European pension funds have provided some straight-talking feedback on recommendations made by an advisory body to the European Commission on sustainable finance.In trade body PensionsEurope’s submission to the consultation by the High Level Expert Group (HLEG), it said “pension funds have the purest approach to long term/sustainable investment”.“Sustainability is already and by definition has been an integral part of pension funds’ risk-return decisions,” the organisation added, voicing support for the Commission’s “ambitious” agenda on sustainable finance.The consultation asked respondents about various aspects of the HLEG’s recommendations. On green bonds, PensionsEurope advocated that standardisation should be based on the Green Bond Principles, an industry initiative. It said that an explicit connection between the proceeds of a green bond and the environmental, social and governance policies of the issuer was needed.Regarding infrastructure, PensionsEurope pushed back somewhat on the HLEG’s idea of creating an organisation for developing infrastructure projects and matching them with investors. The focus should be less on match-making and more on building out on the European Investment Advisory Hub, an investment support service formed by the Commission and the European Investment Bank.On the much-discussed issue of long-term investment, the trade body said policy horizons needed to be longer.“The EU and the member states should provide for a good investment climate, stable pricing/tariffing (on pricing and subsidies) and a stable policy framework in order to provide long term investors with certainty,” it said.Securitisation got PensionsEurope’s support as a means of gaining long-term exposure to, for example, European project finance, including wind and solar projects, thereby helping institutional investors support green energy.Regulators could promote a concept of green securitisation, said the organisation, in keeping with the HLEG’s recommendations.A theme running through PensionsEurope’s submission was that sustainable finance also needed to recognise the importance of social stability, and not just environmental issues.
It also showed that particular government bonds, credit and equity were managed internally.Approximately 30% of the 47 participating schemes carried out at least part of their fiduciary management in house, up from 17% in 2017. Half of them deployed external fiduciary managers, but only for some mandates.The research showed that a large number of different fiduciary managers were hired, with NN Investment Partners being the most used this year. MN came second, while Achmea Investment Management and TKPI shared third place.More than three-quarters of participants indicated that the main reason for hiring a fiduciary manager was getting access to broader expertise and specialist services, as well as workload relief.The most important criteria for manager selection were listed as the quality of risk management and the like-minded corporate culture that pension funds and managers share.According to the research, 70% of respondents considered it highly unlikely that a pension fund’s board would give up too much control by fully outsourcing its assets to a fiduciary manager.The survey included 49 respondents, representing 47 pension funds with assets ranging from €350m to €250bn and totalling €635bn. An increasing number of Dutch pension funds is reverting to in-house asset management, in particular for equity and bonds, the annual survey of Dutch pension funds published by Pensioen Pro has suggested.It found the amount of externally managed assets dropped by €169bn to €916bn this year, as part of a trend that started in 2018.The percentage of schemes that at least in part internally managed assets jumped from 16.7% in 2017 to 34% this year, it showed.The survey also disclosed that 85% of pension funds with in-house management have investment expertise on their board or administrative teams, or are being advised by their own investment committee, whereas 64% used an investment consultancy.
Image Courtesy: CricWizz/Fox SportsAdvertisement 2m2r4NBA Finals | Brooklyn VsbxwpWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E51971( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 63lgbh0Would you ever consider trying this?😱if3Can your students do this? 🌚cn1fRoller skating! Powered by Firework The International Cricket Council has started off their much awaited World Test Championship this year, and Team India has been the absolute top performer in the tournament yet. The championship, which plans to run till 2021, is yet to see the Men in Blues lose any series, and Virat Kohli and co have ascended to the peak position in the ICC Test rankings. However, according to English cricketing legend Michael Vaughan, the team that deserves the top spot along with India is Australia.Advertisement Image Courtesy: CricWizz/Fox SportsThe Aussies are currently ranked 5th, behind New Zealand, South Africa and England, and Vaughan feels the ranking is not justified. Currently working as a commentator, Vaughan spoke to Australian daily The Sydney Morning Herald.“I will be dead honest about the ICC rankings. I think they are absolute garbage,” the 45 year old told reporters.Advertisement Although the tie in the Ashes in September, the Aussies won the Pakistan test series earlier this month, and are leading 1-0 at the stumps of the second day of the test series versus New Zealand at home. The Black Caps, although ranked second, were defeated by the hosts on the first day of the series by a staggering 296 runs at the Optus Stadium on 15th December.“I have no idea how – New Zealand have won plenty of series over the course of the last two years – but for them to be second, and where it stands out for me that the rankings can’t be right is that England in Test match cricket are third (now fourth), and England for three or four years have struggled in Test match cricket, particularly overseas.” Vaughan added.Advertisement However, the Yorkshire star justified India’s ranking.Vaughan continued- “I think there are two teams- India and Australia, they are the best test match teams in the world, without question. I think there is only one team that can come here and put Australia under pressure, that was 12 months ago, that they won here India.”During the Pakistan test series earlier this month, Vaughan tweeted on Australia’s marvellous performance, while also concluding its only the Men in Blue are comparable to them on home soil.A monumental 600 test cap holder, Vaughan praised India’s progress in the Batting and Bowling department in the format, especially with Kohli leading the Test Batsmen ranking with a rating of 928.That Indian attack has got the pace, it has also got the spin, the batting unit has got all the experience. I only see only one team at this stage that can compete with Australia here and that is India,” Vaughan added.Also read-Michael Vaughan with high praise for Virat Kohli: He’s the best batsmen across formats in this era!Michael Vaughan: Only India have the tools to beat Australia at home in tests Advertisement