first_img“In the same period, the return on our offshore wind farms has been more than 7%.”PKA’s first investment in a wind farm was Anholt offshore wind farm in 2011 – also with Dong Energy.The provider has now invested three times with Dong Energy.Construction of the latest scheme will start this spring, with the project expected to be fully commissioned in the first half of next year.The farm will include 32 turbines and be the first large-scale wind farm to deploy new MHI Vestas 8 MW turbines.When completed, the farm will provide energy to 230,000 households.For Kirkbi, which holds a 75% stake in Lego, the investment in Burbo Bank Extension is its second major long-term investment in renewables.In 2012, the company invested in the Borkum Riffgrund 1 offshore wind farm. Denmark’s PKA has acquired a £330m (€433m) stake in a UK offshore wind farm, praising the comparatively strong returns from renewables in light of the declining fortunes of the coal sector.The labour-market pension provider joined LEGO Group’s parent company Kirkbi in a deal that saw each take on a 25% stake in a wind farm, to be built by Dong Energy.The stake in the Burbo Bank extension, expected to be completed by 2017, is PKA’s fifth wind farm asset and is based off the coast of England, near Liverpool.Peter Damgaard Jensen, chief executive at PKA, compared the returns the fund had generated from renewables to those of 31 coal companies divested last year, which he said had since declined 60% in value.last_img read more


first_imgThe British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) has pledged to overhaul its asset allocation, placing a greater emphasis on cashflow-generating assets to avoid entry into the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).Trustees of the £13.6bn (€17.3bn) scheme said they were in discussions with the UK government and the Pensions Regulator regarding a new investment strategy, which would look to match the fund’s cashflow or eventually allow for trustees to complete an insurance buy-in or buyout.The discussions come as a UK government consultation to change the rate of inflation indexation draws to a close, months after sponsor Tata Steel announced its intention to sell its UK business.If no buyer were found and the UK sponsor became insolvent, the BSPS could be forced to enter the PPF. Allan Johnston, chair of trustees at BSPS, said a large majority of the scheme’s members would be better served by the fund’s remaining outside the PPF.In their response to the government consultation, the trustees argued that a range of changes – including amending the rate of indexation – would eradicate the deficit and leave it “funded on a self-sufficiency basis”.This is likely to be a reference to the £485m shortfall reported in March 2015 when measuring funding on an ongoing basis.The trustees also argued that, while the scheme did not have sufficient assets to agree a buyout guaranteeing benefits above PPF level, it would be able to pay members higher benefits on an ongoing basis than those paid through the lifeboat scheme.The consultation response adds: “We are currently discussing with the Pensions Regulator and the government [on] how we would restructure our investments so that we hold assets that can be expected, with a high degree of confidence, to generate cash inflows matching the cash outflows of our benefit liabilities for the natural lifespan of the scheme.”It says it will also examine the possibility of completing a buy-in or buyout when it becomes “possible and sensible” and that, unlike the PPF, it will reduce risk compared with the PPF by hedging its longevity risk.According to the fund’s most recent annual report, BSPS had more than 60% – or £8.4bn – of its assets in bonds as at the end of March.A further £3.4bn was invested in equities, £1.3bn in property and nearly £380m in pooled investment funds.It also had a relatively small, £130m cash holding.The trustee’s response concludes: “Our proposals, for the BSPS to stay out of the PPF, therefore involve less cost and less risk for the PPF and its levy payers than immediate PPF entry and would be beneficial to the PPF and to PPF levy payers.”Johnston argued that BSPS was a “very large, well-funded scheme”.“If our proposals are implemented,” he added, “the vast majority of members would be better off than going into the PPF.“We welcome the government’s consultation and expect to satisfy the government and the Pensions Regulator that, if BSPS stays out of the Pension Protection Fund, it can be financially self-sufficient and is most unlikely to go into the PPF at any time in the future.”last_img read more


