Crossing the Rubicon

The latest news and opinion from Rubicon Investment Consulting

A Disastrous December for Irish Pension Funds

2018 was the worst year for Irish pension funds since 2008, with managed funds losing 5.2% on average over the year. With all funds delivering negative returns, Davy Asset Management produced the least worst return at -2.0% over the past twelve months. The lowest managed fund return was that of Merrion Investment Managers, which fell 8.9%.

With managed funds having treaded water for most of the year, all of the losses came during December, as funds returned -6.0% on average over the final month of 2018. Setanta Asset Management topped the peer group during December with a return of -5.2%, while Zurich Life propped up the table with a 6.9% loss.

The final quarter of the year saw Irish managed pension funds fall back 9.3% on average. Davy Asset Management and Setanta Asset Management fared best, with 7.9% declines, while Merrion Investment Managers delivered the poorest return over the three months, at -11.7%.

The average managed fund return has been a lacklustre 2.4% per annum over the past three years. The five-year average return is a more respectable 6.4% per annum. Irish group pension managed fund returns over the past ten years have been a robust 9.3% per annum on average.