“It’s incredibly difficult getting a first-time fund off the ground these days,” the source said. “The team is the ex-Lehman Brothers lending team, so they’ve got a track record.“Everyone recognises there is an opportunity because the banks are so much less active than they were, but, because the banks were so active before, there are not many funds out there that have a track record.”The fund is targeting returns in the region of 8%, and most of the pension funds have invested in the fund as a “substitute to corporate bonds”, although some are treating it as a real estate allocation.The pension funds are being advised by a combination of consultants and multi-managers, while GreenOak is being advised by placement agency Riverbridge Capital Partners, founded by Anthony Biddulph in 2012.The fund is “fairly agnostic” on property sectors, the source said, but it will target senior debt, up to approximately 60% loan-to-value, for value-added real estate across the UK. GreenOak has raised £138m (€165m) from 10 UK pension funds for a fund that will invest in senior debt secured against non-core real estate in the UK, according to a source close to the matter.The strategy is to provide financing to buyers of value-added real estate, such as opportunity funds – a part of the market largely avoided by traditional lenders.It is the first real estate debt fund to be launched by the company created in 2010 by former Morgan Stanley Real Estate professionals John Carrafiell, Sonny Kaisi and Fred Schmidt.The fund itself is being led by Jim Blakemore, former European head of Lehman Brothers Global Real Estate Group between 2004 and 2008, having established the bank’s commercial mortgage lending business in Europe between 2000 and 2004.
Noël Amenc has announced his resignation as director of EDHEC-Risk Institute.He will be replaced by Lionel Martellini, the current scientific director of the institute.Amenc, who is also a professor at EDHEC Business School, has led the EDHEC-Risk Institute since 2001, overseeing its expansion and efforts to become a leader in financial research, particularly smart beta.He has now resigned to focus on his role as chief executive at ERI Scientific Beta, the institute’s initiative to put its research on smart beta into practice. Amenc will also continue to grow the institute’s presence in Singapore, EDHEC-Risk Institute Asia, which focuses on infrastructure financing and investment.His research achievements are found primarily in the fields of quantitative equity management, portfolio performance analysis and active asset allocation.Amenc was also appointed to the Consultative Working Group of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) Financial Innovation Standing Committee.
As of the end of March 2016, Polish equities accounted for 76.5% of the PLN143.1bn (€33.3bn) investment portfolio, despite the legal minimum equity requirement’s falling to 35%, from 55% in 2015.Foreign equities and other foreign securities accounted for a further 7%, and around 11% of the shares listed by the 50-odd foreign companies on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) were taken into account.Although the total foreign investment limit increased from 20% in 2015 to 30% in 2016, the continuing ban on OFEs using derivatives, even to hedge their currency risk, has in practice restricted the appetite for this asset class.Bank deposits, at 7.1% of the portfolio, constituted the only other significant investment.As a result, the OFEs’ returns have mirrored the WSE’s recent performance.The benchmark WIG index fell by 9.3% over the 12 months to end-March, following an 11-month bear run that only reversed this February.If the WSE maintains this trend, subsequent returns will show a marked improvement.A further positive development for the OFEs’ otherwise barren investment landscape is the amended legislation on covered bonds and mortgage banks that came into effect on 1 January.The amendments, aimed at regenerating Poland’s moribund mortgage-backed securities market, include making the issues a permissible investment for OFEs.Meanwhile, the recently published results coincide with the current four-month transfer window for workers deciding whether to opt into or out of paying their 2.92% contribution into either an OFE or the first-pillar Polish Social Insurance Institution (ZUS).The Polish Chamber of Pension Funds (IGTE) recently launched an Internet-based campaign entitled ‘Add an OFE’.Its focuses include the risk diversification provided by the second pillar, and benefits that OFE investment provide for the Polish economy and industry.As of the end of March, the OFE system had 16.5m members, of which around 2.5m had elected in the first window, in 2014, to continue contributing into the second pillar.Since the window opened on 1 April, only around 10,000 workers have changed their contribution destination, the vast majority in favour of an OFE.Many are reportedly younger workers previously unaware of a privately run pensions saving alternative to ZUS. Poland’s second-pillar pension funds (OFEs) generated poor results over the last year, with all the 12 funds recording negative returns.According to the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF), the weighted average 12-month return, as of the end of March 2016, fell from 2.52% in 2015 to minus 6.63%, while the three-year return plunged from 25.13% to 6.34%.The constraints imposed on the funds by the 2014 pension reforms were largely to blame.The OFEs were banned from investing in domestic and foreign sovereign bonds, which, in 2013, accounted for more than half of the aggregate portfolios, while the lack of suitable alternative investments converted them to equity funds.
