EUROPE - Schemes are being urged to diversify their property real estate portfolios into the untapped British, Spanish and Swedish markets.
Property fund manager LaSalle Investment Management says pension funds should look beyond the core real estate markets of Germany, France and Italy and branch out into peripheral economies.
It said the non-eurozone economies’ core qualities – low risk, low return – were attractive to schemes. In particular, the UK and Sweden, as well as the eurozone Spain, offered promising combinations in terms of risk and return, growth and income, pricing and liquidity.
European chief executive Jeff Jacobson said obstacles could be transformed into opportunities by schemes which approached the next 12 months with patience and creativity.
He said: “With the upward pressure on interest rates set to continue into 2004, we expect that institutions will continue to allocate funds to real estate, but they will no longer chase yields down.”
However, LaSalle warned that some of the uncertainties present in 2003 were likely to recur during the next 12 months.
Jacobson added: “The concerns over sustaining investment flow into real estate as equity markets recover, the fast-growing fringe economies of Europe being held back by slower-moving core countries, and acceptable returns in a post-inflationary, lower-growth environment must be borne in mind this year.”
An innovative funding structure has been agreed for Croydon Pension Fund. However, there are some concerns about the arrangement. Stephanie Baxter reports
Some 52% of red flags raised by schemes on suspected scam pension transfers involve advisers or unregulated introducers, a report by the Pension Scams Industry Group (PSIG) has claimed.
The Norfolk Pension Fund has been successful as the lead plaintiff in a class action case that went to jury trial in California involving securities fraud.
In this week's Pensions Buzz, we want to know whether bosses should have to pay into the same staff DB scheme as their workers rather than their own executive pension fund.