The UK’s financial regulator must not neglect the role of trustees in securing retirement income for pension fund members as it sets out its new approach in the wake of freedoms to draw down savings from 55.The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) warned the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) against too narrow a focus on products when deciding on reforms to help the new pensions freedoms bed in.In a letter to the regulator by head of policy Jackie Wells, the former National Association of Pension Funds insisted it would be important to understand the interaction between trust-based pension funds and contract-based arrangements.“While traditionally the movement of funds has tended to be one-way at retirement, from trust-based schemes to insurers and providers of income drawdown,” Wells said, “the new market may be more complex, with some savers relying on their trust-based DC schemes to deliver their retirement income, and even some moving funds from contract-based to trust-based.” In comments building on a previous submission to the FCA’s retirement income market study from March, Wells added that any “protection or relaxation” considered by the FCA, responsible only for the regulation of contract-based arrangements, must be appropriate for both types of funds.Wells said the FCA should ensure that, in considering changes to retirement products and advice offered to savers, it worked with the Pensions Regulator (TPR) – in charge of regulation for trust-based funds – and the PLSA to understand the changes underway in the trust-based sector.In other news, research by TPR has found that funds with only professional trustees on their boards are more likely to have better governance procedures.The research found that 46% of boards with only professionals spent 10 or more days a year focused on their responsibilities, compared with only one-third of non-professional trustees.Surveying more than 800 trustees, it found that one-quarter of trustee boards never disagreed with the advisers it employed, and a further 58% said they “rarely” were in disagreement.Lesley Titcomb, TPR’s chief executive, previously noted that boards chaired by a professional trustee were better administered, and questioned whether the matter warranted closer inspection.But she defended the current system of trustee qualifications, warning that funds would struggle to attract new lay trustees if qualifications were more onerous.
As things stand, the UK financial regulator said IGCs and trustees were required to request and report on transactions costs as far as they could, but that asset managers were not required to disclose these costs fully in a standardised form.The FCA said it was now proposing to place a duty on asset managers to reveal aggregate transaction costs to pension schemes investing directly or indirectly in their funds. In the proposals – which are now out for consultation until 4 January 2017 – the FCA also says asset managers should give the breakdown of transaction costs on request, with the total broken down into categories of identifiable costs.These could include specific costs such as taxes and securities lending costs, it said.“The proposed new rules,” the FCA said, “will deliver a high degree of consistency in how transaction costs are reported and give governance bodies confidence the information presented to them contains a comprehensive assessment of costs.”To make sure there is consistency across the market, the regulator said it was proposing that the calculation use a methodology for evaluating transaction costs, called the slippage cost. This, it said, compares the price at which a deal is actually executed with the price when the order to transact entered the market. The time an order enters the market should be recorded by an order management system, the FCA said, so it could be used to identify the price of the asset. “Firms that are unable to provide transaction cost information for all of the assets in a scheme will have to disclose this clearly to the governance body with an explanation of why it has not been possible to provide the information,” the FCA said.In August, the founding chairman of the Transparency Task Force, Andy Agathangelou, described the opacity of fees in the asset management industry as a “festering sore on the face of financial services”.Jonathan Lipkin, director of public policy at the IA (Investment Association), said the FCA’s announcement provided “clarity” over its thinking regarding the workplace pensions market.“Our goal here is consistent and complete reporting for all client groups, implementing both UK and EU regulatory change,” he said.“We will therefore continue the work being undertaken with the IA Independent Advisory Board to ensure we can deliver meaningful disclosure in tandem with new FCA rules.” The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK has unveiled a set of draft rules and guidance aimed at standardising the way the transaction costs pension investors have to pay are disclosed.Fee transparency has recently been the subject of hot debate in the country’s pensions and investment sphere.Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA said: “IGCs (independent governance committees) are already seeking to make pension schemes work better for their members. “The proposals we are announcing today will allow IGCs to see fully the transaction costs that their funds pay and enable them to make better decisions about how they get value for money for their members.”