“Part of the reason for that is that employers have finite resources, and so much of those resources are being diverted to try and tackle the DB deficits,” he said.JLT Employee Benefits today published research into the state of the UK’s DB market, claiming that sponsors could save up to £500m (€580m) a year through consolidating small pension schemes.Simplifying benefit structures would also reduce costs, said Wilson, allowing easier consolidation. Even small UK DB pension funds can have multiple tranches of benefits relating to when scheme or national rules were amended.The UK government attempted to simplify its pension-related legislation in 2006, but with little success. Wilson, however, said JLT’s proposals would require very little change to existing rules.“What we’re suggesting is actually making changes to scheme benefits,” he explained. “The only changes we’d be looking for in legislation would be ensuring it was not putting in any obstacles to simplifying scheme benefits in a streamlined way.”JLT has presented its report – entitled “How do we get out of this pensions black hole?” – to regulators and government.UK pensions minister Richard Harrington is expected to present a consultation on DB sector reform in the coming weeks, taking into account industry ideas and a wide-ranging report from the Work and Pensions Committee published late last year. Servicing legacy defined benefit (DB) pension schemes is a “drag” on employers’ ability to provide adequate defined contribution (DC) offerings, according to JLT Employee Benefits.John Wilson, head of technical at JLT Employee Benefits, said at a press briefing this morning that the increasing cost of DB provision was affecting corporate decisions over wages and DC pension contributions.“It’s something we can’t bury our heads in the sand about any more,” Wilson said. “People have to wake up to the fact of just how expensive retirement is.”Wilson added that some new members of DC schemes were being enrolled with “woefully inadequate” contribution levels – “sometimes as low as 1% of pay from the employer”.
Charlie Finch, partner at LCP and author of the new report, said: “Improving affordability is down to three primary factors: buoyant investment markets; insurers improving their ability to source attractive long-dated assets that are effective under the new Solvency II regime; and a convergence in views that pensioner life expectancies are reducing, on the back of several years of heavier-than-expected mortality rates.”According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of deaths in England and Wales has increased each year since 2011 — with the exception of 2014 and 2016.LCP said one in five FTSE100 UK DB pension schemes were now estimated to be over 80% funded relative to the cost of buy-out with an insurer — compared to one in eight a year ago.The firm said its analysis showed that average buy-out funding had increased by almost 10% since August 2016 following the EU referendum, to reach the highest level since the banking crisis in 2008.Separately, in its latest pension scheme funding update, JLT Employee Benefits revealed that the deficits of all UK private sector defined benefit pension schemes had shrunk to £150bn at the end of December 2017 from £187bn 12 months before.Funding levels had increased to 92% from 89% over the same period, the data showed.Charles Cowling, director at the consultancy, said there were signs that the pension buy-out market was taking off, with competition between insurers hotting up and prices getting keener.“With over £12bn of deals transacted in 2017, all the signs point to an even stronger year in 2018, where it is possible that up to £30bn of deals could be transacted,” he said. It is the most affordable time in nine years for UK defined benefit (DB) pension funds to transfer liabilities to an insurance company, according to a new report from consultancy LCP.It said it expected a 50% increase in volumes of UK pension liabilities being insured in 2018 as pension schemes take steps to reduce risk. Annual volumes of liability risk transfer deals, such as buy-outs, are set to increase to more than £15bn (€16.8bn), the firm forecasts.Deals were becoming more affordable, partly because of stalling life expectancy improvements.
