Wednesday people roundup

first_imgAlpinvest – The €35bn private equity investor Alpinvest Partners has promoted Michael Hacker to managing director and Michael Camacho to principal. Hacker is responsible for transactions in the North American market, while Hong Kong-based Camacho is leading Alpinvest’s Asian business. Both joined Alpinvest in 2007. Alpinvest Partners is part of the €185bn asset manager Carlyle Group.Argos Investment Managers – Former investment banker and asset manager Nick Hamwee has been appointed to help build the UK business in London. Hamwee has a 25-year track record of building businesses. He returned to the UK in 1998 to join Credit Suisse First Boston with a similar mandate and in 2000 became co-head of CSFB’s US Cash Equity Business in Europe.Coeli Asset Management – The Sweden-based company has expanded its global equity capabilities with a new frontier markets equities team. The two senior portfolio managers Hans-Henrik Skov and James Bannan will join from BankInvest, where they manage the New Emerging Markets Equities fund.KPMG – Mike Walters has been appointed head of the financial risk management group. He joins from Barclays, where he was global head of compliance. His focus will be on KPMG’s key banking, insurance and asset management relationships.Mirabaud Asset Management – Kirill Pyshkin has joined the global equity team from Aviva Investors, where he was a senior fund manager in global equities. Before then, he worked at Credit Agricole Asset Management (now Amundi), JP Morgan and Sanford Bernstein.Pioneer Investments – The company has announced the completion of its new board of directors with the appointment of its fifth independent member, Robert Glauber, former chairman and chief executive at NASD (now Finra) and currently chairman at XL Group and Northeast Bancorp.JLT Employee Benefits – Martyn Bogira has been appointed director, responsible for the client management and development of the company’s defined contribution contract-based customers. He joined in January from Prudential, where he was head of corporate pensions. AP2, USS Investment Management, SPF, Alpinvest, Argos Investment Managers, Coeli Asset Management, KPMG, Mirabaud Asset Management, Pioneer Investments, JLT Employee BenefitsAP2 – Christer Käck has been appointed to the Swedish buffer fund’s board, effective immediately. Käck recently launched his own consultancy following 11 years as a portfolio manager at DnB Asset Management. In his nearly four decades in the industry, he has also served as head of fixed income at Skandia Asset Management and head of fixed income client relations at Götabanken.USS Investment Management – The asset management subsidiary of the £38bn (€45bn) Universities Superannuation Scheme has named JP Morgan veteran Clive Brown as a non-executive director. Brown was previously chief executive of JP Morgan’s Asian and European asset management businesses and has worked at PwC and Jardine Fleming.SPF – Doreth van den Heuvel has taken over as chair of the €2.5bn occupational pension fund for physiotherapists from Bert van Kuijck. Van den Heuvel has been a member of the scheme’s participants council since 2009 and a board member at SPF since 2012. She has been appointed as board member of the Pensions Federation as of 1 January. Van Kuijck has chaired SPF for 34 years.last_img read more

