Norwegian oil fund buys stake in Regent Street building

first_imgThe government pension fund already has a 25% stake in the rest of Regent Street.Paul Clark, director of investment at the Crown Estate, said: “We are delighted to extend our relationship with NBIM, further developing our strategic partnership model, which is central to the future of our business.”This deal had increased the amount of third-party capital the Crown Estate managed for institutional investors to more than £800m, he said.Quadrant 3 contains 270,000sqf (25,000sqm) of office, retail and restaurant space over basement, ground and seven upper floors, the Norwegian asset manager said.The building was recently developed by the Crown Estate and completed to a BREEAM Excellent environmental standard, it said.The Crown Estate said the Regent Street partnership between it and NBIM – now valued at £2.8bn – was transforming the street via the partners’ £1bn investment programme. The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) has bought a 25% stake in Regent Street’s Quadrant 3 building in London’s West End from the Crown Estate.Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which manages the NOK4.9trn (€591bn) sovereign wealth fund, said it paid £97.5m (€117.9m) for the stake, valuing the entire building at £390m.The Crown Estate, which manages properties technically belonging to the Queen, said it was keeping a 75% interest in the property and would continue to manage the asset on behalf of the partnership.NBIM said the deal expanded the Regent Street partnership, which the GPFG and the Crown Estate had started in 2011.last_img read more

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Wednesday people roundup

first_imgHymans Robertson – Stephen Makin has been appointed a senior risk consultant in the Enterprise Risk Management practice. He joins from Prudential, where he was head of longevity research. He also ran his own consultancy business, with a focus on the quantitative aspects of Solvency II preparations.AMP Capital – Kate Campbell has been appointed institutional director for Europe. She joins from JP Morgan, where she was executive director of capital introduction in the prime brokerage region. She has also held positions at Deutsche Bank, Equity Capital Markets and Goldman Sachs.LCP – Suzanne Taylor has been appointed as a senior consultant in the pensions administration team. She has more than 14 years’ experience in pensions administration and operational change management, most recently with Aon Hewitt.Affiliated Managers Group – Niall Ferguson has been appointed to the board of directors. Ferguson is Laurence A Tisch professor of history at Harvard University, and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. State Street Global Advisors, Babson Capital, BlackRock, Hymans Robertson, AMP Capital, LCP, Affiliated Managers GroupState Street Global Advisors – Joe Riddaway has been appointed UK senior consultant relations manager. He joins from Mercer Investments, where he was head of UK client service for its fiduciary management business. He has also worked at JLT Actuaries, Consultants and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Jasper Bugter has been appointed as senior relationship manager for the institutional business in the Benelux team. He joins from Generali Investments Europe, where he was head of institutional sales for the Benelux region. Before then, he worked at Robeco, Aegon and ABN AMRO Bank. Michele Marchese has been appointed senior sales manager for SSgA’s institutional business in Italy. Previously, he worked at Credit Suisse in the asset management division, where he was responsible for developing its institutional business in the country.Babson Capital – The asset manager has added 12 new investment professionals to its emerging market investment team, completing an expansion that began in the autumn of 2013. Last October, the firm hired Ricardo Adrogue and Brigitte Posch to spearhead its new emerging market debt team under the leadership of Russ Morrison, managing director and head of global fixed income. Babson recently launched two emerging market debt funds in Europe, and plans to expand its offerings over the near term.BlackRock – Pablo Goldberg has been appointed managing director, portfolio manager and senior strategist within the emerging market fixed income business. He joins from HSBC, where, since 2010, he was managing director and global head of emerging market research. Before then, he was global head of emerging market debt strategy and chief economist for Latin America at Merrill Lynch.last_img read more

