Analysis and opinion

  • Liam Kennnedy
    Opinion Pieces

    Resilience: how investors can secure it

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    Back in March 2020 as the extent of the coronavirus in western Europe was becoming clear, Risto Murto, president and CEO of the €49bn Finnish pension insurer Varma, called for the creation of “healthcare buffers” to mitigate the effects of future pandemics.

  • Daniel
    Opinion Pieces

    Jobs crisis threatens pension provision

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    Hopefully one of the few benefits of the COVID-19 crisis will be to show that the impact of an ageing population is exaggerated. There are other key elements informing the ability of a society to provide decent pensions by whatever means.

  • Carlo Svaluto Moreolo
    Opinion Pieces

    Deleveraging is no free lunch

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    After temporarily shutting down the global economy, governments are pursuing a massive fiscal expansion in order to support struggling businesses and consumers.

  • Venilia
    Opinion Pieces

    Improvement required

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    Climate change will continue to be one of the most economically impactful events as it affects us all. It requires immediate and ambitious action to prevent the worst effects on people and biodiversity and it signals a message that nations need to build a more resilient and sustainable global financial system.

  • Joseph Mariathasan
    Features

    Is sustainability mispriced?

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    Living in the developed world over the past 50 years, life has been stable, even idyllic, for most people. That is certainly compared with their grandparents and previous generations who lived through two world wars and the Spanish flu. But, as COVID-19 has shown so cruelly, there are existential dangers that can lie hidden. These can rip the established world order asunder if not tackled beforehand. 

  • Lynda Whitney
    Features

    Accounting Matters: Accounting for the Wedge

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    The reason why defined benefit (DB) scheme sponsors account for inflation is because International Accounting Standard 19, Employee Benefits, tells them that if they make a benefit promise that is linked to price increases, the effect of that commitment has to be accounted for. The starting point for what by any standards is a gargantuan actuarial task is to look at yields on inflation-linked bonds. 

  • Joe Biden
    Features

    Biden signal is green for ESG

    December 2020 (Magazine)

    For many, US president-elect Joe Biden spells hope. From an ESG-perspective, there are two main aspects to this phenomenon.

  • Liam Kennnedy
    Opinion Pieces

    The looming trust deficit

    November 2020 (Magazine)

    Once again, European pension systems – notably those of the Netherlands and Denmark – have scored most highly in this year’s Mercer CFA Pension Index. These successes are no accident, and among the key ingredients is years of pragmatic and consensual policy making. 

  • Daniel Ben-Ami
    Opinion Pieces

    COVID is not everything

    November 2020 (Magazine)

    For understandable reasons it has become commonplace to talk about the immense damage done by COVID-19. This probably makes sense as a kind of shorthand. However, careful reflection on the painful experience of recent months should show it is a one-sided way of understanding the pandemic’s devastating impact.

  • Carlo Svaluto Moreolo
    Opinion Pieces

    Talking to strangers

    November 2020 (Magazine)

    In his recent book, Malcolm Gladwell discusses how people’s natural lack of ability to detect lies can lead to unpleasant consequences. 

  • venilia amorim
    Opinion Pieces

    Can superfunds be the silver bullet for DB woes?

    November 2020 (Magazine)

    Consolidation as a means of achieving better outcomes for pension schemes is a growing trend. This was highlighted in the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) 2018 White Paper on protecting defined benefit (DB) pension schemes.

  • Joseph Mariathasan
    Features

    Smart phones: the key to African opportunity

    November 2020 (Magazine)

    Demographics are often the least appreciated of the long-term trends that investors consider, despite being perhaps the most important. 

  • Cllr Doug McMurdo
    Features

    Accounting Matters: Who sets the standards?

    November 2020 (Magazine)

    You are what you know, the saying goes. And it goes without saying that the 211 comment letters the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) received on its Primary Financial Statements (PFS) project will represent some diverse viewpoints. 

  • Liam Kennnedy
    Opinion Pieces

    Nasty problems can be overcome

    October (2020) Magazine

    The Nobel laureate Bill Sharpe once called defined contribution (DC) decumulation the “nastiest, hardest problem in finance”. 

  • Daniel Ben-Ami
    Opinion Pieces

    Mind the reality gap

    October (2020) Magazine

    The past few months have brought huge discrepancies between the financial markets and the economy.

  • Carlo Svaluto Moreolo
    Opinion Pieces

    Pension funds should reflect on their true purpose

    October (2020) Magazine

    With COVID-19 infection rates rising across Europe it seems clear that lockdowns are not over yet. Europe will suffer economically as well as socially and politically. 

  • Venilia
    Opinion Pieces

    No need to panic

    October (2020) Magazine

    The global economic discussion has focused on assessing what damage COVID-19-related lockdowns have caused, and more recently on questioning the speed and strength of the recovery.

  • Charles Cowling
    Features

    Accounting Matters - UK DB pension schemes: One step forward, two steps back

    October (2020) Magazine

    As sometimes happens with Easter, one of the surveys of the UK pensions accounting landscape from consultants Lane Clark & Peacock (LCP) was later than usual. And, like an Easter egg, this keenly awaited overview of the net funding position of FTSE 100 defined benefit (DB) pension schemes comes in two halves. 

  • Joseph Mariathasan
    Features

    Sharing Economy: Think impact, build a legacy

    October (2020) Magazine

    As the world adjusts to COVID-19, amid the uncertainties and dangers that lie ahead, there should still be time to dream of a better world. 

  • Daniel
    Opinion Pieces

    Making a difference

    September 2020 (Magazine)

    This time is different”. Such claims were rightly skewered in a well-known book by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff. But with the benefit of recent experience it should be clear that their argument did not go far enough.