PIMCO, Towers Watson, Tesco Pension Investment, Association of Investment Companies, Barnett Waddingham, Insight Investment, Investec Asset Management, Carmignac Gestion Group, General Atlantic, KNEIP, Equiniti, Alliance Trust InvestmentsPIMCO – Chief executive and co-CIO Mohamed El-Erian has stepped down and will leave the company in mid-March. No reasons were given for his departure. Douglas Hodge, managing director and COO, will take over as chief executive. Andrew Balls, a managing director of the London office, and Daniel Ivascyn, a managing director at the Newport Beach office, will serve as his deputies. PIMCO’s founder William Gross will continue as CIO. Craig Dawson, a managing director and current head of PIMCO Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy, will become head of strategic business management.Towers Watson – Jane Murray has been appointed managing director of Technology and Administration Solutions (TAS). She was formerly UK client services director and joined Towers Watson – then Watson Wyatt – in April 1996. As part of other structural changes at the consultancy, Richard Sard is now head of client services for TAS, while Colin Fowler has been appointed as TAS professional excellence leader for the EMEA.Tesco Pension Investment – David Brickman has joined the supermarket’s pension manager, in charge of credit. He will report to Jon Cunliffe, head of fixed income, according to a Tesco spokesperson. Brickman most recently worked at Aerion Fund Management and was head of European credit strategy at Lehman Brothers for four years prior to the bank’s collapse in 2008. Before joining the investment bank, he spent nearly three years at BNP Paribas. Association of Investment Companies (AIC) – Simon Crinage, managing director and head of investment trusts at JP Morgan Asset Management, and Harry Morgan, head of private investment management at Thomas Miller Investment, have been appointed to the board. David Barron and Gill Nott have retired following 10 years of service each. Peter Arthur and David Thorp have been re-elected and remain deputy chairmen, along with Chris Russell.Barnett Waddingham – Paul Latimer has been appointed head of pension administration at the UK-based consultancy. He succeeds fellow partner Nuala Hedges, who stepped down from the position at the end of 2013. Latimer, who has worked at Barnett Waddingham for 27 years, was promoted to partner in 2004. He is also currently chairman and membership secretary of the NAPF North London group.Insight Investment – Tarik Ben-Saud has been appointed head of Asset Solutions in a newly created position. Ben-Saud previously worked for 15 years at BlackRock and predecessor firm Barclays Global Investors as head of LDI and client strategy. Before then, he managed the index equity strategy and derivatives teams.Investec Asset Management – Marco Orsi has been appointed Italian sales director, supporting the company’s expansion in both the institutional and adviser channels. He joins from Allianz Global Investors, where he was head of retail distribution for Italy. Before then, he held a similar role for Italy, Greece, Turkey, Malta and Cyprus at BNP Paribas Asset Management.Carmignac Gestion Group – Michael Hulme has joined as a commodity equities fund manager, assuming control of the €670m Carmignac Commodities fund. He takes over from David Field, who has taken a sabbatical. Before joining Carmignac Gestion, Hulme managed the Lombard Odier Global Energy fund.General Atlantic – Jan-Michiel Hessels, former chairman of NYSE Euronext, has joined the firm as a special adviser in Europe based in the Netherlands. Hessels currently sits on the board at IntercontinentalExchange Group and on the supervisory board at Royal Boskalis Westminster.KNEIP – The service provider for the production and disclosure of legal, regulatory and contractual information for the fund industry has appointed Stephanie Noel as head of operations. She joined KNEIP in 2001 as a client service coordinator.Equiniti – Suzie Rudzitis has been appointed managing director of Equiniti Pension Services. She succeeds Paul Bingham, who has stepped down after a decade in the role. Rudzitis joins from Berwin Leighton Paisner, where she was COO of the Managed Legal Services division.Alliance Trust Investments – Dan Daldry has been appointed co-manager of the Dynamic Bond and Monthly Income Bond funds, while Kenny Watson will assume a co-management role for the Sustainable Corporate Bond fund. Both joined Alliance Trust Investment’s fixed income team recently.
