Swiss pension funds cut bond exposure to ramp up alternatives

first_imgThe CHF1bn (€820m) Pensionskasse for Swiss fashion company Manor has cut its exposure to bonds from 30% to 15% to free up money for higher-yielding investments.Martin Roth, chief executive at the scheme, which has a target return of 3%, told delegates at the 2014 Swiss Pensions Conference in Rüschlikon that the step had been necessary.“I do not think, over the next 10 years, we will see the same returns from bonds as we have over the last 20,” he said.Instead, the pension fund has allocated “very strongly” to alternative investments such as infrastructure, hedge funds and convertibles. On the same panel at the conference, Stefan Köhler, senior portfolio manager at Swiss pharmaceutical company Hoffmann-La Roche, reported that the company’s CHF7bn Pensionskasse was “managing its bond exposure more via the duration”, which is approximately two years lower than that of the average Swiss Pensionskasse.Heinrich Flückiger, a pensions expert at Swisscanto, pointed to a growing trend of lowering duration in bond portfolios in Switzerland, with pension funds aiming to increase duration again once interest rates go up.“However, there is interesting research that, over one year, the downside risk of almost all bonds is much greater than the upside return opportunities,” Flückiger said, adding that some Pensionskassen were therefore opting for equities instead.He said there was an unprecedented level of interest in fundamental indices, with some of his clients shifting half of their passive portfolios into investments based on fundamental or rule-based indices.“Three years ago, nobody was interested in alternative indices,” he said.At La Roche, Köhler also still believes in return from equities and has increased the fund’s equity exposure by 700 basis points to 37%.On the other hand, Stefan Beiner, head of asset management and deputy director at the CHF36bn Publica fund, decided to sell off some equities at the beginning of the year, as he was unsure the asset class could return as much as it did over the previous two years, when Publica increased its exposure to equities.Instead, Publica is considering to go into private debt, infrastructure debt and direct lending, although “not necessarily in Switzerland”.Beiner stressed, however, that the fund was still “at the beginning” of the assessment process of whether these investments would be worth the effort and risk.Last year, the Roche pension fund made two direct investments in Swiss infrastructure using in-house legal expertise, but Köhler pointed out that this was the limit.He said he was “disappointed” by the range of infrastructure products, most of which are structured as private equity investments, with a planned exit after 10 years.“But why should I sell after 10 years only to get back money I immediately want to reinvest?” he asked.”I am not talking about buy and hold, but buy and manage would be nice.”Roche and Manor have joined forces with other Swiss Pensionskassen to pool assets and resources for infrastructure investments.All three panellists argued that the debt situation of Swiss regional and local authorities was too good to really be in need for external infrastructure financing.However, the Swiss government is thinking to establish a so-called Zukunftsfonds, in which venture capital is to be sourced from domestic institutional investors.All three pension fund representatives said they were against any obligation to pay into this fund, with Köhler arguing that venture capital investments only worked when there were follow-up investors after the seed money had gone.“We are no development bank,” he said. “That’s what other investors are for.”last_img read more

US 36 Raceway cancels April 12 program

first_imgPit gates will open at 5 p.m. and the grandstand will open at 6 p.m. Hot laps are at 7:30 p.m. and racing is at 8 p.m. Championship Night number three on April 19 will feature IMCA Modifieds, IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars, IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars and Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods, as well as pure stocks and E-modifieds.  OSBORN, Mo. – Due to unseasonably cool temperatures and high winds, US 36 Raceway offi­cials have made the decision to cancel racing for Friday, April 12, Season Championship Night number two.  Track officials had hoped the forecast would improve during the week but temperatures remained too cold and forced them to make the decision to cancel. Racing will return to the high banks of US 36 Raceway on Friday, April 19. Due to the cancella­tion this week, all weekly classes will be running next week. The E-modifieds were originally sched­uled to have the night off but due to this week’s cancellation, they have been added to the April 19 schedule.last_img read more

No. 12 Syracuse beats No. 24 Pacific, 3-0, behind 2 goals and a shutout from freshmen

first_img Published on October 28, 2017 at 4:00 pm Contact Billy: [email protected] | @Wheyen3 Facebook Twitter Google+ Laura Hurff, a senior, inserted the corner that led to Syracuse’s first goal against Pacific. The goalscorer was a freshman, Chiara Gutsche. She had gone down to her knees to reach and deflect the ball shot by Roos Weers. Before Gutsche could stand up, it was Hurff coming over to hug her and almost knock her to the ground.No. 12 Syracuse (12-5, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) beat No. 24 Pacific (8-8, 4-2 America East) Saturday, 3-0. Two of SU’s goals came from freshmen, Gutsche and Audrey Matthew. The Orange also tied the program single-season shutout record (11) behind freshman keeper Borg van der Velde. All three players are freshmen. The scoreline matched that of the first time SU played Pacific this season, an Orange victory on Aug. 27 in Stockton, California.“It’s a great sign for our future and I’m proud of (the freshmen) and the way they were able to contribute today,” SU head coach Ange Bradley said.For the first 15 minutes of the match, Pacific looked to be the more dangerous side. On the Tigers first corner of the match, defender Savannah Burns had her shot partially blocked by a Syracuse player. The deflection floated in the air towards the goal and made it over van der Velde. But the ball landed in the netting atop the goal and Pacific missed out on an early lead by just a foot.The near-miss gave Syracuse a chance to get out in front, and the Orange would do just that almost 20 minutes into the game. Matthew drove from the left wing into the arc and drew a foul, leading to a Syracuse corner. Weers was set up for the shot off the insertion and hit a low ball towards the center of the goal. That’s where Gutsche dove with her stick outstretched to lift the ball over Pacific’s Marlise van Tonder for the opening tally.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“The seniors have helped us so much, settling in and stuff,” Gutsche said. “It’s kind of a good way to give it back to them.”Matthew wasn’t done, though. With just five minutes left in the first half, she took on another player on from the left wing. This time, Matthew spun 360 degrees around the defender in front of her before being fouled in the arc and drawing another corner. Weers shot just wide, but Matthew’s hard running would pay off in the second half.Syracuse’s third goal of the game came with just over five minutes remaining in the match. The game was all but decided but that didn’t stop another freshman, Florine Hogendoorn, from setting up Matthew for a goal. The play in Pacific’s arc was congested but somehow Hogendoorn found Matthew with a pass towards the left post. With a Tigers defender on her hip, the initial touch knocked the ball into the air. As it hovered around shoulder height just feet from being across the goal line, it was Matthew’s stick that reached up and got the ball first. It was the freshman from San Diego’s first goal in her Syracuse career and cemented the final scoreline.“(Audrey is) tough, aggressive, and she’s a complete team player, she’s really competitive” Bradley said. “She’s learning that about herself.”Pacific entered the game with two double-digit goalscorers: Burns and Kriekie van Wyk. In helping tie a shutout record, van der Velde denied both of them in the second half. First it was van Wyk shooting high towards the right corner but seeing her shot denied by the left blocker of the Syracuse freshman. Burns had her chance off a corner with 12 minutes remaining with just a two-goal difference, but van der Velde got herself in front of the ball to preserve the shutout.Before Saturday’s game, Syracuse recognized six players for Senior Day. Each senior walked through a tunnel formed by every other player’s sticks held aloft. Each player received a framed picture of herself, then stood in a line while more pictures were taken. During the pregame festivities, it was all about the seniors. Once the game started, SU’s freshmen stole the show. Commentslast_img read more