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Proposed pan-European pension fund for researchers hits roadblock

first_img“Old-age pension provision is embedded in the overall design of the single welfare states, and [researchers] work environment cannot be isolated from other social benefits and advantages,” they said.In January, a task force put together a report in support of the creation of a pan-European fund for researchers. And Andreas Dahlén, policy officer at the European Union, confirmed to IPE that the European Commission has decided to support the task force in creating what is to be called the Retirement Savings Vehicle for European Research Institutions (RESAVER).But Wolfgang Schulz-Weidner, representing ESIP, confirmed his group feared a pan-European pension fund for researchers would eventually also include the first pillar and create privileges that other groups of mobile workers would have to be granted as well.If certain groups of workers were taken out of the first pillar, this would “weaken the element of solidarity in retirement provision and reduce it to a financial market product”, he said.EAPSPI, too, rejected what it called a “29th system” in Europe for retirement provision.Secretary general Eva Kiwit told IPE: “EAPSPI is not supporting the creation of a pan-European pension fund because we do not think it is necessary.”She added that researchers were already covered under the existing system and said what was needed was more education and information on the subject, as well as on existing entitlements.However, in its findings, the RESAVER task force pointed out the fund would “not necessarily replace existing plans but rather ‘fill in the gaps’”.For the vehicle – which is to be set up as a separate IORP rather than a multi-employer vehicle – the task force has recommended a Belgium OFP. The European Commission’s plans to set up a pan-European pension fund for researchers have hit a roadblock after representatives of would-be future members rejected the proposal.A new cooperation agreement on the issue was signed at a recent pension tracking conference organised by the Find Your Pension (FYP) initiative launched by German public pension fund VBL for mobile researchers in and from Germany. EAPSPI, the voice of public pensions at the European level, as well as ESIP, the European Social Insurance Platform, agreed to support the FYP initiative and promote it among public sector researchers.However, in their declaration, they also rejected plans to set up a pan-European pension fund for researchers.last_img read more

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Friday people roundup

first_imgGAM – Lars Jaeger, founder of Alternative Beta Partners, an investment boutique based in Switzerland, and his colleagues Pierre-Yves Moix and Stephan Müller, have joined the GAM Alternative Investments Solutions (AIS) team to enhance existing liquid alternative risk premia solutions for institutional clients.Morgan Stanley Investment Management – Jens Nystedt has been appointed managing director of the emerging market debt team. He will be portfolio manager and head of sovereign research. He joins from Moore Capital Management, where he was chief economist, global strategist and portfolio manager.Deutsche Bank – Elizabeth Nolan has been appointed head of custody and clearing, effective January 2015. She joins from JP Morgan, where over the past 12 years she has held various senior leadership roles across securities services, most recently heading Client Services & Client Onboarding globally for Markets & Investor Services.SYZ & CO – Suzanna Wong has been appointed head of sales for Asia and Hong Kong. She joins from Swiss & Global Asset Management (formerly Julius Baer Asset Management), where she was an executive director and head of sales for Asia.AEW Europe – Philip Olmer has been appointed executive director and head of legal and compliance. He joins from real estate law firm Nabarro, where he was a partner. Before then, he was a partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner and Olswang. Legal & General Investment Management, Casey, Quirk & Associates, Clifford Chance, GAM, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Deutsche Bank, SYZ & CO, AEW EuropeLegal & General Investment Management (LGIM) – Chris De Marco has been appointed head of institutional client management and strategy. De Marco joined LGIM in April 2013, working on product strategy in the Solutions team. Prior to joining LGIM, he was as an investment consultant and partner at Aon Hewitt, providing derivatives advice to the practice’s largest clients. Before then, he was involved in structuring and selling financial derivatives at Credit Suisse, HSBC and Salomon Brothers.Casey, Quirk & Associates – The management consulting firm for the global asset management industry has appointed Peter Chambers as senior adviser for Europe. Chambers has held multiple senior positions at prominent investment management organisations, including serving as chief executive and CIO at Legal & General Investment Management, chief executive at Framlington Group and CIO at Gartmore.Clifford Chance – Hans van Meerten has been appointed professor by special appointment of International Pension Law at the University of Utrecht Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance. The chair was established on behalf of Instituut GAK and is the first of its kind. The appointment is for a period of five years and will be effective as per 1 January 2015.last_img read more

