Local authority scheme adopts £700m equity protection strategy

first_imgA London local authority pension fund has become the latest to adopt an equity protection strategy, covering roughly half its total investment portfolio.The £1.4bn (€1.6bn) London Borough of Tower Hamlets Pension Fund appointed Schroders to run the £700m “risk management solution”, which was completed in September.In a statement, Schroders said the move put Tower Hamlets “in a robust position ahead of the market volatility experienced in October and November”.Steve Turner, partner at Mercer and adviser to the Tower Hamlets scheme, said: “The protection has already demonstrated its value in the recent equity market turmoil seen since early October, by helping insulate the fund from equity market volatility. Key stakeholders can sleep a lot easier with the strategy in place, while still retaining good levels of return upside.” Neville Murton, acting corporate director for resources at the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, said: “This investment strategy provides more certainty around the outcome of the 31 March 2019 formal actuarial valuation and protects against the risk of a significant fall in equities given increased volatility in markets and concerns regarding stretched valuations. “[Tower Hamlets’] funding level has improved materially since the last valuation, so the fund implemented the equity protection strategy from a position of relative strength.  The strategy implementation was just in time to lock in high market levels before the recent market fall; therefore the strategy is in a good position to deliver additional savings.”All 88 Local Government Pension Schemes (LGPS) in England and Wales will go through their triennial actuarial valuation process next year, based on asset prices on 31 March 2019.Schroders said the mandate would maintain the pension fund’s exposure to equity market gains while “mitigating downside risk” and minimising trading costs.The asset manager previously set up a £2.6bn equity protection strategy for the South Yorkshire Pensions Authority earlier this year, which Schroders said was one of the largest such strategies adopted by a local authority pension scheme.Worcestershire County Council also made a similar move this year, appointing River & Mercantile Derivatives to run a £1.2bn protection mandate.last_img read more

Ghana impounds ‘faulty condoms’

first_imgThe FDA said the condoms were also not adequately lubricatedMore than 110 million Chinese-made condoms have been seized in Ghana after laboratory tests revealed they were faulty, Ghanaian officials have said.“There are holes in them and… the condoms burst easily,” a Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) spokesman told the BBC.The condoms were being distributed free as part of an HIV/Aids prevention campaign by the Ghana Health Service.About 200 million of the faulty condoms are believed to have been imported into the country.The BBC’s Sammy Darko in the capital, Accra, says the condom packaging is silvery white with a red Aids ribbon incorporated into the design and the words “Be Safe” also in red.The FDA has issued an alert about their safety. About 230,000 people in Ghana are living with HIVThomas Amedzro, head of drug enforcement at the FDA, said the condoms had been imported via Kenya from a Chinese manufacturer.All imported condoms are supposed to be tested by the FDA before distribution, he said.“Somehow there was a lapse; the batches of the condoms were not submitted as duly required for the appropriate testing to be conducted,” he told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme.Anybody using them could be “exposed to sexually transmitted infections or be saddled with unwanted pregnancies”, Mr Amedzro said.“You may not be able to see the holes with your naked eye but when you look at it under the microscope you can see holes,” he said.They were also not adequately lubricated, the FDA said.Our reporter says the health service took delivery of the condoms in February this year, but they arrived in the country in the last quarter of 2012.“Since the alert went out, a number of individuals and organisations have already reported to us that they have stocks, which we are already retrieving,” Mr Amedzro said.A publicity campaign was underway to ensure that all the other unsafe condoms were found, he added.According to UN figures, an estimated 230,000 people in Ghana, which has a population of 25 million, are living with HIV. BBC News Sharing is caring! Share Share HealthInternationalLifestylePrint Ghana impounds ‘faulty condoms’ by: – April 20, 2013center_img Share Tweet 35 Views   no discussionslast_img read more