It said the fund had more than NOK500bn invested in emerging markets at the end of 2013, and about NOK180bn in companies classified as environmentally friendly.The pension fund returned 15.9% last year before management costs of 0.07%, the ministry said, down from 13.4% in 2013.The much smaller domestic Government Pension Fund Norway (GPFN) returned 15.7% before 0.07% management costs in 2013, down from 12.2% the year before.The ministry said the results of both funds reflected strong equity market performance during 2013.The total value of the Government Pension Fund was NOK1.24bn over the year to stand at NOK5.21bn at the end of December, according to the ministry.The realised annual rate of return of the GFPG since inception was 3.9%, it said, close to the estimated return of 4%, considering normal short-term fluctuations in average returns, the ministry said. Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) will almost double the amount it invests in the environment, to between NOK30bn (€3.6bn) and NOK50bn from the NOK20bn-30bn it has allocated to such assets today, according to government plans.The announcement made by the country’s Finance Ministry in its white paper to Parliament on the how the NOK5.1trn sovereign wealth fund was managed last year following on from intentions stated in the government’s coalition declaration (Sundvolden-Erklæringen) last autumn.The Finance Ministry said: “The set allocation to environmental mandates will increase from the current 20 to 30 billion kroner to 30 to 50 billion kroner.”In addition to this, Norges Bank, which runs the pension fund, will report separately on the fund’s investments in emerging markets and renewable energy, the ministry said.
Input from pensions fund managers showed a steady annual rise from 2009’s low point, of 14.6 % of the total.Previously, the percentage had peaked at 33% of the €80.4bn of total new funds raised in 2008, before the effect of the crisis.Another notable factor is that the private equity industry attracted significant levels of overseas capital into Europe.The EVCA said this accounted for around half of the funds raised (€26.2bn).The contribution from North American investors increased from 24% in 2012 to 36%.Dörte Höppner, chief executive at the EVCA, said: “I am particularly pleased to witness foreign investors’ enthusiasm for European private equity – a sure sign the world’s largest trading bloc has regained its rightful place at the centre of the investment map.”The overall picture for pension funds for 2013, when a significant force of US pensions funds were developing interest in the EU, was that they had gained confidence they could achieve reasonable returns, according to Cornelius Mueller, the EVCA’s head of research.The development followed a period of uncertainty caused by the stability of the euro being doubt, he said.“Now the EU has stabilised”, Mueller added, “it is not crazy for a pensions fund manager, with a 10-year time horizon, to invest in the EU.”The largeness of the dominating single investments is due to the need to justify investigation costs, due diligence and so on, Mueller told IPE.This is to enable a good match between opportunity and return on investment.As for investment allocation by European private equity firms, this would be in the order of 27% in the UK, 18% in France and 14% in Germany.On his assessment of this year’s investment activity, he expects to see a similar level to that of 2013.Meanwhile, Mark Calnan of Towers Watson said the 2013 fundraising was “not a huge amount in terms of EU stock market, but the jump is a good start for European private equity.”Calnan, who is global head of private equity at the consultancy, added that US fundraising itself has improved.“It is not just an EU phenomenon,” he said. Total private equity fundraising for the European Union more than doubled from 2012 to 2013, reaching €53.5bn, and showing a significant recovery from years of lean between 2009 and 2012, according a report by the European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (EVCA).The change was driven by 12 large buyout funds, each raising more than €1bn, representing 66% of total fundraising, the EVCA said.Pension funds contributed 37.2% of the 2013 total.This compares with only 11 % from the insurance sector, largely due to legislative restrictions relating to capital adequacy.
