NCB Insurance Company (NCBIC) has launched a set of new pooled fund offerings, targeting local pension funds.
They include NCBIC Pooled Pension Real Estate Fund, which invests in a variety of real estate ventures, commercial & residential; NCBIC Pooled Pension Leases & Mortgage Fund, which invests in finance leases and commercial mortgages and NCBIC Pooled Pension Fixed Income Fund, which invests mainly in Government of Jamaica Bonds and other liquid assets.
The list of investment options is completed by the NCBIC Pooled Pension Equity Fund, which invests in listed equities on the local exchange and other recognised jurisdictions; NCBIC Pooled Pension Balanced Fund that invests in a variety of asset classes, including equities, fixed income, real estate, leases and mortgages and NCBIC Pooled Pension Money Market Fund, which invests mainly in short term government and commercial paper denominated in Jamaican dollars.
The funds will operate as a Type 1 Pooled Fund, which means it will be an investment fund, which solely invests the assets of more than one approved pension fund or approved retirement scheme. With its pooled funds suite of products, NCB Insurance offers pension funds a diverse portfolio of low risk options, so they can securely enjoy excellent returns on their investments.
Pooled funds are specially designed investment packages that allow institutional investors such as pension funds to pool their money with other institutional investors who have similar financial goals.
Speaking at Thursday’s launch at the AC Hotel in Kingston, NCBIC Managing Director Vernon James explained, “Arising from this new investment offering pension fund managers can look forward to exciting rewards through the new pooled funds offering.”
With higher asset values in play, investment managers stand to earn more for their pension fund clientele. According to NCBIC, “Not only do these high-value products create enough yields to support multiple pension partners, but it also reduces costs.
NCBIC pooled fund partners benefit from reduced management costs as fees are split across participants. In addition to the stability offered by these larger secure assets, risk is further reduced by the diversity within the pool.”
Fund managers have the opportunity to diversify their investments across equity, money markets, real estate and fixed income products. With NCBIC pooled funds, managers can respond to the rising demand for investment options that match the more active lifestyles of modern retirees.
NCBIC Manager of Pensions, Client Management & Business Development Desmond Johnson, who also spoke at the launch, commented on the new suite of pension investment options declaring, “The move creates a boon for investment bodies. Today more than ever Fund managers can build greater value for their clients through investment. The pooled fund option gives investors a chance to get consistently higher returns for pensioners. Furthermore, we are offering this with the stability that retirees want at this crucial time of life.”
MOTIVATION IN LAUNCHING
Johnson sought to explain the motivation behind launching the new product offering stating, “We have seen a rise in the demand for higher value pension products and our pooled fund product provides a solution for pension fund managers who strive for the best on behalf of their customers.”
NCBIC manages Type 2 Pool Funds, which under the Pensions Act 2006 are for the specific use of approved superannuation funds and individual retirement schemes. These funds have been consistently paying off for shareholders and have produced average historical gross returns on assets under Management of 16.91 per cent per annum since 2009.
Sunday Finance questioned Johnson about whether the new pooled funds are allowed to invest in fast growing economies like Guyana. He answered in the negative explaining that based on the rules laid down by the Financial Services Commission, the funds are precluded from investing directly in places such as Guyana.
— DURRANT PATE