and the far-off nature of pensions held people back from engaging with their pension. It found that participants preferred a simple overview, which included their future benefits as well as their currently accrued balance.Willms described the personal pensions pot as an “ongoing experiment”, and said that neuro-marketing would be used to find out how participants respond to a shrinking balance and falling benefits.He added that the information was also to address participants’ follow up questions, such as why they can’t take out the accrued assets and about how ABP invests.Beuken stressed that the concept of the personal pensions pot would only work if it remained simple and would be developed in co-operation with participants.ABP’s director said that the pension fund would like to share the results with the entire sector. The pension scheme said 94% of the 3,000 participants wanted to receive the statement annually.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*#last_img read more

PLSA challenges government over DB affordability

first_img“The analysis carried out by the [PLSA’s] DB Taskforce and feedback from our members indicates that the affordability challenges facing DB schemes and employers are much more significant than the position set out in the green paper,” the trade body said.“Some of the analysis presented appears overly optimistic. In particular, the assumption that employers can continue to pay deficit reduction contributions at current levels for the foreseeable future, given the wider economic challenges.”The PLSA called for the DWP, the Pensions Regulator (TPR), and the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) to undertake more work to understand “the extent of risks in the system”.The PPF’s latest data indicated that more than three quarters of private sector DB schemes were in deficit at the end of April. The aggregate deficit across all 5,794 schemes the data covered was £245.6bn (€289.2bn), compared to £189bn a year earlier.Elsewhere in its response, the PLSA supported the DWP’s proposal for more powers to be granted to the regulator, but said such a decision “needs to be proportionate to the risks they seek to address and enforceable in practice”.TPR should take more of a supervisory role, the PLSA argued, focusing its attention on the quality of scheme governance and the standards of trustees.“This would enable the regulator to focus its resource on supervising who does the governing and on its enforcement activity where it needs to intervene, rather than the rules schemes follow and decisions they make,” the PLSA said.Both the Conservative and Labour parties have pledged extra powers for TPR in their manifestos ahead of the UK general election on 8 June.The DWP’s investigation and consultation followed a number of high-profile DB pension scheme cases, primarily concerning BHS’s funds and the British Steel Pension Scheme.The DWP’s green paper on the security and sustainability of DB schemes is available here.The PLSA’s response is available here. The UK’s pension scheme trade body has disputed a government assertion that there is no affordability crisis in the country’s defined benefit (DB) sector.The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) was responding to a wide-ranging consultation about the future of DB pension provision, issued by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) earlier this year. The deadline for responses was 14 May.The DWP said in February: “The available evidence does not appear to support the view that these pensions are generally ‘unaffordable’ for employers. While DB pensions are more expensive than they were when they were originally set up, many employers could clear their pension deficit if required.”However, the PLSA argued in its response – published this morning – that two groups of schemes deemed to have the weakest sponsor covenants had only a 50% chance of reaching fully funded status in the next 30 years. The weakest group had only a 32% chance. These schemes accounted for three million members, the PLSA said.last_img read more

