Including: AUSTRALIA - UniSuper receives investment accolade; UK - Scheme buy-in launch; GLOBAL - Sovereign wealth funds see 18% increase in AUM
Australian superannuation fund UniSuper has been awarded an investment stewardship award by the Melbourne Financial Services Symposium.
UniSuper was recognized for its strong investment performance and its advanced investment practices, according to a release by the fund.
UniSuper chief investment officer David St. John said: "At UniSuper, we have an investment philosophy that every basis point counts. We believe that everything we do - from setting our strategic asset allocations, to the more operational aspects of running the fund - can add value for our members. And at every level, we seek to deliver competitive risk-adjusted returns to our members."
UK - Scheme buy-in launch
Barnett Waddingham and MetLife Assurance have formed a strategic alliance to offer a buy-out arrangement specifically designed for smaller pension schemes.
The service will target schemes with liabilities as low as £5m.
Barnett Waddingham has been appointed to advise on the pension risk transfer process.
The companies said the partnership aimed to speed up the key aspects of the process for smaller schemes and to contain costs.
Barnett Waddingham said it would be able to produce indicative quotations based on MetLife Assurance pricing in a matter of days.
The companies also said if a pension scheme was looking to secure smaller liabilities - particularly where these are less than £20m - this arrangement offered an expedited process, greater certainty and access to a competitive offer.
GLOBAL - Sovereign wealth funds see 18% increase in AUM
Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) saw assets under management rise 18% in 2008, reaching $3.9trn, a report by International Financial Services London (IFSL) says.
The lobby group's Sovereign Wealth Funds 2009 report found an additional $5.5trn was held in other sovereign investment vehicles, including pension reserve funds, development funds and state-owned corporation's funds.
This comes despite the losses suffered by sovereign wealth funds on certain investments during the last year, which have been offset by inflows of new funds.
The author of the report explained: "About two thirds of the $5.5trn in other sovereign investment vehicles' assets were held in public pensions.
"These are funds that have been set aside by governments, sometimes through social security institutions in countries such as US, Japan, Norway and Sweden, to finance future payouts on pay-as-you-go pensions."
Mark Evans has been appointed as a director at Independent Trustee Services (ITS) to lead trustee appointments in London.
The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is consulting on changes to the actuarial assumptions it uses in valuations in a bid to better reflect the bulk annuity market, with schemes set to move into surplus on aggregate.
Private sector defined benefit (DB) schemes were 96.3% funded on a Pension Protection Fund (PPF) compensation basis at the end of July, according to the lifeboat fund's monthly index.
Conduent has completed the sale of its actuarial and human resource consulting business to private equity investor, H.I.G. Capital.