UK regulator grants Guinness Peat more time to address warning notice

first_imgAt the end of June, both the Brunel and Staveley schemes had IAS19 deficits of £35m, up from £28m, while a third fund, the Coats UK Pension Plan, had a deficit of £108m.However, it said discussions with the regulator had shown that the amount would not be “sufficient to result in TPR ceasing its investigations and withdrawing the Warning Notices”.The report adds: “The currently proposed package of measures comprises a combination of cash invested directly into the schemes and cash invested into the sponsoring employers of the schemes, which would be loaned within the group over the long term.“Capped parent company guarantees from GPG plc are also included.”The company said that, if no agreement can be reached among trustees, the board and the regulator that it deems acceptable, it will instead be referred to the regulator’s Determinations Panel.GPG said it did not expect a panel hearing to occur before the first half of 2015, after it negotiated the three-month extension to respond to TPR’s warning. Guinness Peat Group (GPG) has been granted a further three months to address a formal warning by the UK Pension Regulator (TPR), the result of deficits in two of its pension funds.GPG and the trustees of one of the affected defined benefit schemes, the Brunel Holdings Pension Scheme, requested that a deadline to submit written responses to January’s warning be extended, delaying any resolution until the first half of 2015.TPR’s warning is a step ahead of its issuing a financial support direction (FSD), whereby it specifies the level of financial support a sponsor must provide to schemes.Publishing its half-yearly results, the New Zealand-based investment holding company repeated that it was prepared to set aside £124m (€156m) to support both the Brunel and Staveley Industries Retirement Benefits Scheme.last_img read more

PPF stands by duty of care demand on ABC valuations

first_imgThe UK’s Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has resisted calls to relax guidance on asset-backed contributions (ABCs), arguing that it was reasonable that valuations not covered by a duty of care should be disregarded.David Taylor, the lifeboat scheme’s director of strategy and legal, said the final levy rules for the 2015-16 financial year remained largely unchanged from a draft published in October.“Consistent with the policy for the first levy triennium, our intention is that we will maintain these rules for a three year period.“We recognise however that the move to the PPF-specific model, while being well-received, is a significant change and will therefore keep the performance of the model under review,” he added. The 2015-16 financial year will mark the end of the PPF’s current levy formula as it shifts to a bespoke model built in conjunction with Experian.The final formula was largely welcomed, with Neil Carberry of business lobby group CBI noting that it was now important the model remained stable, allowing companies to adapt.Carberry, director of employment and skills at the group, said a few issues still needed to be addressed, such as the treatment of overseas parent companies.The new rules will still require those involved in valuing ABCs – including assets from overseas, after a concession to expand the underlying assets beyond UK property – to have a legal duty of care to the PPF.In its statement, the fund said that a number of responses questioned how the proposed duty of care would operate, and a minority of responses objected to its use.The PPF summarised the responses, which argued that funds were already protected by consultants’ duty of care to trustees, a point rejected. “Our view remains that if the trustees’ advisers aren’t willing to stand behind their valuation it is reasonable that the ABC receives no recognition.”Joanne Shepard, senior consultant at Towers Watson, said the PPF was very clear that the certification was needed, and if not, then the ABCs should not be submitted.“Really, their position is they do not want to take into account asset-backed contributions, that’s why they feel it’s reasonable to have this duty of care,” she said.,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to the PPF levy determination documentslast_img read more

Munsters joins Edmond de Rothschild as asset management head

first_img“He has successfully run and grown large-size asset managers, empowering professionals in varying countries and with diverse backgrounds, with a strong focus on clients and portfolio performance.”She also thanked Tignard for his work since joining the company from HSBC Global Asset Management in France three years ago.On his appointment, Munsters said: “It is an honour to have the opportunity to take part in the group’s European and international development and to support the further growth of its reputation.”Prior to leaving Robeco last year, where he spent six years as chief executive, Munsters was CIO at APG.He joined the largest Dutch pension manager in 2005 from PGGM, where he spent seven years as a member of the executive investment committee. Roderick Munsters has joined Edmond de Rothschild Group, being named chief executive of the asset management business.Munsters, who most recently was chief executive at Robeco, replaces Laurent Tignard at the Swiss asset manager, effective immediately.Ariane de Rothschild, chair of Edmond de Rothschild’s executive committee, said she was “very pleased” to welcome Munsters to the CHF85bn (€78bn) asset manager.“He will bring a wealth of experience, strong knowledge of international financial markets, entrepreneurial spirit and recognised ability to generate long-term performance,” she said.last_img read more

