Bech-Moen, who joined NBIM in 2009 and previously worked as senior analyst before being promoted to head of macro and portfolio research, will work alongside Øyvind Schanke, current global head of equity trading, and CIO of equities Petter Johnsen as heads of the new departments.Schanke will become CIO for asset strategies and Johnsen will maintain his brief, with his job from October referred to as CIO for equity strategies.Schanke has been with NBIM for a decade, joining as senior trader in 2001 and being promoted to head of trading in 2005 before assuming his current role at the end of 2007.Johnsen, meanwhile, spent seven years as portfolio manager at the central bank’s asset management division, rising to global head of sector strategies in August 2010 before being promoted to his current role in April 2011.NBIM has also set up a real estate leader group to prepare the division for growth in its property holdings, which it recently concluded could move outside Europe and the US.Karsten Kallevig, who joined NBIM in September 2010 as global head of real estate, will remain as CIO of real estate, with Lars Dahl as chief risk officer assessing potential property holdings.Nina Hammerstad, who took over from Kallevig as global head of real estate asset management in September 2011 following his promotion to CIO, will become the department’s COO, while Mie Holstad will become its chief administrative officer.Hammerstad was previously a partner at PwC, while Holstad has worked at PwC and Storebrand prior to joining NBIM as senior analyst in 2010, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) is to reorganise its investment departments, appointing three new CIOs, and expanding its real estate management team.The asset manager for Norway’s NOK5.5trn (€556bn) Government Pension Fund Global will be “strengthening” the management of its real estate investments through the launch of a standalone leader group, according to Yngve Slyngstad, chief executive at NBIM.“We’re aligning our investment departments with the fund’s main strategies, and we’re strengthening our risk and control activities,” he added, as the fund confirmed quarterly returns of 3.3%.As part of the reorganisation, current global head of allocation strategies Ole Christian Bech-Moen will assume the role of CIO for allocation strategies from October this year.
There are 11 officially recognised presidential candidates. The five leaders are: Marine Le Pen (Front National), Emmanuel Macron (En Marche!), François Fillon (Republican party), Benoît Hamon (Socialist party), and Jean-Luc Mélanchon (La France Insoumise movement, communist-backed). Antibiotics engagement updateA $2trn investor coalition has published a report showing how 10 large restaurant companies have been responding to its calls for them to help reduce the use of medically important antibiotics by large meat and poultry producers.The findings include that 70% of companies have now adopted either a comprehensive or partial policy to prohibit use in poultry, up from 50% in March 2016. In addition, 80% of companies report they are now actively engaging with suppliers to monitor antibiotic usage.However, none of the companies surveyed had developed fully comprehensive, publicly available antibiotics policies to cover their entire livestock supply chain.Richard Keery, investment manager at Strathclyde Pension Fund, said: “There is a growing public focus on rising levels of antibiotic resistance and the risks it poses to public health systems and ultimately to portfolio value. Antibiotic resistance is gaining traction as an important investment risk factor and the investor engagement is to be commended for ensuring this message is heard loud and clear in the restaurant sector. “The pension funds and asset managers in the investor coalition will be watching closely to see what further reductions in antibiotic use can be made in this sector and beyond.”G20 climate change commitmentStephanie Pfeifer, CEO of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), has commented in response to reports that Germany and other G20 countries “faced pressure to weaken the G20’s established commitment to climate action” from the US.Pfeifer said the IIGCC has “made plain” that it expects the G20 to “provide unequivocal leadership on action to curb climate risk”.“Failure by the G20 finance ministers meeting in Germany this weekend to back ambitious levels of climate action will only escalate systemic risks to the global economy and to the stability of financial markets, as [Financial Stability Board] chair Mark Carney has made clear,” she said.The G20 communiqué did refer to a commitment to phase out “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies.ESG in the alternatives industryIf there was any doubt that interest in responsible investing is on the rise, another survey has demonstrated its increasing appeal, this time within the alternative investment industry.The Massachusetts-headquartered Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association and Adveq, a global institutional private equity investor, found that “responsible investing, including the incorporation of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors and ethical principles, is growing in importance in the alternative investment management industry, driven by ethical principles, constituent demands, and new business opportunities”.Adoption of industry standards (71%), pressure from institutional investors (67%), and positive investment return outcomes (64%) were identified by respondents as the largest drivers of greater adoption of responsible investing and ESG approaches, according to a statement about the survey.