The Dutch civil service scheme ABP, at €356bn, accounted for nearly 5.8% of assets, while third-ranking Dutch healthcare scheme PFZW accounted for 2.7%.Both Dutch funds, among the largest asset owners worldwide, saw their overall share of the €6.16trn in pension assets decline compared with 2014.Denmark’s ATP accounted for more than 1.7% of assets, Sweden’s Alecta 1.2%.Alecta was followed in sixth place by PMT, the Dutch metal-workers fund, which was followed by the first German entrant in the shape of Bayerische Versorgungskammer.Denmark’s PFA Pension came eighth, followed by two UK entries, the BT Pension Scheme and the Universities Superannuation Scheme, rounding out the Top 10. European pension assets increased to €6.16trn last year, up by €660bn, according to IPE’s annual Top 1000 Pension Funds survey.The data, compiled by S&P Capital IQ MMD, showed a 10.8% increase in European assets under management.Over the course of 2014, assets among the Top 1000 global institutional investors increased by €4.2trn to €25.3trn, up by 19.9% year on year.The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global remains Europe’s largest institutional investor, accounting for 13.2% of European pension assets.
From now on, the AP funds’ carbon footprints will be calculated as of 31 December each year, starting with the current year, based on the most recent carbon dioxide data available for direct emissions, as well as indirect emissions from purchased energy.AP1, AP2, AP3, AP4 and AP7 will calculate the carbon footprints for their listed equities portfolios, based on the size of their equity interest, while AP6, whose brief is to invest in private equity, will report those indicators for its non-listed portfolio based on its equity interests.The funds AP1 to AP4 and AP6 serve the function of buffer funds within the pension system, while AP7 provides the default choice within Sweden’s premium pension system.The AP funds said the new reporting system would use the three most common indicators for carbon footprint reporting.These include the absolute carbon footprint for equities portfolios, corresponding to the percentage of total emissions equivalent to the fund’s equity interest in a company; carbon intensity, where the absolute carbon footprint is related to the fund’s equity interest in the company’s market value; and carbon intensity, where the absolute carbon footprint compares with the fund’s equity interest in the company’s revenue.In addition to these three indicators, the funds said they would also report on the proportion of capital assets assessed, as well as the amounts based on reported and estimated carbon dioxide emissions data.The AP funds have already been active in analysing and reporting their carbon footprints, as well as promoting the practice within the industry generally.AP3 said a recent analysis of the footprint of its listed shareholdings, properties and forestry showed these investments to be almost carbon-neutral, while AP4 said it was decarbonising its entire equity portfolio over the next 2-3 years.A year ago, AP4’s chief executive Mats Andersson presented the Portfolio Decarbonisation Coalition project to the UN General Assembly.AP2, meanwhile, was one of first institutional investors to measure the carbon emissions related to its portfolio, having scrutinised global equity holdings back in 2009. Sweden’s national AP Pension funds have all agreed to coordinate the way they report the carbon footprints of their investment portfolios, using a common system centred around three indicators.The six funds – AP1, AP2, AP3, AP4, AP6 and AP7 – said the move was aimed at increasing transparency and improving assessment of their work on climate issues.In a joint statement, they said: “As long-term owners and managers of Swedish pension assets, the AP Funds have a responsibility to generate maximum possible benefit for the Swedish pension system through responsible investment and management.”The funds, currently awaiting a political decision on the reform of the entire buffer-fund system, said they had been given the job of investing and managing their investments in a sustainable manner.
AP3’s inflation holdings accounted for more than 37% of the gains seen over 2015.The equity risk category followed inflation, returning 3.4%, but only contributed 28% to the fund’s return, behind the 30% contributed by AP3’s currency risk category.The interest rate and credit exposure fared worst of the five risk categories, only achieving returns of 1% and 0.8% return.In a statement, AP3 nonetheless highlighted that its annual return since inception in 2001 stood at 5.5%, ahead of the income index used as a basis for adjusting the income-related pension payment, which the buffer funds help finance.“The fact our return on invested capital has exceeded the income index by 2.5 percentage points on an annual basis reflects the strong contribution to the stability of the pension system we have made during the period,” Hessius added.At the end of 2015, AP3 managed SEK303bn (€33bn) in assets, having contributed nearly SEK5bn to the pension system.AP3 recently announced a series of sustainability targets that will see it treble its green bond holdings to SEK15bn and double its exposure to water treatment to SEK20bn. Sweden’s AP3 returned nearly 7% over 2015, with its inflation risk category posting by far the strongest returns.Despite the return’s being down by nearly half compared with 2014, chief executive Kerstin Hessius said she was satisfied with the results, “especially in the light of the turbulence we saw in the financial markets”.The return, down from 13.8% in 2014, nonetheless saw AP3 outperform its benchmark by 4.4 percentage points.The fund’s exposure to inflation, which included its real estate holdings, achieved a return of 14.7%, far ahead of its four other risk categories.