Zurich, SwitzerlandCredit: Susanna RustSwiss medical fund board members acquitted In an unrelated court ruling, six members of the investment board of a small Swiss pension fund were acquitted of misappropriation.ACSMS – the pension fund for medical and social services in the Sarine district in the canton of Fribourg – had to the liquidated in 2015 after it suffered major losses on an investment.In 2009 it awarded a CHF45m mandate – 80% of its assets at the time – to a single fund manager that proceeded to invest in risky foreign investments.The commercial court of the canton of Fribourg has now ruled that the members of the investment committee could not have known that the investment decision might have been fraudulent.An ACSMS director, who proposed the investment, is still facing legal proceedings for alleged fraudulent actions. One of Switzerland’s largest pension funds has won a legal battle to reclaim commissions from one of its asset managers.The CHF33bn (€28.1bn) BVK, the Pensionskasse for the canton of Zurich, will receive CHF20m of cash not forwarded to the pension fund by the unnamed asset manager.The court ruled that the manager must pay CHF12.5m in commissions it had received for selling shares, plus CHF7.5m in default interest.In a press release BVK said the money would be added to the members’ assets. It added that the legal fight before the commercial court for the canton of Zurich had been “protracted and time consuming”. Debates on commission fees started to gain real momentum in Switzerland after a federal court (Bundesgericht) ruling in 2012 .This ruling decided that all banks or independent asset managers receiving commission fees for selling fund products to Pensionskassen and other client types must pass these fees on to the entity making the actual investment in the fund.At the time, a report from Reuters claimed Swiss asset managers had gained as much as CHF7bn from such commissions, known as ‘retrocessions’.Two years later, some Swiss Pensionskassen mulled taking legal action against asset managers and banks refusing to pay back these commissions.However, until June 2017 it had been unclear how far back claims could be asserted. The Bundesgericht then clarified a 10-year period of limitation.Since the first verdict, several media outlets had reported agreements between banks and financial service providers but rarely revealed names or sums involved.The BVK is the first Pensionskasse to openly report about its legal battle and the sum it won for its members.
Leen MeijaardVan Lomwel highlighted Meijaard’s “wealth of experience of the asset management and pension fund industries across EMEA”.“We will look to leverage his deep knowledge of the markets, local environments and extensive networks as we broaden our institutional reach,” he added.Meijaard said: “Neuberger Berman has established an impressive European institutional franchise, offering clients diversified investment capabilities.“I look forward to working with the team to identify areas for amplification of its expertise and optimising the delivery of investment solutions to European clients.”Meijaard has been a member of the board of AFC Ajax, the Netherlands’ most successful football club, since 2016. Before joining BlackRock in 2002, Meijaard held positions at Robeco Group, Fidelity Investments and New Flag Asset Management. Investment manager Neuberger Berman has appointed former BlackRock executive Leen Meijaard as a senior adviser as of 1 November.He will act as a consultant, Neuberger said in a statement, advising on European and Middle Eastern institutional business and working with Dik van Lomwel, head of EMEA and Latin America. Meijaard was previously BlackRock’s executive chairman for the Benelux region, a position he had held since 2015.He was a member of BlackRock’s executive committee for nearly a decade and has held managing director roles at the firm, including head of BlackRock EMEA iShares as well as head of BlackRock EMEA Institutional.
At the end of March 2018, Merseyside had roughly 40% of its portfolio – £3.4bn – invested in UK and international equities, either directly or through pooled funds.Today’s announcement did not contain detail on how much of the portfolio would be covered by the overlay.The move by Merseyside follows recent moves by other local authority pension funds – including Tower Hamlets, South Yorkshire and Worcestershire – to employ similar strategies. Each appointed at least one of the group brought in by Merseyside to run a specific mandate.Merseyside stated: “This opportunity is to identify providers capable of supporting Merseyside with their equity overlay needs, which may range from basic put protection through to more complex strategies (eg put-spread collar or other such structures).”Initially the exercise will focus on selection of a single or multiple managers to provide a put-spread “collar” with a preference for a cost-neutral solution, the document said. However, managers should be able to offer a customised approach to fit a range of different plan requirements.Merseyside forms part of the Northern LGPS pool alongside Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire. Together, the pool has assets of around £45bn.All the managers appointed by Merseyside were contacted for comment.Further readingInvestors ‘must research equity overlays’ as demand soars: Bfinance The prospect of severe downturns has bolstered the case for more explicit safeguards on investment portfolios, but equity protection strategies involve several critical – and complex – choicesPGB implements protection strategy for €12bn equity portfolio The Dutch multi-sector pension fund appointed BMO Global Asset Management to implement an protection strategy in December 2018 The Merseyside Pension Fund has appointed five managers to help it run equity overlays to protect its stock market exposure against a downturn.According to publicly available documents, the £8.6bn (€10bn) pension fund has appointed Eaton Vance, Insight Investment, Legal & General Investment Management, River & Mercantile and Schroders to a panel that will advise on risk management design and construction.The document said Merseyside was “seeking to control equity risk on a medium-term basis” – roughly 18 months – “and possibly on a longer term strategic basis through the use of an equity overlay solution”.In the financial year 2017-18 “the potential for the fund to implement equity protection strategies was identified as an area of development”, according to its annual report.