first_imgThe Spanish press, however, has warned that the reserve fund could be used up by the end of 2017.Tackling the deficit in the state pension system is likely to be a priority for Spain’s new prime minister following the country’s general election in June.No single party won control, and the appointment of a new prime minister is still in progress.In other news, Vidacaixa, SA de Seguros y Reaseguros, a member of Spain’s La Caixa group, has completed its purchase of the Spanish pension assets and liabilities of Barclays Bank.Barclays Vida y Pensiones Compañía de Seguros (BVP) provides life insurance and pension products in Spain, Italy and Portugal.Under the agreement, its €350m in assets under management and 35,000 customers in Spain are transferring over to Vidacaixa for an undisclosed sale price.BVP has already sold its Portuguese insurance business to Bankinter Seguros de Vida, completed in April 2016, and its Italian life insurance business to CNP Assurances.Barclays completed the sale of its Spanish retail bank to CaixaBank in January 2015 but continues to operate global corporate and investment banking in Spain.Harry Harrison, co-head of Barclays non-core, said: “This is another positive step in reducing the cost, operational risk and capital allocation within Barclays non-core, swiftly following the sale of our Italian insurance business.“We are making good progress and continue to focus on our target of reducing risk-weighted assets in Barclays non-core to £20bn (€23.6bn) by the end of 2017.”  According to figures from Spain’s Investment and Pension Fund Association (INVERCO), almost all the assets sold by Barclays were in the third pillar and represent the savings of their banking client base, not workplace schemes.Jon Aldecoa, a consultant at Novaster, said: “In general, foreign banks have not been able to set up retail businesses in Spain. The amount of pensions savings managed by Barclays was small, and its withdrawal will have no effect on the occupational pensions market.” The Spanish government has taken €8.7bn from the social security reserve fund – the highest-ever transfer – to pay for pensions and social security for the month of July.The pensions system is chronically underfunded, and the government has been dipping into the reserve fund – the Fondo de Reserva de la Seguridad Social – for the past four years.As of 1 July, the value of the reserve fund had fallen to €25.2bn, equivalent to just over 2.3% of gross domestic product, according to an announcement by the Ministry for Employment and Social Security.The ministry said it was becoming normal to require extra financing each July because an extra payment – the summer bonus – was made to beneficiaries on top of their pension.last_img read more


first_imgThe £23bn (€26.2bn) Brunel Pensions Partnership (BPP) is hiring an independent chair and two directors.The collaboration between 10 local government pension schemes (LGPS) based in the south and south-west of England is hunting for staff to build a wholly owned asset management company, to be operational by April 2018.According to the job descriptions, posted on the BPP’s website this morning, the independent chair should have “chaired an equivalent organisation or significant committee”.The job advert said: “We are seeking a leader whose experience will have been gained in the investment sector, or who may have been a CEO or senior director from the corporate, legal and/or financial services private sector, or may have led a significant public sector or not-for-profit organisation.” Candidates would also benefit from experience with financial regulation and local government, as well as having a link to the area encompassed by the Brunel schemes.For the two non-executive directors, candidates “will need to demonstrate financial literacy and an understanding of the wider pension and investment space”. One candidate will chair the BPP’s risk committee “and will therefore require significant investment knowledge”.The BPP was established between the LGPS funds for Avon, Buckinghamshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Wiltshire and the Environment Agency.It has already laid out plans to create 22 pooled funds.In the coming months, the pension funds will establish the Brunel Company, which will act as the regulated asset manager for pooled funds.It follows a similar path to that of the London CIV – 33 council pension funds from the UK’s capital have established a wholly owned asset management company to pool mandates and save management fees.“The BPP is a complex project now at a crucial stage – establishing the Brunel Company as start-up company that will have significant assets under management from 2018, supported by 10 public sector shareholders,” the job description explained.“The chair and [directors] of the Brunel Company will require outstanding organisational and leadership capabilities.”Applicants should contact recruitment company Korn Ferry, which is leading the search.The job description is available here.last_img read more


first_imgLGPS Central will seek authorisation as a regulated alternative investment fund manager by the 1 April 2018 deadline set by the government for pools to be established.In a statement, Councillor Reg Adair, chair of Nottinghamshire Pension Fund Committee and chair of the recruitment panel, said Segar’s appointment was a major step for LGPS Central.  “Investment pooling of the England/Wales LGPS funds is a government initiative that has a very ambitious timetable,” he said. “The nine funds have worked extremely closely for the last 18 months and huge progress has been made in that time. It is now time to turn all the planning and design into a tangible investment management company that will be capable of successfully delivering the investment requirements of the funds within an authorised investment environment.”Securing Segar as chair was “both an endorsement of the work that has already been done by the funds and a clear signal that the pension and investment community is supportive and engaged in what LGPS pooling is looking to achieve,” he added.Segars said: “Pooling presents a real opportunity to deliver effective and innovative investment approaches that will benefit scheme members, participating employers and administering authorities.”The nine funds forming LGPS Central are the pension schemes for Cheshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands (including West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority), and Worcestershire.The Brunel partnership, another collaboration of LGPS funds, recently appointed Denise Le Gal as independent chair. LGPS Central, the company set up to manage £40bn (€47bn) of assets being pooled by nine Midlands-based UK public pension funds, has appointed Joanne Segars as its non-executive chair.Segars will leave the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) in June after more than 10 years of service as its chief executive. Her position as chair of LGPS Central will contribute to the “portfolio career” she is intending to build.LGPS Central said she would quickly start helping the company fill key executive and non-executive positions.The company is also looking to appoint two non-executive directors, a chief executive officer, a chief investment officer and a joint chief operating officer/chief financial officer. It opened the search for a CEO in January alongside that for the chair, and has recently launched the search for a CIO.last_img read more