MEPs wary of ‘poacher-turned-gamekeeper’ at European Commission

first_imgEuropean parliamentarians have branded the appointment of Jonathan Hill to the European Commission’s financial services portfolio “provocative” and warned they will be “very tough” on him during confirmation hearings.Gianni Pittella, president of the Socialists & Democrats (S&D) faction in the European Parliament, argued that the task of regulating financial services should not have been assigned to a “conservative with a liberal, free-market approach”.“The financial sector urgently needs better regulation, and we will not accept any backward step on this issue,” the Italian MEP said.“It’s a matter of principle. We promise to be very tough with Lord Hill.” Hill, the UK’s commission nominee, has previously worked as a lobbyist for the financial sector, and was more recently a junior education minister and then leader of the House of Lords, the UK’s upper house, in the current government of prime minister David Cameron.Rebecca Harms and Philippe Lamberts, co-leaders of the Parliament’s faction of Green MEPs, said Hill’s appointment was a “prime example” of a member state’s interest in a portfolio trumping competence.In a joint statement, they argued that Hill was a “poacher-turned-gamekeeper” and his approach was not one needed within the new directorate general for financial stability, financial services and capital markets union.Sven Giegold, a German Green Party MEP and member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, branded the move “provocative” and said the directorate general would “almost certainly” see its independence, established by current internal markets commissioner Michel Barnier, diminish.The views were not shared by the pensions industry, however, with James Walsh from the UK’s National Association of Pension Funds describing the appointment as “surprising and good news”.“Although issues such as the IORP Directive and holistic balance sheet are unlikely to go away, [this] news makes it much more likely that we will receive the good outcomes needed on these two crucial issues to secure the future of workplace pensions,” the association’s EU policy lead said.Dave Roberts and Mark Dowsey, consultants at Towers Watson in the UK, said that while commissioners should not represent only their member state’s interests, a national government’s views should not be ignored.“With so much UK antipathy towards IORP II, progress on this front may well wane,” they said.However, they added that it was possible that the revised Directive would be “pushed though”, taking into consideration the concerns of the member states that formed a blocking minority last year.“This would avoid the risks that could otherwise be associated with leaving an open file to a future Commission,” they said. “Whichever approach is followed, concerns that capital requirements – along Solvency II lines – might be introduced through the back door now appear unfounded.”The S&D’s Pittella did welcome the appointment of Pierre Moscovici, the former French minister in president François Hollande’s government.The MEP said his selection as commissioner for economic and monetary affairs signalled a “much more flexible implementation” of the current debt requirements for governments.Following Commission president-elect Jean-Claude Juncker’s reorganisation of the commissioner portfolios, Moscovici will also be in charge of tax matters, including the implementation of the financial transaction tax (FTT).A breakdown of portfolios released late yesterday by Juncker’s office confirmed Hill would be in charge of the financial institutions directorate, home to the insurance and pensions unit, following the breakup of Barnier’s current commission.Juncker said in a letter to Hill that he should look to “eliminate” any EU budget contributions to the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), paving the way for an industry levy.The smaller internal markets commission under Juncker, to be headed by Polish commission nominee Elżbieta Bieńkowska, will cede almost all responsibility for financial markets regulation to Hill.However, corporate governance and the implementation of the Shareholder Rights Directive will move from internal markets to the new directorate general for justice, consumers and gender equality, headed by Czech commission nominee Věra Jourová.,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesList of directorates within newly organisaised Commission of Jean-Claude Junckerlast_img read more

Wednesday people roundup [updated]

first_imgTopdanmark – Peter Hermann has been appointed as a chief executive of Danish life insurance and pensions provider Topdanmark Livsforsiking (life insurance), a subsidiary of the Topdanmark group. Starting on 1 May, he joins from rival PFA, where was director with responsibility for prevention, health and actuarial services. Hermann replaces Brian Rothemejer Jacobsen, who left the top job at Topdanmark Livsforsikring – which the company says has a 6% share of the Danish pensions market – at the beginning of this month. Rothemejer left his job after being promoted to the position of chief commercial officer at group level. He now sits on the Topdanmark four-person group executive boardTrondheim Kommunale Pensjonskasse – Cato Westad has been appointed head of investment at Norwegian municipal pension fund Trondheim Kommunale Pensjonskasse. He started his new job on 1 March, replacing Stein Kjetil Rånes in the role. Westad has been working for the Trondheim pension fund since March 2014, focusing mainly on equities and other risk asset classes such as private equity. Before coming to Trondheim, he worked in Oslo for Pareto Asset Management and DnB Asset Management. Rånes has taken on a new job in Oslo as investment manager at Norwegian teaching staff trade union the Union of Education Norway (Utdanningsforbundet).Bouwinvest – The Dutch institutional real estate investment manager has appointed Marleen Bosma-Verhaegh as head of research, with effect from 1 March. She was formerly responsible for international property investments and strategic client advisory at pension and investment manager Blue Sky Group in the Netherlands.Aquila Capital – Manfred Schraepler has been appointed managing director to head the alternatives specialist’s financial asset and liquid private market business. He joins from Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Fund Solutions Group, having previously worked in a senior capacity at a number of companies, including as director of marketing at IKOS CIF and head of structured funds at Deutsche Bank, London.Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association – Georgina Beechinor, a senior associate at Sackers, the UK law firm for pension scheme trustees, employers and providers, has been elected the new chair of the PLSA Central London Group. Beechinor joined Sackers as a solicitor in 2001 and, since January 2008, has worked in the company’s Know-how team.Vontobel Asset Management – Matthew Benkendorf, long-standing deputy for Rajiv Jain, has been appointed as Jain’s successor and as CIO of the Quality Growth boutique. Jain has resigned and will leave the company, effective at the end of May, as he moves on to “realise his own entrepreneurial plans”.RobecoSAM – Junwei Hafner-Cai has been appointed co-portfolio manager for the RobecoSAM Global Child Impact Equities and Global Gender Equality Impact Equities funds. She has been part of the RobecoSAM equity-analyst team since 2010.AXA Investment Managers-Real Assets – Germain Aunidas has been appointed global head of development. He replaces Jean-Manuel Rossi, who will retire from AXA IM-Real Assets after 25 years. Aunidas joined in 2014 as deputy head of development. He previously served at Unibail-Rodamco as a development director. Russell Investments, BlackRock, EIOPA, PGGM, AXA Investment Managers-Real Assets, Topdanmark, PFA, Trondheim Kommunale Pensjonskasse, Bouwinvest, Blue Sky Group, Aquila Capital, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, Sackers, Vontobel Asset Management, RobecoSAMRussell Investments – Fons Lute has been appointed as client portfolio manager, responsible for advising clients across Northern Europe on their multi-asset investment strategies. He joins from BlackRock’s multi-asset team in the UK, where he was managing director. He has also worked at PGGM Investments, Fortis Investments and Blue Sky Group.European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) – The European Parliament has confirmed Fausto Parente, currently head of the Supervisory Regulation and Policy Directorate of IVASS, Italy’s insurance regulator, as EIOPA’s executive director. His five-year term starts on 1 April 2016.PGGM – Ruulke Bagijn, CIO for private markets at PGGM, has been recruited by AXA Investment Managers-Real Assets. Bagijn will join in May and take up the role of global head of real assets private equity in Paris. Bagijn joined PGGM in 2009 as head of the private equity team. She was appointed CIO for private markets in 2012. last_img read more

