Archive for Pension Funds

House GOP may grab parts of bipartisan Senate bill, add access to emergency savings

Lawmakers are working on the biggest changes to U.S. retirement savings in more than a decade, exploring several proposals that could make it easier for small companies to offer 401(k) plans and for workers to guarantee themselves an annual income after they retire.

The efforts start with a bipartisan Senate bill and House Republicans’ plan to make retirement and savings a crucial part of their push for tax legislation this summer and fall. It isn’t clear which, if any, measures are likely to survive the legislative process,…

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  • Fund puts 40% of assets in investments including equities
  •  It seeks annual return of 5% or more to meet members’ needs

Thailand’s biggest money manager is looking for guidance from international advisers to help boost returns after its assets under management surged almost two-thirds in five years.

The Social Security Office, which manages social-security funds for 14 million Thais, is seeking to draw new investment guidelines and will invite foreign companies to compete for advisory services, said Jeerisuda Iamsakul, the state agency’s head of investment strategy and research department. With the recent equity plunge affecting about 14 percent of the total assets invested in stock markets, the fund’s first-half results missed last year’s return of about 6 percent, she said, declining to give further details…

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The link between private equity and pension funds means states are inadvertently cashing in on practices they’ve set out to stop.

Several states have barred medical providers from shocking patients with surprise bills for thousands of dollars, but pensions in those same states are poised to profit from the practice.

Public-employee retirement funds in California, New York, Oregon and other states have heavily invested with a private-equity firm, KKR & Co., that’s been buying up companies known for demanding steep payouts for emergency medical treatment and hospital stays that may not have been entirely covered by a person’s health plan…

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  • Trade tensions and weakening currencies are leading to caution
  •  The fund may increase investment in developed-market stocks

The slide in emerging markets is spooking Thailand’s $26 billion Government Pension Fund.

The fund will continue to avoid investing in developing-nation equities and bonds because of the risk of increased outflows due to global trade tensions and weakening currencies, according to its Secretary General Vitai Ratanakorn…

Thailand’s $26 Billion Pension Fund Shuns Emerging Markets

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Jun
27

Is Your Pension Cyber-Secure?

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Claridge Israel, an investment firm founded by Stephen Bronfman and the Quebec Deposit and Investment Fund, is investing US$30 million ($38.7 million) in Cyberbit Ltd., a cybersecurity company based in Ra’anana, Israel.

Cyberbit, a subsidiary of the high-tech company Elbit Systems Ltd., was founded in 2015. It is described as a leading provider of cybersecurity training and simulations.

With this major new funding, Cyberbit will expand its sales and marketing, primarily in North America, boost product development and enhance customer and partner support, according to an announcement released on June 4…

Is Your Pension Cyber-Secure?

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  • Morgan Stanley and BofA said picked as global coordinators
  •  Offering would be largest since 2012 IPO of Santander Mexico

Mexico’s billionaire Coppel family hired Morgan Stanley and Bank of America to lead an initial public offering of its conglomerate Grupo Coppel, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Coppel, which operates department stores, banks and a pension fund in Mexico, is seeking to raise as much as $2 billion, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. That would make it the largest Mexican IPO since the local unit of Banco Santander offered shares in 2012…

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May
10

CPPIB Goes on a Buying Spree?

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The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is among the anchor investors in India’s first private infrastructure investment trust.

Sponsored by L&T Infrastructure Development Projects Ltd., the CPPIB and Allianz Capital Partners will take a combined 55 per cent stake in the IndInfravit trust. The trust will focus on developing toll roads and other road infrastructure. It will initially acquire five operational toll roads spread across four Indian states.

The CPPIB is taking a $200-million stake, amounting to 30 per cent of the trust’s units, in addition to taking a board position.

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May
09

The National Pension Hub Gears Up?

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The National Pension Hub (NPH) for Pension Knowledge and Research is gearing up:

Through collaboration with leading Canadian pension plans, service providers, academia, and policy makers, the Global Risk Institute has established the National Pension Hub for Pension Knowledge and Research.The purpose of the NPH is to provide a sustainable pipeline of independent and objective pension research that, among other things, will lead to innovative solutions to pension design, governance and investment challenges. It leverages the global leadership of Canadian pension plans and consulting plans and engages the academic community on complex research topics to produce objective pension-focused and industry-relevant research and insights. We strive to offer local pension design insights as well as globally-relevant pension investment and governance research to establish Canada as a source for leading pension research…

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The value of investments by public pension funds declined last quarter, widening the gap between what these funds say they will earn and what they actually make.

Pension funds across the U.S. must each year estimate how much they expect to earn on investments, a projection that determines the amount the government that is affiliated with the pension fund must pay into it. Robust returns reduce the need for government support…

 Pension Funds Still Making Promises They Probably Can’t Keep

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  • Sweden, Finland could halt tax treaties on Portugal incentives
  • North/South divide shows EU discrepancies on social security

After a lifetime of long Swedish winters and hefty tax bills, Dan Wikstrom’s dream of a comfortable retirement in the sun has come true. Not in a Caribbean tax haven, but in Portugal, a far more convenient four-hour flight away…

‘Europe’s Florida’ Sparks Rift as Portugal Lures Rich Pensioners

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The potential for a state and municipal fiscal and public pension crisis is a defining issue for the next downturn. Underfunding guarantees problems. The question is whether the next downturn crystallizes a crisis.

This morning a commentary on pensions caught my eye. I learned that Steve Westly, a former voting member of public pension fund CalPERS’ board, was concerned about a pension crisis. And he was tweeting about it. Westly was also the California state Controller from 2003 to 2007. So he knows a thing or two about the state’s finances.

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  • GPIF’s Mizuno: Google, Amazon could become largest managers
  • Traditional managers need to update business models, he says

Hiromichi Mizuno was named chief investment officer of Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, the world’s biggest manager of retirement savings, in 2014. He has since led a push to increase equity holdings and advocated for incorporating ESG, or environmental, social and governance, factors into investing…

World’s Biggest Pension Fund Says AI Will Replace Asset Managers

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  • Renowned investor Andy Hall is said to close Astenbeck fund
  • His wrong-way bet on crude prices led to losses this year

Andy Hall, the oil trader sometimes known in markets as “God,” is closing down his main hedge fund after big losses in the first half of the year, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The capitulation of one of the best-known figures in the commodities industry comes after muted oil prices wrong-footed traders from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to BP Plc’s in-house trading unit. Hall’s flagship Astenbeck Master Commodities Fund II lost almost 30 percent through June, a separate person with knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be identified because the details are private…

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Where are the pensioners’ yachts?

That riff on Fred Schwed Jr.’s famous Wall Street tell-all book — which explains why bankers and brokers own yachts, but the customers who take their advice do not — came to mind recently. I was reading a new report detailing how outsize money management fees are crippling the nation’s public pensions.

We’re talking about the fees charged by hedge funds and private equity firms to invest pension fund money — fees that enrich the wealthy but imperil workers, retirees and taxpayers…

Strapped Pension Funds, and the Hefty Investment Fees They Pay

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May
03

Pension Funds Need to Give to Get

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Decent returns aren’t coming easily for U.S. pension funds, so maybe it’s time to shake things up.

I’ve written previously that they should be taking a lesson from their Canadian counterparts, who have been pioneers as private equity investors. Funds including the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) have saved on fees and bolstered returns by putting billions of dollars to work directly betting on companies and real assets such as toll roads, either alone or alongside various private equity firms in which they invest…

Pension Funds Need to Give to Get

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