However, when asked whether the nomination would be opposed in parliamentary vetting of all the new commissioners, his office replied that “We have no crystal ball – it is too soon to guess.”A similar answer greeted a question on forecasting the future of pension legislation, including proposals for the IORP II Directive.A key person here is Marianne Thyssen MEP, a Belgian national and member of the centre–right EPP party, who will be taking over as commissioner for employment and social affairs, including pension matters.Her background includes 23 years as an MEP, mostly specialised in banking. Questioned on her position on pensions, her office told IPE: “She will not communicate any views as yet – that will have to wait until she is in place as a commissioner.”In fact, the present commission, with Michel Barnier as centre-right commissioner covering financial legislation, continues in office until the changeover, at the end of October.Giegold’s press release opposes the Lord Hill appointment based on his record as a banking lobbyist. He is described as a co-founder of the firm Quiller Consultants, whose customers include companies from the financial sector such as HSBC. A Briton with strong contacts within the City of London and the financial-market lobby is thus about to be sitting in a central position for future regulation of financial markets.“To make the goat the gardener is unacceptable, especially in this area” is Giegold’s position.Further criticism of the appointment comes from Gianni Pittella, president of the centre-left S&D party in the European Parliament.An informed EU source comments that risk of the Parliament refusing the appointment of Hill is decreased due to Juncker’s new structural reforms to the functioning of the Commission.Commissioners will have to work in a more collegiate way, reducing the effect of the individual position of any individual commissioners, the source says.In other words, the system will be less “silo-ish – there will be more checks and balances”. Putting the UK’s Jonathan Hill as EU commissioner in charge of finance is like appointing your goat as your new gardener.Bearing in mind goats are voracious destroyers of garden plants, this expresses most colourfully opposition to president-elect Jean-Claude Junker’s announcement concerning Hill yesterday.Sven Giegold MEP, a German Green Party member, goes on to describe the proposal as a “cheap present” to UK prime minister David Cameron. Despite his left-ish political leanings, Giegold – well respected for his intellectual mastery of financial matters – describes the moved as “provocative”.A later, English version of Giegold’s press release changed the goat analogy to one of putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.
It was owed a s75 debt of around £74m (€93m) from the bank’s administrators, but, with the bank’s winding-up process expected to take until 2018, trustees requested permission to sell its s75 debt on the secondary market.An s75 debt relates to the outstanding deficit of a scheme when a sponsoring company ceases to exist or sponsor the fund.In a ruling by Mr Justice Birss, the court said, given the wording in the Pensions Act 1995, which created the s75 debt concept, this debt was assignable, and trustees could seek a third-party buyer on the secondary market.The scheme has now found an undisclosed purchaser that will seek repayments from KSF’s administrators, allowing the scheme to wind up.Acting of behalf of the trustees, Pinsent Masons partner Isabel Nurse-Marsh said the impact of the ruling could be wider felt.“This development opens the door for those who specialise in the recovery of distressed securities to create a market for the purchase of debts from other schemes where the employer has gone [insolvent],” she said.“It is good news for members of pension schemes.”Sole trustee to the scheme, Bruce McNess of BESTrustee, said members’ interests were at the heart of the case.“As a result, we have been able to conclude a sale on very satisfactory terms,” he said.“This enables us to complete the winding-up of the scheme without further delay and to distribute assets to improve the level of pensions being paid to members as soon as possible.”Birss also acknowledged the trustee was not asking the court to ratify a sale price or method but merely seeking permission to assign debt as part of trustees’ powers.Nurse-Marsh said the ruling was not simple given the judge’s concerns over the potential impact on KSF’s other creditors.Complications also arose from the Pensions Act 2004, which created powers for The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and the PPF, and the regulator’s ability to distribute contribution notices and financial support directions in cases of employer insolvencies.The judge ruled the Pensions Acts of 1995 and 2004 were entirely distinct regimes and therefore did not have an impact on the case.However, Birss said the relationship between the 1995 and 2004 acts was complex, and that arrangements governing the relationship between the two does give rise to potential anomalies.A spokesperson at TRP said: “We are studying the judgement for any implications as to our understanding of how the regulatory framework operates.”In 2013, the pension fund also won a case against KSF’s administrators, reclaiming £2m of funds deposited with the bank days before its collapse. UK pension funds will be able to accelerate the process of winding up in the wake of sponsor insolvencies after a court allowed a scheme to sell its section 75 (s75) debt on secondary markets.The ruling saw the UK’s High Court of Justice rule in favour of the trustees of the UK pension scheme for Icelandic bank Kaupthing, Singer and Friedlander (KSF).KSF collapsed in 2008, entering administration and leaving its UK pension scheme without a sponsor.The scheme underwent assessment by the UK’s Pension Protection Fund (PPF), but was deemed sufficiently funded to purchase PPF-level benefits from the bulk annuity insurance market.
