Featured Homepage Articles #2

Tough climate marks value in governance

The link between better governance and stronger returns lies somewhere between faith and fact; however, in a historically tough climate, the argument for best practice seems overwhelming.
FIS HARVARD

All aboard the change express as Railpen leaves the station

At the end of a corporate review process that lasted eight months, involved 23 meetings of a steering committee and produced 60 working papers, the UK railways pension fund Railpen was left with 422 action items. “We’ve done 224 of them,” Chris Hitchen, Railpen chief executive, told the Fiduciary Investors Symposium (FIS) at Harvard University.... Read more »
ANALYSIS

Defining fiduciary duty

What constitutes fiduciary duty is an ongoing discussion in the pension sector. The UK Law Commission has weighed in on the debate with its own interpretation.     Pension funds mulling the definition and obligations of their fiduciary duty can now refer to a consultation paper from the Law Commission, Fiduciary Duties of Investment Intermediaries.... Read more »
IN CONVERSATION

Giving time to investment governance

Roger Urwin, global head of content at Towers Watson and governance specialist, says most organisations don’t spend enough time on it, but transformational change is all about giving time to investment governance. Culture and leadership, for example is so self-evidently important in people organisations and yet it is understated in asset owners, he says. “The soft... Read more »
ANALYSIS

Fewer, bigger funds for UK?

Australia, the US, Canada and Denmark have all done it. Kazakhstan and even Oman are talking about it. Increasingly, public sector pension funds are merging or pooling their assets into fewer bigger schemes. It’s no surprise the debate is gathering momentum in the United Kingdom, ripe for consolidation with a Local Government Pension Fund Scheme... Read more »
ANALYSIS

Wake up to wasted capital, stranded assets

Sobering new figures in the latest report to highlight climate risk should resonate with trustees more than usual. According to the second study from Carbon Tracker and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, part of the London School of Economics Unburnable carbon 2013: Wasted capital and stranded assets, between 60 and... Read more »
NEWS

Code of conduct for proxy voting industry

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has developed a set of high level principles with the aim of encouraging the proxy voting industry to develop its own code of conduct. Speaking at the ICGN conference in Milan, the head of the investment and reporting division at ESMA, Laurent Degabriel, said it will set a... Read more »
ANALYSIS

Real estate the object of desire for UK funds

United Kingdom pension funds will increase their real estate allocations as bond and equity investments continue to disappoint, according to new research by property consultancy Jones Lang Lasalle. The funds typically hold around 5 per cent of their assets in real estate, but the recent findings predict the pendulum will swing in favour of much... Read more »
INVESTOR PROFILE

Controlling strategy inhouse at UK coal scheme

Until a few years ago, every aspect of the investment strategy at the UK’s £20-billion ($32-billion) coal industry pension scheme was outsourced. The main inhouse task at the pension fund was benefit payment but now, in a fresh approach spearheaded by straight-talking 38-year old New Zealander, Stefan Dunatov, the new chief investment officer of the... Read more »
INVESTOR PROFILE

Ducks get in a row for UK’s NEST

If there was an opportunity for a clean slate, what investments and service providers would provide the optimal structure for your members? The UK’s National Employment Savings Trust is preparing to receive its first contributions next year. Amanda White spoke with chair Lawrence Churchill about that privilege and challenge.