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MPs call for auto-enrolment review, halt to CDC legislation

first_imgOn the imminent changes to the DC market that see the ending of compulsory annutisation at retirement, the committee said it would take time for the industry to understand consumer behaviour.It said the recommended pensions commission should assess the impact of the Budget flexibilities on default investment strategies, and consider whether a default decumulation option were required for savers making poor decisions.The recommendation tied in with a proposal by the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), which called for savers to be defaulted into a secure retirement income system if no active decisions are made.MPs also said the commission should assess the impact of the reforms on the suitability and accessibility of retirement products, and recommend market interventions where it was not working in savers’ best interest.On CDC, a policy from junior coalition pensions minister Steve Webb, MPs called for a halt on diverting any resources until auto-enrolment is complete and the DC market operating effectively.MPs said the independent commission should review auto-enrolment, including making recommendations on minimum contributions and defining adequacy of retirement income and how the policy should be assessed as a success.The committee said using opt-out rates to measure success would not be meaningful in the long term.As a policy, auto-enrolment was born from a similar independent commission set up by the previous Labour government in 2002.Dame Anne Begg, Labour MP and chair of the committee, said good progress had been made on auto-enrolment but that current reforms had not benefited from the same careful approach as the 2002 commission.“There is much more to be done,” Begg said.“A new independent pension commission would be able to identify any emerging risks and explore with stakeholders how these can best be addressed.“[It] is needed to provide coherence in pensions policy and to build public confidence and long-term stability in the system.”The committee also reiterated a 2013 call for regulation to be managed by a single body rather than TPR managing trust-based schemes and the FCA insurance-based schemes.It said, given the changes to the DC market and a growing divergence between trust and insurance contract regulation, a single body would provide a “clear focus” on retirement savings.Webb supported a similar call and suggested the current set-up of government was inadequate for pensions and long-term care solutions. A UK parliamentary committee charged with scrutinising pensions policy has recommended the government create an independent commission to review a range of legislation after the upcoming general election.The cross-party committee recommended the commission review several aspects of government policy including the impact of the changes to the defined contribution (DC) market and auto-enrolment.It also said the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) should not divert resources towards developing collective DC (CDC) or shared-risk schemes – a flagship policy for the current pensions minister.The committee said pensions regulation should be managed by a single body – not the current split between The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – and criticised the government for sluggish progress on automatic transfers of DC pots.last_img read more

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Wednesday people roundup [updated]

first_imgOld Mutual Global Investors, Towers Watson, LCP, Kingfisher, CVC Credit Partners, GE Capital, AmundiOld Mutual Global Investors – Craig Stevenson has been appointed global head of Investment Consultant Relationships, focusing on the institutional sector. He joins from Towers Watson, where he was a senior investment consultant and managed equity hedge fund research. Before then, he worked at bfinance, where he was a senior associate. He has also worked at Standard & Poor’s, where he was an associate director of Pension Services.LCP – Daniel Jacobson has joined the consultancy as senior consultant from retailer Kingfisher, where he was pensions operations and policy manager, and prepared the company for auto-enrolment. Prior to joining Kingfisher in 2012, Jacobson spent nearly six years at MNPA, the administration arm of the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund, now known as Ensign. He has also worked at The Pensions Trust.CVC Credit Partners – Chris Fowler has been appointed managing director of the private debt team. In this new role, he will be responsible for investments in CVC Credit’s European mid-market lending strategies. He joins from GE Capital, where he was a managing director in the mid-market leveraged finance origination team. Amundi – Cyril Meilland has been appointed head of investor relations. He joins from Kepler Cheuvreux, where he was responsible for research on European banks. Between 2008 and 2010, he led investor relations at BNP Paribas. He began his career at Banque Indosuez (now CACIB) in the finance department, before becoming an equity sell-side analyst.last_img read more

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​PensionDanmark cuts bonds, adds to real assets in face of low yields

