GLOBAL - Featuring news from the US, France, UK, and the Netherlands.
Texas TRS reaps strongest returns in 20 years
US - The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) returned 12.5% in the third quarter, the strongest quarterly returns in 20 years, the scheme said.
Total asset under management reached US$91.4bn at the end of September.
TRS chief investment officer Britt Harris said: "Our strong recovery underscores the importance of remaining calm in the midst of financial storms. Like all institutional investors, TRS has been challenged over the past year, and our world-class team has responded in a skillful and methodical manner. As a result, our fund remains liquid, not levered and with a time horizon that extends over decades."
Amundi open for business
FRANCE - The combined asset management arm of French banks Credit Agricole and Société Générale has opened for business.
Amundi, which is 75% owned by Credit Agricole, begins life with more than €650bn (US$937.8bn) under management, ranking it the third biggest asset management house in Europe and eighth worldwide. The deal was first announced in January last year and the new firm was incorporated on 31 December 2009.
Georges Pauget, chief executive of Crédit Agricole, will be chairman of Amundi's board of directors, while Séverin Cabannes, deputy chief executive at Société Générale, will be vice-chairman.
CalPERS board tightens ethics guidelines
US - The Board of the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) has strengthened ethics policies that guide how the largest public pension fund in the US is governed.
At its December meeting, the 13-member board tightened rules regulating its interaction with CalPERS staff concerning investment proposals and gave the board president authority to discipline members whose actions violate policy.
University pension schemes ‘under threat'
UK - University pension schemes are under threat following a further £135m (US$218.4m) cut in Government funding, a law firm has warned.
With a total of £398m slashed from the 2010-2011 budget of the Higher Education Funding Council For England, universities will be forced to make greater cut backs.
Pension liabilities are bound to be in the firing range, warns Pinsent Masons.
A cap on pensionable salary, closure to new entrants or closing the scheme to accrual are some of the options that are likely to be considered, says Pinsent Masons senior associate Gavin Paul.
Pension funds to increase HF allocation in next decade
US - Pension funds will have increased their allocations to hedge funds to almost one fifth of their asset base by the end of the next decade, according to hedge fund broker Agecroft Partners.
The firm anticipates that the average portfolio allocation will jump from their current level of 2.5% to 15% by the end of the decade, accounting for the biggest driver of hedge fund capital inflows over the period.
Agecroft Partners also predicts a massive shift toward single manager hedge funds from fund of hedge funds as pension funds acquire more knowledge and experience of the investment structures.
Dutch pension savings equal half of household assets
NETHERLANDS - De Nederlandsche Bank, the Dutch central bank,said pension assets held by Dutch households total €740bn (US$1.1bn) and represent more than half of their financial assets.
The amount is boosted by the Netherlands' work-related collective pension benefits. In other euro-area countries, individuals' pension assets represent only a quarter of their overall assets, reflecting these countries' use of a pay-as-you-go state pension system.
The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is consulting on proposals to charge a "risk reflective" levy for commercial defined benefit (DB) consolidation vehicles.
The funding gap across FTSE 350 schemes could be slashed by as much as £275bn if schemes look beyond traditional ways of creating value. Victoria Ticha examines how
There will be "many flavours" of defined benefit (DB) consolidators but consolidation will only be the right answer for a minority of schemes, Alan Rubenstein says.
Work and Pensions Committee (WPC) chairman Frank Field has questioned the regulator on what lessons it can learn from the experience of the Kodak Pension Plan No.2 (KPP2).