In a third case, she told IPE, the head of equities bought shares privately and through the pension fund in the same company during the early weeks of 2019.“The compliance assessment is that it is a violation of the conflict of interest policy not to flag the case to the manager and to ensure the conflict is handled,” she said.However, AP1 believed the case against Jonasson would become difficult legally, she said, because his superior did not warn him of the consequences when complaining about Jonasson reporting his private investments too late.So instead of taking the legal route, AP1 reached an agreement with Jonasson and he left the fund, she said.“We have zero-tolerance in this area, non-compliance with the internal regulatory framework should have appropriate consequences,” the spokeswoman said.“It is of utmost importance that the fund’s board and employees act in a way that the trust in AP1, and in the overall Sweden’s national income pension system, is retained,” she said.The departure of Jonasson comes just three months after the pension fund’s chief executive Johan Magnusson was sacked for buying shares in the initial public offering of Swedish property company John Mattson Fastighetsföretag, which he had already decided AP1 would participate in as an anchor investor. The equities chief of Swedish national pensions buffer fund AP1 has had to leave the organisation amid a dispute sparked by a breach of the fund’s internal rules over personal investments – just months after the fund’s chief executive was fired in similar circumstances. In two separate cases Olof Jonasson, the SEK352bn (€33.5bn) pension fund’s head of equities, bought shares in companies AP1 later invested in, a spokeswoman for the fund confirmed.Both of the cases applied to fund investments made in 2019.In the first case, Jonasson’s private investment was made two to three months before the pension fund’s investment, and in the second case, the personal transaction and the AP1 investment were separated by nine months, the spokeswoman said.
Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:55Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:55 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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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 Rate1xFullscreenPay off your mortgage in no time with these tips!00:55THE struggle is real for Queensland homeowners, with new figures showing we are experiencing the second highest rates of housing stress in the country after Sydney.But even with the increasing cost of soaring childcare and utility costs, one homeowner believes it is possible to pay off your mortgage in just seven years.Rachel Smith, author of Underspent, saved more than $50,000 in one year by quitting impulse shopping and embarking on a strict saving program.Rachel Smith paid off her home in just seven years and wrote a book about it. Picture: Liam KidstonThe 40-year-old also paid off her mortgage in the United Kingdom in seven years by doing four things — earning, learning, yearning and returning.GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HEREHomeowners are experiencing housing stress, but there are ways to save money according to a Brisbane author.While Ms Smith was working full time as an engineering consultant, she was also a part-time scuba diving instructor, a casual literacy tutor and a silver service waitress.“If you’re young and you’re determined — even if you’re old and determined — you can do anything,” she said.Then came the earning part.“I rented out my driveway, my garage, my spare room, scuba diving and camping equipment,” Ms Smith said.“Even if you only get $10 for a scuba tank. it’s all those little bits of money that add up.“People think; ‘I’m not going to worry because it’s only five bucks, but if you put all that money in a bank account with compound interest, then it grows and grows.”GEN Y TO DRIVE DECADE-LONG HOUSING BOOMA Brisbane author says it is possible to pay off a mortgage in just seven years.Here’s the really hard part — getting past the yearning.Ms Smith said she realised when she got her first mortgage that she would need to spend less than she earned.“You can yearn for smashed avocado and takeaway coffee, but I realised you need to take your own packed lunch, tea bags and coffee to work and have breakfast at home,” she said.“You can still have treats, but maybe only once a week or once a fortnight.”And finally, returning.Ms Smith stressed that she was not a financial planner, so did not want to be seen as offering advice.BIG SALE SETS THE BAR HIGHRegular contributions to a savings account could help you pay off your mortgage faster, according to a Brisbane author.“What I did that worked for me was that I put all my money in a high interest savings account and every 12 months, I was making a lump-sum payment to bring my mortgage down,” she said.