Irish pension managed funds delivered mostly
positive returns during July, with a mean gain of 0.5% for the month. Managed
funds have returned 6.7% on average over the first seven months of 2014.
According to data from
Rubicon Investment Consulting, Friends First, Irish Life Investment
Managers and Merrion Investment Managers shared top spot in July with returns of
0.9% for the month, while Setanta Asset Management propped up the league table
with a return of -1.0%. Irish Life Investment Managers delivered the
strongest return over the year to date at 7.6%, while Merrion Investment
Managers produced the weakest return, returning 5.7% over the same period. Over
the past twelve months, the average fund return was 13.5%. Returns for the year
ranged from 14.7% (Irish Life Investment Managers) to 11.6% (Setanta Asset
managing director, commented: "The average
managed fund return has been a healthy 12.2% per annum over the past three
years. The five-year average return is very strong, at 10.8% per annum. Irish
group pension managed fund returns over the past ten years have been 5.6% per
The Aon Hewitt Managed
Fund Index, an index of traditional Irish pension managed funds,
increased by 0.4% in June. This has contributed to the index delivering a
positive return of 7.4% since the beginning of the year.
Global equity markets rose in July with the FTSE All World Index increasing
+1.1% in euro terms. Asia Pacific ex Japan was the best performing region in
euro terms returning +5.5%, while FTSE All World Eurobloc was the worst
performing index, returning -3.4% in euro terms.
"Investors largely ignored geopolitical risks and focused on fundamentals, such
as strong US Q2 earnings reports and positive economic data including the US
June unemployment rate falling to 6.1% which is the lowest level since September
2008, rather than geopolitical concerns such as the Ukrainian crisis which
continued to dominate news headlines," commented
Darragh Gavin, investment consultant with Aon Hewitt.
Eurozone government bonds experienced a strong month again in July. The German
10 year bund yield hit a record low to finish at 1.19%, a decrease of 6 basis
points (100 bps = 1%) over the month, while the French 10 year bond yield fell 2
bps to 1.57%. Peripheral Eurozone bond yields also fell over the month with the
Spanish 10 year bond yield falling 14 bps to 2.53%.
"Irish Defined Benefit pension schemes will have seen their liabilities increase
again in July given the continuing fall in core Eurozone government bond yields
leading to a decrease in their funding levels, with the increase in liabilities
not being fully offset by the gains in global equities," continued Gavin.
commented: "Global equities increased by 0.9% over the month. Long dated AAA
Eurozone bonds also increased in July as bond yields fell for a seventh month in
The funding level of a typical DB (defined benefit) scheme increased by
approximately 0.2%, as assets increased more than liabilities.
All of our sample DC (defined contribution) schemes rose in July as all asset
classes had positive returns." See