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Universities Superannuation Scheme appoints JP Morgan veteran to board

first_imgHe will be working with former AXA Investment Managers chief executive Virginia Holmes, named chairman of USS IM’s board last year after spending eight years as a director at USS.USS IM was established in late 2012 to oversee the majority of the fund’s £38bn (€45bn) in assets, with former USS CIO Roger Gray at the time named as its chief executive.Shortly after, the fund saw its long-serving chief executive Tom Merchant announce his retirement, with the head of The Pensions Regulator, Bill Galvin, being named as his successor last March. USS Investment Management – in-house manager to the UK’s second-largest pension fund, the Universitities Superannuation Scheme (USS) – has appointed a new non-executive director to its board.Clive Brown, a 20-year veteran of the investment management industry, spent much of his career at JP Morgan and its predecessor companies – most recently as global COO of JP Morgan Investment Management.In his time at JP Morgan, Brown was also chief executive of its Asian and European asset management businesses, and head of its international business unit.Brown, who has also spent time at consultancy PwC and Jardine Fleming’s Asian operation, joined USS IM’s board in early January, a spokesperson for the manager confirmed to IPE.last_img read more

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AP Pension rebuked by regulator over compensation payments to FSP members

first_imgFSP merged with AP Pension in 2012. The authority also said it was ordering AP Pension to send out information to all former FSP members who had switched pension product, describing the background to the decision to award compensation. This should be done in the second quarter of 2014, it said.AP Pension said that at the time when customers had agreed to forgo their guarantees, all scheme members had been compensated equally. “But even though this was the practice, it was not necessarily reasonable,” AP Pension said.In order to make the division of reserves fairer in such situations, Finanstilsynet introduced so-called contribution groups – grouping people together based on age – at the start of 2011, the pensions firm said.But AP Pension said this had not been the case at the beginning of 2011 when FSP offered its customers the opportunity to switch from a with-profits pension product to a unit-linked one.As part of its discussions with Finanstilsynet over the issue, it said that in 2013 it had earmarked DKK131m including pension tax (PAL) for compensation.  As a result of the latest talks with the regulator, it had now decided to compensate customers from the former FSP Pension with DKK170m including PAL, it said.Finanstilsynet said it has referred the case to the Council of Finance (Det Finansielle Råd).Many Danish pension funds, which are incorporated as life insurance companies, are trying to move customers with older with-profits pension products, which include yield guarantees, to non-guaranteed plans which carry lighter reserve requirements. Denmark’s AP Pension has been censured by the financial regulator for failing to pay enough compensation to some scheme members when they gave up their pension guarantees.The mutually-owned commercial pensions firm has agreed to pay DKK170m (€22.8m) to customers of the former Finanssektorens Pensionskasse (FSP). The members either relinquished their yield guarantees on with-profits pension plans when they took part in a product switching push in 2011, or when they moved their plan to AP’s unit-link product AP NetLink.The regulator, Finanstilsynet, said it had reprimanded AP Pension. In the product switching exercises for members of FSP Pension — which existed at that point —  in 2011, 2012 and 2013, AP Pension failed to pay out the extra reserves for expected longer lifetimes, which had applied at the time, the regulator said.last_img read more

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Danish regulator reprimands pension fund for engineers

first_imgBeing a smaller player in the pensions market is challenging, he said, particularly with increasingly stringent demands for pension funds.“So one could say we have been prudent and have already taken account of this particular scenario, but the inspection just happened before everything was fully in place,” he said.The FSA said that when it had inspected ISP in January 2014, the pension fund had been unable to calculate its individual solvency requirement according to the new rules.In its report, the authority said: “In this context, the FSA considers it reprehensible that neither the supervisory board nor the management board was in possession of a clear enough basis for assessing whether proposed and implemented risk-reduction measures were sufficient to ensure compliance with the current solvency requirements in the transition to a new method.”On the subject of ISP’s agreed cooperation with AP Pension, the FSA criticised the pension fund for failing to have a clear enough basis for making that agreement in the first place. This meant the pension fund had put itself in a situation where it was unclear to what extent tasks would be solved within the framework of the agreement.The FSA said it had told ISP back in January 2013 that the pension fund did not have adequate collective skills on its supervisory board.It said it had now given the pension fund a risk notification because ISP had still not taken the necessary steps to strengthen collective skills on the board. The pension fund was also reprimand for failing to take enough account of the differences in mortality rates for scheme members with guaranteed with-profits pensions and those with unit-link pensions. Regarding investment practice, the FSA ordered ISP to set clear risk limits in relation to which asset types it may invest in, and about the extent to which interest-rate derivatives could be used.“Furthermore, a reprimand was given on the setting of adequate guidelines on concentration risk,” the FSA said.The authority said ISP’s average investment return for with-profits pension savings had been lower than those produced by comparable businesses over the last five years.At the end of the first quarter, ISP had a capital requirement of DKK578m, the FSA said, and a solvency level of 1.31.Bytoft said at no point had there been any risk to members’ savings. The Danish financial regulator (FSA/Finanstilsynet) has reprimanded engineers’ pension fund ISP for being unable to calculate its solvency requirement, as well as a lack of skills among its directors.ISP, the pension fund for technical and diploma-qualified engineers, responded by saying it had already decided to outsource most operational functions to commercial provider AP Pension, and that this arrangement would be in place in the second half of this year.The labour-market pension fund, which manages DKK15.4bn of pension assets, announced the outsourcing deal in June last year.Lars Bytoft, chairman of ISP’s supervisory board, said: “We at ISP have decided long ago that it will give us many advantages if we outsourced the majority of our activities to AP Pension.”last_img read more