first_imgTorben Möger Pedersen, CEO, PensionDanmarkThe high return was due to significant growth from stock markets in the period and rising bond prices as a result of falling yields, the fund said. It also cited stable returns on credit, real estate and infrastructure investments.Möger Pedersen said it was even more important in a low-return investment environment to keep costs down. PensionDanmark’s work on digitalisation by using robot technology and artificial intelligence had aided this effort, he said.The pension fund reported a rise in contributions to DKK6.3bn between January and June this year, from DKK6bn in the same period in 2018. Total assets grew to DKK257bn at the end of June, from DKK240bn at the same point in 2018. PensionDanmark has made further cuts to its government and mortgage bond holdings in favour of real assets, in a bid to temper the impact of low interest rates.In its interim results, the Danish labour-market pension fund reported a rise in pre-tax investment returns for the first half of 2019, to 9.6% and 6% for 45-year-olds and 67-year-olds, respectively. This compared to 0.5% and 0.6% for the age groups in the first half of 2018.Torben Möger Pedersen, PensionDanmark’s chief executive, said: “Of course we are pleased with the great return in the first half of this year. Looking ahead though, we are probably looking at a longer period with low – even negative – yields, waning economic growth and significant geopolitical uncertainty as a result of factors including the trade conflict between the US and China, and Brexit.”Because of this, he said, investors had to adjust to the returns on pension savings becoming markedly lower in the next few years than they were in the last decade. “Our reaction to the low yields is a further reduction in our investments in traditional government and mortgage bonds and continued growth in our investments in sustainable real estate and infrastructure in order to secure a satisfactory return for our members in a zero-interest rate environment,” said Möger Pedersen.In July this year Denmark became the first developed economy to record negative yields on all its government bonds across the yield curve, according to Reuters.Nordic 10-year government bond yieldsChart MakerPensionDanmark reported an overall investment return at this year’s halfway point of DKK17.5bn (€2.3bn) before tax – its highest ever half-year return – compared with DKK1.1bn the year before.last_img read more

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Philips scheme to replace PGGM with Blue Sky as admin

first_imgThe €21bn Dutch pension fund of electronics giant Philips said it wants to move its administration from PGGM to Blue Sky Group.It said the two players had signed a declaration of intend to outsource both the administration and communication services for its 98,000 participants and pensioners as of 1 January 2021.The pension scheme added that it expected negotiations to be completed soon.Last year, the Philips Pensioenfonds announced it would seek a new provider, as it wanted to be optimally prepared, albeit “against reasonable costs”, for the changes that would come with a new pensions system. The asset owner said it wanted a provider with a more flexible IT system with proven qualities.A spokesman explained that the scheme’s search for the best IT system had been complicated, as several providers will replace their existing systems in the coming years.“We wanted a system that is prepared for the future, has proven flexible qualities and offers a good price-quality ratio.”In its annual report for 2018, Roel Wijmenga, the scheme’s chair, said he was worried about the expected costs of a transition to a new system with a degressive pensions accrual rather than the current average one.He said he feared the pension fund would have to bear most of the costs – estimated at hundreds of millions of euros – of compensating older participants, who will be negatively affected by the change.In 2016, the Philips Pensioenfonds replaced Aon Hewitt with PGGM as pensions provider. The change lead to a significant drop in administration costs.The scheme reported costs per participant of €112 for 2018. Of total annual costs of €6.7m, €1.6m was attributed to the board and the pension fund’s administrative bureau.The fund highlighted that the search for a new provider had not been triggered by below standard service or PGGM’s renewed focus on the care sector.It declined to say how many providers had been involved in the selection process.It said that consultancy Sprenkels & Verschuren, IT advisor IG&H and IT service management firm Quint Wellington Redwood had assisted in the selection process.The Philips Pensioenfonds is to become Blue Sky Group’s largest client. At the moment, Blue Sky is the provider for 13 pension funds, including KLM’s schemes, with 87,000 participants and pensioners in total.The scheme has outsourced its asset management to BlackRock since 2005. At the time, it left Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, which merged with BlackRock a year later. It said it is not considering switching asset managers.last_img read more

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COVID-19 boosts digital agenda across asset managers, reveals gaps