Prior to joining Züricher Kantonalbank, Lanter was in charge of buy-side research at UBS Switzerland and was a portfolio manager at UBS Portfolio Invest.He holds a degree in economics from the University of Zurich. Christoph Lanter, Pictet Asset Management’s global head of institutional business, is to retire next year, IPE understands.Lanter, a member of Pictet AM’s management board, joined the company in 2000 from Zürcher Kantonalbank, where he was head of asset management.A spokeswoman confirmed to IPE Lanter would be retiring in “early” 2016 but could not provide any details of plans to replace him.She also declined to comment on whether Lanter’s replacement would be based in the UK or Switzerland.
The migrant crisis affecting Europe has profound investment implications, according to BlackRock.The asset manager believes significant inflows of migrants can push up the GDP of European countries.At the release of the BlackRock Investment Institute’s ‘2016 Investment Outlook’, the manager discussed the impact of migrant inflows into Europe, suggesting it would benefit the macroeconomic indicators of countries where migrants eventually settle.Such improved macroeconomic indicators would make those countries more attractive from an investment standpoint, it said. Following the terrorist attacks in Paris last month, Europe’s politicians have intensified their focus on internal security, which might result in tighter controls on migrants’ movements.BlackRock, however, proposes that, from an economic point of view, “it is most relevant to consider in which countries the migrants end up.”Speaking at a media briefing following the release of the company’s outlook for next year, Scott Thiel, BlackRock’s deputy CIO of fundamental fixed income, said: “Notwithstanding the political issues, which are separate, the impact of migration should be positive for the countries involved.”Thiel explained that, in BlackRock’s view, the first order effect of migration is on government spending.This has to increase so that the immediate needs of migrants, such as housing, can be dealt with.A 1% increase in government spending can lift real GDP by to 0.3%, noted Thiel.He then argued that investors should consider the positive, long-term macroeconomic impact of having a young labour force.Countries such as Sweden or Germany, which migrants are choosing as their preferred destinations, should benefit the most.Conversely, a curb on immigration by the UK, in the event of a Brexit, could impact GDP negatively, according to BlackRock.A hypothetical shift from the current net inflow of migrants into the UK, which is around 330,000 a year, to 100,000 post-Brexit could take 0.5% off the country’s output.Thiel added that the current European Central Bank’s growth forecasts did not take into account the effect of immigration.This is one of the reasons why, in BlackRock’s outlook, European growth could surprise on the upside.“The combined effect of monetary easing and the fiscal easing that took place in 2015 could determine an upswing in the European economy,” Thiel said.He conceded, however, that this scenario did not take into account changes in the Schengen Agreement that would affect the intake of migrants.
The aggregate deficit of France’s main supplementary pension regimes for the private sector, Agirc-Arrco, fell slightly in 2015, to €3.02bn from €3.15bn the previous year.The reduction is due to stabilising measures taken by the social partners in the context of an agreement reached in October 2015, according to a statement.The accord is one of the latest attempts to address depleting reserves. Agirc, the second-pillar retirement scheme for executives, registered a deficit of €1.49bn in 2015. This takes into account a €1bn reduction of the technical deficit for 2015 thanks to the management of the scheme’s reserves.The comparable deficit in 2014 for Agirc was €2bn, making for a deficit reduction of some €500m.The €2.5bn technical deficit is after a solidarity transfer from Arrco, the sister scheme for salaried workers, and a balancing injection from AGGF*, the vehicle used to finance the additional cost of employees taking retirement before the age of 65/67.Arrco’s deficit increased in 2015, standing at €1.5bn versus €1.14bn the previous year.The technical deficit was €2.56bn compared with €3bn in 2014, again taking into account a solidarity transfer and payment from AGFF.Management of the reserves allowed a €950m reduction of the technical deficit at Arrco.Contributions to Agirc increased by 2.6% in 2015, to €19.6bn, with 0.6% of the increase due to a higher contribution rate.Payments by the scheme were also up, by 2.5% versus 2014, and amounted to €24.3bn.Arrco, meanwhile, collected €42bn in contributions, 2.5% more than in 2014, and paid out €47.1bn, an increase of 2.6%.The results announcement follows that of a new president at Agirc, which will be headed by Frédéric Agenet, director of social relations and human resources for France at Airbus and president of Humanis.
