An institutional investor based in Asia has tendered a $50m-100m (€37m-73m) Korean equities mandate, using IPE-Quest.According to search QN1375, the investor is looking specifically for active managers focusing on bottom-up, quality companies.Managers should employ the KOSPI index as benchmark, with a tracking error of no more than 6%.They should also have at least $1bn in assets under management and a minimum track record of three years. Applicants should state performance, gross of fees, to the end of September 2013.The closing date for applications is 22 January.The IPE.com news team is unable to answer any further questions about IPE-Quest 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 7261 4630 or email [email protected]
According to PGGM spokesman Maurice Wilbrink, PGGM has no opinion on the political fallout over its decision.Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post accuses PGGM of applying double standards, as the manager does not exclude Chinese banks investing in Tibet.In a response, Wilbrink told IPE sister publication IPNederland: “PGGM is engaging in a dialogue with those banks as well. Exclusion is a means, not a goal, and this is also true for the Israeli banks.“We strive to be active shareholders, using our position to encourage companies to change their behaviour. Exclusion of a company can be a measure when there seems to be no hope of such a change of behaviour.”PGGM has excluded Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, First International Bank of Israel, Israel Discount Bank and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank as of 1 January 2014 on the grounds of their involvement in the financing of settlements in occupied Palestinian territories.As various UN resolutions condemn the settlements as illegitimate – a charge Israel denies – financing them runs counter to PGGM’s responsible investment principles. PGGM engaged in dialogue with the banks prior to excluding and divesting from them, and the talks made it clear the banks had little to no room to stop their financing, in part because Israeli national law prevents them from doing so – a situation that is not expected to change anytime soon, according to PGGM.PGGM is engaging several other undisclosed Israeli companies in dialogue, according to the manager.Three of the five banks PGGM has turned its back on are among the listed investments of €293bn ABP, the Dutch civil servants pension scheme.ABP spokesman Harmen Geers confirmed ABP still invested in the three banks.ABP, too, is engaging in dialogue with the banks, but these talks will not necessarily end in the same result as PGGM’s.Meanwhile, ABP has just excluded and divested from Tepco, the partly state-owned Japanese utility company operating the Fukushima nuclear plant.It said: “During and following the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the company structurally engaged in behaviour that runs counter to our standards, including by disregarding public safety.“Repeated attempts by ABP to encourage Tepco to change its behaviour have failed.”PGGM still invests in Tepco.Wilbrink: “Like APG, PGGM is not happy with the results so far, but we are giving Tepco the benefit of the doubt, as the company is implementing a highly complex clean-up operation around Fukushima.“At this point, we do not believe divesting our modest holdings in the company will contribute to a better or faster resolution of the problems at hand.” Israel has summoned the Dutch ambassador to object to a decision by Dutch pensions manager PGGM to divest its holdings in five Israeli banks.PGGM serves as the pensions manager of, among others, the €134bn healthcare scheme PFZW.Dutch minster of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans responded to the row by declaring that the decision to divest was PGGM’s alone, and that the Dutch government had no involvement in the matter whatsoever.Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte repeated the same message during a press conference following the minister council meeting.
The Loomis Pension Plan has selected Russell Investments to provide fiduciary management duties for its £120m (€150m) of assets.The pension fund was an early adopter of fiduciary management in the UK, and will use Russell to shift the fund towards its longer-term aims.Russell Investments replaces Loomis’s original fiduciary manager.Tim Gibbs, finance director at Loomis UK, the pension fund’s sponsor, said the scheme originally adopted fiduciary management to get clear accountability for outcomes. Chair of the trustee board, Martine Touard-Riolle, added: “The trustees felt Russell demonstrated a clear vision of how they would develop and implement our strategy.”Shamindra Perera, head of pension solutions at Russell, said the appointment was a milestone in the UK fiduciary management industry.“Loomis was an early adopter of fiduciary management,” he added. “[The appointment] represents the harbinger of a new and exciting phase in the growth of fiduciary management in the UK, as many that had adopted three or four years ago begin to assess the merits of their chosen provider.”In other news, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Pension Funds have appointed Northern Trust as global custodian for under the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Framework.The framework allows members of the LGPS to appoint custodians without a protracted tender process.Northern Trust has now won the mandates for the two pension funds, which have around £4bn in assets.The appointment is Northern Trust’s second LGPS Framework mandate win as a global custodian.Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, geographically neighbouring funds, collectively work on sharing and merging fund services for efficiency.So far, this has included administration services and several other mandates.Tolu Osekita, responsible for managing the investments for the funds, said: “It was evident Northern Trust has a strategic focus on the LGPS market, and their proven commitment to this segment is incredibly valuable to us.”