PenSam hunts for new CIO as Hemmingsen quits after one year

first_imgHemmingsen took over as CIO at PenSam on 1 May last year, replacing the fund’s long-time CIO Benny Buchardt Andersen, who moved up in the company to the role of group director.Buchardt Andersen in turn was filling Torsten Fels’ shoes, as Fels became chief executive of PenSam following Helen Kobæk’s retirement after 30 years in the top job.“Benny Buchardt Andersen will manage the investment department in the interim period,” the spokesman said.He said the company respected Hemmingsen’s decision to leave.“We have been pleased with the efforts Morten has delivered within PenSam,” he said.“Over a number of years Morten has been a key part of the management of PenSam’s investment team and he has contributed to creating great returns for PenSam’s customers through working with PenSam’s investment strategy,” he said.In an interview this week with a Danish publication, Hemmingsen said the resignation was a personal decision and described his departure as “entirely undramatic”. He said he was not yet able to reveal his next move.“What I would like is to come back to something that is more investment oriented and has less of an administrative role which is a significant part of the job as CIO,” he said.Hemmingsen said he had had some very good and very informative years at PenSam.“But I believe that I have come to a place where those things, that I believe are fun, and which give me energy and which I am good at, made up too little of the job,” he said. Danish labour market pension fund PenSam is on the lookout for a new CIO just a year after appointing Morten Hemmingsen to the role.Hemmingsen, who was promoted last year to CIO from his previous role as head of fixed income and equities, has decided to leave the company, a spokesman for the DKK130bn (€17.5bn) pension fund confirmed.“The background is that Morten wants to return to the ‘hands on’ investment work and therefore he has chosen to resign from his position as CIO in PenSam,” he said.He said the pension fund has now started a search process to find a new investment director. last_img read more

Fresh QE likely to boost corporate bonds, say managers

first_imgMario Draghi addresses journalists following the ECB’s policy decision announcementThomas Sartain, senior portfolio manager at Invesco, said: “While the scale of purchases and rate cut delivered were at the lower end of market expectation, the commitment to asset purchases for an open-ended timeframe is a clear dovish surprise from the ECB.“After a summer of elevated uncertainty and high levels of volatility in financial markets, these actions should be positive for broader risk sentiment, and should support government and corporate bond spreads in European fixed income.”Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors, highlighted that Italian government bond yields had already fallen following the QE announcement.“If asset purchases are focused on corporate debt, the market impact will be even more powerful,” she added. “Today’s decision may also favour high yielding emerging market debt as investors extend and intensify their search for yield.”David Zahn, head of European fixed income at Franklin Templeton, said the asset purchase programme would focus on government securities “but probably with more focus on corporate bonds than previously”.In addition to QE and an interest rate cut, the ECB took measures to soften the impact of the reduction in the deposit rate for lenders, through a “two-tier system for reserve remuneration”. This would mean some of a bank’s excess liquidity holdings would be exempt from the negative rate, the ECB said. Economists and fund managers said the fresh round of QE could prove supportive for corporate bond prices as well as government bonds, especially given that the ECB has not set an end date for the stimulus. The European Central Bank (ECB) has restarted quantitative easing (QE), pledging to buy €20bn of securities a month from 1 November “for as long as necessary to reinforce the accommodative impact of policy rates”, it announced today.The ECB also cut its main interest rate by 10 basis points, from -0.4% to -0.5%, in a bid to return eurozone inflation to close to 2%.In his penultimate scheduled press conference as president of the central bank, Mario Draghi said the ECB’s governing council “continues to stand ready to adjust all of its instruments, as appropriate, to ensure that inflation moves towards its aim in a sustained manner”.The ECB said in its official announcement that it expected interest rates to “remain at their present or lower levels” until the inflation outlook was “sufficiently close to” 2%.last_img read more

