Marks & Spencer seals £1.4bn buy-in deals with Aviva, Phoenix Life

first_img“The cost of longevity risk removal – whether through buy-ins or longevity swaps – is at its lowest for 10 years,” Pink added.Aviva took on £925m of liabilities, the insurer’s biggest single pension de-risking deal to date. Phoenix Life, a specialist consolidator of life funds, took on £470m in its first external de-risking transaction after it insured liabilities from its own defined benefit pension scheme in 2014. UK high street retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has insured £1.4bn (€1.6bn) of its pension liabilities through buy-in transactions with Aviva and Phoenix Life.The insurance policies cover around a third of the £10bn Marks & Spencer Pension Scheme’s pensioner liabilities, according to LCP, one of the advisers on the deals.Myles Pink, partner at LCP, said that the recent slowing of longevity improvements had produced “favourable pricing opportunities for well-prepared pension schemes”.The transactions were agreed using so-called ‘umbrella’ agreements, which set a framework to streamline future de-risking moves. LCP said the M&S scheme was “well-positioned to take advantage of future attractive pricing opportunities either through further buy-ins or longevity swaps”. Simon Lee, Marks & Spencer pension CIO, speaks at the PLSA Investment Conference earlier this yearSimon Lee, CIO of the M&S Pension Scheme, said: “We are delighted to have secured these insurance policies for a significant portion of the benefits payable to our members.“We were able to do so at attractive pricing and on favourable terms through significant competitive tension and a process led by LCP and Linklaters and supported by the scheme actuary and investment advisers, Willis Towers Watson, that has now positioned the M&S Pension Scheme to execute efficiently with these and other insurers in the future.”Graham Oakley, trustee chairman of the scheme, added: “The scheme’s strong funding position has allowed the trustee to follow a strategy of reducing risk by aligning investments more closely with the pension benefits we will need to pay to members.“This bulk purchase annuity is a significant step in reducing longevity risk being managed by the trustee, providing additional security for all members’ benefits.”De-risking consultants have been predicting a surge in activity in buy-ins, buyouts and longevity swaps this year. In January, LCP said it expected a 50% increase in volumes of UK liabilities being insured, with annual volumes hitting £15bn.The M&S deal is the biggest buy-in or buyout so far this year. This month has already seen Toshiba offload its £170m UK DB scheme to Rothesay Life in a full buyout, while Kingfisher insured £200m of liabilities with Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) in April.National Grid completed a larger de-risking transaction recently, albeit in the form of a longevity swap in a £2bn deal with Zurich.PIC reinsured £900m of liabilities in a longevity swap deal with Prudential Insurance Company of America earlier this month. This followed Prudential’s agreement with Scottish Widows in February to take on $1.2bn (€1bn) worth of longevity risk.Michelle Wright, partner at LCP, said the M&S transaction would signify “the start of the busy 2018 that has been predicted”.“Within this increasingly busier market, M&S is now a ‘go-to’ scheme for insurers to offer future de-risking opportunities at attractive pricing,” she added.last_img read more

Chart of the Week: Sterling struggles as Brexit deal teeters on the brink

first_imgSource: How the sterling-euro exchange rate developed this weekSterling-dollar Source: How the sterling-dollar exchange rate developed this weekDavid Riley, chief investment strategist at BlueBay Asset Management, warned that the next few weeks – as it became clear whether the UK parliament would agree to May’s deal – would be “a rollercoaster ride for sterling and it could come off the rails completely”. The EU will vote on the deal on 25 November, with the UK to do so in early December. Richard Buxton, noted UK equities manager and CEO of Merian Global Investors, said yesterday that the currency would be “judge and jury on the country’s future economic prospects”.Sterling-euro It has been a tough week for Theresa May. On Wednesday she declared a “decisive step” in the efforts to seal a withdrawal agreement for the UK to exit the European Union, but within hours the UK prime minister was facing backlash from all sides about the impact of the draft deal.Several ministers have resigned, including the Brexit minister and the work and pensions minister , and the Financial Times has this morning reported that 20 members of the ruling Conservative party have submitted letters requesting a vote of no confidence in May’s leadership. They require 48 such letters to trigger a vote.Gilt yields fell on Wednesday, with the 10-year yield closing at 1.37% on 15 November, compared to 1.51% a day earlier.The UK currency also fell, weakening against both the dollar and the euro, and was the focus of many investors’ thoughts as they attempted to make sense of the week’s events. Presenting the deal to the press (L-R): Chief EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, European Parliament president Antonio Tajani, European Parliament Brexit co-ordinator Guy VerhofstadtFranklin Templeton’s head of European fixed income David Zahn said the pound would “decline significantly” if the agreement is rejected by parliament, with markets becoming fearful of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.“Parliamentary approval for the withdrawal deal, on the other hand, would bring some certainty,” Zahn added.“Under the terms of the withdrawal deal, if there wasn’t sufficient progress on a trade deal between the UK and EU, the UK would remain part of the European Customs Union until it can achieve a trade deal.“We expect that scenario could bring some short-term relief for markets; gilt yields would likely rise while sterling would probably rally.”last_img read more