“Responsible investing seems to be at a tipping point right now. It is garnering increased interest and momentum, which will likely accelerate in the years to come,” said William Kelly, chief executive officer at CAIA. “To support this demand, a more institutional infrastructure is needed including common standards, increased information, and education.” More about the survey can be found here.BlackRock launches Green bond index fundBlackRock has launched a green bond index fund, citing “growing demand from investors for this fast-growing part of the fixed income market”. The fund aims to deliver investment performance reflecting the total return of the Bloomberg Barclays MSCI Global Green Bond Index.Ashley Schulten, head of climate solutions for fixed income and co-manager of the fund, said: “We see a strong interest in green bonds from clients we service as they seek to participate in climate friendly and environmentally beneficial investments without making major changes to sector allocation or liquidity risk in their holdings. Clients interested vary from large institutional clients to family offices and retail investors.” The French responsible investment association (FIR) has written to the country’s presidential candidates to ask them to set out their vision for responsible investment.The association has asked them three questions concerning:the role they would like the financial sector to play in implementing a sustainable economy;the measures they intend to take to encourage responsible finance, where investment decisions take into account environmental and social risks and opportunities; andthe incentives they envisage for individuals’ savings to be channelled towards an economy that “resolutely” addresses the challenge of sustainable developmentThe open letter (in French) can be found here.
A good pension reform was one that triggered changes in behaviour to ensure that it lived on in society, according to Fornero.One of the reasons that reform was so difficult was because it had to involve reducing benefits for some and giving or reducing the burden on other generations, she said.“Don’t believe when they tell you that they’re doing a pension reform where nobody has to pay a price,” she told delegates. “It’s simply something that does not exist in nature.”Fornero said it was important to narrow the gap between the technical and the popular view of pension reforms. She did not like the view expressed by Jean-Claude Juncker, who once said: “We all know what to do, we just don’t know how to get re-elected after we’ve done it.” She and a fellow academic at the University of Turin, Anna Lo Prete, carried out research to test whether this view was empirically justified, and whether the political cost was reduced when people better understand the reform.She said the research, which analysed 20 years of pension reform in different countries, showed that implementing change reduced the chances of a government being re-elected, but that in countries with higher “economic financial” literacy, governments were penalised much less.“This is good news,” said Fornero. “We need to work on financial literacy programmes exactly because we need to involve people in social change.”Harking back to the situation in Italy around the time of the pension and labour market reform she introduced, Fornero said the political parties approved the reform but then attacked them in a bid to rebuild their reputation.“It was of course natural for them to say our work was so bad, which is exactly the opposite of the message that should have been given,” she said.The message should have been that the reform was done for the benefit of the country, and not for any single party, trade union, or interested parties, she said.“It’s difficult but it was worthwhile,” she said. “And the reform is still there.” Financial literacy can help reduce the electoral cost of pension reform, according to research carried out by economics professor and former Italian labour minister Elsa Fornero and a fellow academic.Fornero, who is professor of economics at University of Turin, was the labour minister in Mario Monti’s technocratic government from 2011 to 2013. She introduced a pension reform that helped save Italy from financial collapse, although it was seen by many as amounting to austerity.Speaking at the IPE 360 conference at the London Stock Exchange yesterday, Fornero said public pension systems were full of political risk, as it was easy for politicians to make big promises given that they have a short-term horizon but pensions are long-term.Today that short-term horizon favoured the older generation, she said.
