FRANCE - The small level of funded schemes in France have not suffered as badly as many other funded schemes in Europe from the declining equity markets, mainly due to the late entry into the equity markets for most funds.
The levels of exposure to equities are too recent to be a major problem, said Roland Lescure, head of strategy and research at CDC IXIS Asset Management in Paris.
That said, there still remains a significant underfunding problem and a major difference exists between smaller funds and larger more established funds that are more able to cope with the market downturn.
Lescure also pointed to an increase in the use of hedge fund of funds as the larger funds attempt to diversify. This, he said, was as an alternative to equities rather than on top.
The global balanced mandate has traditionally ruled, but increasing numbers of ALM studies are being carried out and a move to specialist mandates has emerged.
Investment consultants, although still a very small part of the overall French pension’s scene, are beginning to emerge.
PwC, KPMG, EY and Deloitte must break up their consultancy and audit businesses into distinct firms to provide greater focus on the "most challenging and objective audits", the competition watchdog has said.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has released its first batch of guidance setting out how the guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) conversion legislation may be used to resolve unequal payments.
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