Dutch sector schemes return to indexation as funding improves

first_imgPension funds in the Netherlands have started granting their participants index-linked benefit increases in the wake of improving coverage ratios.Schemes’ funding increased by at least 8 percentage points to 108% on average last year.So far, 11 of the more than 50 sector schemes have announced inflation compensation. A year ago, consultants and the regulator were warning that a number of schemes could be forced to cut benefits.The inflation-linked increases, however, are modest – ranging from 0.15% to 0.59% – as the funding of most schemes has only just exceeded the level of 110%, above which pension funds are allowed to start granting additional pension rights. Full indexation can be given if funding is at least 125%.Between October 2016 and October 2017 – the normal inflation measurement period for many sector pension funds – price inflation was 1.34%, based on the consumer prices index provided by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).The €55bn scheme for the building sector (BpfBouw) and the €882m pension fund for the river shipping trade (Rijn- en Binnenvaart) granted an indexation bonus of 0.59%, based on both having coverage ratios of 113.8% at October-end.By contrast, the €2.4bn pension fund for the confectionary industry (Zoetwaren) granted an indexation of 0.06%, based on a funding level of 110.6%.Leonne Jansen, the pension fund’s chair, said that the small increase was meant as a sign to participants that the scheme’s financial situation was improving, and added that pensions provider TKP did not charge additional costs for the indexation.She pointed out that the rules did not allow for adding the 0.06% to, for example, an inflation compensation next year.Last year, just four industry-wide pension funds were able to compensate their participants for inflation, with 0.3% the highest indexation payment.At the time, the €12.2bn scheme for housing corporations (SPW) granted 0.02%.Most company pension funds – which are generally in a better financial shape than sector schemes – have yet to announce their plans for inflation compensation, as many take their funding at year-end as criterion.However, 18 of the 25 largest pension funds had a coverage of more than 110% in October.So far, at least seven company schemes have announced indexation payments, with three of them – Pensioenfonds ING, Unilever’s general pension fund (APF) and Delta Lloyd Pensioenfonds – indicating that they would grant a full indexation of 1.34%.Provisum, the Dutch pension fund of clothing chain C&A, said it would increase pensions of all participants and pensioners by 1.33%. Its funding stood at 127% at November-end.Unlike sector schemes, which grant all participants and pensioners the same rights increase, many company pension funds apply the salary index for workers and the consumer index for deferred participants and pensioners.As a consequence, the active participants of the pension fund of steelworks Hoogovens stood to receive a higher indexation than its pensioners, whereas inflation compensation was the other way round at airline KLM’s pension fund for ground staff.Wichert Hoekert, senior consultant for retirement solutions at Willis Towers Watson, said the different indexation policy was in part thanks to many sector schemes – including the €403bn civil service pension fund ABP – switching to the consumer prices index in 2016 as a way to limit returns-based contributions.last_img read more

People moves: Union’s institutional boss to lead Quoniam as CEO [updated]

