92% of actuaries polled at a session we hosted at the annual Actuarial Life Conference believe that with-profits funds should review their investment strategies in light of performance data provided by Barnett Waddingham.
"We recognised the investment challenge for smaller and medium funds, who have limited resources to investigate and manage an ever-widening universe of assets."
The results of Barnett Waddingham’s with-profits report were recently presented at the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ Life Conference in Edinburgh, highlighting the recent investment outperformance of bigger funds (see link here to previous blog).
We recognised the investment challenge for smaller and medium funds, who have limited resources to investigate and manage an ever-widening universe of assets, and suggested that improvements could be made by most funds through implementing a robust decision framework, including the following:
- agreeing the aims, beliefs and constraints of the fund, considering recent economic, regulatory and political changes
- considering a wider range of asset classes in asset allocation exercises
- utilising manager skill, especially through tactical asset allocation
- selecting managers who best match your philosophy for achieving returns
- improving risk and performance monitoring
We finished off the session by asking attendees to take part in number of polls The positive news for policyholders is that 85% of the 55 people polled believe that with-profits funds are treating customers fairly and over 50% believe that funds are being proactive in managing investments.
However, the final question of the session delivered our headline number; 92% of attendees believed that with-profits funds could be doing more and should be reviewing their current investment approaches to maximise benefit for with-profits policyholders.