F&C, with 49 new mandates, has now moved above BlackRock (41) into third place with a total of 153 mandates compared with the latter’s 151.However, the US asset manager still outstrips its UK’s rival in terms of assets under management (AUM) by a wide margin.In segregated mandates, LGIM leads the way, with more than £270bn in AUM, seeing an 18.6% rise from last year, with Insight Investment close on its heels with £159.1bn – a 22.1% rise.BlackRock remains third, with £94.8bn, far ahead of Aviva (£14.8bn) and F&C (£11.3bn). The top three account for 85% of the market – a continuing trend.In pooled LDI mandates, the market is much tighter, with LGIM leading with £13.4bn but F&C in fourth with £5.7bn.In other news, Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) has reinsured £1.6bn of longevity risk with the Prudential Insurance Company of America (PICA).PIC, a UK bulk annuity insurer, said the reinsurance contract covered its risks over 74 schemes it has written buy-ins and buyouts for in recent years.In total, PIC has reinsured approximately 80% of its longevity risk, or roughly £9bn of its liabilities.The UK bulk annuity market has been relatively quiet compared with 2014, a record year for transactions.Since 2012, PIC has insured more than £6.3bn in pension liabilities but only £40m in the first three months of 2015. The UK’s liability-driven investment (LDI) market continues to grow, with total hedged assets rising to more than £650bn (€830bn) as the number of mandates tops 1,000.An annual survey conducted by consultancy KPMG showed the level of assets hedged rose by 27% from £517bn in last year’s survey, outstripping the £74bn and 16% rise seen between the 2013 and 2014 surveys.However, of the £147bn of new assets in LDI strategies, only around £32bn could be attributed to new or extended mandates, with the remainder the product of market movements.The number of new mandates increased by 25%, rising from 825 to 1,033, with market leader Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) winning most (52).
The Dutch pensions industry has criticised the regulator’s controversial decision to lower the ultimate forward rate (UFR), part of the discount rate for liabilities, from 4.2% to 3.3%. The Dutch Pensions Federation said it was “very disappointed” by the move, with its director, Gerard Riemen, arguing that defined benefit arrangements would “no longer be sustainable” over time, assuming interest rates remained at their current level or similar levels.PMT, the €65bn pension fund for the Dutch metal industry, said the UFR’s adjustment had reduced its coverage ratio by more than 3 percentage points, to just over 100%.Director Guus Wouters said the amended rate would also threaten PMT’s five-year pensions contract, designed to increase premium stability at the scheme. The €43bn PME scheme said the new UFR would knock 2.4 percentage points off its coverage ratio, lowering it to 100%, while tacking on a full year to a recovery plan already approaching 10 years.Director Eric Uijen added: “The measure will further delay indexation and increase the possibility of future rights cuts.”PME also echoed PMT’s assertion that the new rate would make pensions accrual more expensive. Frank Eldersson, director of pensions at the regulator, defended the new rate, claiming it was more balanced and fairer for all generations, and that it accounted for “as much market information as possible”.The UFR will be based on a 10-year running average of the 20-year forward rate.That average currently stands at 3.3%, but it is expected to fall over the next few years.Eldersson said the new UFR stood to reduce coverage ratios by 6 percentage points at pension funds with predominantly younger participants but just 3 percentage points for average funds and 2 percentage points for funds with older participants.The Pensions Federation, however, predicted that, if the UFR remained at its end-of-May level, it would cut funding by 15% on average – from 7% for younger schemes to 23% for older ones – by 2020. It also argued that the new rate would increase pension funds’ susceptibility to rate changes, and risk destabilising the new financial assessment framework (nFTK).The Federation said the regulator’s decision to opt for a more market-based rate, “just when the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme is strongly affecting interest levels”, made little sense. The regulator acknowledged that the new rate could affect contributions next year, predicting an increase in cost-covering premiums of 4-5%, if calculated using current interest rates.It said it expected the impact on contributions, using expected returns, to be half as big.The Pensions Federation added that it feared annual pensions accrual would be squeezed where pension funds had capped the premium level.