Climate change not only poses risks but also investment opportunities in infrastructure, impact investments and possibly even private equity, according to René van de Kieft, chief executive of the €123bn asset manager MN.Commenting on a recent paper published by the Sustainable Pension Investment Lab (SPIL), a Dutch thinktank of which he is a member, Van de Kieft gave several examples of immediate investment opportunities.San Francisco’s sea defences could be strengthened and smart technologies could be adapted for clean energy generation, he said. Developers were making progress in areas such as climate control and energy-efficient lighting, Van de Kieft added, citing the development of an energy-efficient ice-skating rink in the Dutch town of Heerenveen.Large family-owned firms could also play an important role, the chief executive said, citing a firm that was developing a waste-powered electrical industrial dryer for food and fodder, to replace current gas-guzzling ones. “Investments in sustainable technologies could get a boost through these players,” he said.In Van de Kieft’s opinion, infrastructure and property projects also offered investment opportunities for pension funds, pointing at plans to improve sewerage systems to deal with increasing rainfall as a result of climate change.He also mentioned investments in “truly sustainable offices in London and Paris with excellent prospects for returns”.MN’s CEO forecasted that large pension funds, which already invest in these kind of projects, would further ramp up their allocation.He said he agreed with Deutsche Asset Management’s recent observation that small- and medium-sized pension funds insufficiently appreciated important immediate climate risks, such as the impact of hurricanes and flooding on production facilities.The SPIL report reiterated that no pension fund could ignore climate risk, especially after supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank indicated that schemes’ climate policy was to become part of its supervisory framework.Earlier, the regulator indicated that pension funds were more suscepticle to climate risk than insurers and banks, but that they also had more potential to benefit sooner from the upward potential of some investments.The SPIL paper concluded that a quick start to a gradual and orderly transition to a sustainable economy would be best for pension funds.The longer they waited until the physical impact of climate change was visible, the more difficult it would be to remove climate risk from their investment portfolio, it said.Citing figures from the Economist’s Intelligence Unit, SPIL said worldwide there would be $4.2trn (€3.6trn) of value at risk at the end of this century if global warming continued at current trends.This amount could increase to $13.8trn if global average temperatures were to rise by 6°C rather than 2°C.Van de Kieft emphasised that climate risk would affect all sectors and asset classes.Newton IM joins investor climate groupIn other news, Newton Investment Management has joined the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC). IIGCC is a forum of 146 “mainly mainstream” investors with over €21trn of assets uner management, including nine of the top 10 largest European pension funds or asset managers.On the occassion of the recent round of UN climate change negotiations in Bonn (COP23), the IIGCC confirmed it was building a new programme focussed on investor practices and disclosure of climate risk. Speaking at the COP23 in Bonn, Peter Damgaard Jensen, CEO of Danish pension fund PKA and chair of the IIGCC, said the investor-focussed programme completed its existing programmes of engagement with policymakers and shareholder engagement with corporates. The new programme would allow asset owners and managers to ”share best practice around assessing, managing and reporting climate risk and investing in the opportunities that support a smooth transition to a low carbon economy,” he said.