first_imgNatixis Investment Managers has acquired a minority stake in Airborne Capital, a specialist aircraft lease and asset management firm.Natixis acquired the stake from the existing shareholders, which comprised Airborne’s founding management team and Irish financial services firm Fexco.The deal enables Natixis to expand its offerings in the real assets space, and provides Airborne with access to the French company’s distribution network. Airborne aims to have aircraft assets under management of over $5bn (€4bn) within five years.Jean Raby, CEO of Natixis Investment Managers, said: “Airborne Capital combines an experienced management team, a strong track record and a unique model to investing in real assets in the fast-growing commercial aviation sector. As demand for alternative and real asset classes grows, we will continue to invest in the ability to bring our clients the best solutions available.” Airborne was launched in November 2017. Ramki Sundaram, its CEO, was previously global head of aviation at Natixis’ investment bank.See IPE’s January magazine for a ‘Strategically Speaking’ interview with Natixis’ Jean RabyFranklin Templeton adds Edinburgh PartnersFranklin Templeton Investments is to acquire Edinburgh Partners, a value investment specialist co-founded by former Templeton research director Sandy Nairn.The transaction was announced yesterday and is expected to be completed in the first half of this year.Set up in 2003, Edinburgh Partners has 12 investment professionals and around $10bn of assets under management, invested in global and emerging markets equities.Jenny Johnson, president and chief operating officer of California-based Franklin Resources, Franklin Templeton’s holding company, said: “This is the latest example of the firm continuing to make strategic investments in relatively small, yet highly experienced asset management teams that complement Franklin Templeton’s global offerings.”Nairn will become chairman of Templeton Global Equity Group and remain CEO of Edinburgh Partners. He will report to Stephen Dover, Franklin Templeton’s head of equities.Nairn worked in the Templeton Global Equity Group between 1990 and 2000 as executive vice president and director of research. He managed a range of institutional accounts. He was subsequently chief investment officer of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership until March 2003, leaving to help set up Edinburgh Partners.Tikehau backs venture capitalistsTikehau Capital, a €12.6bn French alternatives asset management group, has acquired a 25% stake in Ring Capital, a venture capital firm.Launched last year, Ring Capital plans to acquire minority interests in growth stage companies in the technology sector. It intends to invest between €1m and €15m in opportunities, either on its own or with co-investors. It will also take part in capital increases and share buy-backs from founders and initial shareholders.The company aims to add around 15 firms to its portfolio by the end of 2021. According to a statement, it has already completed one investment, while two other transactions are currently being finalised.As one of the largest investors in Ring Capital, Tikehau Capital will have a seat on various committees.Antoine Flamarion, co-founder of Tikehau Capital, said: “Entrepreneurship is deeply rooted in Tikehau Capital’s DNA. Hence, we are delighted to extend our value chain to venture capital through our support in the creation of Ring Capital.”Tikehau Capital has also invested in the firm’s launch fund, alongside AG2R La Mondiale, BPI France, Bred and Danone. The initial investment capacity is over €140m.Tikehau is controlled by its managers, who own 36% of the company, and institutional “partners”. Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek and Carac, a French pensions and savings mutual, are among its other institutional shareholders.last_img read more