FRC reworks stewardship definition in more demanding Code

first_imgThe UK’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has unveiled the final version of the new Stewardship Code, confirming that investors would face “substantially higher” standards as its signatories.Expectations have changed since the Code was last revised in 2012 and there have been “significant developments in sustainable and responsible investment and stewardship”, which the 2020 Code reflected, it said.Simon Dingemans, chair of the watchdog, said the new framework was “a step-change”.“It is an ambitious revision that strengthens the UK’s standards of governance, transparency and clear reporting,” he said. “We are looking for widespread adoption by the investment community, reinforcing the attractiveness of the UK as a place to do business and delivering real benefits to the economy, the environment and society more broadly.” Key changes, according to the FRC, include an extended focus that takes in asset owners and service providers as well as asset managers, and a requirement to report annually on stewardship activity and its outcomes.“Signatories’ reports will show what has actually been done in the previous year, and what the outcome was, including their engagement with the assets they invest in, their voting records and how they have protected and enhanced the value of their investments,” said the FRC. “This greater transparency will allow clients to see how their interests are being served.”Signatories will also be expected to take environmental, social and governance factors, including climate change, into account. As trailed, they will also be expected to explain how they exercise across asset classes beyond listed equity, which has been the focus so far, and in relation to investments outside the UK.Those adopting the Code will also need to explain their organisation’s purpose, investment beliefs, strategy and culture.FRC commended for engagement effortFaith Ward, chief responsible investment officer at Brunel Pension Partnership, one of the UK’s eight local authority pension fund asset pools, said it welcomed the new Code, and that the FRC should be commended for having carried out a “phenomenal” amount of engagement with the investment industry. “Additional transparency is absolutely the right direction of travel.” Faith Ward, chief responsible investment officer at Brunel Pension PartnershipThe additional transparency called for by the new framework would help increase accountability on specific actions and outcomes from stewardship activities and whether these delivered real change, she said.“This will bring some short-term pain in terms of increasing the workload, but in the long-term this is absolutely the right direction of travel.” A slightly sceptical reaction came from Martin Webster, partner at Pinsent Masons, who said that despite encouraging elements, “it is questionable whether it does enough to remove the risk of boilerplate reporting”.“And, with at least half the value of the UK stock market held by overseas investors, it is unclear how much notice they will take of these new, more onerous, but still voluntary provisions.”Stewardship definition tensionArguably the most challenging item the FRC had to deal with in finalising the new version of the Code was the definition of stewardship, which it has revised from that proposed in its consultation earlier this year.The new code defines it as: “The responsible allocation, management and oversight of capital to create long-term value for clients and beneficiaries leading to sustainable benefits for the economy, the environment and society”.This adds an explicit reference to the environment, and specifies that the value to be delivered for clients and beneficiaries should be long-term.center_img “The FRC has landed in a good place”Ingrid Holmes, head of policy and advocacy at Hermes Investment ManagementIngrid Holmes, head of policy and advocacy at Hermes Investment Management, said the end result was positive.“We went back and forth on this debate for months and months,” she told IPE. “The FRC has landed in a good place.“What the FRC has done with the new definition is to basically create a sub-clause around the idea of economy and society affecting outcomes for clients, which helps people feel more comfortable around what might have been potential fiduciary conflict.”The draft 2020 Stewardship Code defined stewardship as “the responsible allocation and management of capital across the institutional investment community, to create sustainable value for beneficiaries, the economy and society”. The UK’s asset management association rejected this definition, saying it conflicted with managers and owners’ fiduciary duty.Nearly all of the 102 respondents to the consultation commented on the proposed definition, with half saying that the primary purpose of stewardship was to deliver financial returns for clients, and a third commenting that having regard to the economy and society in investment decision-making was necessary to properly fulfil their fiduciary duty.One asset owner expressed “a little” disappointment about the final definition, but said the FRC had tried to find a sensible compromise and had ended up with a pragmatic solution.Industry associations react Andrew Ninian, director for stewardship and corporate governance at the Investment Association:“The revised Stewardship Code […] places a new emphasis on the importance of stewardship in creating sustainable value for savers, not just in listed companies, but across bonds, private equity and infrastructure – a move which is welcomed by the IA and its members.“The most significant change will come from the new reporting requirements, enabling investment managers to demonstrate the tangible change their engagement with companies can bring and allowing savers and investors to judge the outcomes they deliver on their behalf.” Caroline Escott, investment and stewardship policy lead at the Pension and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA): “It is absolutely right […] that the Code is aligned to regulations elsewhere in explicitly referring to ESG factors – including climate change. We also support the shift in the Code to more explicitly cover asset classes beyond equity and its applicability to service providers, which play a key role in supporting schemes to make sound investment decisions.“We are also pleased that the FRC has recognised the importance of collective engagement to good stewardship, and that this has retained its prominence in the new Code – as called for by the PLSA and many of our members.”last_img read more

