Swiss Life Asset Managers wins Forecast Accuracy Award
Consensus Economics, the world's leading economic survey organisation, has announced the recipients of its 2015 Forecast Accuracy Award (FAA).
The FAA program recognises the achievements of a select group of expert country economic forecasters who have most accurately predicted the performance of GDP growth and Consumer Price Inflation for their targeted economies over a 24 months forecasting cycle.
Swiss Life Asset Managers’ economic research team has won this year’s Forecast Accuracy Award (FAA) for Switzerland. Out of a sample of more than 15 panelists, their forecasts were the best in predicting the final outcomes in a year in which economic data were heavily influenced by the Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) decision to abandon its minimum exchange rate policy.
Marc Brütsch, Chief Economist, says: “Part of our success goes back to the fact that we already had a prudent forecast for growth through 2015 prior to the SNB move. Thus, luck plays a role here. But, it is also exciting to observe that our adjusted base case scenario for inflation and GDP growth following the currency shock played out well. Immediately after January 15, we expected an average exchange rate of 1.05 versus the Euro through 2015 and no recession. And this is what we’ve got.”
Swiss Life Asset Managers’ forecasts for GDP growth in Switzerland this year and 2017 remain below the Consensus forecast as their economic research team sees moderating dynamics in domestic areas like private consumption, construction activity and also government spending. The inflation forecast is highly uncertain due to the important swings in the oil price as of late. Swiss Life Asset Managers expects annual inflation rates to return into positive territory by the final quarter 2016.
The methodology applied by Consensus Economics to evaluate forecasting accuracy of the individual panelists can be found on the firm’s website.
For more information, please contact Christophe Stücheli.
Icatu Seguros launched a new hedge investment fund
In December 2015, Icatu Seguros partnered up with Verde Asset Management to launch “Verde AM Icatu Previdência”, a new hedge fund in its portfolio.
An open investment architecture within a financial institution can improve the client’s asset allocation and diversification by offering competitiveness in terms of costs and returns. Icatu has been offering an open architecture to its clients for a long time in order to satisfy most of their investments needs.
The new investment fund made for pension scheme is the version of the onshore investment product Verde Fund launched in 1997, yet designed for pension schemes in accordance to the local legislation that regulates the business segment. Verde Fund being one of the largest and oldest hedge funds in Brazil, and well-known and sought after by investors in the market due to its excellent performance over the years, Verde AM Icatu Previdência will reproduce the same investment strategy and philosophy.
Likewise its pair, Verde AM Icatu Previdência aims the capital preservation and absolute return through a long term process. The fund blends local and global strategies, such as a structural allocation in global equities indexes and currencies plus investments in the Brazilian Fixed Income and equities.
The main goal of this fund is to outperform the benchmark CDI (Certificado de Depósito Interbancário) through investments made in the different asset classes.
Verde AM Icatu Previdência is distributed exclusively by Icatu and is under the management of Mr. Stuhlberger, the fund trades in the Brazilian and global markets across every asset class.
- Management Fee: 2,00%
- Investment manager: Verde Asset Manager S.A.
- Administrator: Credit Suisse Hedging-Griffo Corretora de Valores S.A.
- Custodian: Itaú Unibanco S.A.
- Fund Investment Consultant: Icatu Seguros S.A.
Verde was an asset management venture set up in 2015 by Credit Suisse Group, the fund manager Luis Stuhlberger and a team of professionals who decided to start the company after many years working together. The venture company started with 30 billion Reais ($13.6 billion) in assets under management.
Mr. Stuhlberger began his career in the early 1980s as a gold trader; his success has turned him into a celebrity within the Brazilian fund industry luring some of the Brazil’s newly wealthy.
For more information, please contact Vanessa Donke. T: +55 11 347 23 91 6
Momentum, winner of 2 prestigious awards
Momentum was announced as the winner of the FIA Award (Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa) Product Supplier of the Year for Employee Benefits while MMI Group also scooped the prestigious Imbasa Yegolide Award for Best Risk Underwriter.
FIA Award for Product Supplier of the Year - Employee Benefits
Seen as a flagship event on the insurance industry’s calendar, the independently researched FIA awards are recognised as a significant acknowledgement of the quality of the relationship between product, service and the value presented to financial advisers and their clients. Now in its 21st year, the awards are a benchmark against peers and a measure of financial product and supplier excellence.
Commenting on the accolade, Regard Budler, Managing Executive MMI Client Solutions said, “We relentlessly focus on putting the client at the centre of solutions and service. The award for Employee Benefits: Product Supplier of the Year is further testimony to Momentum and the MMI Group’s ability to deliver an exceptional client experience while ensuring that professional financial advice is integral to the process. We are humbled by the industry’s appreciation and especially thank the financial advisers who partner with Momentum to ensure each client’s or businesses’ unique needs are met, on their journey towards financial wellness.”
Momentum Employee Benefits that falls under the MMI Corporate and Public Sector division, has over 7,300 employers providing retirement and insurance benefits of over 1.6 million of their employees and is the largest group risk provider in South Africa according to the SwissRe Group survey.
Solutions draw on best of breed capabilities across the MMI Group, from their flagship FundsAtWork Umbrella Fund to Momentum Health, and lower cost offerings such as Health4Me and OcsaCare to innovative group insurance and retirement options. It also includes Multiply, Momentum’s wellness and rewards programme integrated into their employee benefits offerings.
Budler concludes, “To show our gratitude, Momentum will be paying it forward by donating R50,000 to POPUP (People Upliftment Programme), a non-profit organisation that supports small to medium size enterprise development. The donation will be used to start profitable projects to create jobs and prosperity”.
Imbasa Yegolide Award for Best Risk Underwriter
The independently managed Imbasa Yegolide awards are a calendar highlight for the retirement fund industry, rewarding service providers for unwavering commitment to delivering service excellence for retirement fund members and benchmarking providers against their peers. Highly regarded in the industry, nominations are submitted by the trustees and principal officers of retirement funds in South Africa, and represent their everyday experiences of service providers.
Commenting on the award, Sandy Govender, Head of Group Risk at MMI said, “Treating customers fairly is not simply a set of blocks we tick for audit purposes – the principles form part of our organisational culture. The Risk Benefit Underwriter of the year award demonstrates MMI’s ability to consistently provide both fund and members with an outstanding experience of our risk offering through the calculated application of TCF principles. We greatly appreciate the industry’s recognition of our efforts”.
While many insurers are only involved from claim stage, MMI puts equal focus into working with the employer pre-emptively to reduce potential claims (via employer wellness support) and to improve the probability of claimants returning to work (via rehabilitation initiatives and incentives).
“When health, insurance and reward programmes are collectively built to ensure cover is sufficient, savings are maximised and reward and wellness programmes drive the right behaviour toward creating happier and healthier employees – we start to see real, sustainable value emerging for members”, says Govender.
In addition to those awards, MMI’s two client facing brands, Momentum and Metropolitan, were recently ranked top of the South African Customer Satisfaction Index and in an independent Consulta Survey, the satisfaction score, for MMI Corporate and Public Sector claims was over 83% which is regarded as world-class service.
For more information, please contact Redwaan Zoutenberg. T: +27 21 940 40 11