The European Commission feels justified in its plan to reinforce and expand the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), saying it is “in line” with findings from evaluations of the fund so far.The Commission wants to extend the duration of the EFSI from 2017 to 2020 and increase the total investment target from €315bn to at least €500bn.Its proposal for “EFSI 2.0” also has a greater focus on private-sector contributions, sustainability objectives and addressing the need for high-risk financing.The EFSI is at the core of the Investment Plan for Europe, a flagship policy of the Commission, which believes the plan has had a positive impact, recently stating that it “has already proven useful in encouraging a sustainable increase in investment across member states”. The Commission announced its proposal for a beefed-up EFSI in mid-September. Since then, the European Investment Bank (EIB), a partner to the Investment Plan, presented its evaluation, and accounting and consultancy firm EY published what was mandated as an external, independent evaluation.Commenting on the evaluations this week, the Commission said that they found that the EFSI “has already increased access to financing as well as mobilised private capital, and identified areas in which the Investment Plan could be enhanced”.It believes its EFSI 2.0 proposal addresses the issues raised in the evaluations.Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said: “The feedback we have received is in line with our proposal to fine-tune, expand and strengthen the [Investment] Plan.”The Commission said EY’s assessment found that the EFSI “is effective in increasing access to financing and mobilising private capital, noting an expected portfolio multiplier of 14.1 for signed operations (fully in line with the target of 15 over the whole EFSI-investment period) and 63% of private investment mobilised (no precise target was set) as of 30 June 2016”.The Commission said EFSI was “delivering well beyond expectations” with regard to financing of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – another “window” is for infrastructure and innovation.But it noted that its EFSI 2.0 proposal “makes it even clearer that projects under the EFSI need to address sub-optimal investment situations and market gaps, as part of the eligibility criteria”.Its proposal for bolstering the EFSI places emphasis on reinforcing the “additionality” of supported projects, which is the idea that a project would not have happened at the same time, or to the same extent, without the EFSI.The idea is that the EFSI provides for financing for higher-risk activities than that for which there is appetite in the commercial market.
“The innovative methodology of this index allows mitigation of the risks of poor corporate governance that are ignored by the classic indices,” said Ethos CEO Vincent Kaufmann. “This provides investors with a better protection from corporate governance risks.”SIX Swiss Exchange is calculating the index on behalf of Ethos.According to the foundation, the index aims to:- Reduce corporate governance risks by underweighting or excluding companies that do not apply best practices;- Reduce the carbon impact of the index by underweighting companies with significant carbon emissions;- Avoid overweighting companies involved in serious controversy;- Avoid overweighting companies that make up more than 15% of the SPI;- Overweight companies that do not fall into one of the above categories.Multiple share classes, combined chairman/CEO roles, and variable pay making up a large part of executive remuneration are among features that will weigh negatively on a company’s inclusion in the index.The new index is being used as the benchmark for the Ethos Equities CH Indexed Corporate Governance fund, managed by Pictet Asset Management. Ethos Foundation, a Swiss pension fund organisation promoting socially responsible investment (SRI), has launched a corporate governance index on the country’s main stock exchange.The new equities index, the Ethos Swiss Corporate Governance Index (ESCGI), weights constituents according to corporate governance best practice criteria, while also taking into account companies’ carbon emissions.It is described as the first index of this type on the Swiss stock market, the SIX Swiss Exchange.The index takes the companies that make up the classic Swiss equity market index, the Swiss Performance Index (SPI), and applies Ethos’ corporate governance principles and criteria to modify the weighting of the companies.