first_imgUnion Investment, Quoniam Asset Management, AP Pension, Industriens, DSM, Schroders, Generali, East Capital, Ortec Finance, FRC, ICI Global, Barnett Waddingham, Finance for Tomorrow, T Rowe PriceUnion Investment/Quoniam Asset Management – Nikolaus Sillem is leaving Union Investment to take over as CEO of Quoniam Asset Management from Helmut Paulus, who is leaving the company for personal reasons.André Haagmann will in turn take over Sillem’s responsibility for the institutional arm of the Union Investment group.Paulus, who co-founded Quoniam in 1999, will leave at the end of June. In a statement, the supervisory board thanked him “for his outstanding achievements and his unwavering commitment to making the company one of the leading quantitative asset managers”.   Anna Maria Reforgiato Recupero, GeneraliGenerali Investments – Anna Maria Reforgiato Recupero has been appointed head of Generali’s strategic investors group, which acts a hub for all of the Italian company’s asset management units, boutiques and affiliates when dealing with strategic partners and key accounts. Reforgiato Recupero joined Generali Investments in September 2017 as head of insurance and liability-driven investors solutions. East Capital – The emerging and frontier markets specialist has hired the former Swedish finance minister Anders Borg as an adviser. Borg was Sweden’s finance minister from 2006 to 2014, during which time he was also president of the EU’s group of member state finance ministers and served in the governing institutions of the IMF and the World Bank.He is currently on the board of directors for Nordic Entertainment Group and Stena International, and is also a senior adviser to companies such as IPsoft, Kinnevik and MTG.Peter Elam Håkansson, chairman and CIO of East Capital, said Borg had “exceptional knowledge about the global economy at large [and] in specific emerging markets”, as well as an “extensive global network”.Ortec Finance – René Goris joined Dutch consultancy firm Ortec Finance at the beginning of this month as a senior investment and risk consultant. Goris previously worked for more than 11 years as a senior investment consultant at Willis Towers Watson.Financial Reporting Council (FRC) – David Rule has been named executive director of supervision at the UK’s audit regulator, which is transitioning to a new entity, the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority, following an independent review. He will take on the newly established position in September, joining on secondment from the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority, where he is executive director for insurance supervision.At the FRC, Rule will lead its audit quality and corporate reporting review functions and sit on the FRC’s executive committee. Anna Driggs, ICI GlobalICI Global – The Investment Company Institute (ICI) has appointed Anna Driggs as a director and associate chief counsel for global funds policy, based in London. The appointment is part of the US asset management trade body’s plans to grow its presence in Europe.Driggs has worked on ICI’s global team for most of her 12-year career at the organisation. Most recently she was associate chief counsel for global retirement policy.ICI Global’s managing director Patrice Berge-Vincent said Driggs was “the ideal person to deepen our engagement with EU financial policymakers” given her work on the pan-European personal pension product.Barnett Waddingham – Allan Engelhardt has been appointed to the consultancy to lead a team supporting companies in data-based decision-making. Engelhardt has over 20 years’ experience in management consulting and data science across numerous sectors and, before joining Barnett Waddingham, ran a data consultancy service, CYBAEA , with the aim of making data science commercially accountable.Finance for Tomorrow – Philippe Zaouati, CEO of Mirova , part of Natixis Asset Management, has stepped down as chair of Finance for Tomorrow, a French sustainable finance initiative. Pierre Ducret, special adviser for climate change at Caisse des Dépôts Group and chair of I4CE Institute for Climate Economics, will assume the interim presidency until a new chair has been elected. T Rowe Price – The $1.1trn (€1trn) US asset manager has appointed Colin McQueen to its global equity team, where he will lead its $10.6bn international value equity strategy. He joins from Sanlam Investments, a UK-based fund manager, where he was in charge of its global equity team.From 1 July, McQueen take over management of the international value equity strategy from Sebastien Mallet. Mallet runs T Rowe Price’s global value equity strategy and has been in charge of the international version since last summer. Mallet took over from Jonathan Matthews last year after he moved to a business management role.McQueen has previously led global value equities investment at Morgan Stanley Investment Management and was a global value equity portfolio manager at UBS Global Asset Management.center_img Sillem has been in charge of Union’s institutional and international business since 2003, while Haagmann has worked for Union since 2006, joining the board of directors of its institutional arm in 2015. Most recently he has been responsible for building and managing relationships with German and international institutional clients.AP Pension – The supervisory board of Danish pension fund AP Pension has appointed Sara Brinks Larsen and Henrik Engmark to its executive board, while Jesper Bjerre has resigned after a two-year tenure.Engmark replaces Bjerre as chief operating officer and Brinks Larsen will be the pension fund’s chief corporate affairs officer. Both have worked for the fund for many years. Brinks Larsen was previously director of corporate affairs and strategy and Engmark was in charge of the integration of Skandia’s Danish pension business, Skandia Denmark.AP Pension said that, as a result of the merger with Skandia Denmark , its supervisory board saw the need to expand and make changes to AP Pension’s executive board. The executive board now consists of four members, including chief executive Bo Normann Rasmussen and Thomas Møller, chief mathematical officer.Industriens Pension – Laila Mortensen, chief executive of Danish pension fund Industriens Pension, has joined a new climate panel set up by the Danish Innovation Fund. The fund, created by Denmark’s Ministry of Education and Research in April 2014, aims to provide grants for the development of innovative research and technology.The panel brings together companies and researchers to invest in projects that could help to tackle the world’s major climate and environmental challenges. While the innovation fund as a whole invests around DKK1.5bn (€200m) annually, in recent years more than DKK1bn has been invested in climate-related schemes, prompting the need for a more focused panel, the fund said. DSM – Edith Schippers has been appointed chair of the board of Pensioenfonds DSM, the corporate scheme for healthcare company DSM Nederland. The former Dutch health minister became the boss of DSM Nederland earlier this year. On the pension scheme’s board she succeeds Hans van Suijdam.Schroders – The UK-listed asset manager has hired Peter Arnold to lead its private assets distribution efforts. He will join next month lead the £421bn (€477bn) investment house’s alternative sales unit, which was set up last year as a global distribution hub for private assets. Arnold was previously global head of international fund distribution at Citi, specialising in private debt, real estate and global infrastructure. He has also worked at JP Morgan, UBS and Societe Generale.Schroders manages £38bn across private assets and alternatives, including private equity, infrastructure finance, insurance-linked securities, real estate and securitised credit.last_img read more