Merseyside Pension Fund has retained CBRE as its strategic property adviser.The £6.8bn (€9.24bn) Merseyside Pension Fund reappointed the manager to advise on its nearly £400m property portfolio, according to documents filed with the EU. Merseyside tendered for a new manager last year, on a 6-10 year contract.CBRE is to review the UK property portfolio’s investment strategy. The local government pension scheme is yet to decide on an operational property manager, which it is also tendering for under a separate contract.The new property manager will run the day-to-day operations for Merseyside’s portfolio that includes shopping centres in the South East of England, a business park and a building in London’s Mayfair district.CBRE was initially awarded a four-year contract to run its portfolio in 2009, replacing Savills, before then being given a two-year extension.The pension fund’s property holdings rose 18% in value over the year to April 2015, becoming the biggest contributor of growth to the portfolio’s 12.6% return.
Next, Switzerland’s population will decide on the reform package in a binding referendum on 24 September.A public vote is necessary because part of the reform requires an amendment to the country’s constitution. Through an increase in VAT, every person retiring from the day the reform comes into effect is to be granted a CHF70 (€57) top-up payment to compensate for cuts under the new pension framework.The Green party, GLP, changed its mind at the last minute to accept the reform package in parliament.They remained critical of the top-up payment to first pillar pensions, but said it should be up to the people to decide this question.In a vote on a similar general pension top-up in autumn last year, the people had rejected the left-wing initiative “AHVplus”.However, on 24 September Swiss people will not only be able to vote for or against the increase in VAT for pension payments, but also on the whole package.This means the reform package as a whole could still be toppled as unions, employer representatives, and parties have already started to campaign ahead of the referendum.Major points of the reform – apart from the top-up – are a lower conversion rate for second pillar Pensionskassen, and an increase to the retirement age for women. By a very narrow margin the Swiss parliament voted “yes” to the pension reform package ‘Altersvorsorge 2020’ (AV2020).The law was passed by the lower chamber, the Nationalrat, in the final vote today. There were 100 votes in favour, 93 against, and one abstention.At the same time the upper chamber, the Ständerat, also accepted the law with votes of 27 in favour to 18 against.Yesterday in a preliminary vote 101 MPs voted in favour of the changes, meaning the necessary majority was only just reached. In the final vote, just a simple majority was needed.
Norway’s giant sovereign wealth fund terminated asset managers running NOK20bn (€2bn) of green investment mandates last year, bringing the investments in house to save costs.Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which runs the NOK8.6trn Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), said in its annual responsible investment report that its environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) themed mandates made a loss of 8.3% over the course of last year.The allocation’s annualised return since inception just over eight years ago was 4.5% – below the 7.3% return on the MSCI Global Environment index over the same period, according to NBIM data.“To reduce cost in the management of the fund, the externally managed, environment-related mandates were terminated in 2018,” NBIM said in the report, adding that these mandates were now almost totally managed internally. “We have built up extensive internal expertise in environmental technology,” it said.The mandates – set up in 2010 on the Norwegian Finance Ministry’s instruction – totalled NOK43.3bn at the end of 2018. A spokesperson for NBIM said around NOK20bn was managed externally. According to the rules laid down by the ministry, the allocation can range between NOK30bn and NOK60bn of assets.Further readingNorway’s oil fund to axe real estate arm and reduce target allocation NBIM also announced yesterday that it was discontinuing Norges Bank Real Estate Management as a separate entity within the organisation, as part of an overhaul of its approach to property investing. Rachel Fixsen reports for IPE Real Assets.Releasing the responsible investment report yesterday, NBIM also said it had dealt with new climate-related issues last year.“Some new issues are emerging from the transition to a low-carbon economy,” said Carine Smith Ihenacho, chief corporate governance officer.In 2018, she said, NBIM had talks with companies in the car sector that use cobalt as a component of lithium batteries. Companies involved in mining cobalt have been linked to human rights issues in recent years.“We contacted companies to understand their low-emission plans and how they are managing the risk of human rights violations in their supply chains,” Smith Ihenacho said.According to the report, climate change was the ESG topic most frequently addressed in NBIM’s meetings with companies last year, having been a priority topic at 272 events in 2018.The manager said it had conducted almost 1,500 company meetings in 2018 at which it discussed governance issues and followed up on its expectations of businesses.