​PFA study predicts 20% gender pension gap will last 50 years

first_imgA 20% difference in pension savings between men and women in Denmark is set to persist for the next 50 years, according to one of the country’s biggest pension providers.PFA, Denmark’s largest commercial pension provider, conducted a study looking at the gender pension gap and reported that the disparity in retirement income savings between the sexes in Denmark was due to the further education decisions made by the majority of each gender. This in turn affected salaries and pension savings.Carsten Holdum, consumer economist at PFA, said: “Young people typically choose education based on interest, curiosity and the type of employment after their studies.“But the choice of education is also of great economic importance. And when women still today, to a large extent, choose education with a lower average salary than men, they are on their way to lower pay and savings than men, even before they have had their first working day.” In the study based on data from the Coordinated Enrolment (KOT), the secretariat which coordinates admission to the majority of higher education in Denmark, PFA said it found women tended to choose to stay in education longer than men.However, the study found that women more often selected subjects that led to lower paid jobs, while men chose subjects leading to higher pay.The fund highlighted a specific example: the difference between the training required to become a midwife, traditionally seen as a female career choice, and that of an installer, a mainly male career.Though midwifery training was twice as long, the monthly salary for an installer was DKK5,000-DKK7,000 (€670-€940) higher, PFA said.“The fact that education and career choices have such a significant impact on life income is worth noting,” said Holdum.This was particularly important as a woman’s pension savings also had to stretch for more years than a man’s on average, since women left the labour market earlier and lived longer than men.“In addition, pensions are personal and not shared by divorce,” Holdum said. “Here, all else being equal, women will be disadvantaged by having significantly lower savings than men.”last_img read more

ABP opposes remuneration proposals from Ahold Delhaize

first_img“As an investor, it is almost impossible to assess this target, as it isn’t clear how ‘healthy’ is defined and measured,” explained Alex Williams, sustainability specialist at APG, ABP’s asset manager.He argued that carbon emissions, energy use, food waste and the number of issued plastic carrier bags would be better criteria for measuring the firm’s performance on sustainability.Worldwide, its supermarkets issued 3.2 billion non-reusable carrier bags in 2019, Williams added.ABP, which has a stake of approximately €173m in Ahold Delhaize, voted remotely and ahead of the company’s annual general meeting.It said it had been in an engagement process with the supermarket chain last year, together with several other institutional investors, including pension funds.It indicated that it had also voted against the reappointment of Bill McEwan, the Canadian chair of the company’s remuneration committee and member of its supervisory board (RvC).ABP and its like-minded shareholders, however, failed to prevent the remuneration proposals from being adopted.In 2018, a survey conducted by Dutch daily Het Financieele Dagblad, revealed that Ahold Delhaize’s chief executive pay equated to 182 times the salary of the company’s average worker in the Netherlands, and 114 times the average salary in an international context.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here. The €459bn Dutch civil service scheme ABP said it had voted against executive pay proposals for supermarket chain Ahold Delhaize.ABP’s decision was due to the Dutch-Belgian company not taking sustainability sufficiently into account, it said.It added that Ahold Delhaize had given the wrong signal by reducing its sustainability criterion for executive pay last year from 20% to 15%, while increasing the weighing for financial performance.The pension fund also disagreed with the proposal that the €33bn company takes the proportion of its own brand of healthy products within the entire range of own branded food products, as a single criterion for establishing remuneration.last_img read more