UK’s NEST adopts net-zero policy, skips on UN group over fee

first_imgNEST has also committed to divest by set dates companies involved in thermal coal, oil sands and arctic drilling. It said that by the end of this year it will sell any holdings it has in companies with more than 20% of revenues from these activities and be completely divested from any companies involved in such activities by 2025 at the latest, unless they were committed to a “full, accountable phase-out by 2030 at the latest”.NEST told journalists the divestment policy applied to equities and fixed income.With regard to companies that NEST will remain invested in, the pension scheme said it would increase pressure on the largest carbon emitters and those who finance them via shareholder voting and collaborations with other institutional asset owners.It will consider divesting where its engagement has been unsuccessful, “usually only after several escalation options have been explored”.The scheme is also embedding its new policy in fund manager selection and monitoring, saying it will expect all fund managers to develop a strategy to align the portfolio they manage for NEST with the 1.5°C global warming limit, which will include analysing how NEST can halve emissions associated with its portfolio by 2030.This will be a requirement for all new mandates, while incumbent managers will have three years to demonstrate meaningful progress against defined benchmarks or risk losing the mandate.“We’ll use our close partnerships with fund managers to amplify our impact and coordinate activities towards meeting the Paris Agreement goals.”Mark Fawcett, NEST CIONEST is also looking to invest a greater proportion of its funds directly in green infrastructure. According to CIO Mark Fawcett, it is in the shortlist stage of its infrastructure equity manager search for three mandates, one of which is exclusively for renewable energy.“As the world’s economy slowly recovers from coronavirus, we want to ensure this recovery is a green one,” he said. “We have a unique opportunity to support sustainable growth and transition towards a low-carbon economy.“We believe our new policy sets out a clear vision of where we’re heading. We’ll now work on taking the necessary steps to become net-zero, using our close partnerships with fund managers to amplify our impact and coordinate activities towards meeting the Paris Agreement goals.”‘Disappointed’ by UN asset owner group fee The aim of NEST’s new policy is similar to if not the same as the objective of the UN Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, a group that now counts 27 major institutional investors since launch last autumn.Asked why NEST was not joining the UN group, Diandra Soobiah, head of responsible investment at the DC provider, indicated it was put off by the expense involved.“We were quite disappointed that there was a large fee,” she said.A spokesperson for NEST told IPE that as a not-for-profit organisation currently being funded through government loans, “we need to be prudent with any expenditures and to be clear on the exact benefits it will bring our members”.“Another key point is that there are a lot of really good free initiatives so we don’t feel the need to pay for research and resource that’s readily available to us,” the spokesperson added.The move by a growing number of investors to align their investments with the goals of the Paris Agreement, in particular the more ambitious 1.5°C target, comes as methodologies are still being developed to assess portfolio alignment with a particular temperature goal.NEST’s Soobiah said the pension scheme was doing a lot of work with groups like the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change. NEST has been involved in the latter’s asset owner project to develop a common understanding of what aligning with the Paris Agreement means in practice. The outcome of that work is due to be presented soon for consultation.“We’re feeding into this conversation on how we can develop methodologies for 1.5°C alignment,” said Soobiah.She also said NEST was engaging with the PRI “to ensure we have input into [the UN Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance] and we’re not missing out on key areas of research that’s coming from that group”.The membership fee for 2020 for the UN Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance is €20,000 per annum. A spokesperson for the PRI, one of the convenors of the UN group, said the fee had not been an issue for the vast majority of investors the coalition had engaged with so far. PRI CEO Fiona Reynolds added: “The UN Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance is perhaps the most exciting climate initiative of the 2020s because asset owners aren’t just asking companies to commit to a Paris aligned world, they are committing to make their entire portfolio net zero by 2050 and to hold themselves accountable via short-term measurable targets, not only to their own beneficiaries, stakeholders and industry peers but also to the finance sector as a whole and most importantly, wider civil society. “This has not been done before.”She also said there was a lot of work involved in pursuing this goal, and that the fees helped pay for the research and coordination involved in getting to net zero by 2050, with none of these projects achievable without funding.“We would welcome NEST to the initiative,” Reynolds added. Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here. UK defined contribution (DC) master trust NEST has adopted a climate change policy aimed at aligning its portfolio with the goal of keeping global temperature rises within 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.Based on projections by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, achieving this would entail reducing to net-zero the greenhouse gas emissions associated with its portfolio by 2050. NEST said it expected this would in turn mean these emissions would have to halve by 2030.The £12bn (€13bn) DC provider is setting out to reach its objective by way of its asset allocation, stewardship, fund manager selection and monitoring, and public advocacy.As concerns asset allocation, it is moving all of its developed market equity, representing £5.5bn and 45% of its portfolio, into its “climate aware” index fund strategies, and will later this year also set up a climate aware fund for emerging market equity.last_img read more

