Redington – Dan Mikulskis, Pete Drewienkiewicz and Mitesh Sheth have been promoted at consultancy Redington to become managing directors of their respective business areas: asset liability management, manager research and business development and communications, respectively. Neha Bhargava and Rachel Johnson have been made directors within client consulting and operations. Redington said all of these promotions were part of its new push for business growth.Morningstar – Dan Kemp has been appointed CIO at Morningstar’s Investment Management Group for the EMEA region. He is replacing Daniel Needham, CFA, who became president and CIO for the Morningstar Investment Management Group in January 2015. Robin Johnson, CFA, has also been hired as head of portfolio management, EMEA. Kemp joined Morningstar in 2014 as co-head of investment consulting and portfolio management for Morningstar Investment Management in the EMEA region, having previously worked at investment consultancy Albemarle Street Partners, which he co-founded. In his new role, he will report to Needham. Johnson came to Morningstar in 2007, after working at Mellon Global Investors and Bestinvest. He will report to Kemp.SYZ Asset Management – Katia Coudray has been appointed chief executive of SYZ Asset Management and head of OYSTER Funds. She was previously at Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) in Geneva, where she was a member of the asset management executive committee. Florent Guy-Ducrot has been hired by the firm, which is a division of the SYZ Group, as head of business development, replacing Xavier Guillon. Guy-Ducrot has previously been head of sales and distribution in various asset management companies including HSBC and Crédit Agricole (now Amundi).Schroders – Owen Scarrott is joining Schroders early next month in the newly created role of materials and energy global sector specialist. He most recently worked as an equity analyst at Morgan Stanley and had similar jobs at Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs. Scarrott will be based in London and report to Simon Webber, who is responsible for the global sector specialist team.Pioneer Investments – Michael Dirstine has been hired by Pioneer Investments and will take on the newly created role of institutional business development officer. He will be based in Boston. Before joining the firm, Dirstine was vice-president of institutional sales at Eaton Vance.Russell Investments – Van Luu has been appointed head of currency and fixed income strategy at Russell Investments, to be based in London. He will report to Andrew Pease, global head of investment strategy. He comes to the firm from Norges Bank Investment Management, where he was a senior analyst for investment policy and allocation strategies. NAPF, Whitbread, comPlan, Sulzer, Swisscom, RobecoSAM, Redington, Morningstar, SYZ Asset Management, Schroders, Pioneer Investments, Russell InvestmentsUK National Association of Pension Funds – Lesley Williams, group pensions director at Whitbread, has been appointed chair of the NAPF, succeeding Ruston Smith, whose two-year tenure will end at the NAPF annual general meeting on 16 October. Williams has been a non-executive director of the NAPF since 2011 and is currently chair of its defined contribution council.comPlan/Sulzer – Urs Schaffner will leave his position as managing director of the CHF4bn (€3.8bn) pensionskasse for the machinery maker Sulzer (SVE) to become head of the CHF9.5bn pension plan for telecommunications company Swisscom (comPlan) from October. He will replace André-Pierre Schmidt, who is leaving after five years. At SVE, the search for a replacement for Schaffner is ongoing. It has now also been confirmed that Edouard Stucki, formerly at Towers Watson Switzerland, has joined the asset management team at comPlan at the beginning of the year. RobecoSAM – Bas Knol has been appointed active ownership specialist in RobecoSAM’s governance and active ownership team, taking up the role on 1 June. Before this, he was at ABN AMRO Private Banking, where he was responsible for integrating environmental, social and governance factors into the investment process.
The pension fund said 2015 had been a very unsettled year with many economic and political factors at play, and that this had increased risk on financial markets.While equities produced high returns in the first quarter, the picture then changed markedly over the course of April, and the turbulence continued for the rest of the year, it said.Industriens said it had made good returns in its DKK38.6bn portfolio of equities, with Danish shares producing 33.3% – 2.5 percentage points higher than the market as a whole – and foreign shares generating 6.4%, which beat the market by 3.4 percentage points.Mortensen said: “We invested in the right shares, and at the same time our external managers did well, which also shows the value creation of our active management for members’ pension savings.”Unlisted investments ended the year with an overall return of 15.7%, with private equity alone returning 21.9%.Its portfolio of unlisted investments in Denmark and abroad now totals DKK31.8bn, having been built up to this level over many years.Mortensen said unlisted investments contributed significantly to the total return, making a decisive difference at a time of low interest rates and instability on the financial markets, and that the assets had added stability to the whole portfolio.Fixed interest assets, however, produced low or negative returns.Nominal Gilt-edged bonds returned 0.5% in 2015, index-linked Gilts gave 1%, and corporate bonds – which make up 30.8% of the overall portfolio – made a 1.8% loss. Industriens Pension in Denmark has reported a 6.7% overall return for 2015 in preliminary annual results and said its active management produced a good level of outperformance.In absolute terms, the pension fund’s investments returned DKK8.6bn (€1.1bn).Back in November, the DKK147bn (€19.7bn) labour-market pension fund reported it had produced a pre-tax return of 3.8% for the first nine months of 2015.Laila Mortensen, Industriens Pension’s chief executive, said: “Both the active management of equities and bonds and unlisted asset classes delivered good results, which has ensured all members a significant return on their pension savings.”
