EUROPE - Citigroup has launched a European Insurance and Pension Structured Solutions group (IPSS) to be based in London.
The team of 20 professionals, headed by Wiltrud Heiss who joined Citigroup from Deutsche Bank in 2003, will offer advice in capital raising, derivative structured products and structured finance, along with actuarial, accounting and risk management modelling advice.
The launch of the team has come at a time when both the pension and insurance industries have started to react to the recent regulatory and accounting changes that affect the level of risk portfolios can be exposed to.
The team therefore expects its client base to come mainly from those countries most affected by changes to EU regulations, namely the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands and Scandinavia.
Francis Fernandes, heads actuary for pensions, said although the team was split almost 50/50 in terms of expertise between pensions and insurance, in many cases such a split was merely academic since both industries are equally affected by the same legislation (the FTK system in the Netherlands being the most notable example).
The team’s second in command is Paul Schutlz, while the head actuary for insurers is Ian Maybury.
Most respondents in this week's Pensions Buzz do not think businesses should be able suspend AE contributions if in financial distress.
Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell has lost the appeal against his section 72 conviction and sentence for failing to hand over information to The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
This week's top stories include Marsh and McLennan Companies agreeing to buy JLT, and the home secretary calling for AE to be scrapped in a no-deal Brexit scenario.
Lesley Titcomb says the watchdog wants closer interactions with pension funds to spot problems sooner and act before having to use its more stringent powers