Dutch pensions sector needs to better convey its ‘added value’, says APG

first_imgAlso during the meeting, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister, called on the financial sector to develop its own system of standards and values, rather than relying on the existing legal framework, and increase transparency to its customers.He contended that a legal framework had to be imposed because the sector had not sufficiently reflected on what its own standards and values should be.“I see, in particular, the tendency to follow the imposed rules, whereas the sector should draw up and implement its own high standards,” Dijsselbloem said.“Financial institutions, such as asset managers, should be aware that they have an enormous knowledge advantage over their customers,” the minister said, adding that they should therefore ”take a more paternalistic approach and provide insight through more simple financial products”.According to APG’s Van Olphen, the pensions sector had brought the significant increase in supervisory rules upon itself.“The gap between pension funds and their participants is too big, and therefore we must improve our communication with participants,” he said.“Asset managers have a tendency to develop ever more complicated products to show their skills, whereas they should develop empathy for participants.”Van Olphen further said he feared that the discussion about a new pensions system in the Netherlands would become a drawn-out process.Referring to the general elections due in March next year, he predicted that a coalition of four or even five political parties would be necessary to form a new government – rather than the current grand coalition of prime minister Mark Rutte’s centre-right VVD and the centre-left Labour party (PvdA) – and noted that the parties all had different views on pensions.“And as soon politics has made a decision about a new system, pension providers must quickly be able to implement the changes,” Van Olphen added.“We won’t get years of leeway for the implementation process.”Van Olphen also said he doubted whether pension funds could keep on generating the historically high returns of the past 30 years, which had seen returns of 8% for equity and 6% for bonds on average.“During this period, we have benefited from a growing working population, interest rates that dropped by more than 10%, emerging markets as well as increased free trade,” he pointed out.The big unknown, in his opinion, is the impact of technology. The pensions industry has been in denial longer than any other financial sector about the need to increase transparency for its participants, according to the chief executive of the €433bn Dutch asset manager APG.During a meeting organised by the Dutch Association of Investment Professionals (VBA) and the CFA Society on ethics and integrity, Gerard van Olphen, who heads the asset manager responsible for the €372bn civil service scheme ABP, attributed this to the distance between provider and member and “the customer’s lack of interest for pension products”.He argued the sector needed to reflect on the reason pensions funds were initially created, and establish concrete targets in order to convince participants of their added value.“The current €27bn annually spent on pension contributions [in the Netherlands] can’t be spent or invested for other purposes,” Van Olphen stressed.last_img read more