Asset managers with a low information ratio are likely to be among the worst benchmark-adjusted performers over subsequent years, according to research.The study, conducted by Andrew Clare, professor of asset management at Cass Business School, identified quantitative indicators that could help investors determine the likely future performance of their fund managers.It also found that managers likely to underperform their benchmarks in subsequent years were those with a high fund turnover or that experienced high net fund inflows.The research used a comprehensive data set comparing the performance of over 2,100 US mutual funds from 2000 to 2017. Overall, the study found the size of a portfolio did not prove to be a consistent way of identifying outperformers.However, it found some – albeit weak – evidence that both large and small funds subsequently produced poor benchmark-adjusted returns.This, it suggested, was because at both extremes the funds suffered from a lack of fund manager attention.The study said: “For the small funds, [could this be] because they are just not significant from a fee generation perspective, and the larger funds, perhaps because the manager does not want to rock the fee-generating boat?”However, both net flows and fund turnover did produce fairly consistent subsequent returns, according to the research. Funds that received high net inflows in one year tended to produce poor benchmark-adjusted returns in the next year.The authors remarked: “It seems plausible that in- and outflows distract managers from their investment strategies, making it difficult for them to implement those strategies.”And they said there was similar evidence when using fund turnover as a criteria: “Funds that experience high levels of turnover in year t, tend to produce poor benchmark-adjusted returns in year t+1. High turnover has been linked to wealth-damaging behavioural biases, and it appears that there may be some evidence for this phenomenon in our results.”Clare said: “Choosing the right active fund manager is clearly a challenge for all investors, given the wide range of choices out there. It is equally important to know when the time is right to switch investment funds from an existing manager to a new manager. Our research suggests avoiding investing with managers that produce a low information ratio, have high turnover or where the fund experiences high net inflows.”The study was co-authored by Mariana Clare of Imperial College and supported by Inversis, the Spanish investment technology consultancy.
The public fund is in the middle of the selection process for US small cap mandates, and in the early stage of the selection process for Japanese equity mandates.In February FRR announced it had lost 5.2% in 2018, its first investment loss in eight years. The stock market fall in the last two months of the year had dramatically affected its performance, it said.Further readingWhy FRR doesn’t invest in green bonds – for nowOlivier Rousseau, executive director of FRR, explains the French pension reserve fund’s approach to green bonds France’s FRR addresses Brexit concerns in manager searchThe €36bn fund took steps to remove Brexit-related uncertainty from having an adverse effect on the small cap manager search FRR’s headquarters in Paris France’s €32.6bn Fonds de réserves pour la retraite (FRR) has chosen the managers it wants to run an indicative €1.7bn in French and European small cap equity strategies.JP Morgan Asset Management, AXA Investment Managers, BNP Paribas Asset Management and Fil Gestion have landed European small cap mandates, to which the pension reserve fund previously indicated plans to allocate up to €1.1bn. HSBC Global Asset Management, Amiral Gestion, Sycomore Asset Management, and BFT Investment Managers have been chosen to run up to €600m in domestic small cap investments.The tender was launched in April last year, with FRR saying it would pay particular attention to how managers integrated environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues in their processes. It has tightened its ESG focus for all manager searches.
In 2020, the Impact Investing Institute, an independent non-profit launched in November in London, will initiate a programme to woo the pensions sector.The usually cautious pension trustees have not always been receptive to finance embedding environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, such as impact investment. Run by a group of impact investment advocates, the institute considers this a misjudgement, suggesting pension savers show strong desire for sustainable investments.“More and more people want to use their pensions and savings in a way that benefits society and the environment, as well as making a financial return”, stated chief executive officer Sarah Gordon, quoting a 2019 survey of 6,000 people by the UK government.Pension funds, she suggested, are missing a major opportunity due to their size. “We’d like to mobilise big pools of capital, such as defined contribution pension funds, to increase their impact,” said Gordon. To achieve its objective of growing the impact investment segment, the organisation will strengthen and more clearly define the concept. This, it describes as investment with the intention to improve social and environmental issues while achieving a financial return. Impact investments, it said, must be accountable for delivery as well as measurable.Prioritising standards construction and improving reporting are key to safeguarding against questionable claims and cultivating the sector, Gordon said. “Not enough of these investments have intent or accountability. The danger of this lack of precision is one reason we’ve brought the institute into being.”Nonetheless, the organisation faces several obstacles: returns are often considered too low for pension funds endeavouring to meet liabilities; difficult to scale up; and illiquid due to long-term commitments – all viewpoints the institute challenges. “One clear benefit from impact investment is liability matching for pensions through projects such as wind farms and social housing”, Gordon noted.To counter these views while raising confidence, the organisation plans to deploy a group of pension ambassadors. “Some pension funds are more advanced in this area. We will translate knowledge from the pioneers in pension funds to those not yet aware.”It will also build a bigger evidence base to broaden awareness on investment returns, for instance.“Many impact funds show a satisfactory three-year track record but no study has yet been made of returns in the impact universe as a whole”, said Karen Shackleton, director of Pensions for Purpose, an initiative collaborating with the institute.New UK and European Union ESG disclosure rules have bolstered the institute’s proposition, improving pension transparency and driving ESG. “This is about getting investors to reconnect with the purpose of capital”, Shackleton said.
