Multi-asset a ‘clear growth opportunity’, State Street survey shows

first_imgAndrew Wilson, head of asset manager solutions for the UK at State Street, said: “An overwhelming majority see growth coming from multi-asset solutions, and changes in investor demand in general.”Multi-asset was cited by 67% as the investment strategy type that will most drive growth over the next three years.The next most favoured strategy was traditional actively managed equity, at 17% of the respondents, although there were regional variations: for example, multi-asset was cited as the key growth area by 80% of Australian firms, whereas only 53% of UK firms agreed – here, 30% believe traditional actively managed equity will be the greatest source of growth.Clients are moving to outcome-orientated solutions – cash-plus, inflation-plus or specific income stream-generation, for example – rather than traditional beta-focused products, Wilson observed.“The shift from DFB to DC is certainly part of the explanation for this,” he added.However, 74% of managers said few firms are “currently equipped to thrive when offering multi-asset solutions”.This is reflected in a strong focus on risk management, with 36% planning significant investment in data integration, 39% in performance analytics and 48% in risk analytics.Addressing talent gaps will be a focus on moderate or significant investment for 53% of managers, while 64% will be investing in skills training.This investment will happen against a difficult background for revenue and profit growth – despite the anticipated growth in assets under management.“Increasing pressure on fees and the rising cost of both talent and regulation is squeezing margins, leading to a lot of activity to improve operating efficiencies,” Wilson said.More than half of those surveyed saw significant opportunities to deliver this from within their organisations, while 28% looked to acquisition as a major opportunity to improve operating efficiency.Europe is ripe for a consolidation of fund products, Wilson suggested.The survey of 300 senior executives at asset management firms – split evenly between North America, Europe and Asia Pacific – was conducted during April and May 2014 by the Financial Times Group’s FT Remark, on behalf of State Street. Asset managers are bullish on the growth of their businesses and expect that growth to be driven by competition over more home-market demand for outcomes-based investment solutions such as multi-asset products, according to a global survey unveiled by State Street in London.Just over half of the 300 managers surveyed believe growth for their business will be strongly positive over the next 12 months.While 47% plan to expand into new countries or regions over the next three years, three-quarters see their existing country markets as the greatest growth opportunity – with 85% citing regulatory barriers as the number-one challenge when expanding into new markets.North American managers expect most growth in existing products and markets, whereas European managers see the greatest opportunities in new products and markets – although Germany-based managers were the least likely to be looking abroad for growth.last_img read more

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PKA doubles stake in troubled tyre recycler as part of rescue deal

first_imgDenmark’s PKA has taken a loss reported to be DKK830m (€111m) on its private equity investment in tyre recycling business Genan, and upped its stake to 97% from 45%, as part of a deal to save the ailing  company.PKA had an investment of DKK1bn (€134m) in Genan, but serious financial problems at the company came to light in early summer.Asked about Danish media reports that it was taking a loss on the investment of more than DKK800m, a PKA spokesman did not comment directly on the figure mentioned, but said: ”The loss has already been accounted for in our books by the end of Q2, and despite this we still have a positive return of approximately DKK10.7bn.”The labour-market pensions administrator said it was taking over all shares owned by Genan’s major shareholder and company founder Bent Nielsen. Managing director Peter Damgaard Jensen said: “This matter has taken so much effort over many months, and it has been a hard process, which we at PKA could have done without.”PKA was not used to being involved in cases such as this, he said.“Now there is a solution that we and the banks are happy with and what matters is to calm the situation and clarify how best we can move the business forward,” he said.Damgaard Jensen said PKA still believed in the business idea behind Genan.The company’s business is seen as environmentally beneficial, recycling tyres — rather than allowing them to be burned — into a variety of materials including infill in artificial turf sports surfaces.Genan said the company and new management would now work with the banks to prepare solutions to safeguard its future, and carry out a financial restructuring.It held a general meeting yesterday to approve the annual accounts of the Danish companies, PKA said.When Genan’s problems became clear, PKA requested in-depth research and analysis of the company, the PKA spokesman said.Genan said the purchase price for the shares PKA was buying would depend on the future development of the value of the Genan companies in question. PKA manages around DKK200bn (€26.8bn) on behalf of five labour-market pension funds, in the health and social care sectors.last_img read more