Would be home buyers reckon they have more chance of winning the Lotto than buying property

first_imgMichael Dart is investing in property one brick at a time. Picture: Annette DewTHE dream of home ownership remains just that for many would be buyers with a new survey revealing many reckon mankind will find life on Mars before they can save enough to buy a home.The survey by BrickX, found many young Queenslanders thought the chances of owning a house in the next 10 years was virtually impossible and less likely than winning the Lotto or peace in the Korean Peninsula.BrickX CEO Anthony Millet said overwhelmingly young people still wanted to buy property, it was just very difficult for them to get a deposit together.“We have seen this desperation and disbelief build over the last couple of years to become a (bigger) problem,’’ he said. BRISBANE’S COOLEST HOME HAS BEEN SOLD “Which is really why we have moved into building a specific way of helping Aussies get into the property market earlier and hopefully build up that home deposit sooner.’’BrickX, a fractional property investment platform, breaks down shares in properties to 10,000 ‘bricks’ so that owners can invest in a portion (or brick) in a property.As the property value grows, so does the value of the brick so when it comes time to sell out their initial investment has grown and hopefully they will then have enough for a deposit on their own home. WE HAVE MORE CHANCE OF GIVING BIRTH TO PIGLETS Michael Dart, 32, from Brisbane decided he wanted to get into the property market when he returned from overseas in April last year.But he said buying on his own meant that getting a deposit together was very difficult.“It is quite hard, especially if you are on your own,’’ he said.Instead he is buying through BrickX in the hopes that his investment will grow to the point where he can eventually have enough of a deposit to buy a whole property on his own.Tanya Murphy, 26, who lives in Cloncurry in Queensland now owns bricks in seven properties. Tanya Murphy found it too expensive to buy a property on her own in Cloncurry. SuppliedMs Murphy said she had started to think seriously about investing in property a couple of years ago, but found it difficult to get enough of a deposit together to buy a property on her own.“That was why I gave up,’’ she said.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours ago“I found it was too hard. It was a real struggle because I was living off my wages and I was spending most of it.’’The survey found the thought of entering the property market was daunting with 50 per cent of respondents saying they felt anxious, nervous and stressed about it.Mr Millet said the survey showed many still wanted to buy and hadn’t given up on the dream.“Even though they are not underestimating the difficulty of achieving it,’’ he said.The research showed that many potential buyers were prepared to go without to buy.“Saving for a home deposit really is quite a big commitment that is going to take quite a large number of years,’’ he said.“People are becoming much more open to the options that are now being put forward to help them achieve the Australian dream.’’“They are very open minded as to how they can still achieve it in different ways to the traditional ways that the generation before them did.’’ Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 7:28Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -7:28 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p270p270p180p180pAutoA, 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 Rate1xFullscreenElizabeth Tilley talks prestige property07:29 BrickX has just launched at new scheme, Smart Invest, in which investors can deposit a set monthly amount (from $250) and BrickX will invest it into Bricks in properties which had been selected for their growth potential.Investors are not locked in and can skip, cancel or change the set monthly amount.The brick owners can then list their Bricks for sale when ready and use any funds as a deposit for a home.The survey found almost a third would forgo personal shopping, buying clothes or gadgets for a year to get ahead.About a quarter were prepared to give up having a child in the near future and more than 45 per cent would forget about planning an overseas holiday.About a fifth of respondents said to try and save money for a deposit they had gone to sleep rather than eating dinner and even more cooked one giant meal to try and last for five nights.More than 16 per cent combined their exercise with saving by walking more than 1km to avoid an ATM fee, while more than a third tried their hand at cutting their own hair.last_img read more

Skyhome offers panoramic views of the Gold Coast

first_imgMORE: Beach vs Hinterland 186/12 Commodore Drive, Paradise Water. It has a contemporary style with beige hues and modern fittings.The renovated kitchen has quality appliances and a marble island bench while the main living areas flow onto three terraces. 186/12 Commodore Drive, Paradise Water.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa14 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago“Because there are so many different balconies, you can have you own peaceful place.“You’ll never be built out either, no one will ever block that view.”The four-bedroom apartment is on the 37th floor of the residential-only Grand Mariner building on Commodore Drive.MORE: TV celebs twist renovators’ arms 186/12 Commodore Drive, Paradise Water. 186/12 Commodore Drive, Paradise Water.EVER wondered what it’s like to live in a skyhome?With views stretching from the Broadwater and ocean to the Hinterland and beyond, it’s like living on top of the world.Owners Jillian and Grant Scherf said the views were one of the best features of the Paradise Waters unit.“It’s got the most amazing views,” Mrs Scherf said. 186/12 Commodore Drive, Paradise Water.The main bedroom has a walk-in wardrobe and ensuite while one of the remaining three bedrooms could double as an office.To sweeten the deal, the Scherfs have decided to sell the apartment fully furnished.The new owner will also have access to two marina berths and a double basement carpark with storage cage as well as the building’s resident facilities.These include indoor and outdoor pools, a lagoon, spa, sauna, gym, barbecue area, tennis court and billiards room.The building has 24 hour security.last_img read more