Land values up despite sales numbers being down

first_imgLot values have seen sizeable gains over the past 12 months.“The volume of vacant land sales has however shown significant reductions although it has not dampened the median price across the region,” Mr Fritzsche said.“Lot values have seen sizeable gains over the past 12 months after the prior few years had recorded minimal growth which was keeping affordability in check, the decrease in average lot size being a contributing factor.“The true growth on a $ per sqm basis has been consistently positive, albeit at a slower rate, which shows encouraging signs for the market. “The fall in lot approvals on the back of limited availability of greenfield land is helping push prices upward.” Gold Coast Bulletin – house and land – March 2018 – Villawood The Surrounds.A LACK of vacant land is pushing values up on the Gold Coast with land prices up 7.5 per cent over the past 12 months despite sales numbers being down.New data from Ray White Group confirms the Gold Coast’s residential house and land market performed strongly over 2017. The Ray White Group’s latest SEQ Vacant Land Market Repor found the median vacant land price increased 7.54 per cent to $271,000 in the 12 months to December 2017.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa16 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoThe Ray White Group’s latest SEQ Vacant Land Market Report found house and land package sales in the Gold Coast fell 35.71 per cent to 261 sales in 2017 but the median price rose 3.48 per cent to $505,000. Ray White Commercial head of research Vanessa Rader found the median lot size of land was now 455sq m on the Gold Coast with median vacant land price increasing 7.54 per cent to $271,000 in the 12 months to December 2017.Ray White Special Projects director Matthew Fritzsche said the Gold Coast council area displayed robust results over the past few years which continued over 2017.last_img read more

Bilinga beach house built to make the most of the ocean vistas

first_img307A Golden Four Drive, Bilinga.An old beach shack once stood on the 479sq m block but owners David Williams and Caroline Seymour decided to replace it with a modern home when they bought it in 2007.“It was probably a six month design process and six month build,” Mr Williams said.“It is a bit unique for that particular area, there’s not a lot of modern homes there.”They moved into the four-bedroom, three bathroom tri-storey house with their two children in 2008.It was later named a finalist in the 2009 REIQ House of the Year Awards. This Bilinga beach house is going to auction on July 21. What a kitchen.An open kitchen, living and dining area is at the heart of the home on the ground floor.The floor seamlessly flows onto multiple alfresco areas and patios where there is a saltwater pool and outdoor shower.Another house stands between the Golden Four Drive property and the beach.But, it still has direct beach access through a backyard gate and path on the left side of the other residence.Mr Williams said they loved the home and it would be sad to say goodbye but their children’s school and sporting commitments had forced them to make the tough decision to sell.They planned on moving further north. The outdoor entertaining area.While they don’t plan on building their next house, Mr Williams said it had been a great experience.“We really enjoyed it,” he said. “It’s a home we’re very proud of.”It also has ducted airconditioning, a back-to-base security system, video intercom entry, two 5000L underground water tanks, motorised storm shutters, and motorised internal blinds on the ground and top levelsTugun Village and the shopping, dining and entertaining precincts of Kirra and Coolangatta are close by.center_img 307A Golden Four Drive, Bilinga is going under the hammer on July 21.DREAMING of waking up to a breathtaking ocean view?This Bilinga beach house was built to make the most of the ocean vistas expanding before it. Relax outside by the pool.Mr Williams said the best part about their modern industrial style home was that the ocean could be seen from every level.“Every bedroom has ocean views,” he said.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa16 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago“From the top level, we’ve got 270 degree views, from Mount Warning right down to Snapper Rocks.”The home’s top floor is dedicated to the master bedroom, which has an ensuite, study and two balconies.The remaining three bedrooms are on the second floor with an upstairs living area and bathroom.last_img read more