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German companies reluctant to provide data to EIOPA, aba warns

first_imgThe European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority’s (EIOPA) controversial stress tests for IORPs not only “lack legitimacy”, according to Heribert Karch, chairman of German pension association aba, but will also spread “unease” among German companies.Even before the final specifications for the stress tests were released today, German stakeholders had been very critical of the proposals.  In a statement, the aba argued that the holistic balance sheet approach was, in principle, a “disproportionate copy/pasting of the Solvency II regulations onto IORPs”.But the pension fund association also claimed that German companies felt “unease” about having to forward potentially sensitive data to EIOPA. “Trust is built mainly by positive experience,” the association noted in the paper, suggesting German companies’ relationship with EIOPA has not been entirely positive.In previous quantitative impact studies, German supervisor BaFin collected the data and sent it to EIOPA only after consolidating it.Under the scheduled stress tests, however, all participating IORPs will have to forward information directly to EIOPA, including that of individual member companies, some of which are listed.Further, the aba said the quantitative assessment – to be conducted alongside the stress tests but on a voluntary basis – would yield “much less representative results” for Germany than the first ones in 2012.Given the considerable efforts made and costs incurred by German IORPs after the 2012 assessment, any “willingness to participate is much lower”, it warned.The aba also argued that the ramifications of European Central Bank’s monetary policy had been clear, even before the quantitative assessment.“The victims of the current ECB monetary policy are those that are saving in a funded pillar or have done so in the past,” it said.last_img read more

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EU’s Hill hopes for early adoption of infrastructure as Solvency II asset

first_img“This will allow the insurance industry to invest more of the €10trn it manages in European infrastructure,” he said, according to a text of his speech. “We have already put forward a delegated act making this change, and I hope it can be put into effect as rapidly as possible.”Speaking about plans to make it easier for both smaller and larger companies to tap capital markets, Hill said he launched a proposal earlier this week to overhaul the Prospectus Directive.“We need a regime that is simpler, faster and cheaper,” he said.Since prospectuses, under the current system, could run to hundreds of pages, the commission is now going to exempt more companies from having to produce them, he said.The threshold at which firms have to issue one will rise to €500,000 from €100,000, and member states will be able to raise that limit further to €10m – twice the current threshold.At the other end of the scale, the commission will help larger companies that tapped the markets more frequently, by creating a “frequent issuer regime”, where they only have to produce a universal registration document once a year.“This will reduce the approval times for raising capital from 10 days to five,” Hill said. European Union (EU) commissioner for financial stability Jonathan Hill has said he hopes legislation now in progress that will see infrastructure defined as an asset class for Solvency II purposes will take effect soon and let insurers plough more money into the Continent’s infrastructure.Speaking to an audience in Brussels, Hill said: “By making changes to Solvency II, we can define infrastructure as an asset class and reduce the capital ratios associated with it by about one-third.”He cited this as one way the European Commission had acted early to support long-term investment in infrastructure.This step was described by Hill as part of the commission’s work to build a single market for capital, the Capital Markets Union (CMU).last_img read more

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ESG roundup: PGGM, CPPIB, Financial Stability Board, AP2

first_imgSenior investment officials at Dutch pension fund manager PGGM and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) are among nine new members of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) as it embarks on a second phase of work. Eloy Lindeijer is CIO at €183bn Dutch asset manager PGGM, while Stephanie Leaist is managing director and head of sustainable investing at CPPIB.They join the following seven other appointees to the Financial Stability Board task force:Bruno Bertocci, managing director and head of sustainable investors, UBSRichard Cantor, chief risk officer, Moody’sEric Dugelay, global leader of sustainability services, DeloitteUdo Hartmann, senior manager of group environmental protection and energy management, DaimlerDiane Larsen, Americas assurance markets leader, Ernst and YoungMark Lewis, managing director and head of European utilities equity research, BarclaysJon Williams, partner, sustainability and climate change, PwC The task force now has 31 members. Chaired by Michael Bloomberg, it is developing recommendations for what constitutes meaningful climate-related corporate financial disclosures by companies for use by investors and other stakeholders. It has, however, also indicated that it will look at drawing up recommendations for disclosures by institutional investors and asset owners.In other news, Swedish buffer fund AP2 is joining the advisory board of an initiative launched by Norwegian climate research institute CICERO. CICERO Climate Finance was launched with start-up money provided by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.It will focus on translating climate science research into information relevant to investors. The advisory board comprises 12 members plus an observer. BlackRock and the World Bank Treasury are represented on the board, as are several Scandinavian banks, the Norwegian government and industry associations. The SEK300bn (€32bn) Swedish buffer fund will be represented by Ole Petter Langeland, head of macro, exposure, fixed income, foreign exchange and trading at AP2.last_img read more

