Investment policies and returns are key themes at the 6th Arab Pension Conference

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Manama, Bahrain: Do actuarial assumptions and their application impact or dictate pension fund investment policies? And as the world gradually enters the post-pandemic phase, where and in what assets should investments be directed? What is the impact of ever-increasing inflation on pension fund returns? What is the impact of the current war in Europe on capital markets and the global investment environment? These are some of the titles covered by the second day sessions of the 6th Arab Conference on Pensions and Social Insurance, which are devoted to investment which is the engine of growth and sustainability of pension funds. .

Mr. Ebrahim K Ebrahim, Chairman of the conference, said that investment management is a main pillar in the management of pension funds, which are globally considered among the largest investors and synonymous with state sovereign wealth funds.

Following the gradual exit from the pandemic that has ravaged global economies, geopolitics is returning to the agenda of many institutional investors with financial assets, including pension funds, forcing investment managers to gain more control over portfolios and long-term investment opportunities in an environment characterized by global economic and political tensions and a raging war in Europe.

He mentioned that over the past ten years, there has been an increase in the need for awareness of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in the global public of investors and in the asset management industry. ‘assets. Thus, a session will be devoted to this topic, examining how boards and investment managers of social insurance organizations are adopting this culture, and how ESG criteria can guide the investment decisions of these institutions.

One of the most important sessions of the second day is the question: to what extent should pension funds seek higher yield? This session reviews the design of investment policies for pension funds between two schools of thought. The first considers that pension funds must be conservative and defensive when it comes to “seeking yield” so as not to risk the funds they manage for the future retirement of their subscribers; while the second school believes that alternative investments (beyond traditional bonds and equities) have created opportunities for pension funds that have made them safer, as they have generated higher returns that have improved their ability honor their commitments and improve funding levels.

“Therefore, according to the second school, infrastructure projects and private assets should be integrated into the asset allocation of pension funds, in order to diversify portfolios and improve returns,” he said. he explains.

As some Arab pension funds enter their ninth decade of social insurance services, this session will also explore some of the lessons learned in investment management from previous decades, and how much we have learned from the past, and what the next thirty years can bring us.

In addition to the investment entities of Arab pension funds, the conference will bring together leaders from AON, SSGA, BlackRock, Franklin Templeton, the Islamic Development Bank, the former CEO of “Al-Raeda”, the branch of investment of the General Organization of Social Insurance in Saudi Arabia, and some members of the Egyptian Federation of Investor Associations.

The conference will take place in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, on September 28-29, 2022, registration is available at this link: events.fintechrobos.com

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