“People need to go to a bank or financial adviser to get specific advice unique to them.”New data released in a report by Housing, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) reveals 10.5 per cent of Brisbanites are experiencing housing stress.And in some urban areas in Queensland, 11.3 per cent of residents are spending more than 30 per cent of their monthly income on their mortgage or rent.HOME SALE SMASHES SUBURB RECORDNew data from HILDA.While there is not much you can do about that, one thing you can control is your spending habits.Ms Smith said 86 per cent of Australians had no idea how much they spent on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis.“It’s the impulse shopping that’s the killer for people,” she said.“People say it’s really hard to save money, but if you quit impulse shopping, it’s really easy to save money.”Rachel Smith paid off her home in just seven years and wrote a book about it. Photographer: Liam Kidston.Ms Smith suggests writing down what you want on a three month waiting list.“If you can’t do three months, do seven days,” she said.“Write it down on the waiting list and if next week you still want that dress at Zara then buy it — if you can afford it.“But if you took that money you would have spent and put it in to your savings account, you’d soon find you’ve actually got quite a lot of money.”Ms Smith now lives in Brisbane, where she bought a townhouse two years ago in Clayfield and plans to pay it off in seven years or less.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours agoRachel Smith suggests making a waiting list of potential purchases.Omniwealth financial planner Steven Korner said it was “absolutely crazy” not have an offset account if you had a home loan.An offset account is a bank account that does not accrue interest.Instead, it offsets the interest paid on a loan as it considers the money in the account has been paid off the loan.“This still gives you the freedom to use this cash if needed while paying less interest on your home loan,” Mr Korner said.“It is absolutely crazy not to have at least one of these.“Every account I own is an offset account to my loan (I have five accounts). This has saved me thousands a year.”There are ways you can save money and pay off your mortgage faster.Mr Korner also recommends having a budget, committing to paying extra money off the mortgage each month and decreasing expenses.Reviewing your home loan rate can also save thousands of dollars a year.“You should be reviewing your home loan rates once a year — if you aren’t then you are missing out on a truck load of savings,” Mr Korner said.“You can do this in one of two ways; Speak with a mortgage broker or call your bank directly and politely explain to them that another bank has offered you a much lower rate (make sure you do your research) and ask what they can do to match this rate.“For example, if your rate is 4.3 per cent and you review your rate and get one that is 3.8 per cent, then on a $1 million mortgage, you would save $5000 a year.”For every $1 you pay off your mortgage, you need to earn $4, according to one financial planner.And this piece of advice might scare you.“Did you know that for every $1 you pay off your mortgage, you need to earn $4 before tax to do so?” Mr Korner said.“This means that if you have a $1 million mortgage, you have to earn $4 million just to pay off the mortgage.”Calculations by comparison site Mozo.com.au show a borrower making an extra monthly repayment of $43 into their mortgage could save up to $9,915 in interest charges over the life of a typical $350,000, 25-year home loan — wiping one year off loan repayments.“For the average Australian a weekly saving of $10 might seem pretty paltry in the grand scheme of things, but our analysis shows that putting this small windfall to good measure can yield sizeable dividends,” Mozo director Kirsty Lamont said.“The same amount of cash you can blow on a burger and shake or two morning coffees every week can also be used towards paying down your debt earlier and saving you thousands of dollars in interest charges along the way.”A couple looking at homes for sale in a real estate agency window.4 TIPS FOR PAYING OFF A MORTGAGE IN 7 YEARS1. Earn: Work as much as you can, even if it means 4 part-time jobs.2. Learn: Do things differently. Rent out your driveway and spare room. A lodgers rent can cover half the mortgage.3. Yearn: Yearn for smashed avo on toast, then pack your own lunch and have breakfast at home.4. Return: Find a high interest savings account and put every spare cent in it. Once a year overpay your mortgage with it.(Source: Rachel Smith, author of Underspent)