More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa17 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoSerenity Cove, Gold Coast.The sales splurge has prompted the Malaysia-based developers Sime Darby and Brunsfield International Group to bring forward the construction of a further 18 lots, with 15 expressions of interest already recorded.Savills director of residential Chris Jones said contracts were already being finalised.“We have noticed many purchasers relocating from other masterplanned communities within the area,” Mr Jones said.“Many have been attracted by Serenity’s low body corporate fees which are currently set at just $28 per week. The project has attracted professionals from Sanctuary Cove, Ephraim Island and Hope Island Resort, with most buyers appreciating the central location, less traffic and proximity to Paradise Point.”The new release is a mix of waterfront and dry lots, with some blocks featuring views over Coombabah Creek. The estate is designed to be a boating haven, offering direct access to Coomera River, the Broadwater and Coombabah environmental reserve. A $5 million lock links to the waterways for vessels up to 13m long and 4m wide. There will be a marina precinct with 3800sq m of retail and dining space fronting Lake Serenity.Mr Jones said Serenity Cove had attracted leading builders McCarthy Homes, Metricon, Clarendon Homes, Resolve Constructions and GJ Gardner Homes. The first residents have already moved in and seven homes are now under construction. Most buyers have been local owner-occupiers.Mr Jones said the new Hope Island Marketplace, which is just a two-minute drive away and scheduled to open in December, was also an attraction. Serenity Cove, Hope Island aerialA buyers’ spending spree at a masterplanned community on the Gold Coast has prompted the developers to fast-track the latest land release.Up to $16 million in land across 19 lots has been snapped up by buyers in just nine weeks at Serenity Cove, a $650 million gated community at Hope Island.
The living zones at Marine Quarter.Overlooking the Broadwater at Southport, the project will capitalise on the views, with one bedroom apartments starting from $349,000.It is being developed by Melbourne-based company, Three Pillars.“Currently being the only new residential development approved on the BroadwaterParklands gives us a unique point of difference and a rare opportunity for thoselooking to live in the area,” Podium Project Marketing Peter Malady said.The brand new one bedroom apartments will be on the market for almost $40,000 less than the current median unit sales price for Southport, according to CoreLogic. There will be ample room to wind down at Marine Quarter.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus16 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market16 hours agoThe first part of Marine Quarter — the Oceanic Tower — will house 107 apartments over 28 storeys. Levels five to 15 will have fine apartments per floor, with just four units per floor from levels 16 to 28.Mr Malady, said the development was expected to be popular with residents seeking an active lifestyle.“Whether you are into running, cycling, fishing or sailing, you will find incredibly easyaccess to practice any of these activities and more,” he said.“Endless kilometres of running and cycling paths right on the doorstep, and many of Southport’s boat ramps only minutes away give Marine Quarter a huge advantage over other developments.” FLOOR-TO-CEILING glass was a must for the architects behind Marine Quarter, a two tower development that will be constructed on the Gold Coast. “In terms of amenities, we really pushed ourselves to provide the ultimate entertainment and leisure experience while taking advantage of the breathtaking views,’’ Mr Malady said.“An oversized pool, a state-of-the-art gymnasium, BBQ and grill facilities, alfresco dining areas, and a multipurpose deck are surrounded by elegant landscapeand expansive views.“Residents will definitely enjoy a resort-like experience.” >>FOLLOW THE COURIER-MAIL REAL ESTATE TEAM ON FACEBOOK<< Luxurious bathrooms are on offer at Marine Quarter.The project has been designed by WallaceBrice Architecture, with floor-to-ceiling glass to maximise views and promote cross-ventilation in all apartments.Interiors have also been kept bright and airy, with the natural tonal palette to reflect the surrounding environment.A multifunctional benchtop transforms from workspace to breakfast bar, while deep recessed balconies off the living areas offer privacy and protection.The balconies have uninterrupted views across the Broadwater area and out to the Pacific Ocean, with permeable screens running along the edge of all balconies to diffuse sunlight.Two colour palettes are available for buyers to choose from.