Strathclyde Pension Fund is to award £750m (€969m) worth of multi-asset credit mandates as part of the local authority fund’s overhaul of its strategic asset allocation.The decision to award four mandates comes after the £15.6bn Strathclyde decided to double its allocation to short-term enhanced yield (STEY) strategies to 15%The new STEY mandates, which will be funded through a 10-percentage-point cut in the fund’s equity allocation, were tendered late last year.Following the tender, the fund’s pensions committee this week decided to appoint Babson Capital and Oak Hill Capital to oversee two multi-asset credit mandates worth £300m and £150m, respectively. Both mandates will focus on high-yield debt and syndicated loans, the report to the pensions committee said, adding that it hoped to seed both mandates within two months of the contracts being finalised.The committee also decided to split a further £300m private debt award between the Alcentra Clareant European Direct Lending Fund II and the Babson Global Private Loan Fund, with the latter beating Partners Group to its share of the mandate.Strathclyde said the Alcentra allocation would be funded “over time”, and that the Babson allocation would be split between the Babson Global Private Loan Fund, due to close at the end of March, and its successor fund, set to launch before the end of June.As part of the new STEY strategy, Strathclyde also signed off a new investment approach for a £1bn mandate managed by PIMCO.The current PIMCO Absolute Return Strategy (PARS) targeted returns of 1.75% above the three-month LIBOR rate over a three-year period, below the minimum 4% cash outperformance desired by the local authority fund as part of the new strategy.The fund’s pensions committee decided to shift the portfolio to the PARS III strategy, which targeted an outperformance of bonds of up to 5%.As part of a parallel deployment of capital to long-term enhanced yield strategies, Strathclyde has also boosted its commitment to a local property fund and allocated £50m to the first in-house fund launched by the Pensions Infrastructure Platform.
The UK’s investment management association has unveiled an action plan aimed at boosting long-term investment to solve the country’s “productivity puzzle”.Its proposed actions include working with the UK pensions regulator and industry association to improve stewardship, as well as investigating whether pension funds are being forced to de-risk too much.The Investment Association (IA) said the UK government welcomed its action plan, referenced by chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in the 2016 Budget last week.It will formally update the chancellor on progress on the first and third anniversaries of the plan’s publication. The action plan, which aims to “catalyse the provision of long-term finance and enhance investor stewardship”, is built on an analysis of the barriers to long-term investment and the role investors can play in lowering these.Andrew Ninian, director of corporate governance at the Investment Association, said improving productivity required long-term investment by UK businesses.“The action plan seeks to deliver ambitious and achievable remedies to the ills of some of the most serious causes of short-term thinking in the British economy,” he said.“The investment industry remains steadfast in its commitment to play its part in fixing the UK productivity puzzle and help fix the challenge of our generation.”The plan has five principal objectives, underpinned by 12 recommendations in turn based on proposals for “a series of tangible actions”.It calls on various actors to take action, from companies and investment consultants to asset owners.Listed companies, for example, should stop reporting quarterly and instead focus on “a broader range of strategic issues”.Asset managers, meanwhile, should be supported in their public reporting of stewardship activities.The IA also called for changes to the way in which the relationship between asset owners and investment managers is governed so that it does not “inadvertently embed a short-term focus”.It has, therefore, proposed to work with The Pensions Regulator (TPR), the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) and investment consultants “to develop best-practice guidance on how stewardship and long-term incentives can be better incorporated into the Statement of Investment Principles and Mandate design”.Investment consultants should publicly set out how their activities “support the provision of long-term investment approaches and stewardship in mandate design and performance evaluation”, added the IA.Having found that defined contribution (DC) pension schemes face barriers to making long-term investments, the IA also proposed establishing a working group “to consider the key regulatory and market barriers to creating a DC investment environment more suited to long-term investment”.One of the reasons why longer-term financing is not reaching the UK economy, according to the IA, is that solvency and prudential regulation are leading to excessive de-risking in asset allocation.However well-meaning prudential regulation is, it contains an “over-emphasis on short-term market risk”, said the IA.This “embed[s] a focus on volatility and benchmark tracking error in the governance of investment strategies deployed”.This diagnosis is behind further actions proposed by the IA, one of which is to convene a working group “to review the