Analysis and opinion

  • venilia ipe dec 2019
    Opinion Pieces

    Full steam ahead for UK de-risking market

    February 2023 (magazine)

    This year is set to be the largest yet for the UK defined benefit (DB) pensions de-risking market, with at least £40bn (€45.8bn) in bulk annuity transactions and £20bn in longevity hedges expected to be completed, according to WTW’s latest de-risking report.

  • Liam Kennnedy
    Opinion Pieces

    Germany's first-pillar pension reform plans: tough to meet expectations

    February 2023 (magazine)

    How would you design your asset allocation if you were building a portfolio from scratch? This is the question facing the governors of Germany’s new state pension buffer fund, the grandly titled ‘Generationenkapital’ (Generational Capital) fund. The expectations are high.

  • Sophie Robinson-Tillett
    Opinion Pieces

    Time for honesty in the face of the ESG backlash

    February 2023 (magazine)

    Sustainable finance is a broad church: it covers small investors whose clients want their capital to benefit society through to big managers who only consider environmental and social issues if they stand to make money.

  • Rachel Fixsen
    Opinion Pieces

    Denmark: Seeking answers on unlisted valuations

    February 2023 (magazine)

    The perennial problem of how unlisted assets should be valued has reared its head in Denmark. Data collated by one financial adviser on pension funds’ 2022 private equity investments has led to worries about an apparent black-box approach to valuation processes. 

  • Carlo Svaluto Moreolo
    Opinion Pieces

    European authorities must focus on derivatives risk

    January 2023 (Magazine)

    Opinions may differ on whether Brexit has had a positive or negative impact on either of the parties involved. However, it could be argued that an idiosyncratic event such as the liquidity crisis that took place in the United Kingdom at the end of September could have been averted, had the country been part of the bloc. Investors lost confidence in the UK government, now more isolated than before Brexit, and its ability to maintain its fiscal balance, after the announcement of a massive fiscal spending plan at the end of September. That sent yields on UK Gilts soaring and led to a spiralling lack of liquidity, as pension funds rushed to post collateral on their interest-rate derivative positions. 

  • Luigi Serenelli at IPE
    Opinion Pieces

    Germany’s equity pension plan raises questions

    January 2023 (Magazine)

    The current legislative period could bring substantial changes to Germany’s pension system. The government is pursuing reforms to fund first-pillar pensions through a buffer fund invested in equities, although there is little consensus on its feasibility.

  • Sophie Robinson-Tillett
    Opinion Pieces

    COP15: Biodiversity develops investment ecosystem

    January 2023 (Magazine)

    Biodiversity is fast catching up with climate change as a priority for investors and supervisors, and developments last year have set the stage for a productive 2023.

  • Liam Kennnedy
    Opinion Pieces

    People power: a hidden strength of public pension funds

    January 2023 (Magazine)

    Public and sovereign pension funds face a unique set of challenges, sometimes related to resource constraints and often to the glare of open scrutiny.

  • Liam Kennnedy
    Opinion Pieces

    Time to rethink defined contribution pensions design

    December 2022 (Magazine)

    This year is shaping up to be the worst for investment returns since before the great financial crisis, according to IPE’s latest performance analysis of the leading European pension funds.

  • Tjibbe Hoekstra at IPE
    Opinion Pieces

    Dutch pensions reform: A never ending story

    December 2022 (Magazine)

    In the last two years, nearly all my contributions for this section have been about the ongoing reform of the Dutch pension system, which will involve the transfer of defined-benefit (DB) accruals to a defined-contribution (DC) setting. 

  • Meloni grapples with Italys pension woes
    Opinion Pieces

    Meloni grapples with Italy’s pension woes

    December 2022 (Magazine)

    Reforms usually follow general elections, regardless of the political system. Italy is no different. The most generous country in Europe in terms of pension payments, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Italy spends the equivalent of 15.6% of GDP on pensions.

  • Sophie Robinson-Tillett
    Opinion Pieces

    COP27: more questions than answers but reasons to hope

    December 2022 (Magazine)

    Despite the cynicism around COP27 last month, there were some potentially major developments for investors. Excitingly, a number of them address what’s often ignored in climate finance discussions: moving money.  

  • Luigi Serenelli at IPE
    Opinion Pieces

    Next up for Switzerland: second pillar reform?

    November 2022 (Magazine)

    The narrow majority of Swiss citizens voting to reform the country’s statutory (AHV) pension system in a referendum on 23 September (52.2%) could create momentum to bring about changes to the second pillar. 

  • Carlo Svaluto Moreolo
    Opinion Pieces

    The biggest test for private credit is upon us

    November 2022 (Magazine)

    Non-listed asset classes are sometimes touted as the weatherproof investment that can deliver positive returns no matter what, in both strong and weak economic environments.

  • Liam Kennnedy
    Opinion Pieces

    Lessons on LDI: learn from the Dutch cultural revolution

    November 2022 (Magazine)

    Around 20 years ago, UK occupational pension liabilities underwent a structural change. With assets weighted towards UK equities, still cashflow positive and open to new members and future accrual, liabilities were not too greatly discussed. 

  • foggy road
    Opinion Pieces

    An uncertain outlook for UK pension journey plans

    November 2022 (Magazine)

    Following the Bank of England’s (BoE) emergency intervention announced on 28 September to stem the sell-off of long-dated UK government bonds, UK defined benefit (DB) pension funds were kept busy, as falling Gilt prices over the past weeks caused mark-to-market losses in liability-driven investment (LDI) strategies.

  • Liam Kennnedy
    Opinion Pieces

    Solvency II: Rule changes can’t force risk taking

    October 2022 (Magazine)

    Changing the rules can often seem like a very sensible policy choice – whether a sweeping deregulatory reform or more of a technocratic adjustment to regulations.  

  • Carlo Svaluto Moreolo
    Opinion Pieces

    Italy’s far-right government won’t bring about great changes

    October 2022 (Magazine)

    The largely anticipated outcome of the Italian election was a strong mandate for the centre-right coalition. This would hardly be a new scenario, were it not for the fact that this time the chosen leader is Giorgia Meloni of Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy), a right-wing party with historical links with fascism. 

  • Luigi Serenelli at IPE
    Opinion Pieces

    Letter from Berlin: The German way to supervise the EU Taxonomy

    October 2022 (Magazine)

    The German financial supervisory authority, BaFin, has chosen its own path to deal with the EU taxonomy – in particular when it comes to nuclear and gas. 

  • venilia amorim
    Opinion Pieces

    Trustees must assess impact of rate hikes

    October 2022 (Magazine)

    The Bank of England (BoE) has hiked its policy rate by 50bps to 2.25%, prioritising the fight against inflation over support for growth in its domestic economy. This interest rate increase has hit levels not seen since the end of 2008 but in line with a majority of economists’ consensus.