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Nortel scheme moves to next judgment after £340m win in Canadian case

first_imgTrustees of the Nortel UK Pension Scheme secured £340m (€430m) in deficit funding from its now-defunct Canadian sponsor but failed in a bid to force through a financial support directive (FSD) for greater funding.In a case argued in the province of Ontario, trustees, supported by the UK Pension Protection Fund (PPF), challenged Canadian company Nortel Networks Limited (NNL) for funding to repair a deficit after Nortel’s insolvency in 2009.The UK arm of Nortel supported a 40,000 member defined benefit (DB) scheme, which had a £2bn deficit at the time of insolvency.The Canadian communications business triggered one of the world’s largest insolvencies in 2009, sending all global subsidiaries into administration, chiefly in Canada, the US and Europe. Trustees, the UK pensions regulator (TPR) and the PPF launched a legal case against administrators of the US and Canadian businesses to secure funding for the UK DB scheme and avoid its entering the lifeboat fund.Legal proceedings over the distribution of monies created by the sale of NNL’s assets are ongoing, with JP Morgan holding a $7bn (€5.6bn) sum as US and Canadian courts decide how to distribute assets to creditors.In the latest case in Ontario, trustees and the PPF challenged NNL’s administrators, looking to secure two separate levels of funding based on written guarantees from NNL to its UK DB scheme.They also made a financial claim based on TPR’s ability to issue an FSD – a UK legal claim on assets to support underfunded pension schemes – against NNL.The Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that one of the guarantees, valued at £340m, could be upheld but ruled out a smaller $150m guarantee and gave no credence to the trustees’ claims based on the FSD.Judge Justice Newbould said issuing the FSD against NNL would be unreasonable but did not venture whether a court of appeal would agree with his judgment.However, the Court acknowledged FSDs should be treated as appropriate claims in Canadian insolvency proceedings, after local administrators argued against this.The value of the FSD was unquantifiable at the time of the ruling given the implications of outstanding cases in the US and Canada over the distribution of assets.The FSD claim value would depend on the distribution of the $7bn in assets to claimants in Europe, compared with those in the US and Canada.Should European claimants fare well in any future decision, the value of the FSD would decrease, and vice versa.Lawyers representing trustees and the PPF welcomed the clarity of the secured funding and the credibility of FSDs in Canadian insolvency practices.Angela Dimsdale Gill, Hogan Lovells partner and lead litigator for the PPF and trustees, said her clients would carefully consider the next steps on the matters lost in the case.“The trustee and PPF have reluctantly but determinedly been part of [Nortel litigation] and continue to do their best to represent the interests of UK pensioners,” she said.“It is important not to have knee-jerked reactions, but, of course, there are some aspects of the judgment we find disappointing.”A spokesman for the PFF added: “[The] judgment provided greater clarity for the amounts being pursued by the scheme. We continue to consider the judgment and the next steps available to us and the trustees.”The remainder of the case now rests on judgments from US and Canadian courts, expected next year.Complications have arisen over conflicting challenges from Europe, the US and Canada, including pension schemes and bondholders, for the $7bn of assets.US and Canadian courts are now sitting simultaneously, but not conjointly, to reach a ruling based on two sovereign laws – an unprecedented legal situation.Gill said: “The critical decision on allocation will come next year. The claims process is inter-linked with the allocation dispute, and we will not really know where the scheme has ended up until it is all over.”The original article was amended to correct the currency for the smaller claim from £150m to $150m. Apologies for the mistake.last_img read more

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New record year for Spezialfonds as net sales jump 33% – BVI

