Pensions & Investments

Pensions & Investments The international newspaper of money management With unmatched integrity and professionalism, Pensions & Investments consistently delivers news, research and analysis to the executives who manage the flow of funds in the institutional investment market.
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Since its founding in 1973, this continues to be the mission of Pensions & Investments, the international newspaper of money management. Written for pension, portfolio and investment management executives at the hub of this market, Pensions & Investments provides its audience with timely and incisive coverage of events affecting the money management business. Written by a worldwide network of reporters and correspondents, Pensions & Investments' coverage includes business and financial news, legislative reports, global investments, product development, technology, investment performance, executive changes, corporate governance and other topics crucial to the people who drive the world of professional money.

Pension fund trustees said in the application that benefit cuts starting in November would help the $25.4 million pensio...
01/25/2021
Indiana roofers union pension fund applies for MPRA benefit cuts

Pension fund trustees said in the application that benefit cuts starting in November would help the $25.4 million pension fund remain solvent. The pension fund is 61.4% funded and projected to be insolvent by the 2036 plan year.

Roofers Local No. 88 Pension Fund applied to the Treasury Department to reduce benefits to avoid plan insolvency.

Breaking: Leon Black, chairman and CEO of Apollo Global Management, will retire as CEO on or before July 31. He will rem...
01/25/2021
Leon Black to retire as CEO of Apollo Global

Breaking: Leon Black, chairman and CEO of Apollo Global Management, will retire as CEO on or before July 31. He will remain chairman.

Leon Black, chairman and CEO of Apollo Global Management, will retire as CEO on or before July 31.

The transaction will accelerate Alight's efforts to expand the use of cloud-based computing for a variety of benefits ma...
01/25/2021
Blackstone to sell Alight to SPAC in $7.3 billion deal

The transaction will accelerate Alight's efforts to expand the use of cloud-based computing for a variety of benefits management ranging from retirement to health care to payroll.

Blackstone plans to merge Alight Solutions with a special purpose acquisition company to create a new publicly traded company, Alight Inc.

Chief Executive Officer Stephen Bird said the firm wouldn't spread bonuses out "like peanut butter across the whole comp...
01/22/2021
Standard Life Aberdeen CEO: Some staff won't get bonuses

Chief Executive Officer Stephen Bird said the firm wouldn't spread bonuses out "like peanut butter across the whole company because it then doesn't send a message."

Standard Life Aberdeen told its employees that some of them won't be getting bonuses this year.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., said in a statement that it was the first bill he intr...
01/21/2021
Multiemployer pension plans could soon see relief

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., said in a statement that it was the first bill he introduced in the new 117th Congress in part "because the COVID-19 economic downturn has only worsened the multiemployer pension crisis and increased the urgency with which we must act to help folks whose financial security is at risk."

Legislation to help struggling multiemployer pension funds could become law if bundled with a COVID-19 relief measure now before Congress.

In the order, Mr. Biden directed all executive departments and agencies "to immediately review and, as appropriate and c...
01/21/2021
Biden team to review Labor Department ESG rule

In the order, Mr. Biden directed all executive departments and agencies "to immediately review and, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, take action to address the promulgation of federal regulations and other actions during the last four years that conflict with these important national objectives, and to immediately commence work to confront the climate crisis."

The Biden administration is weighing reversing an agency rule that hampers retirement plan fiduciaries from directing money to ESG funds.

BlackRock, which Thursday revealed a record $8.7 trillion in assets under management, said in a regulatory filing with t...
01/15/2021
Managers make further divestments from sanctioned Chinese firms

BlackRock, which Thursday revealed a record $8.7 trillion in assets under management, said in a regulatory filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange it had sold over 818 million shares in China Telecom Corp. Calculations show the divested shares amount to about HK$1.6 billion ($206 million).

BlackRock has sold most of its holdings in China Telecom, the latest divestment from Chinese firms that are the subjects of U.S. sanctions.

A group of investors with a collective $391 billion in assets called on major social media companies to address the "urg...
01/15/2021
Investors tell social media companies to curb disinformation

A group of investors with a collective $391 billion in assets called on major social media companies to address the "urgent threat" of violence leading up to the presidential inauguration and beyond.

Investors called on major social media companies to address the "urgent threat" of violence leading up to the presidential inauguration.

"So, a conviction after he is already gone would not affect his pension at all...To strip him of his pension, Congress w...
01/14/2021
Could impeachment cost Trump his pension?

"So, a conviction after he is already gone would not affect his pension at all...To strip him of his pension, Congress would need to change the Former Presidents Act."

President Trump now holds the distinction of the only president to be impeached twice, but what does that mean for his presidential pension?

