IRELAND - The Irish Association of Pension Funds (IAPF) has revealed that Irish pension funds experienced "steady growth" during 2004, with a 12.4% increase reflecting the positive market environment and continued inflows from plan sponsors to support scheme solvency positions.
The results of the IAPF’s 2004 asset allocation survey showed that at the end of last year, assets under management amounted to e62.3bn compared with e55.5bn at the end of 2003.
Commenting on the findings, Fiona Daly, of the IAPF investment committee, said the survey revealed some “interesting trends”.
Daly said: “In recent years IAPF have seen a steady increase in funds moving to passive management. Through 2004 this trend continued. By year end the proportion of assets under passive management rose to 25.8% compared with 17.9% at the end of 2003.”
Furthermore, the survey noted that segregated assets, as a percentage of total assets under management, fell by around 3%, from 50% at the end of 2003 to 47% at the end of 2004.
Unitised assets rose by a similar amount, from 38% to 42% of total assets, principally reflecting the movement of monies from active segregated funds to passive unitised vehicles.
Meanwhile, insured assets as a percentage of total funds under management remained unchanged. Following on from 2003 the equity content of portfolios was broadly unchanged over the year. By the end of the equities accounted for 63.1% of assets under management compared with 63.0% at end 2003.
There was also little or no change in weightings in a number of market areas over the twelve months under review.
The Irish equity content increased just 0.2% from 12.0% to 12.2% at end 2004, while fixed interest and index-linked stock and the Eurozone region weighting was unchanged at 23.5% and 17.5% respectively.
As a result, Irish equities represent 41.1% of total Eurozone equity holdings compared with 40.6% at the end of 2003.
During 2004, equities also outperformed bonds by around 3%.
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