They are all members of the Access LGPS pool but acted individually in this instance – the pool has other LGPS members that were not involved in establishing the framework agreement.Nigel Keogh, national LGPS frameworks manager at Norfolk County Council, told IPE that the idea for the passive investment management framework predated pooling. The funds involved decided to continue working on it as the framework agreement was open for use by other local authorities not involved in pooling, such as the Scottish or Northern Irish LGPS funds.He also noted that a number of pools have already started to consolidate or renegotiate their arrangements with passive providers, but that this “doesn’t necessarily stop them from having a look at what we’ve put together and potentially seeking to secure a better deal if they think that’s possible”.National LGPS frameworks are joint procurement agreements intended to allow local authority pension funds to obtain services without having to run lengthy full tendering exercises. Funds interested in the services offered under the agreement can run a mini-competition between the providers appointed to the framework agreements.Norfolk County Council is currently working on a framework agreement for transition management and implementation services that is also being backed by the LGPS-administering authorities of Camarthenshire, Derby and Bedford Borough Council, the Environment Agency Pension Fund, and the London CIV. It is also open for use by other LGPS and the emerging asset pools. Separately, Ortec Finance today announced it has been selected as a supplier to the LGPS framework for investment performance evaluation services. Preliminary hedge fund searchA Swiss pension fund is carrying out a preliminary search for a fund-of-hedge-funds manager using IPE Quest’s Discovery service.According to DS-2329, the pension fund is looking to invest $5m (€4.4m) to begin with, rising to $50m and more within two years.The investor is only interested in funds-of-hedge-funds, not single funds. The stipulated asset region is global developed markets.The pension fund is open to an active or passive process, but is seeking to invest in a pooled fund.Managers should have a track record of at least five years.According to another IPE Quest Discovery search (RE-2332), an Irish pension fund is looking to invest in European core real estate via an open-ended fund. IPE Quest Discovery is a pre-RFP service allowing institutional asset owners to carry out a preliminary search for managers.The IPE news team is unable to answer any further questions about IPE Quest, Discovery, or Innovation tender notices to protect the interests of clients conducting the search. To obtain information directly from IPE Quest, please contact Jayna Vishram on +44 (0) 20 3465 9330 or email [email protected] Norfolk County Council has finalised a multi-provider framework agreement for passive investment management services primarily for use by funds in the UK local government pension scheme (LGPS).UBS, BlackRock, Legal & General, and Deutsche Asset Management have been appointed to the framework.Seven LGPS administering authorities, including Norfolk, have expressed an intention to procure services under the framework, according to a procurement notice.The other local authorities are the county councils for Essex, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, Kent, Northamptonshire, and Suffolk.
In 2015, pension payouts from Pensionsfonds were given a flexible element, based on changes made by the Bosch company to its scheme.The new world without any guarantees – as introduced through the BRSG – should provide “the perfect framework” for the Pensionsfonds vehicle, according to Carsten Velten, head of pensions at the Deutsche Telekom and chairman of the Pensionsfonds group within Germany’s aba pension association.“The Pensionsfonds is entering a playing field that is familiar,” Velten wrote in a report published in conjunction with this year’s Handelsblatt occupational pensions conference in Berlin.On the other side of the playing field insurers are preparing their vehicles presenting insurance-based solutions without guarantees. Conversations on the sidelines at recent conferences have seen people siding with the insurers argue these providers are more familiar to Germans and have people’s trust.Those rooting for Pensionsfonds say the new world needs flexible instruments in which employee and employer representatives can have a say. This structure is already in place in many Pensionsfonds.Taking it slowlyThe negotiating parties are still working out the basics and will not be making a choice of vehicles for a while now.The Pensionsfonds model has so far only been used by some larger companies as a way of outsourcing some of the new employees’ pension rights. Regulatory limitations have not yet allowed for a full outsourcing of all liabilities to this vehicle.However, since the more flexible pension payout was introduced in 2015, more and more multi-employer Pensionsfonds started to appear in this area of the market.In 2014, Metzler was only the second non-insurer to set up such a vehicle and last year the building society Wüstenrot outsourced its pensions to this provider.The first one had been banking group HVB with an industry-wide offering for the chemical industry which actually was the first Pensionsfonds to be set up in 2002.Mercer became the newest addition to the club of multi-employer Pensionsfonds providers when it launched its vehicle in November last year.In total, more than 30 Pensionsfonds managed around €33bn in assets at the end of last year – but the largest company pension funds (RWE, Siemens, IBM and Bosch) account for almost 60% of that. In the debates around Germany’s new industry-wide pension plans without guarantees only two vehicles are being considered: an insurance contract or a Pensionsfonds.Under the country’s Betriebsrentenstärkungsgesetz (BRSG) reforms, Pensionskassen would also be allowed to serve as providers. However, the insurance-based Pensionskasse model adds more administrative layers.This means providers of Pensionsfonds could get a new boost, as the vehicle already has a more flexible approach to pension guarantees.When it was created in 2002, the Pensionsfonds model was derived from an insurance-based pension plan. That changed in 2005 when the insurance element was taken out, prompting greater interest.