PensionDanmark nets DKK100m from withholding tax ruling

first_imgDanish labour-market pension funds PensionDanmark and Industriens Pension have won a legal victory against the country’s tax authority which is expected to lead to large refunds for investors across the country’s pension sector.PensionDanmark said it expected to receive more than DKK100m (€13.4m) in refunds from the Danish Customs and Tax Administration (SKAT), related to taxes withheld from foreign investments during the period from 2010 to 2014, as a result of the ruling from the National Tax Tribunal (Landsskatteretten).The fund said it could not comment further on the amount because it was still processing the relevant data.The case was led by PensionDanmark and Industriens Pension – which represent more than 1m Danish employees between them – on behalf of a number of occupational pension funds. Maj-Britt Klemp, head of tax at PensionDanmark, said: “The ruling sets a precedent for the Danish occupational and labour-market pension funds’ ability to credit foreign withholding taxes in the Danish PAL tax going forward.”The case concerned the interpretation of rules on the offsetting of foreign withholding taxes against the Danish PAL (a tax on pension plan growth) tax liability.Following a change in the PAL system in 2010, SKAT produced a new interpretation of the offsetting rules for foreign withholding taxes which largely removed PensionDanmark’s right to deduct these foreign levies in accordance with the so-called net principle, the pension fund said.The tribunal ruling upheld PensionDanmark’s claim that the Danish tax authority did not have the required legal basis to act in this way, the fund said.Klemp said PensionDanmark was very pleased with the ruling.“We have a duty to optimise our members’ returns and manage members’ savings at absolutely the lowest level of fees possible,” she said.Because PensionDanmark was a customer-owned company, the tribunal’s decision would benefit customers, she said.last_img read more

​AP1 divests from nuclear weapons, tobacco and fossil fuels

first_imgThe funds’ investment guidelines now demand that they should contribute to sustainable development by managing the funds in an “exemplary” manner.AP1 said this required responsible investment and ownership, but added that this goal must be achieved without renouncing the overall target of long-term high returns.Before the change, AP1 said the four funds had worked together on how to achieve the objective of exemplary management.“Collaboration has included the development of a foundation for the management of the fund resources, guidelines for reporting on how the sustainability target has been achieved, and guidelines for which assets funds should not be invested in,” it said.International conventions and agreements backed by Sweden had to be taken into account, it said. This ruled out nuclear weapons and tobacco.Explaining the exclusion of nuclear weapons, the fund said it did not believe that the modernisation and upgrading of existing nuclear weapons matched the purpose of the UN Non-Proliferation Treaty, of which Sweden is a signatory.On tobacco, AP1 said it did not believe investments in tobacco production were consistent with the spirit of the World Health Organisation’s Convention on Tobacco Control, which aimed to significantly reduce tobacco consumption and the harmful effects of smoking.Meanwhile, the use of coal and oil sands, which had the worst impact on the climate, made it difficult to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, AP1 said. AP1, one of Sweden’s four main national pension buffer funds, has divested from a number of controversial industries following the introduction of new investment guidelines.The SEK338bn (€32.9bn) fund has exited the nuclear weapons, tobacco, coal and oil sands industries since the start of this year.Its sister fund, AP4, announced earlier this week that it had sold off nuclear weapons and oil sands investments before the end of 2018.Both pension funds cited one of the changes in their governing law, which took effect on 1 January 2019, as a reason behind the divestment decisions.last_img read more