first_imgThe net inflows represent approximately 60% of the €193bn of total new business for the German fund companies in 2015, a record year for the industry as retail funds also had a bumper year. These recorded €71.9bn of net sales in 2015, double the previous year’s. Record inflows into balanced funds were the main driver.As at the end of 2015, German fund companies had a record €2.6trn of assets under management, according to the BVI.The appeal of Spezialfonds has looked at risk of being weakened by German government plans to amend the country’s investment law, but an amendment by the ministry of finance filed in December has alleviated at least some concerns. The ministry’s initial plan had been to introduce a flat-rate taxation up front for re-invested profits from Spezialfonds.For an in-depth look at the expansion of Spezialfonds, see the special report in the October 2015 issue of IPE magazineESA regulatory ‘over-reach’The 2015 fund inflow figures were released on the occasion of the BVI’s annual press conference, during which the association also assessed the state of play for the industry from a regulatory standpoint.Thomas Richter, chief executive at the BVI, said it was positive that the regulatory thrust since 2008 had not led to a “structural break” of the fund management business, and that politicians recognised that the effectiveness of these laws needed to be investigated before taking further steps.However, he criticised the increasing regulatory over-reach at the EU level via technical implementing measures from the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) and the European Commission.The association also called for a stronger control of the ESAs*, such as the right for national supervisory authorities to pursue legal action against them. Richter also took issue with the discussion about the systemic relevance of asset managers, saying it was not nuanced. The Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) have so far orientated themselves too closely to the rules for banks, he said.The association does not agree with the approach taken so far to assessing the systemic relevance of asset managers, believing that “a chain reaction” like that following the collapse of Lehman Brothers would not happen in the event of an asset manager becoming insolvent.A spokesperson at the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) yesterday told IPE the FSB and IOSCO looked unlikely to designate asset managers as systemically relevant entities and have switched their focus to assessing the potential systemic relevance of asset managers’ market activities instead.*The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) Pension schemes and insurers drove €73.2bn of fresh flows into German Spezialfonds in 2015, contributing “significantly” to a fourth consecutive record year for new business, according to BVI, the German investment funds association.More than €120bn of new business was captured by Spezialfonds last year, a 33% jump from 2014 net sales and a new all-time high, according to 2015 figures released by the BVI.It marks the fourth consecutive year-on-year increase for the fund type.Holger Naumann, president of the BVI, attributed the strong appeal of Spezialfonds to fund companies delivering “customised solutions for institutional asset management”, including individual hedging strategies, professional risk management and reporting to support institutional investors in their regulatory reporting obligations.last_img read more

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Accounting roundup: FRC, GAAP, IFRS, IASB, S&P

first_imgThe UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has announced that it will not update the country’s generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) to take account of recent changes to international standards.The changes relate to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) affecting financial instruments, revenue, and lease accounting.In a feedback statement, the council said: “The FRC agrees that further evidence-gathering and analysis needs to be undertaken before any proposals to reflect the principles of the expected loss model of IFRS 9, IFRS 15 and IFRS 16… could be made.”The FRC issued a consultation document in September 2016 asking for views on whether the standards for small and medium-sized companies in the UK and Republic of Ireland – known as FRS 102 – should be kept up to date with changes to IFRS.  Since FRS 102 came into effect at the start of 2015, the FRC has also consulted on separate proposals dealing with separate accounting regimes for both smaller entities and so-called micro-entities.Most large and medium-sized entities in the UK and Ireland – among them public benefit entities, retirement benefit plans and financial institutions – now apply FRS 102.UK GAAP also has a separate rulebook for insurance accounting, FRS 103.The FRC said: “The FRC still intends to review FRS 103 at a suitable time, but consistently with the approach to other major new IFRS, this is likely to take place once more IFRS implementation experience is available.”Hoogervorst urges stronger communicationMeanwhile, the chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), Hans Hoogervorst, has emphasised the importance of better communication in financial reporting.Addressing the IFRS Foundation conference in Amsterdam, he underlined the importance of the board’s Primary Financial Statements project and its bid to define an EBIT sub-total – a measure of company profitability.He said: “The end result should be better-formatted primary financial statements, which increases comparability and makes it easier for regulators to enforce discipline around the presentation of non-GAAP measures.”Hoogervorst has adopted the theme as the linchpin of his second term as IASB chairman.S&P warns on revenue rulesFinally, ratings agency S&P has released a report warning of the impact of new revenue accounting rules on sectors such as real estate, telecoms, aerospace and defence.The report, New Revenue Accounting Rules And Their Analytical Consequences For Corporate Credit Ratings, also notes that the impact of the new revenue-accounting rules will be less dramatic on the retail sector.last_img read more

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GKN warns on pension scheme covenant if takeover proceeds