extent to which current accounting standards and solvency and prudential regulatory requirements may be resulting in excessive de-risking by insurers and pension funds and impeding the provision of longer terms of finance”. Longer-term forms of capital, according to the IA, include equity, infrastructure and private placements.TPR balancing act The IA’s action plan contains “a number of interesting recommendations which we will consider further”, a spokesperson at The Pensions Regulator told IPE. “We already support economic growth by encouraging a balanced approach to the funding of defined benefit pension schemes – benefiting businesses and strengthening security for pensions,” added the spokesperson. “Employers’ ability to invest in long-term sustainable growth is balanced with our objectives to protect members’ accrued benefits and the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).”On the topic of DC pension schemes, the spokesperson referred to the regulator’s new code of practice and supporting guides, “which will set out our expectations of trustees in governing their scheme’s investments, and provide helpful guidance to assist them in meeting the challenges in this area.The code is expected to be laid in Parliament in May, and comes into force in July, according to TPR. The PLSA, meanwhile, “looks forward” to contributing its members’ perspective to the IA’s programme, said Luke Hildyard, policy lead on stewardship and corporate governance at the PLSA. “All investors need to take a long-term perspective when undertaking their investments and the Association has consistently promoted responsible, long-term investment stewardship,” he told IPE. He referred to work already carried out by the PLSA in this area, such as a recent report highlighting the importance of better corporate reporting of human capital and its stewardship disclosure frameworks for asset managers to set out their approach to prospective pension fund clients.
He succeeds Ronald Wuijster, CEO, who was appointed to the executive board of APG Group as member responsible for asset management earlier this year. Branner (left), a Danish national, joins from the €100bn Swedish asset manager SEB Investment Management where he was chief executive officer, responsible for investment processes as well as overseeing its broad range of funds and institutional mandates covering all major asset classes. The €479bn Dutch asset manager APG has appointed Peter Branner as its chief investment officer. Bart Le Blanc, chairman of the supervisory board of APG Asset Management, described the new CIO as “a seasoned executive in our field” and highlighted his “broad international experience in long-term investing”.Branner is to start his new job on 1 September, when he will become responsible for APG’s overall investment operations and will be tasked with optimising sustainable and long-term returns.Prior to joining SEB’s Stockholm office in 2008, Branner was CIO at the London-based multi-manager arm of Fortis.He has also served as managing director at IKANO Fund Management in Luxembourg, as well as other investment postions within the IKANO Group.The new CIO will report to Ronald Wuijster, chief executive of APG Asset Management and member of the executive board of APG Group.APG is the asset manager and pensions provider of the €414bn Dutch civil service scheme ABP.
Incorporating environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors improves outcomes for corporate bond investors, according to a report from JP Morgan Asset Management.The asset manager found that ESG scores could enhance portfolio outcomes via lower drawdowns, reduced portfolio volatility and, in some cases, marginally increased risk-adjusted returns.Although its study showed that using ESG scores improved gross portfolio returns for all categories of corporate bonds, this only held true for investment grade corporate debt once transaction costs were accounted for.The study involved back-testing portfolios of investment grade, high yield and emerging market debt, comparing their benchmarks with a portfolio constructed using MSCI ESG scores. The asset manager also set out to find out whether ESG scores differed from traditional agency credit ratings, and said the study suggested that MSCI scores were “additive” to traditional credit ratings.“The contingent liabilities related to ESG issues are not necessarily factored into rating agencies’ assigned ratings,” said Lovjit Thukral, vice president for global fixed income, currency and commodities (GFICC) at the asset manager and report co-author with Bhupinder Bahra, co-head of the quantitative research group for GFICC.According to Thukral and Bahra, the study showed that MSCI’s ‘E’, ‘S’, and ‘G’ scores were generally not related to one another or to credit agency ratings. In the investment grade segment, the governance score was negatively related to credit agency ratings.Another result of the study was that ESG benchmarks (of issuers covered by MSCI) had an inherent quality bias in terms of the performance metrics.In 2017, Hermes Investment Management found that there was a significant relationship between companies’ ESG credentials and their credit spreads. It recently turned its attention to ESG risks in sovereign bond markets, as did BlueBay Asset Management.Rating agencies have moved to more clearly demonstrate how ESG considerations feed into their credit analysis in response to pressure from investors.