Ireland toughens capitalisation rules for DC master trusts

first_imgFunds must develop a “detailed and comprehensive” continuity plan, the regulator said, including projections of income and expenditure and covering at least three years inot the future, or until the master trust is expected to be self-sustaining – whichever is greater. The plan must be reviewed annually by the trustees and submitted to the regulator.The Pensions Authority said it would “pay particular attention” to differences between forecasts and outcomes over time.In accordance with governance rules expected to be introduced as part of IORP II regulations, the regulator said master trusts should prepare a risk assessment every three years, covering all risks associated with operating “a potentially large multi-employer scheme”.Other requirements on DC funds and their trustees introduced this week included:The trustee board of any DC master trust must be registered as a “designated activity company”, and can only oversee one master trust;Each master trust should have at least two directors, of which one must be independent, and all of which must be suitably qualified;The chair of trustees must be independent of the shareholders of the master trust;The scheme rules must not bind it to specific service providers, to ensure no conflicts of interest; andEvery master trust must have written policies on member communication and cost transparency.Ireland’s regulator has previously expressed a desire for more consolidation among the country’s pension schemes, many of which are too small or “delivering poor outcomes for members”.Ireland has missed the deadline for transposing IORP II regulation into local law. According to the Pensions Authority, draft rules for this are “at an advanced stage and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is working towards transposing the [IORP II] directive as early as possible”.In its guidance for UK DC master trusts seeking authorisation, the Pensions Regulator (TPR) said providers should hold reserves of at least £75 (€84) a member. TPR is currently assessing more than 30 master trusts to ensure compliance with rules that came into force in October. Irish defined contribution (DC) master trusts must have reserves of at least €100,000 to fund wind-up costs, according to new rules being finalised by the country’s pensions regulator.The Pensions Authority yesterday published requirements for multi-employer DC schemes following a consultation period last year. According to the new requirements, each master trust must hold reserves equal to €70 per member – and at least €100,000. The draft rules, published in July 2018, did not provide a specific figure for capital requirements.The regulator stated: “The trustee company must have access to sufficient capital to meet the costs of wind-up and running costs until the latest period that the continuity plan projections indicate the trust will be self-sustaining or, where the scheme is already self-sustaining, for a period of two years. The reserve must be held as cash on deposit.”Trustees must also ensure the master trust remains compliant with the capitalisation rules and report annually to the Pensions Authority.last_img read more

UK government urged to revisit miners’ pension scheme surplus rules

first_img“Surely the money that miners paid was deferred wages,” Morris said. “It was for their benefit in their retirement, which they never got a chance to enjoy, or for their widows and other miners – not to be used as regeneration funds.“The importance of coal may have declined, but our gratitude to the miners should never wane and we owe them a debt of honour. Miners and their widows deserve better than poverty pensions. I am asking… to end the pension theft and allow miners and their widows a better quality of life in retirement in their remaining years.”During the debate, Ed Miliband, former leader of the Labour Party, led criticism of the 1994 decision to split the scheme’s surplus. He cited a written answer to a question tabled by fellow Labour MP Stephanie Peacock last year, which revealed that no official actuarial advice was sought before the arrangements were confirmed.“If there was no actuarial advice behind a decision that had billions of pounds worth of implications for hundreds of thousands of miners and their families, that really was negligence of the highest order,” Miliband said. “The more closely we look at this decision, the more dubious it becomes.”BEIS to meet with trusteesIn response to the debate, Andrew Stephenson, parliamentary under-secretary for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), said he would meet with the MPS trustees later this month and pledged his “full support” for their efforts. He said he had shared an analysis of proposals for MPS changes with the UK’s treasury department.However, he stopped short of promising a government review and admitted the proposals did not include a change to the surplus-sharing arrangement.“Central to the trustees’ proposals is protecting existing bonuses,” he said. “Under that option, if there is a deficit in the future, members will still see their guaranteed pensions continue to rise in line with RPI [inflation], and their current bonuses will not be eroded. Without that additional guarantee, members may not be able to get any increase in payment, possibly for many years.”However, he said the proposals could mean a “significant additional liability” for the government.Although the motion received cross-party support, the vote was not binding, meaning that the government was under no obligation to follow through with a review.Speaker of the House John Bercow told MPs: “I rather fancy that this matter will be returned to again and again and again if members feel that the settled will of [politicians] has not been honoured in practice. I will also add that a situation in which the settled will of [politicians] is not then honoured in practice is bad for parliament.”Lawmakers, led by Labour party politicians representing former mining communities, have held two debates on the surplus-sharing arrangement this year, urging the government to take prompt action as the schemes’ membership was falling. Labour and Wales’ Plaid Cymru party both pledged to address the issue in their manifestos for the 2017 general election.A petition signed by more than 100,000 people in support of a review of MPS was delivered to prime minister Theresa May’s official residence in London earlier this year. A surplus-sharing arrangement for a UK pension scheme for former mineworkers must be renegotiated, according to politicians.During a debate in parliament last week, politicians called for a review of the arrangements for the £12bn (€13.5bn) Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme (MPS). The government has been entitled to take a 50% share of any surplus since the scheme was closed in 1994, in exchange for providing a funding guarantee.Since then, the government has taken at least £4.4bn from the scheme’s excess funds, according to official figures. However, members of the scheme have been campaigning for years to revise the scheme rules and improve the benefits granted to members – some of whom receive less than £80 a week, MPs heard last week.Grahame Morris, MP for Easington, a former mining community in north-east England, said the MPS trustees were keen to renegotiate the surplus-sharing arrangement, while acknowledging that the arrangement was necessary to allow trustees to take more investment risk.last_img read more

