The €6.3bn pension fund of insurance provider UWV has raised its risk profile by increasing exposure to private equity and infrastructure.According to its 2015 annual report, it also plans to increase real estate investments and holdings in commercial and residential mortgages at the expense of its euro-denominated government bond and equity allocations.The scheme said it had decided, based partly on a survey into the risk appetite of its participants, to allocate 10% of its portfolio to risk-bearing investments, adding that it had already reduced its strategic interest hedge from 60% to 50%.It estimates its policy change will increase its surplus return by 0.7 percentage points to 2.2%. The UWV scheme aims to raise the combined private equity and infrastructure allocation to 5%, with the help of asset manager Partners Group.Its property and mortgages portfolios are to account for 10% and 6% of overall assets, respectively.The scheme has placed the four asset classes in a separate portfolio that holds illiquid investments – next to its regular matching and return portfolios – specifically meant for generating returns for indexation.The Pensioenfonds UWV said it also wanted to focus on cost-saving via passive investment, pointing out that its developed-market equity, government bond, inflation-linked bond and commodities holdings were already under passive management.It said it would update its contracts with pensions provider TKP Pensioen and fiduciary asset manager Allianz Global Investors this year.Last year, it replaced Morgan Stanley as its active manager for local-currency emerging market debt (EMD) with Legal & General, which now manages the investments passively.It said it would review Aberdeen AM as active manager of its hard-currency EMD holdings after the manager underperformed last year by 4.1 percentage points. The UWV scheme posted a net return of -0.6% due largely to a 3.3% loss on its matching portfolio, as well as negative results on its interest and currency hedges.It said its strategy shift also reduced its return by 0.5 percentage points.The pension paid €152 per participant for pensions administration and spent 0.38% and 0.17% on asset management and transactions, respectively.Its funding stood at 95.7% as at the end of June.
FIFA is expected to confirm the quotas for each continental governing body in May.Ceferin was speaking at a meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee in Nyon. All members of the committee agreed with the proposals.Other proposals approved at Thursday’s meeting included:Limiting UEFA’s president and executive committee members to a maximum of three four-year terms.Granting membership of the committee to two European Club Association representatives.Ensuring UEFA competitions are selected through a transparent bidding process.FIFA’s members voted unanimously in favour of the World Cup expansion in January.The number of tournament matches will rise to 80, from 64, but the eventual winners will still play only seven games.The tournament will be completed within 32 days – a measure to appease powerful European clubs, who objected to reform because of a crowded international schedule.FIFA President Gianni Infantino said the World Cup has to be “more inclusive”, adding: “Football is more than just Europe and South America, football is global.”Speaking to the BBC at the time of the announcement, he said the decision on who would get the extra qualification slots would be “looked at speedily”.He added: “The only sure thing is that everyone will have a bit more representation than they have.”Speaking on Thursday, Ceferin said: “We can push and be outvoted, but we think it is realistic to ask for 16 slots at least, plus another condition that each European team is in different groups.“Then if it is true that we are so good, that quality is on our side, I think all 16 can qualify.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram European football’s governing body, UEFA, will ask for its teams to be given 16 places at the expanded 48-team 2026 World Cup.UEFA will also request that the European teams who do qualify are kept apart in the first stage.The new-look tournament will begin with an initial round of 16 three-team groups, with 32 qualifiers going through to the knockout stage.Thirteen European teams qualified for the last World Cup in Brazil in 2014, which was won by Germany.UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said the requests are “realistic”, and it is his desire for every European team to qualify from the first round.