Eva Halvarsson, chief executive officer of AP2, said: “All asset classes had a positive return and in particular, the world’s equity markets developed positively.”The fund’s Swedish equity portfolio returned a total 30.2%, while the developed markets foreign equity portfolio generated 31.7%. Emerging markets equities produced 19.9%.“The return on Chinese A shares was the fund’s best asset class with an annual return of 52.6%,” Halvarsson said.Over the years, she noted, AP2 had developed “unique expertise” in analysing the pension system’s development and needs in the future, in order to be able to construct the portfolio that provided the most benefit for the pension system.“In 2019 we have further supplemented the analysis by including the risks that climate change poses to economic growth,” she said.In its sustainability report – published alongside the annual report – AP2 said that looking ahead, it would continue to develop the integration of climate risk into its overall asset-liability management analysis.It also said it aimed to identify the main climate risks and opportunities for more asset classes, sectors and geographies, as well as finding out what their time horizon was.Having invested in green bonds since 2008 and included the environmentally-linked debt as a separate asset class in its portfolio since 2015, AP2 said it had now decided to lift the strategic allocation to green bonds to 3%, or just over SEK11bn.“During the year, there was continued strong growth in the market, with more issues and more organisations and companies issuing green as well as social bonds,” the fund said in its sustainability report.At the end of December, AP2 said it had over SEK14bn invested in green and social bonds. The first of Sweden’s mighty pension buffer funds to unveil 2019 results has announced its highest-ever results, generating SEK53bn (€5bn) in a bumper equities year when its holding of Chinese A shares produced a 52.6% return.Gothenburg-based AP2 also revealed it had increased its strategic weighting to green bonds to 3% last year from 1%, and included climate risk in its overall return assumptions, which form the basis for the choice of strategic portfolio.The other three of the main four government funds designed to back the Swedish state pension, AP1, AP3 and AP4 – all located in Stockholm – have yet to report 2019 results.Overall, AP2 said it made a return after costs of 15.9% last year, with total assets growing to SEK381.3bn by the end of December.
The waterfront property at 26 Lakeview Boulevard, Mermaid Waters is an entertainer’s delight.WHETHER you’re planning a fancy cocktail party or casual backyard barbecue, entertaining is a breeze in this waterfront home.The two-storey Mermaid Waters house has an open floorplan and well-equipped entertainment area, making it easy to host large groups of guests. Hide the mess made while cooking in the stone kitchen’s butler’s pantry and rest assured there will be enough food for everyone with two Smeg ovens and two gas stoves to work with. MORE NEWS: Imagine owning a castle The perfect spot to relax with a book or a glass of wine once the party is over.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa11 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoSliding glass doors open the kitchen, living and dining area out onto the alfresco area, which has an outdoor kitchen with built-in barbecue. The 11m saltwater pool, with gas heated spa, and canal offer a picturesque backdrop.But the living and entertaining spaces aren’t the only spacious areas in the house.Four of the six bedrooms have their own bathrooms while two bedrooms on the ground floor share another. The main bedroom not only has a walk-in wardrobe and ensuite but a covered balcony overlooking the water. MORE NEWS: V8 racer’s parents take another shot at selling Coast home Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:54Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:54 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning 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 Rate1xFullscreenAndrew Winter: To sell or to renovate?00:55 The chef-style kitchen is one of the home’s best features. There is plenty of space to entertain guests inside and out. Marketing agent Jenni Wright, of Lucy Cole Prestige Properties, said the home was custom designed.“The owners have built it to their specifications,” she said. “It’s a well appointed home and only 18 months old.” It also has a rumpus room with balcony, study and upstairs living area as well as two crystal chandeliers.The property is listed under and expressions of interest campaign, which will close on May 6.