‘Huge’ variations in outcomes between default DC funds: report

first_imgFor example, in the growth phase, the analysis showed that allocations to equities, bonds and other asset classes varied “dramatically” between the default funds, depending mainly on the targeted risk levels and the range of investment tools used.Over the last three years, the Zurich Passive MultiAsset fund was the best performer (11.3%), although on a relatively higher level of volatility risk (8.4%), compared with the other defaults.The Standard Life default fund produced the lowest return (5.4%), but demonstrated a consistently lower level of volatility (5.2%) than the other funds analysed.Punter Southall Aspire also found that, “in the broadest terms”, providers with their own asset management arm – Royal London, Standard Life, Fidelity, Aviva, Legal & General – had developed more diversified and sophisticated default offerings.However, the company noted that “the more diversified and sophisticated the default option, the higher the total cost”.“Therefore, providers need to ensure consistent performance and efficient protection from market volatility to create value for money and justify the higher fees,” it said.With regard to the default funds’ consolidation phase, the analysis found that the only similarity across all providers in their equity glidepath was that the allocation to equities tended to decline as members approach retirement.“However, the initial allocations, the changes to allocation and the at-retirement allocation are different for almost every default strategy and depend mainly on the risk levels being targeted and the range of investment tools used,” said Punter Southall Aspire.According to the report, Legal & General did not implement a risk-reducing strategy as members approach retirement and “would argue that it’s difficult to predict when members will retire and in fact many members don’t know when they will retire”. There are “huge” variations in outcomes between the default funds offered by leading UK defined contribution (DC) providers, according to workplace savings company Punter Southall Aspire.Its findings were based on an analysis of the growth and consolidation phases of the standard default investment options of nine leading providers in the market as at 31 March: Aegon Asset Management, Aviva Investors, Fidelity, Legal & General, Royal London, Scottish Widows, Standard Life Investments, and Zurich.For the growth and consolidation phases, the funds analysed by Punter Southall Aspire varied across many elements: design and construction, investment risk and volatility, asset allocation strategy, return benchmarks, management, “glidepaths” towards retirement, and performance. Christos Bakas, DC investment consultant at Punter Southall Aspire, said: “We urge employers to monitor the performance of their pension funds more closely, as default doesn’t mean standard, and not all funds are created equally.”last_img read more

​New climate data prompts Varma to target carbon neutrality by 2035

first_imgVarma, one of Finland’s two largest pension insurance companies, has announced it is renewing its climate targets in response to recent findings about the progression of climate change, and aiming for a carbon-neutral investment portfolio by 2035.The earnings-related pension provider also said it will exclude oil exploration companies from its equity investments by 2030 and axe all equity stakes in thermal coal by 2025.Reima Rytsölä, Varma’s CIO, said: “Over the past year, it has become clear that emissions must be cut much faster than previously thought in order to keep global warming within the two-degree limit.“New information about climate change and its impacts has come to light, Which means we must also renew our climate targets,” he added. The firm’s new goals are published today in its latest Climate Policy for Investments, which sets out targets for 2020-2035, following on from the last policy document released in 2016 with aims to be met by 2020.Achieving a carbon-neutral portfolio by 2035 also requires changes in the investment environment, Varma said.“Varma invests in companies that enable emissions reductions and adaptation to the changes brought by global warming,” it said, adding that it is committed to promoting collaboration within the financial markets and participating in international joint initiatives to mitigate climate change.Varma, whose total assets came to €47bn at the end of September, also said in its new climate policy document that it aims to have a fifth of its portfolio invested in companies that either directly or indirectly mitigate the advancement of climate change. These are firms that produce low levels of emissions, provide solutions for reducing emissions or promote the use of renewable energy, it explained.Within its direct real estate investments, Varma said it now aims to switch to fully renewable heating and electricity by 2030 and 2025, respectively.Hanna Kaskela, Varma’s director of responsible investment, said the pensions investor paid close attention to its choice of funds and fund managers.“Together with other investors, our goal is to engage with fund managers to encourage them to take climate perspectives into account in their operations as part of responsible investment,” she said.The Helsinki-based firm was judged last year to be one of the more transparent large pension funds internationally regarding climate. In the 2018 report of the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP) – part of investment campaign group ShareAction – it was placed in the top bracket alongside Ilmarinen, the biggest Finnish pensions insurer.last_img read more