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EIOPA reassures on persistent IORP solvency funding rule fears

first_imgAs a European institution, EIOPA needed a common metric to measure the risk of a pension fund, but there was “no appetite to apply Solvency II”, he added.He did not know how to assure the industry that fears of such a move were not grounded, he said.The new IORP II Directive, which is at various stages of implementation by member states across the European Union, has ruled out solvency capital requirements for pension funds. EIOPA last year said it would not be advising on harmonising capital or funding requirements.However, some in the industry are still concerned that EIOPA would try to introduce such requirements “through the back door”, pointing to the authority’s use of the common framework methodology for its stress tests on pension funds.Janwillem Bouma, chair of PensionsEurope, the European workplace pensions trade association, noted and welcomed the assurance that Parente had given.Parente said Solvency II and the revised IORP Directive were two very different legislative frameworks, one based on maximum harmonisation and the other on minimum standards. EIOPA’s role with respect to IORP II was to help ensure a more consistent application of those standards by national supervisors and to look out for best practices, he said.Parente said he knew there was a fear EIOPA would issue a large amount of guidelines as it did in preparation for the implementation of Solvency II, but that pensions were “a completely different story”, being a much more national market.He said that although EIOPA was looking to foster an internal market for pensions – for example via the pan-European personal pensions product (PEPP) and the idea of a pan-European occupational defined contribution (DC) framework – it was completely aware of the differences between the insurance and pension sectors.Parente also defended EIOPA against criticism that the authority had overstepped its remit on pensions with its own initiative work. He said EIOPA needed to be able to carry out work on its own initiative if it was to fulfil its role of advising the legislative powers.He also stressed that, when EIOPA issued guidelines, it had the backing of the heads of the national authorities who are EIOPA members.“I cannot share many of the criticisms,” he said.Manuela Zweimüller, head of the policy department at EIOPA, later made a similar point, saying own initiative work was within EIOPA’s mandate. She seemed to express exasperation at criticism about the authority’s own initiative work, suggesting she ought to propose abolishing the term. The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) is not intent on introducing solvency funding requirements for pension funds, the supervisory authority’s executive director has said.Speaking at a PensionsEurope conference in Brussels, Fausto Parente said EIOPA was working on fostering an internal market for pensions.He acknowledged fears among pension funds and national bodies that the authority could seek to introduce rules for defined benefit (DB) pension funds similar to the insurance sector’s Solvency II regime, but insisted there was no appetite for this at EIOPA.“It’s a debate that was there in the past,” Parente said.last_img read more

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EFAMA, ICMA: ‘no systemic risk’ from leverage in EU-based funds

first_imgLevels of leverage have remained constant in recent years and there has been no systemic risk related to the use of leverage in EU-domiciled funds, according to the associations.The Financial Stability Board has been investigating whether the asset management sector could pose a danger to financial stability, with leverage forming part of its concern about systemic risk in investment funds.Earlier this year it set out policy recommendations for tackling “structural vulnerabilities” of asset managers, with leverage one of the risks covered. The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has been charged with evaluating the recommendations and considering next steps.Peter de Proft, EFAMA director general, said European regulation was “a cutting-edge framework at global level and [we] hope that IOSCO and the FSB use it as the benchmark and starting point for their work”.“This will allow them to deliver their mandate and propose a consistent matrix of different measures that can capture the broad universe of fund vehicles and investment strategies,” he said.Martin Scheck, chief executive of ICMA, said there was an “advanced technical framework already in place in Europe”.“We believe this work should help the ongoing debate on systemic risk in investment funds and should promote sensible solutions based on existing rules and practices,” he said.The associations recommended that existing EU regulatory standards should be the basis for developing a “matrix” of different measures of leverage and risk.“No single measure can capture all the risk in nature, size and characteristics associated with a fund’s underlying assets and strategies,” the associations argued.EFAMA and ICMA added: “Not all funds are relevant from a systemic point of view. In fact, very few of them present characteristics that need a more detailed scrutiny… Second, we should not forget that – at least in Europe – the risk that investment funds represent for their counterparts is already addressed by reporting requirements to national regulators. In addition, such risk is also addressed by prudential requirements in other existing regulatory frameworks that apply in combination with the regulation on leverage.”They also recommended that the existing EU framework guide any further streamlining of global calculation methodologies for leverage and risk.The paper can be found here. Global regulators’ work on leverage and systemic risk in investment funds should use the existing European regulatory framework when addressing these issues, according to two European industry associations.In a joint report, the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) and the asset management and investors council of the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) argued that the European legislative regime “offers a robust framework” to address risks related to leverage in investment funds.The associations said EU rules for alternative investment fund managers and UCITS funds had “allowed regulators to ascertain that leverage levels remained relatively low and constant over time and that wider regulatory framework governing European investment funds has not led to potential systemic risk occurring in EU-domiciled investment funds since the crisis”.Citing rules and legislation for UCITS, alternative investment funds, and derivatives, EFAMA and ICMA said European regulators were already able to assess levels of leverage in funds and “take appropriate supervisory actions”.last_img read more