The UK’s Local Pensions Partnership (LPP) has launched its first asset-class fund, with the pooling of its founding investors’ equity holdings resulting in the number of external managers being whittled down to three as four from Lancashire County Pension Fund’s side were dropped. The new fund is a £5bn (€5.5bn) global equity fund, which comprises the pooled holdings of its main clients the Lancashire County Pension Fund (LCPF) and the London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA). The Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund has not added its holdings to the equity pool, as it has not yet formally joined the LPP, a spokesman at the partnership told IPE.Berkshire is to do so early next year. Around 40% of the Global Equity Fund comprises equities managed internally, with the remainder being managed by MFS Investment Management, Robeco and Magellan, according to a statement from LPP.As at 31 March, the £6bn LCPF had five external public equity managers – Baillie Gifford, Natixis Global Asset Management (NGAM), MFS, Morgan Stanley and Robeco – and two UCITS funds managed by AGF Investments and Magellan Financial Group.The LPFA, in turn, had some £2bn of exposures to public equities as at the end of August this year, with MFS responsible for around half that.It brought the majority of its equity portfolio in-house in 2014; the in-house investments stood at £1bn before the pooling, IPE understands.This indicates that four external managers lost mandates as a result of the pooling, mainly from the LCPF’s side: Baillie Gifford, NGAM, Morgan Stanley and AGF.The LPFA brought the majority of its equity portfolio in-house in 2014. The LPP spokesman said: “We have dropped some existing managers and given larger mandates to the three on the release whom we feel share our investment philosophy.”First in a seriesIts global equity fund is the first in a series of asset class funds that LPP Investments (LPPI), the FCA-approved operator of the Authorised Contractual Scheme (ACS), intends to launch, according to LPP.The local government pension scheme organisation said it was planning to launch funds for fixed income, total return and property.Investments in more illiquid assets such as private equity, infrastructure and credit are being consolidated under special-purpose vehicles over the next six months, it added.The LPP said the new equities portfolio “provides a significant reduction in overall costs for each of the founding investors while also maintaining and improving expected investment outcomes”.The entry into force on 1 November of new UK investment regulations for local authority pension funds paved the way for the launch of the global equity fund, according to the LPP.Susan Martin, chief executive at the LPP, said: “Following our FCA and ACS approval, we have been waiting for the government to change the LGPS investment regulations. There are now no barriers to physically pooling our assets and launching the fund.”The LPP is one of the eight local government pension scheme pools that are at various stages of development in the UK.Like the London CIV, it pre-dates the government’s instruction for administering local authorities to pool pension scheme assets and is relatively far advanced.It obtained FCA approval in April 2016, at which point a spokesman had indicated to IPE that equities could be the first asset class where holdings would be pooled.The LPP sees itself as a pension services organisation and thus more than an asset pool.The venture also has a pensions administration company, LPP Administration.It does not yet have the £25bn in assets that the UK’s Department for Communities and Local Government has set out as a goal for the LGPS asset pools, but it is confident about being able to attract further clients.
Pooling pension fund assets into fewer, larger funds will not necessarily improve investment performance, according to the UK’s asset management trade body.In its response to the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) asset management review, the Investment Association (IA) said it was “not axiomatic that performance, and ultimately funding… will be improved” through greater consolidation.Citing data from the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), the IA noted that there was “no clear relationship between scheme size and funding level”.On a PPF basis, schemes with fewer than 100 members were 93% funded at the end of March 2016, according to the lifeboat fund’s annual report, while those with 1,000 to 5,000 members were 82% funded. Schemes with 10,000 members or more were on average 87% funded. The IA said in its report: “No evidence has been presented to suggest that increased scale alone will lead to better asset allocation decisions, a highly significant driver of returns for any investor.”Instead, the “key driver” of improvements for pension schemes was “enhanced investment governance”, the association argued.The UK’s local government pension scheme (LGPS) is undergoing a radical structural overhaul, involving the consolidation of assets into a small number of large asset pools. One of the most advanced, the London Collective Investment Vehicle, was cited by the FCA as an example of how pooling could help reduce costs.The IA agreed that consolidation would help improve competition for mandates, but argued that it was “unclear” whether the cost savings claimed by the LGPS pools could be replicated in other arrangements.“We think that some caution is justified here with a recognition that pooling on its own is unlikely to be a panacea,” the association said.“The LGPS experience is arguably a singular one due to the greater homogeneity in benefit structure (resulting in a degree of homogeneity in liability profiles) and the fact that the public sector ultimately underwrites these schemes.“The challenges of pooling corporate defined benefit schemes are likely to be greater, with different strengths of employer covenants and differences in benefit and liability structures.”The FCA’s review of the asset management sector leveled a number of criticisms at the industry, including a lack of transparency and “weak” price competition, particularly in the retail investment sector.In response, the Investment Association said the “direction of travel” for pricing was “not compatible, in our view, with a finding of weak price competition”. Following the introduction of new rules in 2013, known as the “retail distribution review”, which stripped out commission payments to distributors, the IA claimed pricing had become more transparent and competitive.
The president of the Gianda Youth Development Association (GIYODA) in Kpogbahn Statutory District No. 4, Grand Bassa County, has stressed the need for health facility in Gianda Clan in the district.Mr. G. William Olu Diggs told the Daily Observer that there are more than 100 towns and villages in the clan and some parts of Rivercess County that are in need of the health facility to meet their health needs.He disclosed that since the establishment of the clan some years back, government has not built any health facility in the clan to cater to the health needs of the inhabitants in that part of the district.According to him, they have and continue to find it difficult taking patients, especially pregnant women, in hammocks about eight hours’ walk from the Zondo Community to the Compound #4 Clinic in the district for medical attention.He added that they also find it difficult carrying patients from the clan to the Liberian Agricultural Company Hospital in District #3, since the company does not accept or allow their ambulance to go outside the plantation for patients, especially during the current Ebola crisis in the country.The GIYODA president is therefore appealing to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and other international health related organizations or other humanitarian groups to help build a health facility near the Zondo Mission Community in Gianda Clan in the district to curtail the health problems.He used the interview to recommend one Mr. Madison Gbogbah-Tarr, a rural health worker who serves as a focal person for the Grand Bassa County Health Team, who will properly manage activities of the health center if government and her partners should consider addressing their appeal for the health facility.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)