At the same time, one should beware “unrealistic expectations of ESG reporting”, said Hoogervorst.“ESG reporting is good, but direct public policy action is often better and more effective,” he said.As an example, he cited the political decision to force supermarkets to charge for plastic bags. This had led to an 85% reduction in the use of plastic bags, whereas sustainability reporting by a grocery chain, despite its genuine commitment to it, had failed to keep its plastic bags from burdening the environment for many years, he said.And while it was positive that the G20 had asked the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to address climate-related disclosures, Hoogervorst argued that “we need more drastic action from our politicians to prevent the catastrophic consequences of climate change”.It was crucial that pricing, for example by means of a tax, fully reflected the external environmental effects of economic activities, he continued, as this would encourage development and use of environmentally sustainable alternatives.Ultimately, in such a scenario financial reporting would become sustainability reporting, he said.Hoogervorst’s intervention comes at a time when investors have been urged to take action to help mitigate climate change. Investors have called for relevant action from businesses and policy makers. Today, 10 companies announced they had committed to implementing the recommendations of the FSB’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) within three years. It has been reported that they were the first companies to do so, although many more have expressed backing for the TCFD’s recommendations.The task force’s reporting framework is voluntary, although there have been calls for it to be made mandatory. The UK government yesterday said it had officially endorsed the TCFD recommendations and encouraged all listed companies to implement them.With respect to asset pricing properly capturing environmental impacts, EU policymakers are said to have recently made progress on the bloc’s carbon market. A week ago, representatives from the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission reached a conditional agreement on doubling the rate at which surplus emissions allowances will be removed from the Emissions Trading System (ETS) and placed in a reserve during the first five years of operation.The move was hailed as a breakthrough by some. The International Investors Group on Climate Change said investors welcomed the progress made in the negotiations to limit the ETS surplus and boost the carbon price. “This ambition must be maintained,” it said.The European Commission has embarked on a project to develop a EU strategy on sustainable finance, and the High Level Expert Group advising it has included strengthening ESG reporting requirements among its eight early recommendations to the Commission. The group has called for asset pricing to be strengthened by improving ”the assessment and management of long-term material risks and intangible factors of value creation”. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting is not a panacea for all social or environmental challenges, the chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has suggested.Speaking at a conference in Brussels yesterday, Hans Hoogervorst acknowledged a need for more standardisation and harmonisation of ESG reporting requirements and said there were things the IASB could do to bring improvements in that field.However, the organisation, which develops the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), was not best placed to take the lead on creating “more clarity in the somewhat chaotic world of wider corporate reporting”, he said.Instead, public authorities should take the main responsibility for this given that so much of ESG reporting was intertwined with public policy goals.
The UK government should provide a clear direction for how to deliver a proposed nationwide pension dashboard, major pension providers and administrators have concluded.During a meeting organised by fintech firm Origo – which has developed a large-scale prototype of the dashboard – senior staff representing more than 20 organisations, showed a common desire for the government to provide guidance on terms of compulsion, inclusion of state pension data, governance and digital identity.In a statement detailing the meeting, Origo said attendees had examined an approach that would “protect pension savers and personal information” and “harness the best of industry innovation”, as requested by Guy Opperman, the minister for pensions and financial inclusion.Participants called for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to conclude and publish its feasibility study as soon as possible, to ensure that the industry had a complete understanding of how much support it would receive from government as well as the practicalities of government facilitation. They also emphasised the importance of a suitable governance structure, which should be established quickly, Origo said.Attendees also highlighted that the government had to legislate to ensure the whole industry was fully compelled to participate in providing data to the dashboard.Anthony Rafferty, managing director of Origo, said he would be updating the DWP as well as Frank Field, the chair of parliament’s work and pensions select committee, on the discussions and the perspectives on the practicalities of delivering the pensions dashboard.UK providers have expressed concern about the delivery of the dashboard since reports emerged over the summer that the DWP was considering dropping its support for the project.In July, the government made clear that it had not committed itself to a timetable for the roll-out of the pensions dashboard, despite previously expressing strong support.
Industriens Pension, the Danish pension fund covering industrial sector workers, said it generated a 12% return on its whole investment portfolio last year, with its active management approach having boosted gains.The Copenhagen-based pension fund announced it made an overall return of DKK20bn (€2.7bn) for 2019, equating to 12% for the total portfolio which grew to DKK189bn by the end of the year, according to preliminary results.Industriens Pension said the high return was mainly due to large price increases in the listed stock market, and that unlisted shares and the credit bond market had delivered solid returns.Peter Lindegaard, Industriens Pension’s chief investment officer, told IPE: “In 2019, listed equities in particular boosted returns. At the same time, we beat the composite benchmark in listed equities last year by 1.7 percentage points. “We also exceeded benchmark in government and mortgage bonds, and overall, our active management helped drive the entire return,” he said.Lindegaard, who was promoted to the role of overall CIO in November, said that over the last few years, the pension fund had created “an even more diversified portfolio with greater risk diversification on both unlisted assets such as infrastructure and properties and on various listed assets”.Industriens Pension’s diversified portfolio had ensured really good long-term returns in various market situations, he said.Late last year, Lindegaard restructured the pension fund’s listed investment department after taking the top role, creating separate teams for equities and bonds.He said in December that this change had been prompted by a desire to bring together skills within the large asset classes in focused teams spanning both external and internal management.