The EU should convene an expert group to prepare voluntary guidance about how pension providers can “better understand and model environmental, social and governance-related (ESG) risks and their relation to ‘traditional’ financial risks in their portfolios”, according to a high-level group of pension experts established by the European Commission.The recommendation is one of many set out in the group’s final report, which provides analysis and policy advice about the role of supplementary pensions in contributing to adequate income in old age, and how the market for them could be developed.Dated December 2019 but published this week, the report addresses challenges affecting the concept and design of supplementary pensions and their role in relation to sustainable finance and sustainability.Key recommendations include that: member states provide incentives for social partners – trade unions and employer bodies – to set up collective pension plans that ensure risk-sharing between members;member states and providers ensure that occupational pensions provide pension credits for career breaks linked to childcare or other caring responsibilities; andthe EU, member states and social partners develop tools and methodologies to assess EU pension providers’ vulnerability to long-term environmental and social sustainability risks.With regard to the topic of sustainable finance, the expert group’s recommendations included that the EU:clarify how pension providers can take into account the impact of ESG factors on investment decisions; and“ensure that sustainable investment rules are compatible and consistent with other regulatory requirements and avoid duplication, in particular as regards transparency and information disclosure”.‘Appropriate follow-up actions’In a statement welcoming the final report, PensionsEurope said the recommendations, which were addressed to EU institutions, national policy makers, social partners and other stakeholders, “must be carefully assessed with appropriate follow-up actions”.It said it valued the holistic approach suggested by the high-level expert group, “which considers both the interplay between labour markets and pensions and between public social security and supplementary pensions”.Matti Leppälä, who is secretary general of the umbrella body for national pension fund associations, was one of the members of the expert group.“I am confident [the final report] contains useful analysis and reflections for policy makers, social partners and other stakeholders,” he said. “I hope that the new European Commission can benefit from this work and takes forward measures that enhance the role of supplementary pensions in Europe.”PensionsEurope said it would be discussing the contents of the report with its members over the coming weeks.The report can be found here.
And one after the renovation“And the vendors, they are delighted,” Ms Rudolph said. “I think what makes it special for them is that they hoped it would be bought by someone who appreciated all the effort they put in.”And those vendors were fashion and interior stylist Natalie Winter and her husband Gerry Heffernan, who bought the property in 2013 and tripled its size. A bathroom before the renovationShe said the family inspected the house again on Tuesday, and signed on the dotted line that day, with the house going unconditional today. The house during the renovationIt was purchased by a local Brisbane family, who recently sold their own renovator’s delight at Red Hill and were looking for the perfect home. RELATED: WORKERS COTTAGE TRANSFORMED IN TO A STATEMENT HOME MORE: THE QUEENSLAND PROPERTIES HOTTER THAN THE HEATWAVE More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus15 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market15 hours agoThe kitchen after the renovationMs Rudolph said that she then ran in to the family having breakfast on Monday, with the husband whispering that it was his wife’s birthday and they wanted to have another quick look with the entire family. MORE: THE BEST BEACH HOUSE IN AUSTRALIA IS UP FOR GRABS 45 Hayward St, Paddington, has sold to a local family for $2.4 millionONE lucky Brisbane mum has received the ultimate birthday present, albeit a day late.Ray White New Farm agent Christine Rudolph confirmed that 45 Hayward St at Paddington, a property dubbed The White House, has sold for $2.4 million. Post the sale, Ms Winter said she was delighted with the result, but were sad to leave it. The kitchen before the renovation“It was love at first sight,” Ms Rudolph said. “The new owners are a young professional couple with a little boy.