UK-based consultancy PwC and financial technology provider RiskFirst are reinforcing their relationship with a new agreement, which will benefit clients by bringing online pensions platform Skyval, and RiskFirst’s PFaroe platform closer together.
Skyval was launched jointly by PwC and RiskFirst in 2013 in response to a growing need for more accurate, reliable and up-to-date pension plan information. Under the new agreement, Skyval and PFaroe are being brought onto the same underlying platform, making it easier to exchange information, thereby facilitating closer working relations across all plan stakeholders.
Following Moorgate’s outreach, Wealth Advisor, Financial IT, Fintech Finance, The Business Journal, Digital Journal, and Yahoo Finance covered the news.
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.
Following Moorgate’s outreach, P&I, Life Annuity Specialist, Plan Advisor, Plan Sponsor, Financial IT, Fintech Finance, Fintech Insight, and New York Business Journal covered the news.
In a commentary article for Benefits & Pensions Monitor, Michael Carse, DB Pensions and Product Manager, RiskFirst, examines the de-risking journey, and how market shifts are presenting favourable de-risking opportunities – driving many pension plans to re-evaluate their risk transfer strategies. He discusses the current de-risking landscape, market developments and de-risking strategies with a view as to how these factors might optimize pension risk transfer.
To read the full article, please click here.
In a Q&A for BenefitsPRO, Michael Carse, DB Pensions Product Manager, RiskFirst, discusses how pension plans can implement and optimize their de-risking strategy. He examines how the changing landscape is creating opportunities to transfer risk, successful approaches to de-risking and how technology can support plans as they seek to implement complex solutions.
To read the full article, please click here (please note, this article lies behind a paywall).
Many US pension plans typically opt for one of two de-risking methods: either hibernation – creating a low risk liability driven investment portfolio, or termination – removing all risk through a combination of retiree annuity buyouts and bulk lump sum offerings to terminated vested participants. However, as even those opting for hibernation will have to transfer the residual liabilities at some point, it is therefore not a question of if a pension plan should transfer but when. The best approach therefore doesn’t focus on one strategy over the other but applies the right one at the right time.
In a commentary article for Pensions and Investments, Matthew Seymour, CEO of RiskFirst, discusses the importance of a flexible de-risking strategy for pension plans and how it is effective navigation that ensures the best de-risking strategies can be implemented.
To read the full article, please click here (please note, this article lies behind a paywall).
RiskFirst and STOXX Ltd, the operator of Deutsche Börse Group’s index business and a global provider of innovative and tradable index concepts, have announced the launch of the new iSTOXX RiskFirst LDI index family. The innovation – released on 23rd April 2018 – provides independent benchmarks for liability-driven investments (LDI), providing a new solution to the governance and accuracy issues that have typically challenged the £1 trillion market.
Matthew Seymour, CEO of RiskFirst commented that RiskFirst’s flagship product, PFaroe, “is rapidly becoming an industry standard for the modelling of pension plans and therefore offers us unique insight into the behaviour of pension plan cash flow profiles at a very granular level. When combined with STOXX’s extensive experience in designing innovative and objective investment benchmarks, the result is a set of indices that deliver great value to UK pension plans.”
Moorgate disseminated the announcement, and news of the partnership and launch of the iSTOXX RiskFirst LDI index family was covered by the following specialist publications: Professional Pensions, Wealth Adviser, Institutional Asset Manager, International Finance, Financial IT, AlphaQ, etfexpress, ETF Strategy, Global Capital, Global Investor, Mondovisione, LeapRate, Digital Journal, Fintech Roundup and ITbriefing.net.
PNC Institutional Advisory Solutions, part of the asset management branch of the Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group, has adopted RiskFirst’s digital solution PFaroe – to help structure better solutions, improve reporting efficiency and deepen engagement with its defined benefit (DB) pension plan clients. PFaroe will allow increased interactivity with clients, provide forecasting tools to model potential investment strategies, and support the co-ordination and configuration of funded status-based and interest rate-based ‘glide paths’ – as well as automating and enriching report quality for its clients.
PFaroe, launched in 2009, is RiskFirst’s core product, and seeks to enhance the management of defined benefit pension plans and endowments and foundations. With PFaroe already used as a tool for over 1,800 pension schemes, with more than US$750 billion of liabilities, the technology has already achieved market leading status in the UK, with an expanding client base in the US.
The news was covered by the following in the specialist press: Benefits and Pensions Monitor, PlanAdviser, International Securities Services (ISS), RiskTech Forum, Fintech Finance, Finextra, Fintech Insight, Financial IT.
In the wake of COP23, climate change negotiations are already bringing repercussions on many energy and infrastructure sector assets: from enhanced resilience and low‐carbon transportation projects, to the conversion or shuttering of fossil fuel power plants.
S&P Global Ratings – along with Norton Rose Fulbright – writes in Responsible Investor on how we can expect these discussions to continue throughout 2018 and what the impact of decisions made at COP23 might mean for infrastructure. The industry experts quoted, including S&P Global Ratings’ Michael Wilkins, Head of Environmental and Climate Risk Research, were participants at the International Project Finance Association’s (IPFA) “COP23: Outcomes and Impact on the Energy Infrastructure Sector” event in November 2017.
To read the full piece, please click here (please note the paywall).
Image Credit: CC Search user: CECAR (License).
Cartwright, an actuarial and investment consultant for occupational pension schemes, has adopted RiskFirst’s risk analytics platform, PFaroe, to model scheme assets and liabilities. Cartwright will use PFaroe to perform asset-liability modelling, monitor funding levels and investment risk, and track triggers for asset switches, enabling the consultancy to design and implement holistic real-time client-focused solutions better suited to a more dynamic world.
Sam Roberts, Head of Investment Consulting at Cartwright, says: “Our strength, expertise and deep experience is in helping each of our clients to better understand and prioritise their scheme’s investment objectives and risks, and then to implement an effective, practical investment strategy to achieve these objectives. By supporting our strength with specialists in their own related field – such as the creation of models and the development of analytics – this creates a virtuous circle which allows us to focus even more on our clients and their strategies, whilst ensuring holistic, best-in-class solutions are available to all our clients, no matter what their size. When it comes to analytics and user-friendly technology, it is clear that RiskFirst are the industry leaders.”
Following outreach by Moorgate, the news was covered by the specialist press: Finextra, bobsguide, International Finance, Institutional Asset Manager, Fintech Finance, Financial IT, ITbriefing.net.
RiskFirst’s pension risk analytics platform, PFaroe, was selected by NEPC and adopted by Rush University, allowing both organisations to work together more effectively on risk analysis and plan decision making, and to improve collaboration and effectiveness of asset-liability management strategies.
Alex Wiggins, Associate Vice President, Treasury, Rush University Medical Center, comments: “Having direct access to PFaroe in-house allows us to gain enhanced visibility over our plans and share the same perspective as our consultant, greatly improving our monitoring capabilities and our understanding of plan risk.”
Paul Kenney, Partner at NEPC, adds: “Having that common tool allows us to work far more closely with Rush on analysis, evaluation and strategy; strengthening our partnership and allowing us to focus on what matters – making important, informed decisions on how to move the portfolio.”
Following Moorgate’s outreach, the news was covered by: bobsguide, Fintech Finance, headoftrading, MarketWatch, Yahoo Finance