The pension fund said the new arrangement would increase the chance that the current annual pensions accrual of 1.875% of a paid salary could not be continued.It indicated that its initial calculations, based on the discount rate for liabilities, suggested that the accrual would have to drop to 1.48%.“This is much lower than the accrual percentage expected by the employer and the unions, and approximately 20% less than the current accrual,” the pension fund said.Drawn on the interest rate level of May-end, the negotiating parties expected an annual pensions accrual of 1.79%.However, since then interest rates have dropped significantly.Court must decide on BPL’s disputed trustee appointmentThe €20bn Dutch pension fund for the agricultural sector (BPL) and its pensioners’ association (MLP) have failed to reach a settlement about the appointment of a trustee on behalf of the pensioners.They have asked the court to pass a final verdict in the long running dispute in which BPL refuses to appoint Arthur Theunissen, as it had suggested he was not capable of a board position.Last month, both parties – urged by the court – tried in vain to settle the conflict, which started two years ago and saw them in court six times since then.Both institutions declined to provide details about the reason why their settlement talks had collapsed.In a short response, MLP said the court would have to decide whether BPL had to pay up to €500,000 in penalties for non-compliance with earlier court decisions.Last year, pensioners elected Theunissen as one of their two representatives on the pension fund’s board, after BPL had been forced to allow him as a candidate on behalf of its pensioners.However, the industry-wide scheme has emphasised that it rejected Theunissen as a trustee.Whether he can join the board at all is still unclear, as supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) hasn’t published the outcome of its examination on his suitability as a board member.Rockwool delays switching to new pensions providerDutch firm Rockwool has delayed its plan to pick a new pensions provider in the wake of the new pensions agreement, lower allowed assumptions for future returns as well as low interest rates.As a consequence, its €403m pension fund will keep on providing pensions for 3,100 participants, 40% of whom are active members, in 2020.On its website, the scheme announced that the pensions accord, the new return parameters as well as the low interest rates environment had changed the fund’s situation.Before deciding on changes, the board and the social partners wanted to have a better insight into the consequences of all developments, it said.Earlier this year, Rockwool said the employer and social partners had announced they wanted to seek a new provider.At the time, the options were to leave accrued pension rights with the pension fund while placing new accruals elsewhere, or transferring everything to a new provider, which could be another scheme, a general pension fund (APF), an insurer or a Belgian pensions vehicle.A survey had shown that participants, and pensioners in particular, preferred certainty and a stable pension, rather than a pension that could rise and fall.The Rockwool scheme said it was possible that it had to cut pension rights in 2020 due to insufficient recovery potential. At September-end, its funding stood at 95.5%.The pension fund further stated that, as a result of low interest rates, it expected its annual accruals to also fall short of the fiscally allowed 1.875% of the pensionable salary.This year, its annual accrual percentage was 1.774%. The pension fund of bank ABN Amro said that the introduction of a fixed contribution – as recently agreed between the trade unions and the employer – could lead to a 20% reduction in pensions accrual over the next five years.On its website, the €31bn scheme announced it was assessing whether it could implement such an arrangement, which is the backbone of the new collective labour agreement (CAO) at ABN Amro.During the past years, the premium paid by the employer varied. It currently stands at 46% of the pensionable salary.However, last month the unions and the plan sponsor agreed that the latter would contribute 37% over the next five years.
