Including: GLOBAL - Private equity inflows lowest since 2005; US - GAO says SWF data 'limited'; UK - Hermes appoints new head of performance analysis & risk reporting; UK - Somerset CC hires Standard Life for fixed interest
GLOBAL - Private equity inflows lowest since 2005
Figures published by industry analysts Prequin showed Q3 2008 to be the worst in private equity globally since Q1 2005, with total inflows in the region of US$82.3bn. Prequin said the results showed the industry was entering into a challenging period and warned all but the most focussed funds would struggle to raise their target capital.
However, the firm also added institutional investors active in the market took a long term view and therefore were not easily deterred economic changes. It added that while there was little evidence to show institutional investors turning away from the sector, there was a strong suggestion investors would delay some decisions until the long-term outlook became clearer.
US - GAO says SWF data 'limited'
The Government Audit Office (GAO) has issued a report on sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), which stated little information on the activities and investments was available.
The GAO said of the 48 identified SWFs, 28 were created since 2000, many from oil-rich nations. Of the 60% of funds which published some information, only four funds published detailed information about all their investments.
SWFs, often seen as being in direct competition with pension funds for many investments, had combined assets in the order of $2.7trn to $3.2trn, although the GAO said this figure was expected to grow rapidly. The GAO also revealed investigations showed SWFs had invested $43bn into US businesses since January 2007, including beleaguered financial companies.
UK - Hermes appoints new head of performance analysis & risk reporting
Hermes, the wholly owned asset manager of the BT Pension Scheme, has appointed Chris Godfrey as head of performance analysis & risk reporting. His main role will be to manage and drive performance analysis and risk reporting.
Godfrey joins from New Star Asset Management where he held the position of head of performance and investment risk and was also an investment risk manager with Aberdeen Asset Management.
UK - Somerset CC hires Standard Life for fixed interest
Standard Life Investments has announced it has been selected by the £1bn Somerset County Council pension fund to manage an aggregate bond portfolio valued at around £200m.
As Global Pensions has previously reported, the fund has also made a £30m tender for a private equity fund of funds manager (globalpensions.com; 18 June 2008).
The top stories this week were the High Court's decision to block the £12bn annuity transfer from Prudential to Rothesay Life, and a separate court ruling that 'raises the bar' for pension rectification exercises.
Guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) equalisation has soared to the top of pension schemes' to-do lists, with 58% stating it is a priority project, research from Equiniti has revealed.
Professional Pensions is holding its defined contribution (DC) conference on 4 September.