Mirvac opened an estimated $5.1 million of new parkland to the public in January as part of its Everleigh masterplanned community in Greenbank.A masterplanned community at Greenbank, set to feature more than 3000 homesites, has opened an estimated $5.1 million of parkland to the public.The park space includes 1.5 ha of recreation parkland – equal to the size of three football fields – including an events space and junior playground.An additional 8000sq m of linear park will provide a strong pedestrian and cycle link along a ‘”green spine’’ between the new recreation parkland and the Greenbank Shopping Centre.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus14 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market14 hours agoEverleigh will feature about 3300 homesites, along with conservation parkland, sports fields and recreation parks, and a suite of community facilities, including a primary school, neighbourhood retail centre and community health centre.More than 60 per cent of stage one sold ahead of completion of the first homesites, anticipated to be ready for construction this year.Roger and Jenny Peterson are among the first purchasers at Everleigh and will downsize from their large five-bedroom home in Regents Park they have called home for 20 years.“With our kids leading busy lives with children of their own, we felt it was no longer necessary to look after a large property, pool and garden and wanted a new home that allowed more time for us and less time on maintenance,” Mr Peterson said.“Greenbank is such a thriving area and we immediately fell in love with the Everleigh vision and the beautiful surrounds.”Mirvac Queensland residential general manager, Warwick Bible, said the new parkland would be for both residents of Everleigh and the broader Greenbank community to enjoy.
Charlie’s became a staple of Gold Coast life in the ’70s and ’80s where families would flock during the day and shift workers, taxi drivers and party animals would be well catered for at night. Mr Wriggles died of a heart attack in the early ’80s and Mrs Wriggles took over running the business and became a popular fixture at the restaurant. She died in August, aged 90. Gold Coast stalwart Rita Wriggles was best known for owning Charlie’s in Surfers Paradise from the early 80s to 1995. The Wriggles owned the home at 7 Valencia Ave, Isle of Capri, for more than 40 years.Her family have made the difficult decision to sell the three-bedroom family home at 7 Valencia Ave for the first time in its history. Graham Wriggles, the son of Rita and Brian, said the house had been in the family for more than 40 years and he would be sad to see it go. “Dad retired from the navy in the 1970s and went back to his beloved Queensland and that’s when he bought the property,” he said. “Mum loved the fishing and dad loved his boat and it was close to Surfers.“They started Charlie’s in 1977, turned it from a fairly nice coffee shop into a 24-hour ripper.” It’s the first time its been up for sale since it was built.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa9 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day ago The waterfront house offers three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a pool.The property is listed with an expressions-of-interest campaign closing on December 4 through Lucy Cole and her self-titled agency. “It’s original condition but has been all tarted up,” Ms Cole said. “They (Rita and Brian) bought it off the builder. It was one of the first homes on the Isle of Capri. “The reason they chose Isle of Capri was its proximity to the cafe, beach and river. It’s a sought-after location.”Ms Cole said the property was likely to attract a range of buyers including land bankers, investors, holiday-makers, renovators or those looking for a new home site. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:27Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:27 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 Rate1xFullscreenWhy Spring 2019 is a good time to sell01:27 The former family home of Rita and Brian Wriggles, the couple who started Charlie’s Restaurant Bar and Cafe, has been listed for sale.THE former home of the couple behind one of Surfers Paradise’s most famed restaurants has hit the market. The Isle of Capri house was purchased by Rita and Brian Wriggles in the 1970s before they opened what would become a Gold Coast institution – Charlie’s Restaurant Bar and Cafe. MORE NEWS: A Queenslander that might be your cup of tea MORE NEWS: International buyers splash big cash on rainforest estate
Image courtesy of BechtelChevron-led Angola LNG project launched a tender selling a single cargo from the 5.2 million tons per year facility in Soyo. The cargo is scheduled for loading during the August 1-3 window, Platts reports, citing market sources.Bids are to be submitted by July 31 and remain valid until August 2, according to the tender.It was reported that the tender does include a destination clause, restricting the cargo to be delivered to any of the North Asia’s terminals.Angola LNG is a joint venture between Sonangol (22.8%), Chevron (36.4%), BP (13.6%), Eni (13.6%), and Total (13.6%). LNG World News Staff