first_imgEngineers working on a generator for Brush, a Melrose-owned companyIn its published material regarding the bid for GKN, Melrose stated it would have net debt equal to roughly two-and-half times earnings. GKN’s equivalent leverage ratio was 0.6 times earnings at the end of June 2017.“This may have implications for the covenant strength of the company, the level of the technical provisions deficit and therefore the level of immediate and/or long-term cash funding requirements,” GKN said.The company also flagged its pension arrangements in Germany and the US. In Germany the firm operates Direktzusage pension plans, with benefits paid directly from the balance sheet rather than from an independent pool of assets. GKN said its liabilities for these schemes amounted to approximately £0.6bn.GKN’s UK pension scheme assets ranked it in the top 500 biggest funds in Europe, according to IPE’s Top 1000 Pension Funds study.GKN’s share price has risen by more than a third since the start of the year. Melrose’s first approach was made public by GKN’s board on 12 January. The technical provisions deficit was £0.4bn (€0.5bn) at the end of 2017, the company said. However, the shortfall ballooned to nearly £2bn when based on the amount of money needed to enable both schemes to be transferred to an insurer through a buyout. UK engineering company GKN has argued its pension schemes could be put at risk if a hostile takeover from Melrose is successful.In a notice to the stock exchange published yesterday, the company said Melrose would have a debt level “materially higher” than that of GKN if the takeover was successful. This could push up the schemes’ combined deficit based on a weaker employer covenant.The trustees issued a public statement on 16 January warning of the potential effect on the two GKN schemes if the ownership changed, and the sponsoring employer has now backed up the concerns.“GKN’s covenant strength is critical to investment strategy and the technical provisions,” the company said in its stock exchange notice. “The covenant was assessed at the ‘high end of good’ during the last triennial valuations. An adverse change in covenant strength would be expected to increase the technical provisions deficit.”last_img read more

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PGGM among investors backing G7 diversity, development project

first_imgTogether the investors have more than $6trn (€5.1trn) under management, according to announcement from the group.Eloy Lindeijer, CIO of PGGM, said: “Through our participation in the G7 Institutional Investor Initiatives, PGGM is able to contribute to the important sustainability agenda of the G7 summit in Charlevoix, Canada.”Maurice Tulloch, chief executive of international insurance at Aviva, said that in order to achieve the commitment made by governments internationally for a more sustainable future, financial flows and markets had to be reoriented and to become more sustainable.“This global initiative is a critical step to supporting our joint vision of responsible, long-term, investment,” he said.The CFA Institute announced that, as part of the plan, it had been picked along with its international network of societies to create more opportunities in finance and investment management by setting up an internship programme.The programme would focus on women studying at university in certain developing markets, the organisation said. PGGM, Allianz, Generali and other European institutional investors are among a group of 12 large companies backing a project to push forward G7 objectives on development, gender diversity in finance, and climate-related disclosures.The investors – including Natixis Investment and Aviva – are working with the Canadian government on the plan and have all pledged to commit resources, expertise and networks to further three initiatives.The initiatives include: boosting expertise in infrastructure financing and development in emerging and frontier economies; opening opportunities for women in finance and investment worldwide; and speeding up the implementation of comparable climate-related disclosures.Canadian pension funds Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan are leading the investor group, which also includes Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, AIMCo, OMERS and OPTrust, as well as US public pension fund CalPERS.last_img read more

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Melbourne Mercer: Netherlands beats Denmark as world’s top system