Brisbane’s hottest suburbs revealed

first_img FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON FACEBOOK (Also in the national top 50) Parks are a key attraction in Graceville, this being a file photo of the grandstand at Western Districts Cricket Club in the suburb. Picture: Richard Walker.Place Graceville lead agent Brad Robson said “demand has consistently outstripped supply” in the hottest suburb on the index — Graceville.“In very recent times, we have seen a small spike in the numbers of homes that have come to the market and I put this to the Spring Selling Season. Given the huge demand for the suburb, buyers have simply snapped them up, creating an increase in the amount of sales within the area.”He said the suburb was just 7km from the CBD with “a country town feel”.“I believe that 2019 will be more sustainable price growth for the suburb as demand will remain high and supply will remain low.”New resident Joni Armbruster had no idea just how popular the suburb was when her family bought into it this September.“It’s a fantastic area, it doesn’t surprise me at all,” she said. “It has great schools, close to the city, a neighbourhood feel, close to public transportation, lots of local restaurants and cafes that you can walk to. Also a lot of parks and open green spaces.”Her family expect to remain in the suburb for at least the next decade.“The schools are fantastic, public and private, so you have great options either way. We just love the area.” The two hottest suburbs in Brisbane next year are located about seven to eight kilometres from the CBD.The hottest suburbs in Brisbane have been revealed, and surprise contenders have beaten bluechips to take out the top three spots where prices were expected to fire up in 2019.All up the Price Predictor Index, which tracks rising sales in suburbs across the country as a precursor to strong price growth the following year, found 29 suburbs in Brisbane were “rising steadily” but three in particular were standouts. Colin and Joni Armbruster with kids Sophia and Amelia. Picture: Annette Dew. Leafy Graceville was now hottest suburb in the Queensland capital, according to the index, with its rising sales and potential also pushing it into the national top 50 hottest suburbs in the country. Almost eight years ago the suburb had been among those hard hit by the Brisbane 2011 flood. For sale: Queensland house of the year Architect’s Brisbane masterpiece sold BRISBANE’S HOTTEST SUBURBS: GracevilleIndooroopillyKippa-Ring (Source: The Price Predictor Index) A file photo of Graceville Railway Station. Picture: Philip Norrish. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:51Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:51 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD576p576p432p432p270p270pAutoA, 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 Rate1xFullscreenStarting your hunt for a dream home00:51 A sign put up by residents of Strong Avenue in Graceville during the 2011 flood clean-up. The suburb is now tipped to be the hottest in Brisbane in 2019. Only two other Brisbane suburbs made the elite national list — Indooroopilly, a mere kilometre from Graceville, and Kippa-Ring, 27km north of the CBD. Index lead analyst Terry Ryder of Hotspotting said “where demand is rising, prices tend to follow”.Kippa-Ring’s surge, he said, was influenced by the new rail line to the Redcliffe Peninsula, whereas Graceville and Indooroopilly were both “top-end” suburbs with median prices above $900,000 and close to strong drivers like schools and universities, restaurants and parks.He said a turnaround occurred with tier one suburbs above $1m medians first seeing strong growth — such as Hamilton, Paddington and Bulimba recording double-digit growth in the past year — “then the rest of the market follows.”“I do expect Brisbane in the coming year to be stronger than it has been (overall),” Mr Ryder said.Darren Piper of Universal Buyers Agents said they were already “seeing the first signs of a turn around in the apartment market and property buyers should take notice”.“After so much doom and gloom we’re already seeing a huge uplift in the amount of enquiries we receive for Brisbane.” More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus15 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market15 hours agoOctober was one of his biggest months on record, he said, with “a lot of buyers attracted by the lifestyle, great schools, weather and prices of course” in Brisbane.last_img read more

