Showing posts with label ROI. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ROI. Show all posts

Mar 31, 2010

ABP Pension Fund ROI Travesty

What is a 'good' return on investment?

Dutch Pension Fund ABP, the industry-wide pension fund for employers and employees ( 2.8 million participants) in government and educational institutions in the Netherlands and the world’s third largest pension fund, reported a 20.2% return on investment in 2009.

In the 2nd half 2009 Press Release, ABP qualifies it's own performance as a 'Good Rate of Return'.
Now theologists as well as actuaries are familiar with the risk of calling something 'Good' ....

ABP ROI Stress Test
Let's put the ABP investment strategy to the test.

In the same Press Release,  ABP publishes the long-term rate of return from 1993 to 2009. ABP's average annual rate of return over this period of 17 years is 6.7%.

ABP's 'Signs of Hope Strategy'
To achieve this phenomenal return, ABP has developed a spectacular - every three years changing - Investment Strategy Plan (latest plan is confidently called: 'Signs of Hope') with a strong diversified 'winning' (?)  investment mix in combination with zero transparency or accountability information with regard to 'investment costs'.

Alternative T-Bond Strategy
Alternatively, ABP would have been better of if it would have applied a no-risky defensive European (10 years) Treasury Bond Strategy from the start. In this case the yearly average 1993-2009 ROI would have been around 6.9%.

Take a look at the next chart and decide for yourself. What pension fund would you prefer, Red or Blue?

ABP stated in their objectives that, in order to keep pensions affordable in the future, the return on investments must attain an average of 7% per year. It's clear that this objective will never be met on basis of the developed investment strategies in the past.

ABP's Future perspective?
Let's 'hope' that, after the recent step down of Ed Nijpels, ABP's new to be appointed chairman will have enough power, (pension) experience and time available to resist and combat the opportunistic and risky plans of the headstrong APG investment specialists.
Anyhow, the new chairman should be at least someone who knows how to spell the word 'Risk Management' and is experienced in (ac)counting from 1 to 10.... maybe an actuary?

Perhaps the best thing to do is to:
  • turn the ABP scheme into a "pay as you go system",
  • transfer the ABP administration to the efficient Dutch Social Insurance Bank,
  • fire most of the ABP Asset Management Department (APG) (as they are confused about time and cannot tell the difference between Tomorrow and Today anyway) and finally,
  • use the € 208 billion on assets to reduce most of the Dutch National Debt ( € 375 billion)

Good Luck ABP!

- Top 10 largest pension funds in the world
- ABP Press release 2nd half 2009
- APG: Tomorrow is Today 
- Joshua Maggid: Excel ABP (.xls)