Posts by Simon

Simon Cohen

Simon Cohen

Simon Cohen is an experienced pensions investment actuary who heads up the Investment Consultancy Services at Spence.
Simon Cohen

You can see the headlines at the moment – FTSE hits an all-time high, DOW hits all-time highs, and the DAX joins in as well.  Add to that the VIX index (a market indicator of volatility), is at lows.

You wouldn’t be the first to think that global economies are growing strongly and corporate profitability is rising fast… there is nothing to worry about.

However, there are always two sides to every story, and I have my worries (especially being a glass-half-empty kind of person).  Read more »

Simon Cohen

Spence & Partners latest blog for Pension Funds Online

I believe that clients should be using and taking more advantage of their investment consultant. I see clients paying for actuarial valuations, reviewing actuarial factors and other matters but generally not making full use of their investment consultant. Clients legally have to do a valuation or other compliance work, but often see investment work as something that is secondary to this. For example, there is not a legal requirement to carry out an investment strategy review like there is for a triennial valuation, it is just considered best practice, so sometimes one isn’t carried out.

I sometimes see cases of trustees who haven’t reviewed their investment strategy in over 10 years and their Statement of Investment Principles in a similar period of time. Read more »

Simon Cohen

Spence & Partners, the UK actuaries and consultants, today urged schemes to review any strategy that contains allocation to Diversified Growth Funds (DGFs).

Simon Cohen, Head of Investment at Spence & Partners, commented: “DGFs are a pretty common part of an allocation strategy for smaller schemes, as they allow them exposure to lots of different asset classes they wouldn’t ordinarily get access to due to issues of scale. However, schemes should be careful when investing in them – yes, they are less volatile and have somewhat protected schemes against the fall in equity markets at various points in time, but schemes need equity. DGFs aren’t a direct equity replacement and shouldn’t be treated as such – and, of late, their performance has been particularly disappointing too. Read more »

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