It has a whopping $45 million price tag. The mansion has taken years and millions of dollars to complete.The Sovereign Islands mansion at 26 Knightsbridge Pde East was made famous when it was sold in an unfinished state to its current owner for $5.3 million at a mortgagee auction in 2013. The price was considered a bargain after the previous owners, accountant Clare Marks and her lawyer husband Scott Tyne, outlaid $21.44 million on the initial construction and four blocks of land. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:46Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:46 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenGold Coast’ s most expensive house00:47 MORE NEWS: What the interest rate cut means for you MORE NEWS: Curved beach house lands sweet seven-figure deal The Gold Coast’s biggest mansion at 26 Knightsbridge Pde East, Sovereign Islands, has hit the market.IT’S taken years and millions of dollars to complete, but the Gold Coast’s most notorious mega-mansion has finally been finished and is up for grabs with an eye-watering $45 million price tag. The sprawling Sovereign Islands residence has deliberately been listed with an asking price in American dollars — $US30 million — to attract international attention. If a buyer snaps it up for that, the sale will surpass the Gold Coast’s record house price which stands at $A27 million. The record holder, 33-39 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach, was sold by former Sydney Swans ruckman-turned-travel industry entrepreneur Tony Smith as a half completed beach house in 2008. MORE NEWS: Luxury unit tipped to sell with a bang The pair were evicted after court action in Australia and Singapore following defaulted payments to the tune of more than $11 million. At that stage the property was only 80 per cent finished. That was when Perth civil engineer Riccardo Rizzi snapped up the property and vowed to stay true to the dreams of Ms Marks and her husband in creating the highest quality property. The current owner picked it up for the “bargain price” of $5.3 million. The total cost of the build is unknown.Mr Rizzi ensured everyone hired to work on the house had been paid and rehired most of the contractors. The six-bedroom mansion now sprawls over five blocks after Mr Rizzi bought the property next door for $1.2 million, and was completed with a no-expense-spared approach. It has been a labour of love for Mr Rizzi, who said he did not keep track of the costs. “I can say it cost considerably more than I originally estimated,” he said. “An opportunity comes up once in a lifetime to do something like this … it’s been an absolutely, thoroughly enjoyable process.” Everything is in palatial proportion. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa9 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day agoThere’s even a Roman-inspired garden.Mr Rizzi is selling as the house is too big for him alone, with his four children all in Western Australia. He has lived in it while work has continued to complete it. “My children have all returned to Perth and I felt that after being there for six years it was time to be close to the children,” he said. The ostentatious offering features artesian windows worth up to $40,000 each, a 30m pool, 106m of waterfrontage, a roman-inspired garden and a 4m high, 1500kg statue of Neptune from Florence.It can be sold with the furniture, which was styled by MJ Elegant Interiors. The main bedroom’s ensuite is the size of a small apartment. What a view!Alex Phillis of self-titled agency is marketing the property, which he said was in a league of its own with nothing else like it in the southern hemisphere. “It’s on one of the best positions in Australia and is one of the biggest volume houses in Australia — it’s the size of a luxury boutique hotel,” he said.“We think the buyer will probably come from overseas, the fact the house hasn’t been registered here, it is still available for foreign buyers to buy without having an Australian visa. “We are reaching out worldwide. “You can’t rule out the local market as well, there are certainly enough big hitters in Australia and New Zealand to buy the house, but naturally you think Asia, Middle East and parts of Europe.”
“We never dreamt our business would get to such a strong position nationally and internationally,” Andrew Bell said.“The journey to date has been magnificent and we’re more excited than ever for the decade ahead. Ray White Surfers Paradise Group co-founders Greg Bell and Andrew Bell. Picture: Jerad Williams“The highlights are largely due to the incredible opportunities we’ve had to work with the industry’s very best salespeople.” The brothers still loved their jobs 30 years later and looked forward to growing the business for many more years.They have helped shape the city’s property market into what it is today and want to continue to improve it.