Settle before the Oscars and the party could be at your place

first_imgJust listed at Woody Point is this massive house complete with it’s own home cinema. Oscars party anyone?A CUSTOM-built cinema with surround sound and tiered flooring takes centre stage in this Woody Point home on the Redcliffe Peninsula that is being offered for sale for the first time.The architecturally-designed house at 18 Brighton St, Woody Point, spreads over 330sq m and was built for Ron and Helen Carter 10 years ago. The undercover entertainment area is supported by a built-in barbecue area around the corner.A built-in fish pond, eight-year-old grapevines in the courtyard, and three large skylights across the covered entertainment, dining and lounge areas bring nature into the design space.The most recent addition to the property has been laying sandstone flagging in the courtyard.Mr and Mrs Carter originally moved from Chelmer to Woody Point, building a house to suit their grown family, with children visiting occasionally.“We’d always wanted to live here and we’re not moving on from Woody Point, we love it here,” Mr Carter said.“I’m a machinist and mechanic and I work from home, so I need a bigger shed and my wife needs a smaller house.” FOLLOW THE COURIER-MAIL REAL ESTATE TEAM ON FACEBOOK Large skylights flood the main living areas with light.The ground level also has the fourth bedroom with ensuite, a separate study, storage rooms and the home cinema. SEE WHAT ELSE IS FOR SALE IN WOODY POINTcenter_img With room for four cars and a caravan in a triple garage and off-street accommodation, 18 Brighton St, Woody Point could never be accused of skimping on space.Upstairs has three large bedrooms, two with walk-in wardrobes, one with an ensuite and all with access to an upstairs retreat and main bathroom.The ground floor has the main living zones surrounded by a covered entertaining area, large courtyard, and built-in barbecue area with mains gas connection and servery access to the kitchen. The front mailbox is on a timer and lights up at night.It also has two large bedrooms with ensuites and outdoor entertainment areas that are roomy enough to host a party for 40-50. The courtyard is bookended by extra car accommodation.The home cinema is the second largest room in the house and has built-in shelving, airconditioning and is wired for HDMI.Insulated walls and floors feature throughout the two-storey house on a 501sq m block.More from newsLand grab sees 12 Sandstone Lakes homesites sell in a week21 Jun 2020Tropical haven walking distance from the surf9 Oct 2019“We designed it open plan so you can walk out to the alfresco area,” Mr Carter said.“Out the back is my favourite place, because the back area has 4.5m ceilings.”last_img read more

Construction Starts on Amador Cruise Port

first_imgThe Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) held a kick-off ceremony for the construction of the new Amador Cruise Port on October 18.A complete new cruise terminal at the Pacific side of Panama will be built over the next 18 months, Jan De Nul informed.The design and construction of the Amador cruise terminal, at Perico Island, was awarded by the AMP to the consortium Cruceros del Pacifico, integrated by Jan De Nul Panama SA and China Harbour Engineering Company.As explained, this new cruise terminal will have two docks in which two cruise ships with a capacity of up to five thousand passengers each – Oasis class vessels – can berth simultaneously.“This infrastructure project is key to boost Panama’s economic development,” Juan Carlos Varela, President of the Republic of Panama, pointed out.As a member of the consortium Cruceros del Pacifico, Jan De Nul Panama SA will take care of all dredging and land reclamation works as required for the construction and operation of the terminal. This includes dredging the berth pocket, turning basin and access channel. A trailing suction hopper dredger will also be deployed to dredge and transport sand from a borrow area and reclaim an area of 8.3 hectares for the construction of all land-based facilities.last_img read more

Roberts Bank Terminal Field Studies Continue

first_imgThe Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is continuing field studies in November 2017 as part of ongoing environmental and technical work for the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project.The port provided an overview of field studies that will be taking place in November 2017, including the Coastal Geomorphology, Abiotic Parameters Study, Outdoor Recreation, and Recreational Trail Use Survey.According to the port, prior to starting any studies, they will obtain any required permits and landowner permission before accessing private property.The Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project is a proposed new three‐berth container terminal on Canada’s west coast that would provide 2.4 million TEUs of additional container capacity annually. At the moment, the project is undergoing a federal environmental assessment by an independent review panel, under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, and requires other permits and authorizations before it can proceed. Subject to environmental permits and approvals and a final investment decision, construction could begin in 2018 and would take approximately five-and-a-half years to complete.last_img read more