These are the Gold Coast’s top 10 highest performing suburbs

first_imgMermaid Beach and Broadbeach Waters topped the Coast’s list of highest performing suburbs.THE prices of homes in two of the city’s most sought-after areas have ballooned more than 50 per cent in the past five years.REA Group data shows houses in Mermaid Beach and Broadbeach Waters are worth on average $1.4 million and $1.2 million, respectively.Ray White Broadbeach principal Mitch Palmer said there was nothing Gold Coaster’s loved more than spending a day at the beach or on a boat.“The reason why (those suburbs) have always done well is just because the lifestyle they provide,” he said. Broadbeach Waters followed closely behind.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa13 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago“Both these suburbs are highly desirable and attract interest not just from locals but also people from interstate, Sydney in particular, as well as overseas,” she said.“This means there is more money being directed to them, pushing up prices.”Lower Beechmont and Hollywell surprising made the top 10 list. Mrs Conisbee said their “unique” features made them appealing.“Hollywell is very unique from a national perspective, many homes are on the water and it is still possible to buy a property for well under $1 million,” she said. “Big homes on big blocks close to employment priced at under $500,000 are rare to find in most capital cities but in Lower Beechmont you can find exactly that.” Mermaid Beach was number one.The proximity to fine-dining cafes and restaurants, The Star Gold Coast and Pacific Fair were features that also made the suburbs appealing, Mr Palmer said.Kollosche Prestige Agents director Michael Kollosche said all suburbs went through peaks and falls but Mermaid Beach and Broadbeach Waters would always be in high demand.“Everything is in (good) proximity and you’re on the right side of the Coast for the airport,” he said.MORE NEWS: Gold Coast home most viewed in the state 1. Mermaid Beach — 11.6 per cent annual increase past five years to $1.4 million.2. Broadbeach Waters — 10.8 per cent each year to $1.2 million.3. Lower Beechmont — 10.7 per cent each year to $520,000.4. Burleigh Heads — 10.4 per cent each year to $877,500.5. Palm Beach — 10.1 per cent each year to $847,500.6. Miami — 8.8 per cent each year to $780,000.7. Biggera Waters — 8.4 per cent each year to $700,000.8. Burleigh Waters — 8.3 per cent each year to $807,000.9. Hollywell — 8.1 per cent each year to $776,000.10. Bundall — 7.4 per cent each year to $963,000. Source: REA Group November 2018 “A lot of the other (neighbouring) areas … all have high-rise zoning around them except for a couple of little pockets.”REA Group chief economist Nerida Conisbee said the two suburbs attracted lots of interstate buyers.center_img MORE NEWS: First look at ‘new’ Nobby’s Outlook TOP 10 BEST PERFORMING SUBURBS (houses, average annual growth over five years, median price) Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD576p576p360p360p216p216pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenWhy location is everything in real estate01:59last_img read more

Families and first homebuyers show interest in new development

first_imgA new 650-lot, $120 million residential community in the heart of the Greater Flagstone Priority Development Area. Photo: Supplied A $3 million regional park will feature as the centrepiece of a new 650-lot, $120 million residential community in Brisbane’s southwest corridor.In the heart of the Greater Flagstone Priority Development Area (PDA), Orchard Property Group’s 53ha Pebble Creek South Maclean project features 46 lots starting from $149,000, in stage one. The development will provide homes for a range of buyers however the demographic expressing the most interest is young families and first home buyers.Lots in the first stage range from 280sq m to 516sq m (average 350sq m) with frontages of 10 to 16 metres.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus14 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market14 hours agoThe 9.4ha park has a multi-purpose sports field, basketball court, outdoor ping pong table, adventure playground, a dog off-leash area and a learn to ride cycling precinct.Winding along Flagstone Creek, the developer is set to undertake extensive remediation and revegetation along the creek to create a family-friendly destination. Orchard Property Group Managing Director Brent Hailey. Photo: SuppliedOrchard Property Group managing director Brent Hailey said Pebble Creek would provide a fresh, new option for buyers in the fast-growing Flagstone region.“The Greater Flagstone PDA has begun to build momentum over recent years, and we think it will be one of Queensland’s fastest growing areas over coming years as the nearby employment hubs really kick into gear,” he said.Major civil works have started, including construction of a $4 million bridge over the creek that will link the project to Mountain Ridge Rd, South Maclean.last_img read more