“They had a look (last Saturday) and their little boy was asleep in the car but she wanted to have a quick look to see if it looked as good as it did in the pictures.“She did a quick scout, then hubby came in … they were in there probably 10 minutes and just fell in love.” “We are now scoping around for another project,” she said. “We had a lot of families through so would possibly make a few more areas for smaller kids, tick a few more boxes, like an extra bedroom, but other than that we are very happy.” MORE: CLIVE PALMER’S HEIR LOSES SMALL FORTUNE ON SALE Interior stylist Nat Winter at her renovated Paddington house. Photo: Glenn Hunt / The AustralianWhen the property hit the market, Ms Winter said there was just “100m under roof” and that it wasn’t much to look at.“But we fell in love with the house for its good bones and we have 40 linear metres of street frontage which is amazing,” Ms Winter, who owns Chasing Winter, an interior styling business, said at the time.
“To state that this property could never be replaced, never be replicated or never be reconstructed for anywhere near as much as what the owner is expecting is a significant understatement.”More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus14 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market14 hours agoHe said the owner had “fastidiously overseen every intricate detail of the construction so far”.One of the most striking features of the eight bedroom, nine bathroom, eight car garage home was the space.“The middle level will amaze you as you step into your massive private home theatre,” Mr Spillane said.“This room is soundproofed and in all honesty, could easily be designed in a way that it could transform into a 200-seat concert hall with separate bar area.” The boardwalk wraps around half the property boundary. Australia’s biggest fixer-upper MORE REAL ESTATE NEWS Tiny house saves home ownership dream This is how it looks from the road.It also has a caretaker’s quarters plus a master suite that can be turned into a self-contained “granny flat”, as well as the grandeur of three storey high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling glass windows, a lift, electric blinds, ducted airconditioning systems, LED lights and smart controls with central CBUS hubs.Each bedroom comes with its own walk-in robe and balcony access plus a bathroom big enough to accommodate an oversized spa along with a shower and separate toilet.There was also a large shed with office space, a private ramp for small boats, and capacity to store 100,000 gallons of water. There are two self-contained sections including a master suite that can be a “granny flat” plus a caretaker’s quarters.The chef’s kitchen comes with commercial sized sinks, multiple fridges and freezers, integrated dishwashers, commercial exhaust systems, three designer ovens, two warming drawers, pop-up power-points and appliance cupboards, and two cooktops.The property is open for expressions of interest, with inspections by appointment. FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON FACEBOOK The property was a labour of love by the owner. There are water views everywhere. The main living space ceiling is three storeys high. Check out the size of this home, which dwarfs everything around it.A mind-blowing home that can be turned into a 200-seat concert theatre is the hottest house in the country right now — even though it’s not complete.The house which sits on a massive 3,557sq m block in Brisbane’s north was the most viewed property in the country last week, according to latest data from realestate.com.au.It’s being built on such a grand scale that the deck has got to be one of the largest ever seen in a Brisbane home.That’s because the owner of 55 Courageous Court, Newport, secured permission to not just build a wraparound deck spanning 180 degrees of the canal site, but also the largest pontoon on the peninsula — which can accommodate a 120 foot super yacht.“Most people couldn’t even dare to dream this big,” was how the real estate agent Michael Spillane of Innov8 Property Sales Albany Creek described it. Multiple appliances including fridges and ovens are par for the course. The home is incomplete. This is our fastest growing suburb The chef’s kitchen is fully loaded with commercial grade features. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:58 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 Rate1xFullscreenHow much do I need to retire?00:58