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Nordic investor launches search for $250m equity mandate

first_imgA Nordic investor is seeking a manager for a $250m (€216m) global developed market equities mandate, via IPE Quest Discovery.According to Discovery search DS-2472, the investor wants a US-domiciled pooled fund in order to benefit from tax exemptions for dividends.The fund should have a multifactor approach with an “enhanced” process.Managers should have a track record of at least a year for the strategy. The deadline for submissions is 18 September at 5pm UK time.Discovery is IPE Quest’s pre-RFI tool, designed to enable institutional asset owners to carry out a preliminary search for managers active in an asset class or region.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 jayna.vishram@ipe-quest.com.Other open IPE Quest manager searches:European investor seeks manager for $100m global equities mandate (closes 13 September)last_img read more

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MyStyle Homes’ two-storey, energy-efficient, Smithfield display home wins again

first_imgMyStyle Homes have built their first two story display home that achieves 9.3 star rating for energy-efficiency.More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days agoThe Tesla Power Wall 2 has its own internal cooling system and rugged construction and build quality, ideal for the tropics, and comes complete with a monitoring platform app, allowing the owner to understand and control the power usage. This display home is the first two-storey display home with a Tesla Power Wall 2 system installed in Cairns. MyStyle Homes’ first two story display home that achieves 9.3 star rating for energy-efficiency has won another award – the HIA Australian GreenSmart Display Home for a sustainable home featuring a passive solar design, thermal mass and lightweight construction methods.It is also the second time MyStyle Homes has won the GreenSmart award, picking up the national award in 2014.“This home achieved an outstanding 9.3 energy efficient rating. Building green homes in the tropics is something that is fundamental to what we do, and in our display homes we take it to the next level so we can showcase just what is possible when creating the ultimate energy efficiency in homes,” said MyStyle Homes co-owner Grant Hartwig.“We think this is a game changer for the industry, and to be again recognised at a national level for creating an energy efficient home is something we are proud of and energy efficiency is something close to our heart.” MyStyle Homes’ first two story display home that achieves 9.3 star rating for energy-efficiency has won another award – the HIA Australian GreenSmart Display Home for a sustainable home featuring a passive solar design, thermal mass and lightweight construction methods.MyStyle beat 420 competitors in the win – the first time the Far North has been recognised for this award.The display home boasts a Tesla Battery System: Tesla Power Wall 2, which enables the consumer to generate, use, sell and store their own energy. The system will also provide blackout protection in the event of a cyclone or power loss. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality LevelsAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window. The Video Cloud resource was not found. Error Code: VIDEO_CLOUD_ERR_RESOURCE_NOT_FOUNDcenter_img My Style Homes co-owner Heather Ghidella has won a national housing award and also Cairns business woman of the year awards. picture: Stewart McLeanAnother co-owner, Heather Ghidella, said it was “incredibly special to get this kind of national attention and recognition for something that we have put so much hard work into”. “It took almost two years to design, build and style this home because we put so much thought into every detail of the home.” The multi award-winning display home ‘MyTenacity’ is located at Castleton Entrance in Smithfield and is open from 10am to 4pm Thursday to Sunday. Session ID: 2020-09-28:e6592d9d121d470d2c45edf8 Player Element ID: vjs_video_736 OK Close Modal DialogBeginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen00:00A PIONEER of the Far North building industry has received yet another award.MyStyle Homes’ two-storey, energy-efficient, Smithfield display home was this week awarded the Housing Industry Association’s best Australian GreenSmart Display Home for a sustainable home featuring passive solar design, thermal mass and lightweight construction methods.The house had previously achieved a silver level certification of liveability from Liveable Housing Australia and earlier this year the house, named My Tenacity, also won Australia Housing Awards 2018 Australian Display Home of the year in Singapore.last_img read more

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