The firm's asset growth in the fourth quarter, which included $126.9 billion in net inflows, was attributed to "strong p...
01/14/2021
BlackRock sets record with $8.7 trillion in AUM

The firm's asset growth in the fourth quarter, which included $126.9 billion in net inflows, was attributed to "strong performance from our entire active (investment) franchise along with near-record inflows" from the firm's iShares ETF unit.

BlackRock's assets under management hit a record $8.7 trillion in the fourth quarter, recording double-digit gains for the quarter and year.

Mr. Neal endorsed policy approaches to implement automatic individual retirement accounts and 401(k) plans; require auto...
01/13/2021
Neal targets broad retirement security agenda in 117th Congress

Mr. Neal endorsed policy approaches to implement automatic individual retirement accounts and 401(k) plans; require automatic enrollment in 401(k)-type plans; ensure that small businesses can take full advantage of the start-up credit when participating in a multiple employer plan; and adjust the rules concerning part-time workers in 401(k) plans to require only two years of service before being eligible to make contributions, among other ideas.

A longtime proponent of retirement security legislation, Rep. Richard Neal said Congress must do more to help American families.

If nominated by Mr. Biden to be SEC chairman and confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Gensler would be the new government's fron...
01/12/2021
Biden poised to pick Ex-CFTC chief Gary Gensler to lead SEC

If nominated by Mr. Biden to be SEC chairman and confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Gensler would be the new government's front-line regulator for Wall Street and the arbiter of what public companies must disclose to their investors.

Gary Gensler, a former head of the U.S.'s main derivatives regulator, is President-elect Joe Biden's likely pick to lead the SEC.

The biggest potential upside to financial markets — an effective, mass-produced and distributed vaccine — could also be ...
01/11/2021
Will vaccines be shot in arm 2021 needs?

The biggest potential upside to financial markets — an effective, mass-produced and distributed vaccine — could also be the biggest potential downside if they fail in one way or another to thwart the spread of the virus.

Economists expect COVID-19 to remain the dominant issue into 2021, with the future of global financial markets riding on success of vaccines.

After the deadly siege on Capitol Hill last week, major banks are reassessing, reducing and in many cases suspending the...
01/11/2021
Wall Street rethinks campaign donations after Capitol siege

After the deadly siege on Capitol Hill last week, major banks are reassessing, reducing and in many cases suspending their campaign contributions. Some are vowing to pull back from candidates who appeared to support the attempted insurrection.

For years Wall Street sprinkled money across U.S. politics to make and keep friends in Washington. Now, it's rethinking the consequences.

It is the second pension risk transfer transaction for the company in the past two months. Unisys announced in October i...
01/11/2021
Unisys buys annuity to transfer $280 million in U.S. pension assets

It is the second pension risk transfer transaction for the company in the past two months. Unisys announced in October its intention to transfer a total of $1 billion in assets in various transactions for its global pension plans by the end of the first quarter.

Unisys Corp. entered into an agreement to purchase a group annuity contract to transfer about $280 million in U.S. pension plan assets.

"You certainly have seen companies named in prior FAQs before, but without the type of kerfuffle we've witnessed this we...
01/07/2021
NYSE reverses again with plan to delist China telecom firms

"You certainly have seen companies named in prior FAQs before, but without the type of kerfuffle we've witnessed this week."

The New York Stock Exchange is proceeding with a plan to delist three Chinese telecommunications firms, its second about-face this week.

The fund pursues investment opportunities in distressed companies, such as debtor-in-possession financing, exit financin...
01/07/2021
Marathon hauls in $2.5 billion with distressed credit fund

The fund pursues investment opportunities in distressed companies, such as debtor-in-possession financing, exit financings and restructurings, a news release said Thursday.

Marathon Asset Management has closed the Marathon Distressed Credit Fund at $2.5 billion.

Steven M. Herbert was named executive director, office of investments, at the Kentucky Retirement Systems.
01/07/2021
Kentucky Retirement Systems picks new investments chief

Steven M. Herbert was named executive director, office of investments, at the Kentucky Retirement Systems.

Steven M. Herbert was named executive director, office of investments, at the Kentucky Retirement Systems, replacing Rich Robben.

"The reflation trade has already been sparked. The question really is how much further the Senate result will push that....
01/07/2021
Treasuries breaching 1% on Democratic win may just be the start

"The reflation trade has already been sparked. The question really is how much further the Senate result will push that."

U.S. Treasury yields rose above 1% for the first time since the pandemic-driven turmoil in March, and the sell-off may only have just begun.

The buoyant mood was pierced, but not sunk, when the mob breached police lines outside the Capitol with Congress in sess...
01/06/2021
Stocks hold gains after Capitol chaos halts surge

The buoyant mood was pierced, but not sunk, when the mob breached police lines outside the Capitol with Congress in session.

Stocks stabilized in the green, though remained well off session highs after protesters surged into the U.S. Capitol, forcing a lockdown.