6-8 Nugget Cl, GoldsboroughMANY from the Far North and even further afield dream of the chance to own a slice of the tropics and in this property, the most savvy buyers will have a hard time resisting a look.Described by @realty Cairns agent Zoe Wicks as the “ultimate lifestyle choice on one acre”, 6-8 Nuggest Cl in the picturesque Goldsborough is a property which ticks many boxes. Drive into this impressive six-bedroom, three-bathroom property and the visitor is immediately whisked away to an elevated country sanctuary where rolling landscapes merge natural bushland, mountain ranges and treetop views. A “brilliant combination of flexibility, functionality and stunning presentation”, Ms Wicks said the home was the “perfect solution” for a large extended family. Bathroom luxury.Located in a family friendly community within easy access to creeks and walking tracks, and not far to shops, schools and amenities, Ms Wicks said this property haven will instantly feel like home.Inspection: Saturday, April 27, 1.30-2.15pm The living room.Another four bedrooms each with their own wardrobes offer pleasantly relaxing views over the surrounding mountains.The adjoining granny flat comes with a kitchenette and is ideal for guests, extended family or a home-based business. Quiet garden nooks can be turned into tranquil escapes and an expansive lawn — perfect for pets — come with a choice of alfresco dining spaces.The home also comes with a double remote lock up garage, abundant space for a pool, shed, boat or caravan, and 5kW solar system. The Mulgrave River is nearby and Gordonvale is an easy drive east across the Bruce Highway. 6-8 Nugget Cl, Goldsborough“There is a sizeable wheelchair-friendly granny flat and a contemporary, fresh ambience all throughout the stunning residence,” she said.“There is also a massive open plan lounge and dining room, entertainer’s kitchen and a large undercover patio. More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days ago“The kitchen features include stone benchtops, 90cm stainless steel three-door oven, induction stove, dishwasher and microwave complemented with two large fridge spaces, ample storage and soft close drawers.” For those seeking luxury in the bedroom, a sprawling master suite offers double robes and a connected bathroom with a decadent claw foot bath, double shower head and private courtyard access.
6-8 Rainforest Road, EdmontonWith four bedrooms and three bathrooms, the property would be perfect for a big family or a couple who like their space, according to Mr Stewart, who raised his children in the home.“We just enjoy the privacy and general ambience – it is on a rainforest block, we get the breeze, it is just a lovely position,” he said.“A lot of birds of paradise come through, there are lots of migratory birds and we get bandicoots, echidnas, wallabies and big goannas. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:38Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:38 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, 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 Rate1xFullscreenWhat does property demand mean?01:38PRIVACY, proximity and unique design are the hallmarks of this stunning home south of Cairns.Ian and Lesley Stewart are selling 6-8 Rainforest Rd, where they have lived for the past 24 years. Relax in a tropical swimming pool.“We had our kids here and there is a separate area downstairs with two bedrooms and a living area and that’s where we set our kids up.“The space could be a granny flat, Airbnb room. We’ve had a few people look at the property who have got grandparents who want to come live with them and that space would be perfect to give them their own privacy.“It’s a family home or home for a couple who’d like a lot of space. There are no hills to navigate, a garage and a workshop plus plenty of entertaining decks.” The Stewarts also landscaped the gardens, filling them with tropical foliage, and installed a pool.More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days ago Let the outdoors in.“Incorporating natural elements and the renowned design of Chris Van Dyke to create a distinctive, surprising and inspiring residence, the home has an expansive layout with high ceilings and an open-plan design as well as two decks.“Much loved, the property has been beautifully cared for and presents immaculately.”There is a dual access driveway, a double carport and an inground rock pool set within private rainforest surrounds. Stunning views.“Maintenance is not such a big deal on a house like this. One of the other attributes is Isabella Falls is a couple of hundred metres away, there are supermarkets nearby and the modification and upgrades to the Bruce Highway have made a big difference to the commute into Cairns,” Mr Stewart said.Belle Property Cairns agent Vanessa Robinson said the home was “immaculate” and likened it to the famous Daintree Eco Lodge near Mossman. “It is so private, so quiet and so rare to find such a well-cared for timber home,” she said.“The cul-de-sac is home to a select few, tightly-held properties and is positioned on the foothills of the glorious coastal ranges … yet all the convenience of large shopping centres, excellent schools, sporting facilities and other amenities are just a few minutes away. Cosy and cool.Builder Jon Nott constructed the home which represents a rare find in the Far North. Popular 30 years ago, pole homes are no longer built due to the expense and lack of elevated land left in the city.Inspections of the property are welcome by appointment.