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa9 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day ago“We’ve never taken comfort in believing things can’t be improved and we are constantly challenging ourselves to lift our performance to the highest levels,” Mr Bell said. Ray White Surfers Paradise Group is marking 30 years in the industry.QUEENSLAND’S largest multipurpose real estate agency and one of the Gold Coast’s most renowned has marked another milestone following three decades in the business.A lot has changed in the property market since brothers Andrew and Greg Bell acquired a small office at the heart of Surfers Paradise in November 1989.Ray White Surfers Paradise Group has since grown from 16 staff to a team of 220 across 14 operations.The company has sold more than 35,000 properties across the Coast in that time with more than $15 billion worth of sales to its name. MORE NEWS: House values up, sales numbers down “There’s no question in mine or Greg’s mind that the best and greatest years for the Ray White Surfers Paradise Group are the years ahead.”The company has received many accolades over the years, including agency of the year at the Real Estate Institute of Queensland Awards For Excellence five times and once nationally.It also supported a range of charities, including Muscular Dystrophy Queensland and the Surfers Paradise Surf Club. MORE NEWS: The house that screams Hollywood glamour Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:35Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:35 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p288p288p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenFive things to consider when buying into a regional area01:35
Inside the tri-level penthouse.A spokesman for Mr Rudd said Ms Rein would not confirm nor deny that was the case when contacted for comment. The power couple bought the plush five-bedroom, seven-bathroom property in Admiralty Quays in the heart of the Brisbane CBD for $8.2 million in 2016. The view from the Brisbane penthouse owned by Therese Rein and Kevin Rudd. The Courier-Mail understands the couple has enlisted the help of Place Estate Agents to sell the plush penthouse in Macrossan Street, which is next door to a unit owned by jobs queen Sarina Russo. Honey, I bought a house while you were in lockdown Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 2:56Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -2:56 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenCOVID-19: Spring property predictions 202002:57AFTER forking out $17 million for a Noosa beachfront mansion, Therese Rein and her husband, former prime minister Kevin Rudd, are understood to be trying to offload their Brisbane penthouse. Kevin Rudd, Therese Rein spend $17m on Sunshine Coast pad MORE REAL ESTATE NEWS: Inside the penthouse owned by Therese Rein and Kevin Rudd. Picture: Rob Maccoll.But Ms Rein did offer this:“I’m not going to open the door to speculating about my future investment decisions, other than that I’m determined to keep investing in Australia.” Inside the Gold Coast mansion where sports are king The power couple bought the penthouse for $8.2m in 2016.A Place Estate Agency spokeswoman also declined to comment, saying the agency respected the privacy of its clients. The view from the penthouse overlooks the Brisbane River and Story Bridge.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus9 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market9 hours agoThe property has space for seven vehicles, a massive balcony, an opulent marble ensuite and a floor-to-ceiling glass-enclosed dining room. The Admiralty Quays building in Brisbane’s CBD.Ms Rein and Mr Rudd were recently revealed as the buyers of the Sunshine Beach pad that once belonged to tennis great Pat Rafter.Designed by architect John Burgess, the luxurious seven-bedroom home has panoramic views of the ocean, as well as a pool, home theatre, study, media room and wine room with climate-controlled cellar. Therese Rein’s new home at Sunshine Beach.The jetsetting couple have been stuck in Australia because of coronavirus, but usually split their time between Queensland and New York, where Mr Rudd works for the think-tank Asia Society Policy Institute. Therese Rein and Kevin Rudd have paid $17m for this home at Sunshine Beach.
The UK-based energy giant BP and Reliance Industries intend to develop deepwater gas fields already discovered off India, as part of an agreement to expand their partnership.This would bring online 12 million cubic meters of natural gas per day of new production in India expected from 2020.The two companies will award contracts to progress development of the ‘R-Series’ deep water gas fields in Block KGD6 off the east coast of India. The R-series project is a dry gas development in water depths of more than 2,000 meters, approximately 70 kilometers offshore.The R-series fields will be developed as a subsea tieback to the existing control and riser platform off Block KGD6.This is the first of three planned projects in Block KGD6 that are expected to be developed in an integrated manner, producing from about 3 trillion cubic feet of discovered gas resources.BP and RIL plan on submitting development plans for two following projects by the end of 2017. Total investment in the three projects, that would bring 30 to 35 million cubic meters of gas per day onstream over 2020-2022, is valued at $6 billion.India currently consumes over 5 billion cubic feet a day of natural gas and aspires to double gas consumption by 2022.Gas production from the integrated development is expected to help reduce India’s import dependence and amount to over 10 percent of the country’s projected gas demand in 2022.In addition, the two companies plan on expanding their existing partnership for strategic cooperation on new opportunities across India’s energy sector.Under the agreement, the two companies will jointly explore options to develop differentiated fuels, mobility and advanced low carbon energy businesses in India.