Survey: Dutch pension funds accuse asset managers of greenwashing

first_imgSome 56% of respondents even saw the absence of a common ESG definition as a threat to responsible investing, the survey found.Responsible investing is a rising trend in the Dutch pension sector, with 87% of the surveyed funds now having their own sustainable investment policy. The remaining 13% have outsourced this to their fiduciary manager.None of the surveyed funds said they have no dedicated policy for responsible investing.Negative selectionNegative selection, where certain companies or sectors such as oil and gas or weapons are being excluded, is the most common ESG instrument, with 90% of the surveyed funds applying it (see chart). Some asset managers do not invest as responsibly as they claim, a number of Dutch pension funds have said.In a survey among 31 Dutch pension funds carried out by Dutch pensions publication Pensioen Pro, six in 10 Dutch pension funds agreed with the statement that some asset managers engage in greenwashing.None of the participating pension funds, with combined assets under management worth €1.2trn, disagreed with the statement that greenwashing is a problem.An important reason asset managers are being given the chance to engage in greenwashing is a lack of commonly agreed environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) standards, many pension funds believed. Source: Pensioen ProDialogue and engagement is also widely used, and almost half of Dutch pension funds now engage with impact investing. Best-in-class selection and thematic investing are less commonly used instruments.Exactly half of the pension funds in the survey have said they believe scheme members are interested in responsible investing, while 20% think members do not actually care that much.Less than one in five funds, however, are prepared to sacrifice some of their returns in exchange for investing more responsibly. A quarter of the funds surveyed refused to compromise on returns, with another 29% being hesitant to do so.The survey also revealed a sceptical attitude among some pension funds versus investing in oil and gas companies. More than 35% of funds believed investing in fossil fuels was “irresponsible” because of the risk of ending up with stranded assets.An almost equal number of funds, however, didn’t consider this a problem with the remaining third being neutral.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.last_img read more

The Gold Coast home that will stop house hunters in their tracks

first_img16 Brighton Pde, Southport. 16 Brighton Pde, Southport.The home’s neutral palette gives it a fresh style while feature light fixtures, louvre windows and apex ceilings add character.Mrs Gallie said they spared no expense on the dream home.“The front room is probably the hero, everyone loves that main room,” she said. “I love the kitchen as well, and the floors were my pet.”The family were reluctant to sell because they were going to miss the house they had called home for so long. But they wanted to build again, maybe try a different style. “It’s going to be hard to leave,” Mrs Gallie said. RELATED: Property prince hits rich list top 3 16 Brighton Pde, Southport.“We’d seen his work and, from the first drawing, he know better than we did what we wanted,” she said. “We (knew we) wanted something Cape Cod meets Noosa. We really enjoyed the process. It was a labour of love in terms of choosing everything and building from scratch.”The house that stands on the Southport block today is a far cry from the ones they bought a decade ago.“It was basically two old houses that were joined together,” Mrs Gallie said.“We lived here for a couple of years and then completely demolished the place.”More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa14 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago 16 Brighton Pde, Southport.BUILDING a house for the first time can be fraught with dangers but for Kate and Price Gallie, it was a labour of love.The couple enlisted Gold Coast architect Bayden Goddard to design their Hamptons-style home.Mrs Gallie said it made a world of difference having a professional guide them through it. 16 Brighton Pde, Southport. 16 Brighton Pde, Southport.center_img 16 Brighton Pde, Southport. “At the time when we finished building, we said it was our forever home,” Mrs Gallie said.It has seven bedrooms, five bathrooms and a seemingly endless list of luxury features.Among it’s standouts include Calacatta marble kitchen benchtops, a saltwater pool, an alfresco area with a built-in barbecue and separate teenager and parents’ retreats. 16 Brighton Pde, Southport.The 1553sq m property has dual street frontage on Bauer St and Brighton Parade.Mrs Gallie said they decided to build the house on one side so they could keep the other as a large backyard for their four boys.The house faces Brighton Parade because that is the side that has skyline views.All up, it took about 15 months to build.RELATED: Inside The Block’s hottest unit 16 Brighton Pde, Southport. 16 Brighton Pde, Southport.last_img read more