RiskFirst has announced the appointment of Tarik Ben-Saud, who has been hired in an advisory capacity to support and accelerate the development of RiskFirst’s front office investment management capabilities, including the roll-out of its fixed income and LDI attribution application, PFaroeAttribution. Ben-Saud has 30 years’ investment management experience, including senior roles at Blackrock and Insight Investment.
Today, assets and liabilities are changing in more complex ways and being impacted by more factors, making effective risk management far more challenging – and far more crucial. In Benefits and Pensions Monitor, Matthew Seymour, CEO of RiskFirst, explains how, with the right technology tools, advisors and asset managers can be equipped to help plans identify and understand their needs; make optimized decisions on how risk can be best managed; and capture opportunities to maximize their investment strategies.
To read the full article, please click here and turn to page 27
Writing for The Asset, Commerzbank’s Agnes Vargas and Hans Krohn assess the opportunities that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) may bring for Europe’s small- and medium-sized enterprises, and how they can engage with the project.
While the “first phase” of the BRI – the construction of large-scale infrastructure – largely excludes SMEs across Central Europe, it is the “second phase” – financing and trade opportunities along these revived trading corridors – for which international financial institutions should be preparing.
Given the enormity and volume of the infrastructure projects defining the first phase, it is likely to be some years until these projects will link to enable the second phase’s transcontinental trade flow. So for the time being, European SMEs should treat the BRI as a lesson in patience. In the meantime, advise Vargas and Krohn, financial institutions should take advantage of the time they have to prepare.
To read the full article, please click here (requires subscription).
Natixis acted as Sole Structuring Bank and Sole Arranger for the first issue of asset backed securities (ABS) backed by a portfolio of renewable energy plants (REBS) sponsored by Glennmont Partners, for a total amount of EUR 51.5 million (USD 58m).
The proceeds of the issue have been applied to acquire a portfolio of project finance loan agreements disbursed to finance or refinance the construction of eight wind farms totalling 52 MW and six solar photovoltaic (PV) plants with a combined capacity of 14.4 MW.
In an interview with Airfinance Journal, Gareth John, Natixis’ Managing Director and Global Head of Aviation, says the bank is looking to become more of a “strategic partner” and less of a “transactional lender” to its clients.
In addition to covering Natixis’ own strategy within the industry, Gareth discusses transaction trends and outlook on the market. He foresees a gradual decline in the health of the industry over the next 12 to 18 months, but says this is more of a correction than a downturn.
To read the full article, please click here (please note the paywall)
Natixis has appointed Emmanuel Verhoosel as Natixis’ new Global Head of Real Estate & Hospitality for Corporate & Investment Banking.
The appointment aligns within Natixis’ New Dimension strategic plan and its aim to become a “go-to” bank for the sector in Corporate Investment Banking. Emmanuel will report to Olivier Delay, Global Head of Real Assets, and will be based in Paris.
Natixis plans to sell its Consumer financing, Factoring, Leasing, Sureties & guarantees and Securities services businesses to its majority owner Groupe BPCE SA, for a total of €2.7bn.
The move, if successfully completed, will allow Natixis to accelerate the development of its asset-light model. In turn, Natixis would invest up to €2.5bn over its New Dimension strategic plan, primarily in asset management, compared with €1bn initially planned.
In a special report on AI and technology in operations by P&I, Matthew Seymour, CEO of RiskFirst, describes some of the challenges of technology adoption and standardisation in the asset servicing industry. The report examines how the ongoing development of technologies – such as blockchain and AI – could not only drive efficiencies but also serve as a catalyst, encouraging all market participants to speak the same transactional language.
Seymour noted, however, that “cooperation among major players in the industry isn’t a given”. He said: “The biggest challenge is the vested interest of financial services market participants. Accepting AI will require some to change their businesses. Right now, the collection of data is a real gold mine for some companies. Their concern about maintaining or growing their data businesses, at the same time as AI and blockchain, will make data more accessible to everyone, will make the adoption of new technology more measured while firms assess how this will affect their business models. It’s not just technology adapting to business, but business adapting to technology.”
To read the full article, please click here. (Please note, this article lies behind a paywall).
RiskFirst has announced that approximately 30% of US pension plans may now have a funded status of 95% or more, making a buyout or significant risk-transfer deal a feasible option.
Their analysis of some 500 plans with assets of over $100bn highlights that the number of plans within this funding level band has increased by 50% in the first half of 2018. With market factors – such as new accounting reforms, a strong performance in equity markets and increased PBGC premiums – creating particularly favourable conditions to de-risk, there is the potential for risk transfer rates to rise considerably.
In line with its strategic plan, Natixis has announced that Anne-Christine Champion, Natixis Global Head of Distribution & Portfolio Management, Olivier Delay, Natixis Global Head of Real Assets, Dominique Fraisse, Natixis Global Head of Energy & Natural Resources and Cyril Marie, Chief Financial Officer of Natixis Investment Managers will join the bank’s Executive Committee.
These appointments aim to ensure that Natixis successfully meets the ambitions set out in its strategic plan ‘New Dimension’, whilst further strengthening the bank’s position as a leading player in active asset management and in becoming the “go-to bank” in the 4 selected sectors for Corporate & Investment Banking – which includes Energy & Natural Resources, Aviation, Infrastructure, Real Estate & Hospitality.
What’s more, the four appointments and their subsequent expertise will strengthen the Originate-to-Distribute strategy, essential in Natixis’ sustainable value creation model.