first_img1Netherlands80.3A78.8 (2)80.1 (2)2Denmark80.2A78.9 (1)80.5 (1)3Finland74.5B72.3 (5)72.9 (4)4Australia72.6B77.1 (3)77.9 (3)5Sweden72.5B72.0 (6)71.4 (5)6Norway71.5B74.7 (4)n/a7Singapore70.4B69.4 (7)67.0 (7)8Chile69.3B67.3 (10)66.4 (=8)9New Zealand68.5B67.4 (9)n/a10Canada68.0B66.8 (11)66.4 (=8)11Switzerland67.6B67.6 (8)68.6 (6)=12Ireland66.8B65.8 (12)62.0 (10)=12Germany66.8B63.5 (13)59.0 (12)14Colombia62.6C+61.7 (14)n/a15UK62.5C+61.4 (15)60.1 (11)16Peru62.4C+n/an/a17France60.7C+59.6 (16)56.4 (=13)18Saudi Arabia58.9Cn/an/a19US58.8C57.8 (17)56.4 (=13)20Malaysia58.5C57.7 (18)55.7 (15)21Brazil56.5C54.8 (20)55.1 (16)22Hong Kong56.0Cn/an/a23Spain54.4Cn/an/a24Poland54.3C55.1 (19)54.4 (17)25Austria54.0C53.1 (21)51.7 (18)26Indonesia53.1C49.9 (23)48.3 (21)27Italy52.8C50.8 (22)49.5 (19)28South Africa52.7C48.9 (24)48.6 (20)29Japan48.2D43.5 (29)43.2 (26)30Korea47.3D47.1 (25)46.0 (22)31China46.2D46.5 (26)45.2 (23)32Mexico45.3D45.1 (27)44.3 (24)33India44.6D44.9 (28)43.4 (25)34Argentina39.2D38.8 (30)37.7 (27) Germany came in first class for adequacy, Denmark first for sustainability, and Finland first for integrity.According to a statement, this year’s index revealed growing tension between adequacy and sustainability, particularly in Europe.Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden scored A or B grades for both criteria, while Austria, Italy and Spain were graded B for adequacy but obtained the lowest grade – E – for sustainability.David Knox, senior partner at Mercer Australia and author of the study, said that the natural starting place to having a world class pension system was ensuring the right balance between adequacy and sustainability.“It’s a challenge that policymakers are grappling with,” he said.Coverage and the proportion of the adult population participating in a pensions system was “an emerging dimension to the debate about what constitutes a world class system,” however.UK languishes, Spain debuts with a ‘C’  The UK’s overall score improved marginally on last year, mainly as a result of the increase in the level of auto-enrolment contributions, but did not move from the 15th place it fell to in the 2017 overall ranking.According to a statement, the score for the country’s pension system continued to be weighed down by factors such as relatively low levels of provision offered to the poorest people and the self-employed, and the introduction of pension freedoms.France joined the UK in the C+ ranks this year, having been scored C in last year’s index.Its index value increased from 59.6 in 2017 to 60.7 in 2018 primarily due to increased coverage in private pension plans and increased participation in the labour force at older ages. The state pension age (62) and the level of funded contributions were among factors holding back the country’s overall score, however.Italy was once again the lowest scoring European country, with Austria also still scoring a C grade, indicating “a system that has some good features, but also has major risks and/or shortcomings that should be addressed”.Spain made its debut in the index with a C, and 54.4 points. It was among four new systems analysed in the report, alongside Hong Kong, Peru and Saudi Arabia.According to the index report, Spain’s overall index value could be increased by:increasing coverage of employees in occupational pension schemes through automatic membership or enrolment, thereby increasing the level of contributions and assets;increasing the labour force participation rate at older ages as life expectancies rise; andraising the level of household saving.Full rankingsMelbourne Mercer Global Pension Index 2018 Country2018 score2018 grade2017 score (ranking)2016 score (ranking) The Netherlands pipped Denmark to the top spot in Melbourne Mercer’s tenth annual benchmarking of pension systems from across the world.Finland displaced Australia for third place, while Sweden came in fifth.Scoring 80.3 and 80.2, respectively, the Netherlands and Denmark were the only two countries that obtained an A-grade of their pension systems in this year’s Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index.Published by the Australian Centre for Financial Studies in collaboration with Mercer, the index measured 34 pension systems against more than 40 indicators to gauge their adequacy, sustainability and integrity.last_img read more

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DC master trust exits UK market as authorisation deadline looms

first_imgBruce Kirton, chief executive of Welplan Pensions, said: “Over the last six months it has become increasingly clear that the master trust regulatory environment is one that favours much larger scale.“There is now no meaningful place for a small or even medium-sized specialist business such as Welplan Pensions. This is something we’ve already seen with other smaller providers being acquired by larger ones.“Welplan Pensions is closed to new employers but we’ll carry on giving our pensions clients great customer service until we can find an appropriate master trust to take on those clients in future.”At the end of 2018, Welplan’s members had £125.1m (€146.9m) invested in two bespoke multi-asset funds run by Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), according to the scheme’s website. Welplan also offered a number of other investment options, predominantly LGIM funds.The company planned to continue as an employee benefits consultant and provider, Kirton added. Welplan, a UK defined contribution (DC) master trust, has chosen to exit the market rather than complete the process for full authorisation with the Pensions Regulator (TPR).The company announced yesterday that it would look to transfer its 55,000 members from 1,900 employers to a new provider.The decision comes as the deadline approaches for the authorisation of DC master trusts offering auto-enrolment services. Providers have until 31 March to submit their applications to the regulator or request a six-week extension.Any master trusts that miss this deadline will be forced to wind up and exit the market – and could be fined. As many as 30 providers are expected to exit the market either through mergers or winding up, according to a TPR estimate made last year .  NOW: Pensions trustee chair Nigel Waterson is leaving the provider, it announced this weekThere has been an increase in corporate activity among master trust providers as companies have manoeuvred in response to the authorisation regime. Smart Pension has acquired two smaller providers since the start of the year, while NOW: Pensions was bought by Cardano last month, having previously been owned by Danish pension giant ATP.The NOW: Pensions transaction is subject to the master trust passing the authorisation process. This week it said it had secured a six-week extension from TPR to enable it to deal with the change of ownership and the departure of its trustee board chairman Nigel Waterson. Joanne Segars, former chief executive of trade body the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, has been appointed interim board chair.TPR said last week it had granted 11 extensions so far, and 22 providers had submitted their authorisation applications.LifeSight, a £2.5bn master trust run by Willis Towers Watson, became the first scheme to be authorised by TPR in February. NEST, the UK’s biggest master trust, submitted its application to the regulator today.Master trust authorisation in numbers872Master trust authorisation documents processed by TPR115People subjected to checks by TPR, to ensure they pass 22Providers that have submitted applications to TPR11Providers that have asked for extensions beyond 31 March deadline6 weeksMaximum extension allowed by TPR4Days left until the deadlinelast_img read more

