UK pooled fund woes continue - HSBC

UK – Pooled fund returns for the first quarter of 2003 “offer little consolation for pension scheme trustees” says HSBC’s actuarial consulting arm.

A survey conducted by HSBC Actuaries and Consultants Ltd. shows the average balanced pooled manager to have achieved returns of –4.3% for the first quarter of this year.

The worst performing manager so far this year has been Glasgow Investment Managers with returns of –8.3%. Glasgow has also produced the worst returns over the one- and three-year period, with –34.3% and –22/6% respectively.

At the other end of the spectrum, Royal Life saw the best returns at the end of the first quarter producing –2.1%. Newton Asset Management has performed best over the one-year period with returns of –19.3%, closing followed by J P Morgan Fleming with –20.4%. Over the three-year period, the top two performing funds are UBS and Bank of Ireland with –7.1%, and –8.7% returns respectively.

Explains Kevin Frisby, senior investment consultant at HSBC Actuaries and Consultants: “The last three months have seen a partial recovery in the fortunes of growth managers. However, over the last three years, the value managers, and the more pragmatic managers, are still firmly on top.”

Frisby added that the continued fall in equity markets and the declining bond yields was causing clients of HSBC Actuaries and Consultants to become increasingly concerned about the deficits in their final salary schemes. “There has been no respite for hard-pressed pension schemes,” he said.

The survey provides performance statistics using capital growth and contribution payments on a monthly basis for 38 discretionary balanced pooled pension funds and five consensus funds.

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