first_imgThe coronavirus pandemic is putting pressure on asset managers to accelerate digital growth throughout their businesses, a consultancy has said on the basis of a survey.Alpha FMC, an asset and wealth management consultancy, surveyed 40 of the largest global asset managers. It found that 79% now considered digital a top or high priority area, compared with 64% in last year’s survey.More than half (55%) predicted their firms’ digital spending would increase over the next year. Sales enablement activity was the second-ranked area of expenditure on digital for asset managers across the board and the top priority digital spend for institutional firms.The consultancy also said the coronavirus pandemic had effectively stress-tested the digital estate of many firms, highlighting that some might not be as far along their transformation journey as they previously thought. The majority of firms (68%) described themselves as ‘getting organised’ on digitisation, a 20% increase on 2019.According to the survey, less than a quarter of managers thought their existing digital capabilities met client expectations and 75% said less than 5% of their workforce were in roles that focus on the growth of digital.“Digitisation is now equally relevant across all segments including institutional investors”Kevin O’Shaughnessy, head of digital and agile transformation at Alpha FMCAlpha said its research threw up a “stark change in landscape” since 2019 with regard to the obstacles preventing widespread digital adoption.According to the latest survey, the top three obstacles to good digital delivery in 2020 are seen as a lack of investment, organisational set-ups that are digitally incompatible, and a need for cultural change across businesses.In last year’s survey, underinvestment was not necessarily considered an obstacle and previously, lack of buy-in from senior leadership proved one of the major barriers to digital change.“However, this year’s findings indicate that the industry’s key decision makers now recognise the benefits that company-wide digitisation can bring,” said Alpha.Kevin O’Shaughnessy, head of digital and agile transformation at Alpha FMC, said: “While coronavirus appears to have shocked many firms into taking their digital transitions more seriously, there is still much work to be done across the sector in order to meet increasing client demands.“Our findings indicate that the importance of digitisation has moved across many aspects of an asset managers business and is now equally relevant across all segments including institutional investors. Asset managers see that their clients have become accustomed to slick digital offerings in lockdown and want to see them rolled out further.”Alpha’s survey took place between April and May this year.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.last_img read more

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A waterside residence with Hamptons-style elegance

first_imgVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:17Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:17 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, 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 Rate1xFullscreenDream Home: Southport 01:17Boasting its own private beach, breathtaking harbour views and luxury American-oak finishes, this family home in the Gold Coast really does have it all. For starters, the location is second to none. In addition to looking out onto an expanse of water that shimmers in the nearby glow of the Southport skyline, the house is a five-minute drive from the CBD and only 500m away from the prestigious Southport School.The property comes with its own sandy stretch of coastline. Picture: realestate.com.au/buyGrandparents to 11 children, the owners wanted to build a home for the whole family to enjoy and so the five-bedroom home is replete with indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces that lead naturally from one to the next as part of a free-flowing, open-plan design.The formal living room is at the centre of the home. Picture: realestate.com.au/buyCarefully considered upholstery, clean white walls and lofty ceilings burnish the formal living room with a sense of calm and tranquility. Charming bespoke bookcases, leather sofas and a built-in gas fireplace also create a warm space that doubles as a welcome shelter from the stresses of daily life. “It’s airy, it’s bright and you get incredible views from all parts of the home,” Eddie Wardale, the real estate agent responsible for managing the property’s sale, says of the home. “From the kitchen to the floorboards to the bay windows, the whole feel of the house is what everyone aspires to build today.”No matter where you sit, breathtaking views abound. Picture: realestate.com.au/buyWardale, of course, is alluding to the Hamptons-style beach houses that are a constant fixture of today’s design and fashion magazines. While some homeowners who are intent on recreating the prestigious Long Island aesthetic may buy the odd piece of furniture or give their house a lick of paint, homeowners Greg and Julie Matthews enlisted the expertise of a Hamptons-based architect to ensure what they created was as authentic as possible. “Even the roof was imported from America,” says Wardale. The kitchen’s open-plan design means budding chefs can keep an eye on guests while preparing dinner. Picture: realestate.com.au/buyThe Hamptons influence can be felt in the bedrooms, too. Drawing upon the distinguished navy blue palette and rich wooden textures typical of the Hamptons style, the master bedroom is a case in point. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa16 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoThe master bedroom looks like something out of a luxe five-star hotel. Picture: realestate.com.au/buyCloser in size to a standalone apartment than a single room, the bedroom’s generous dimensions are also consistent with the coveted East End of Long Island, with the suite coming complete with a reading room, super-sized dressing room and ensuite with elevated bath.Not a bad spot for a night cap. Picture: realestate.com.au/buyBeyond the five bedrooms and abundance of entertaining space, there’s a temperature-controlled wine room, a triple-car garage and a child-friendly theatre room that typifies the home’s familial significance. As Wardale points out, the waterside residence is, more than anything, a family home.“Often when I go to the house, the grandchildren are playing in the sand or on the water’s edge,” says Wardale. “There’s also a beautiful park about 50m away. It’s just a beautiful home in a beautiful location with one of the best water views on all of the Gold Coast.”last_img read more

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