first_imgIn a report published today, FAIRR explained that “it is increasingly likely that governments could use some form of taxation to combat meat’s negative contributions to climate change and health epidemics such as obesity and cancer”.“For us as investors, this engagement also helps us to be on top of the developments in this space as well as to identify food companies that proactively invest in innovative solutions.” Sasja Beslik, NordeaInvestors were concerned that overreliance on animal proteins to drive revenue growth was a risk for global food producers, given the prospect of external effects linked to livestock production being priced into stocks.The engagement initiative is also driven by the view that there are opportunities for investors in the plant-based foods and ‘alternative proteins’ market. The investors participating in FAIRR’s campaign were keen to know that companies were on top of this trend and positioning themselves appropriately. Meat or plant-based? Investors want to know what food companies are serving upNordic financial services group Nordea has been part of the engagement project since 2016, and its head of group sustainable finance Sasja Beslik said sustainable protein was a fast-emerging issue for the food industry.“It is important for long-term investors to know if the companies they invest in understand the related risks and opportunities,” he added. “For us as investors, this engagement also helps us to be on top of the developments in this space as well as to identify food companies that proactively invest in innovative solutions.”The campaign’s engagement process involved contacting 16 global food manufacturers and companies by post and email, with follow-up calls held as needed. Secondly, meetings were held with half of the targeted companies. Only one, health foods supermarket chain Whole Foods, did not respond to the investor request. According to today’s report, of the 16 multinationals that were analysed as part of the engagement programme, Nestlé and Tesco were best positioned to benefit from projected growth in the market for alternative proteins. Both companies gave detailed answers to the investors’ questions and held “candid” discussions with investors, FAIRR said.Costco was singled out for its inadequate response to investor requests for information or further meetings, and for failing to recognise protein diversification as a material issue. Asked about the next steps for the engagement, a spokeswoman for FAIRR said: ”We will continue to engage with the existing list of companies to encourage them to build an evidence based, measurable protein diversification strategy, which can be tracked over time.“Given growing interest from investors on adopting protein diversification as a thematic screen, we will also look to add other high profile global retailers and manufacturers for engagement.” Nearly 60 investors have backed an engagement project to push global food companies to use more non-meat-based proteins.Since kicking into action in September 2016 the investor group has grown from 40 investors to 57, with combined assets under management doubling, from $1.25trn to $2.4trn (€1.9trn).Recent new backers include Dutch insurance and pension group Aegon and pan-European asset manager Candriam.The collaborative engagement is coordinated by FAIRR (Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return), an initiative founded by private equity investor Jeremy Coller. Large European pension funds such as Swedish buffer funds AP2, AP3 and AP4 were involved from the beginning, as was Swedish pensions and insurance provider Folksam .last_img read more


first_imgAXA IM said it aimed to complete the reorganisation by the end of this year, subject to consultation with employees in the UK and France. It said the changes “could potentially impact 210 positions worldwide”, including 160 positions in France and 40 in the UK.The company said it was “committed to supporting its employees through the change period and to limiting social consequences as much as possible”.New-look managerThe reorganisation will result in AXA IM operating with four “pillars” to its business:Client relationships – covering distribution in the institutional and wholesale/retail markets;Core investments – combining fixed income, Framlington Equities and multi-asset strategies;Alternative and specialist investments – bringing together AXA IM Real Assets, the structured finance business, its quantitative arm Rosenberg Equities, and Chorus, the group’s risk premia strategy launched last year;“Transversal support functions” – including back office operations and those involved in implementing the transition to the new structureNone of the fund brands – Framlington, Rosenberg or AXA IM Real Assets – would change, a spokeswoman said.New-look board Hans Stoter, AXA IM’s new global head of fixed incomeHans Stoter has replaced John Porter as global head of fixed income, and takes his place on AXA IM’s new management board under the leadership of CEO Andrea Rossi. Stoter has also taken on the multi-asset solutions responsibilities of Laurence Boone, who joined the OECD earlier this month.Porter has left AXA IM, the spokeswoman told IPE, having led the fixed income business since 2013.Matthew Lovatt has replaced Mark Beveridge at the helm of the active equities business, but Beveridge remains as manager of the firm’s “global talents” equity strategy.Meanwhile, Christophe Coquema, global head of client group, has “taken a step back from the business for the coming months in order to consider his next steps”, the spokeswoman said. Coquema has led AXA IM’s sales, marketing and client relationships functions for four years. His responsibilities will be shared on an interim basis by Francisco Arcilla, global head of sales, and Bettina Ducat, global head of product, retail and institutional development.The new-look management board consists of 10 members, including Rossi, Arcilla, Ducat, Lovatt and Stoter. Jean-Christophe Ménioux is general secretary and chief financial officer, Joseph Pinto is global chief operating officer, Heidi Ridley is CEO of AXA IM Rosenberg Equities, Isabelle Scemama is CEO of AXA IM Real Assets, and Amélie Watelet is chief transformation officer and global head of HR and communications.“I believe the steps we are looking to take not only respond to our industry challenges in terms of customer centricity but also provide AXA IM with an inspiring vision and roadmap for the future,” Rossi said.“Accelerating our strategy as an active manager thanks to new ways of operating and a simpler organisation, notably in the alternative investment space, while becoming even stronger in core investments will foster sustainable growth for the ultimate benefit of all our stakeholders.”Andrea Rossi spoke to IPE recently regarding his vision for the future of the group – see this month’s Strategically Speaking. AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) has announced a major overhaul of its corporate structure in an effort to “drive future growth and protect competitiveness”.In an announcement today, the group said it would reorganise several of its asset class teams into two “pillars”, covering core investments (active equities, fixed income and multi-asset strategies) and alternative and specialist investments (including real assets, structured finance and quantitative strategies).It also planned to invest €100m to boost its offerings in alternative asset classes as well as fixed income and multi-asset strategies. The investments also aim to improve integration of environmental, social and corporate governance issues in the company’s investment processes, and to enhance its use of data analytics and digital services.The company has also made changes to its management board, hiring former NN Investment Partners CIO Hans Stoter as global head of fixed income and appointing Matthew Lovatt as global head of Framlington Equities, AXA IM’s active equity brand.last_img read more