Shelley and Daniel Grainger with PJ, 3, at their new rental home in Oonoonba. Picture: Evan MorganMore from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020“We’re here for the next six-months and then we’ll go from there — we’re hoping to be able to purchase our own home, especially because this situation has made us feel quite vulnerable.”“We are with Suncorp Insurance and they have been really responsive and supportive of our situation — The Department of Housing and Public Works have also given us a rent assit grant to help us get back on our feet.” Shelley and Daniel Grainger with PJ, 3, at their new rental home in Oonoonba. Picture: Evan Morgan“There was a lack of availability — things were going extremely quickly and when you’ve got a full time job, business to run, and toddler on top of moving out, there’s just not time.”“We also found that many properties were going before the inspection date.”REIQ Regional Director Damien Keyes said he predicts rental demand to ease up in the coming months. “The floods have had a significant short term impact — huge demand on supply has seen property managers inundated with applications and heaps of competition among people trying to obtain properties,” Mr Keyes said. “Before the floods vacancy rates were steadily dropping and there were slight increases in rent prices … Townsville was already heading toward a tighter period and then when the floods hit it just escalated that.”“As the tenants start to move out and back into their homes, and once all the abnormalities of the flood event sort themselves out, rent prices will head back down.” Houses inundated with flood waters are seen in Townsville, North Queensland, Tuesday, February 5, 2019. Forecasters say the end is in sight for Townsville’s flood disaster, with a possible easing of torrential rain by the weekend. (AAP Image/Dave Acree) NO ARCHIVINGAccording to statistics released this month by the Insurance Council of Australia, over one billion dollars in household and commercial claims have been lodged, with over 27,355 claims received by insurance companies in Townsville since the flood event. Of the 1518 critical home building claims, only 25 per cent have been fixed — leaving 75 per cent still waiting on repairs. Shelley said the hardest part of finding somewhere to rent after the floods was finding the time to go to inspections. Shelley and Daniel Grainger with PJ, 3, at their new rental home in Oonoonba. Picture: Evan MorganThe flood might be over but the nightmare has continued for many Townsville residents who have found themselves in the midst of a tight rental market without a home.Local business owner Shelley Grainger and her husband Daniel Grainger, were forced to relocate their young family from Belgian Gardens to Magnetic Island, after the property they were renting was among the properties deemed unliveable post deluge.With their toddler and two cats in toe, the Grainger’s had only two-weeks to be out of their home.“We were issued with a form 12 (notice to leave) for non-liveability from the RTA (Residential Tenancies Authority), and given two weeks’ notice by the real estate agent,” Ms Grainger said.“We couldn’t find anything in Townsville and had to take up temporary accommodation on Magnetic Island, which is a 1.5 hour commute each way, six-days a week for work.” The move not only impacted their business and living situation, but also their three-year-old son.“The place in Belgian Gardens was the only home our son has ever known and it was very traumatic for him … he didn’t understand why we had to leave.” Despite their hardship, the Grainger family are slowly getting back on their feet, with the help of friends who have rented them their home in Oonoonba while they are away on holiday.“We’re extremely thankful for the support of our friends, family and customers… It’s been a miracle for us — it was a really tricky situation and given how much we work, Magnetic Island just wasn’t practical.”
The kitchen is part of the open-plan living area. Picture: supplied.Upstairs, there is another living space with built-in study area while the main bedroom has an ensuite and all four bedrooms have built-in wardrobes. There is also a family bathroom on this level.The kitchen and bathrooms have recently been renovated and the home has been repainted. Mr Edmondson said his favourite thing about the home was the outdoor areas, including the resort-style pool, back deck and landscaped front and back yards. 8 Margaret Crescent, WakerleyTHIS family home was built to be a parkside sanctuary with a tropical resort feel. Owners Paul and Karen Edmondson fought to get the block at 8 Margaret Cres, Wakerley as it was the only one in Mossvale estate with direct front door access to the park. They built their dream four-bedroom home in 2008. “We’ve loved it. We’ve invested quite a lot in creating a sanctuary that we can come home to after a tiring week,” Mr Edmondson said. The poolside area has been created to be a sanctuary. Picture: supplied.“It feels like we’re on holidays every weekend. And the kids can get in the park, access the swings and ride their bikes without crossing a single road. More from newsCrowd expected as mega estate goes under the hammer7 Aug 2020Hard work, resourcefulness and $17k bring old Ipswich home back to life20 Apr 2020“For us, it’s the best blend of urban home with a tropical resort feel while still having that sense of space and community.”Set across two levels, the home has a separate lounge room on the ground floor along with an open-plan living, dining and kitchen area, laundry and powder room. The kitchen has two pack cabinetry, stone benchtops and an island bench. The separate living area looks out over the landscaped yard. Picture: supplied.“We like to sit out the front in the afternoon and evening looking out to the park, enjoying a glass of wine and that acreage feel as the sun sets,” he said. “On the weekend, and in summer in particular, we like being in the backyard with music on and the cricket on the outdoor TV.”The property is on the market through Todd Gerhardt of Remax Advantage.