The Professional Pensions Guide to Scheme Investment takes a look at how to find investment solutions for the pensions crisis
Recent years have proved testing for the trustees of defined benefit schemes as they struggle to deal with volatility and burgeoning pension liabilities. This situation has been compounded by the financial crisis leaving trustees scratching their heads as they look for ways to diversify their portfolios and boost returns.
This supplement takes a look at some of the options available to pension schemes - some tried and trusted while others are more innovative. Cardano's Phil Page (pages 12-13) discusses the role of fiduciary management in helping schemes to achieve and maintain adequate funding levels. This approach may still be in its infancy in the UK but it has a strong track record in Europe, particularly the Netherlands. It can prove to be a powerful solution in the right circumstances for the right schemes.
Diversified growth funds are also an option that has grown rapidly in popularity with scheme trustees in recent years. Approaches such as this have done much to shift scheme managers' allegiance away from equities towards investment approaches that hopefully offer similar returns with much less volatility. On the face of it such an approach may well sound like the panacea to all scheme manager ills but it is important to note that one diversified growth fund is very different to another and so scheme managers and trustees will need to ensure they understand what they need from their investment strategy so they can make sure they choose the one best suited to their needs (pages 16 and 17).
Another high profile approach covered in this supplement are exchange traded funds (ETFs) (pages 22-23). This approach has certainly gained ground in the UK and Europe but their popularity has not come unchallenged with several in the industry questioning the cost of these funds. Vanguard's Nick Blake talks through the pros and cons of using ETFs. While ETFs can prove beneficial in terms of the trading flexibility Blake does point out the importance of trustees and their advisers understanding how the structure of their ETF works to make sure they get the most from it.
Managing volatility is high on the list of trustee priorities yet they need to balance this with the need to provide decent returns for their schemes. Lazard's Susanne Willumsen (pages 24-25) provides us with an in-depth look at low volatility equities and discusses how they can help trustees walk the tricky tight rope between volatility and return.
Property, currency and foreign exchange also form important parts of a scheme's investment strategy and all three asset classes are explored within this supplement.
M&G's Bernard Abrahamsen takes a look at a slightly different area of investment - that of direct lending. According to Abrahamsen the difficulties faced by banks in providing lending facilities can be met by institutional investors. While Abrahamsen admits such a concept may seem alien right now he argues that such an approach will be taken up by institutional investors over the coming years. Read his how to guide on pages 6 and 7.
Get the latest news direct to your inbox.
More from Investment
Updating your subscription status
This Aberdeen Asset Management hedge fund roundtable discusses what investors are looking for in hedge fund governance; lessons that have been learned from the past and how the industry is placed for the future.
The all-new Pensions and Benefits Show will be held on 12th-13th June 2013 at ExCeL, London.
The Pensions Institute provides 15 good practice principles in modelling defined contribution pension plans. These principles cover the issues such as: model specification and calibration, modelling quantifiable uncertainty, modelling member choices and modelling longevity risk.
After what has felt for many like an eternity, auto enrolment has finally arrived. As the UK's largest employers complete the process, now is an ideal time to consider some of the lessons learned so that employers with auto enrolment on the agenda for 2013, can avoid some of the pain and pitfalls that may occur along the way.
This whitepaper provides a checklist to ensure you are compliant with the new legislation.
GBP30000 - 42000 per annum
GBP - 40000 per annum
GBP20000 - 23000 per annum
Send to a friend