Crossing the Rubicon

The latest news and opinion from Rubicon Investment Consulting

2015 ends on a bum note for Irish pension funds

Global stock markets declined during December, as oil prices fell sharply to a near seven-year low and amid uncertainty over whether or not the Fed would actually increase rates as anticipated. There was an upturn toward month-end, as markets reacted positively to the decision to increase US interest rates by 0.25%.

December was a very disappointing month for Irish pension funds, which fell back -3.7% on average. Merrion Investment Managers were ranked top this month with a return of -3.2%, while Setanta Asset Management propped up the league table with a return of -4.5%. The final quarter of 2015 was quite strong, with the previous two months having delivered gains. The average return over the fourth quarter was 6.0%. Standard Life Investments top the table over the quarter with a return of 7.7%, while New Ireland produced the lowest return at 4.8%. Over the year of 2015, the average fund return was a respectable 9.3%. Returns for the year ranged from 13.6% (Merrion Investment Managers) to 6.5% (Kleinwort Benson Investors).

The average managed fund return has been a very strong 13.8% per annum over the past three years. The five-year average return is a healthy 10.3% per annum. Irish group pension managed fund returns over the past ten years have been 4.7% per annum on average.