All Analysis articles – Page 10

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  • Analysis

    Politicians vs pensions

    March 2012 (Magazine)

    Two strongly divergent positions concerning the European Commission’s proposals for a financial transaction tax (FTT) have emerged in Brussels. Pension fund interests vehemently oppose the tax, while other parties, including some members of the European Parliament, take a diametrically opposite view.

  • Analysis

    Bankruptcy wave threat

    March 2012 (Magazine)

    A new wave of bankruptcies is set to put more pressure on the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), the US pension agency that insures pension benefits of private pension plans covering some 44m of America’s workers and retirees. For fiscal year 2011, the PBGC has already reported a record $26bn (€19.8bn) deficit – the largest in its 37-year history and $3bn more than the $23bn deficit reported the previous year.

  • Analysis

    In the line of fire

    February 2012 (Magazine)

    The $225bn (€177bn) California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) used to be considered a leader in setting new trends, such as investing to improve companies’ corporate governance or to achieve environmental and social goals. But today it is in the line of fire, with critics pointing to its disappointing results and pushing for big changes.

  • Analysis

    Don’t touch Article 18

    February 2012 (Magazine)

    Investment rules for workplace pension funds should not be harmonised at European level. At least, this is the view aired in several responses to the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority’s (EIOPA) call for advice (CfA) document on the revisions to the 2003 IORP Directive.

  • Analysis

    Hedge funds face clip

    January 2012 (Magazine)

    Hedge funds enjoyed record inflows in 2011 as new assets from US pension funds poured into their coffers. But it was also a horrible year for their performance and investors put a lot of pressure on them for better terms.

  • Analysis

    IORP under pressure

    December 2011 (Magazine)

    The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority’s (EIOPA) call for advice on the subject of revisions to the EU’s 2003 IORP Directive on work-place-based pensions closes on 2 January 2012. It seeks advice on the extent to which the legislative framework should be similar to that for other financial institutions and products.

  • Analysis

    Investing for impact

    December 2011 (Magazine)

    “When traditional investors look at impact investing they sometimes think they have to sacrifice returns. Fortunately, there are many examples of impact investing that lead to both competitive returns and positive social impact. In fact, it can be a very competitive field of investing activities versus mainstream assets,” says Scott Budde, head of the global social and community investing department at TIAA-CREF. This is why TIAA-CREF, with $440bn (€319bn) assets, has been involved in impact investing since 2006, and socially responsible investing since the 1980s.

  • Analysis

    Saving, the Texas way

    November 2011 (Magazine)

    Galveston County, Texas, is no longer famous solely for the hurricane that devastated the area killing an estimated 8,000 people in September 1908, the deadliest natural disaster ever to strike the US. Now the county is cited as an alternative ‘Texas’ model for fixing Social Security.

  • Analysis

    Building sector pensions

    November 2011 (Magazine)

    The European Association of Paritarian Institution’s (AEIP) is working on a continent and sector-wide pension system for the building industry. Francesco Briganti, director of AEIP’s Brussels office, says it aims to create a sector-wide social scheme that could eventually pool pension contributions. Overall benefits would be the spread of best practice in this vast industrial sector.

  • Analysis

    Thoughtful ownership

    October 2011 (Magazine)

    Investment managers too often have very little understanding of the businesses in which they are investing, delegates were told at a meeting in Brussels during the launch of a new study on stewardship.

  • Analysis

    Consensus elusive

    October 2011 (Magazine)

    The US retirement system might change dramatically by year’s end; or pension reform could be postponed again until after the 2012 presidential election. Either way, the debate about how to prevent the bankruptcy of social security is hotter than ever.

  • Analysis

    Plenty on the horizon

    September 2011 (Magazine)

    Even without fears of a double-dip recession, the wake of the 2008 crisis is keeping European Commission financial law drafters working hard at the legislative coalface. And that was before European Commission president, José Manuel Barroso, warned, early in August, that the sovereign debt crisis was spreading beyond the periphery ...

  • Analysis

    Bonds defy downgrade

    September 2011 (Magazine)

    US pension funds are reassessing their fixed income investment policies after Standard & Poor’s downgraded the US rating from AAA, despite the fact that the new AA+ rating did not force them immediately to sell Treasury bonds.

  • Analysis

    A labour of love

    July 2011 (Magazine)

    This is a busy time for pension fund professionals in the US as they try to figure out the impact of new rules issued by the department of labor (DoL) on fee disclosure and fiduciary responsibility. Changes are likely to occur soon for plan sponsors, providers, investment managers, brokers, and advisers of 401(k)s and other defined contribution plans, which reached a record $4trn (€2.8trn) in total assets and 82m participants at the end of 2010, according to Plan Sponsor.

  • Analysis

    MiFID II

    July 2011 (Magazine)

    The European Commission is preparing its revision of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID I) that provides harmonised regulation for investment services. MiFID II is due to be published in September 2011, slightly delayed from the earlier deadline of July.

  • Analysis

    Clearer position on derivatives

    June 2011 (Magazine)

    Powerful forces are pushing both for and against an opt-out for pension funds from central clearing requirements in proposed legislation on market infrastructure, making it anyone’s guess as to the final result. However, the European parliamentary rapporteur’s softening of position must be reasonable grounds for hope.

  • Analysis

    Making DC kings

    May 2011 (Magazine)

    Fidelity is still the king of the US retirement market, at number one among the defined contribution (DC) plans with over $940bn (€651bn) of assets in custody as record keeper at the end of 2010, 12% more than the year before. And there is not a traditional bank among the ...

  • Analysis

    Defusing Short-Termism

    May 2011 (Magazine)

    The European Commission’s (EC) new green paper, ‘The EU Corporate Governance Framework’, clearly aims to encourage company owners to take a more active role in influencing management.

  • Analysis

    Battle to stave off crisis

    May 2011 (Magazine)

    Andrew Cuomo is one of the most admired recently-elected state governors – primarily for his efforts to get the budget under control and bring taxes down.

  • Analysis

    State debate hots up

    April 2011 (Magazine)

    The debate about US public employees’ pension benefits is hotting up, and the results will have a great impact on the pension fund industry. For the first time there is a discussion about the real costs of promises made by politicians to public sector employees and the bill to tax payers. In fact, the whole matter is extremely political, as one can see from the very different approaches of two neighbouring states, Wisconsin and Illinois.