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ESG roundup: LSE buys analytics provider Beyond Ratings

first_imgCredit: Daniel SchwenIt attributed this to the survey’s greater market coverage – 77 entities responded compared with 66 the previous year – and wider adoption of sustainable investment approaches, in particular “ESG integration” by large asset managers across a broad share of their products.However, the sustainable investment approach with the highest growth rate in 2018 was exclusions (166%), followed closely by ESG integration (160%). There was an 82% increase in the assets reported as being managed under an ESG engagement approach.In the 2018 survey asset owners reported CHF445bn of sustainable investments, representing around a third of total assets managed by Swiss pension funds and insurance companies. In the previous year, asset owner respondents reported CHF238bn of sustainable investments.The full report can be found here. EIOPA gears up for ‘opinion’ on sustainability in Solvency IIThe EU insurance and pension funds supervisor has launched a consultation on its draft “opinion” on integrating sustainability within Solvency II, the EU insurance directive.It was asked to provide an opinion on this topic by the European Commission in August last year, and aims to report to the Commission and the other EU institutions by the end of September.The draft opinion takes into account information that EIOPA collected about how insurers integrate sustainability risks in investment and underwriting practices, in particular with regard to climate change.According to EIOPA, “evidence provided by life insurers confirms that health/life insurers are not considering climate change in their valuation of liabilities and underwriting practices”.“EIOPA is of the opinion that the most pressing need is for insurers to develop and embed long-term scenario analysis in their risk management, governance and ORSA [own risk and solvency assessment],” it said.It has asked for views about incorporating a standardised set of quantitative scenarios in the ORSA.EIOPA will also issue supervisory opinions on ESG risks and governance documents for occupational pension funds.Pensions minister addresses schemes over climate changePension schemes should be thinking about investing in assets that help drive investment in important sectors of the economy, the UK pensions minister told delegates at a conference of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) today.Guy Opperman said small and medium-sized firms, housing, green energy projects and other infrastructure delivered “the sustainable employment, communities and environments which all of us wish to enjoy”. Earlier this year, Beyond Ratings became a registered credit rating agency, authorised to provide ratings of public issuers.Waqas Samad, group director of information services at LSEG, said: “The acquisition of Beyond Ratings will accelerate LSEG’s ability to deliver research-driven multi-asset solutions in sustainable finance investing to our global client base. Beyond Ratings has a number of highly regarded ESG data models developed by a strong team of ESG specialists.”Swiss sustainability investing surgeThe volume of “sustainable investments” in Switzerland increased by 83% in 2018 to reach CHF717bn (€641bn), according to a survey carried out by Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF). London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has acquired Beyond Ratings, a Paris-based provider of environmental, social and governance (ESG) analytics for fixed income.LSEG said Beyond Ratings would sit within its information services division, which includes benchmark provider FTSE Russell.The acquisition is the latest in a series of transactions involving ESG service providers. Earlier this year Moody’s Investors Services took a majority stake in Vigeo Eiris, another French provider of ESG research, data and assessments. Last week Solactive, a German index provider, announced a strategic investment in Minerva Analytics, a UK shareholder voting research and data firm.Beyond Ratings was part of this consolidation trend before the acquisition by LSEG: last year it merged with compatriot Grizzly RI, an ESG and climate change scenario analysis provider.center_img According to a press statement, the minister also said that the financial risks from climate change were “too important to ignore”.“Many pension schemes are doing the right thing by tilting portfolios towards renewables or away from fossil fuels, and by engaging much more forcefully with investment firms who fail to take environmental and social issues seriously,” he said.In a comment on Twitter, Huw Evans, director general of the ABI, welcomed Opperman’s comments but said the insurance sector also needed help from regulators in the UK and abroad.last_img read more

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