first_imgUnder the new policy, PenSam said that if, for example, companies were associated with suspicious tax practices or paid less than 10% tax on their total earnings, or if a firm had placed all its profits in a country with a low tax rate, it would investigate them further. Torsten Fels, PenSam“We want to use the new tax payment information to enter into dialogue with companies that show particularly problematic behaviour and push for them to change their practice in this area,” said Fels.The pension fund said had several tax measures in place for funds, but has extended this to include tax checks on companies issuing equities and corporate bonds.As well as this, PenSam said it had a tax policy in place that partners and external investment managers must accept and abide by when making new investments.Under this policy, aggressive tax planning or direct tax avoidance are not acceptable, and there are consequences for the relationship with PenSam if this happens.In October 2018, the pension fund said it would increase its focus on accountability and the screening of its investments and partners following media coverage of the ‘Cum-Ex’ withholding tax fraud case.Fels called the revelations “the expression of a sick culture and business ethic in a broad swathe of the international financial sector”. Labour market pension fund PenSam has added tax as a special area in its responsible investment policy following a number of high-profile scandals.The DKK127bn (€17bn) pension fund said it would investigate any companies in which it invests if they pay very little tax or channel profits through tax havens.Torsten Fels, PenSam’s chief executive, said: “Proper payment of tax is the starting point for providing a good public service to citizens, and therefore it is particularly important for us at PenSam that our members’ pensions grow responsibly.”Fels pointed out that some of PenSam’s members worked its social and heath assistants in a tax-financed welfare sector.last_img read more


first_imgKarl SwartlingAP6 announced earlier this month that Swartling – who has led the fund since 2012 – was to depart. A spokesman for the fund told IPE that Swartling was to join a newly-created family office in Stockholm at the end of the summer as its chief executive.The new family office will have an investment focus on Nordic countries, the spokesman said, but no further information was available at this point.Swartling will be replaced in the interim by the pension fund’s deputy chief executive Margareta Alestig.Swartling said: “When I took office, the board had decided on a new overall strategy. This has been implemented and a new private equity portfolio has been built up.“AP6 delivers a very good return and has succeeded in establishing partnerships with several of the leading players who invest in unlisted companies in Europe, as well as a number of players in North America.” “On the whole, the investment rate, both for commitments to funds and via direct investments, remained high,” Swartling said.Its return on capital employed in unlisted investments was 16.1% in 2018, down from 20.3%, according to the data released.“The temporary excess liquidity generated from the conversion to AP6’s current strategy, continues to diminish, in accordance with the plan,” the pension fund said.The investment rate had remained high during 2018 the fund said, with many new fund commitments being made as well as 10 new direct investments.AP6 has been engaged in a strategy shift since 2011, which has involved selling a large holding in listed real estate company Castellum, for example, and re-investing the proceeds in accordance with new priorities, investing directly in companies as well as via funds.The fund has been developing and diversifying its investments and shifting its portfolio to more mature assets, while avoiding majority ownership.CEO Swartling to exit Sweden’s AP6 – the state pension system’s specialist private equity investor – reported a 9.6% return in 2018 as it continued to recycle excess cash into new investments.The fund’s return compares to its 12.3% gain recorded for 2017. Its total assets grew to SEK34.7bn (€3.3bn) by the end of December, from SEK31.6bn a year before.Karl Swartling, AP6’s chief executive – who is stepping down on Friday – said: “The return generated this year is a result of our dedicated efforts in recent years to engage with funds that have the highest return in sub-segments and geographic locations that are relevant for AP6.”As before, these collaborations had led to interesting opportunities for direct investments in unlisted companies, he said.last_img read more