The Truist business acquired by Ascensus covers more than 1,200 plans with about 125,000 participants and $5 billion in ...
01/06/2021
Ascensus, Empower acquire Truist record-keeping business

The Truist business acquired by Ascensus covers more than 1,200 plans with about 125,000 participants and $5 billion in assets.

Ascensus and Empower Retirement announced the purchase of Truist Financial Corp.'s institutional 401(k) record-keeping businesses.

"Attempts to thwart or delay this process run counter to the essential tenets of our democracy," the leaders said Monday...
01/06/2021
Business leaders urge Congress to certify Biden’s election

"Attempts to thwart or delay this process run counter to the essential tenets of our democracy," the leaders said Monday in a letter by the Partnership for New York.

More than 170 U.S. business leaders called on Congress to accept the results of the presidential election.

A lack of clarity on why NYSE changed course left investors to speculate over whether it was simply a result of the exch...
01/05/2021
NYSE scraps plan to delist China telecoms in ‘bizarre’ U-turn

A lack of clarity on why NYSE changed course left investors to speculate over whether it was simply a result of the exchange initially misinterpreting the November executive order from President Donald Trump, or something with broader geopolitical implications.

NYSE will not delist three Chinese state-owned telecoms firms, backtracking on a plan that had threatened to escalate U.S.-China tensions.

"Many employers are more focused on the immediate financial impact of the pandemic on their employees, but it's importan...
01/05/2021
Gap opens amid pandemic between employer actions, employee perceptions – survey

"Many employers are more focused on the immediate financial impact of the pandemic on their employees, but it's important that they look at short- and long-term challenges as interconnected."

Employers have increased their focus on improving employees' financial wellness during the pandemic, but employees say they don't see it.

PBGC officials said in a statement that the agreement with the Food Employers Labor Relations Association and the United...
01/05/2021
PBGC brokers deal to delay UFCW local pension fund insolvency

PBGC officials said in a statement that the agreement with the Food Employers Labor Relations Association and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union involving the severely underfunded FELRA & UFCW Pension Fund was prompted by actions taken in 2013 by the union and its two primary contributing employers, Giant Food of Maryland and Safeway Inc.

The PBGC reached a settlement with a multiemployer pension fund and contributing grocery employers to delay its projected insolvency.

All major U.S. equity benchmarks slumped more than 2% earlier Monday, and the S&P 500 was still on track for its biggest...
01/04/2021
Stocks slump on virus spike before Georgia runoff

All major U.S. equity benchmarks slumped more than 2% earlier Monday, and the S&P 500 was still on track for its biggest slide in almost 10 weeks.

Stocks fell Monday amid concern that a surge in global coronavirus cases could crimp the nascent economic recovery.

"Based on regulators' assessments, leveraged lending activities had not contributed significantly to the distress of any...
12/17/2020
Leveraged lending not major risk, GAO says

"Based on regulators' assessments, leveraged lending activities had not contributed significantly to the distress of any large financial entity whose failure could threaten financial stability. Large banks' strong capital positions have allowed them to manage their leveraged lending exposures, and the exposure of insurers and other investors also appeared manageable."

Leveraged lending is not posing a major risk to U.S. financial stability but financial regulators are still cautious, a GAO report says.

As part of the transfer, Athene will provide payments to roughly 70,000 plan participants receiving less than $360 per m...
12/16/2020
General Electric transfers $1.7 billion in pension liabilities to Athene

As part of the transfer, Athene will provide payments to roughly 70,000 plan participants receiving less than $360 per month through one of the firm's subsidiaries, a news release said.

General Electric transferred $1.7 billion of its U.S. GE Pension Plan obligations to retirement services firm Athene Holding.

"This is workers' money," Mr. Levin said Monday in a news release. "The investment process should be transparent to them...
12/15/2020
House Democrats float sustainable investing bills

"This is workers' money," Mr. Levin said Monday in a news release. "The investment process should be transparent to them and in line with workers' values."

House Democrats introduced two bills that would require retirement plans to take ESG factors into account when making investment decisions.

A net 89% of fund managers surveyed expect stronger growth in 2021, while a record 87% expect higher long-term yields.
12/15/2020
70% of fund managers see better economy by June 30 – survey

A net 89% of fund managers surveyed expect stronger growth in 2021, while a record 87% expect higher long-term yields.

Seven in 10 managers expect the global economy to improve in the first half of 2021, a Bank of America survey shows.

Best Places employers loosened policies and rolled out new benefits in the wake of COVID-19 and racial inequity concerns...
12/15/2020
Firms change the rules to help workers meet new challenges

Best Places employers loosened policies and rolled out new benefits in the wake of COVID-19 and racial inequity concerns.

Best Places employers loosened policies and rolled out new benefits in the wake of COVID-19 and racial inequity concerns.

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