IRELAND - The average Irish pension managed fund gained 3.9% in the first quarter of the year, bringing the 12 month return at March end to 22.9%, according to Mercer Investment Consulting. AIBIM's new multi-manager managed fund topped the Mercer survey for the quarter with a return of 5.5%, while KBCAM, which returned 2.7%, was the worst performer in the group.
Irish Life and Acorn Life, which returned 26.9% and 24.8% respectively, were the best performing funds over the year to March end, outperforming the average return of 22.9%. The biggest underperformers over this period were AIBIM’s managed fund, which returned 20.1% and Irish Life Global Access, which returned 21.4%.
Mercer’s senior investment consultant Gráinne Alexander (pictured) said: “It is good to see that the positive upswing, which initially began this time last year, has continued into 2004.
“There has, however, been quite a range of returns delivered in terms of how various markets have performed year-to-date. For example, the Eurobloc region has returned just under 2% to investors while Japanese equities have given a return in excess of 18%.” She added that equities outperformed bonds in the year-to-date with the world equity index adding 6% while bonds were up 3.7%. These returns could be compared to cash which returned just 0.5% for the period.
Over the past five years, the average managed fund has returned 0.7% p.a., with Montgomery Oppenheim and Bank of Ireland the outperformers returning 5.1% and 3.5%. AIBIM, returning -1.9% p.a., was the underperformer over this period. “Over the 10-year period, the average return is 9.0% p.a., which comfortably exceeds the corresponding inflation rate of approximately 3% p.a.,” Alexander added.
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