Threadneedle American Extended Alpha Fund£169m Threadneedle (Lux) – American Extended AlphaNew fund Threadneedle European Select Fund£3bnThreadneedle (Lux) – European Select€32.9m UK-based fundSizeLuxembourg-based fundSize Threadneedle Global Equity Income Fund£1.6bnThreadneedle (Lux) – Global Equity IncomeNew fund Threadneedle American Smaller Companies Fund£641mThreadneedle (Lux) – American Smaller CompaniesNew fund Threadneedle Credit Opportunities Fund£1.9bn Threadneedle (Lux) – Credit OpportunitiesNew fund Threadneedle UK Fund£2.1bnThreadneedle (Lux) – UK Equities£145.3m Threadneedle Global Extended Alpha Fund£261m Threadneedle (Lux) – Global Extended AlphaNew fund Threadneedle UK Absolute Alpha Fund£648mThreadneedle (Lux) – UK Absolute AlphaNew fund Threadneedle Global Select Fund£1.2bn Threadneedle (Lux) – Global SelectNew fund Threadneedle Pan European Smaller Companies Fund£1.6bnThreadneedle (Lux) – Pan European Smaller CompaniesNew fund Threadneedle Pan European Fund£252mThreadneedle (Lux) – Pan European Equities€64.7m Source: Columbia Threadneedle Investments. Fund size data correct as of 31 March 2018. Threadneedle Global Emerging Markets Equity Fund£326mThreadneedle (Lux) – Global Emerging Market Equities$4.6m Threadneedle European Smaller Companies Fund£2.2bnThreadneedle (Lux) – European Smaller CompaniesNew fund Threadneedle Asia Fund£599mThreadneedle (Lux) – AsiaNew fund Threadneedle European Corporate Bond Fund£169m Threadneedle (Lux) – European Corporate BondNew fund Threadneedle UK Equity Income Fund£3.9bnThreadneedle (Lux) – UK Equity Income£78.4m Threadneedle Pan European Equity Dividend Fund£63m Threadneedle (Lux) – Pan European Equity DividendNew fund Threadneedle European High Yield Bond Fund€726m Threadneedle (Lux) – European High Yield BondNew fund Threadneedle American Select Fund£1.1bnThreadneedle (Lux) – American Select$9.4m Threadneedle American Fund£2.2bnThreadneedle (Lux) – American$230m Columbia Threadneedle Investments plans to transfer assets from UK-domiciled funds to its Luxembourg range ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU.The asset manager will launch 13 new funds in its Luxembourg SICAV vehicle to accommodate the transferring assets, it said in a statement on Wednesday. In total, 20 UK-based funds will see assets move to Luxembourg.All transfers are subject to approvals from investors and the UK and Luxembourg regulators. Affected investors will be contacted between now and September.The group did not put a figure on the amount of money expected to move, but a spokesman said European clients in UK-based pooled funds “account for a very small percentage” of Columbia Threadneedle’s global assets – roughly 2%. The affected funds together are worth roughly €28bn (see below). According to IPE’s 2017 Top 400 Asset Managers report, the company ran €432bn worldwide at the end of 2016, including €63.5bn for European institutional clients.Michelle Scrimgeour, CEO for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Columbia Threadneedle, said: “Our priority is to provide certainty and continuity for our clients. By facilitating the transfer of European customers to our existing Luxembourg range we will ensure they can continue to access our best investment strategies in a UCITS-compliant fund, regardless of the final agreement between the UK and the EU.“For EU investors, the transfers will remove uncertainty regarding the future status of their investment in their home country.”In June last year, M&G announced similar plans to move €7bn worth of assets from its UK-based funds to its Luxembourg fund vehicle to safeguard its non-UK investors.Affected Columbia Threadneedle funds