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INVESTING/PORTFOLIO STRATEGIES

Geldof makes case at NAPF conference for new areas of pension fund investment

Bob Geldof
Sir Bob Geldof

The case for investing in new markets and asset classes is stronger than ever, given "ridiculous" bond yields, said Sir Bob Geldof, musician, business entrepreneur and political activist.

"The demography of Europe is collapsing," he told delegates Wednesday at the annual National Association of Pension Funds conference, held in Liverpool. "There is a retreat from modernity, almost like we have lost the will to live."

"Today, you are all dancing the debt-forgiveness rag: it is called QE!"

The future, he said, is Africa. "Seven out of ten of the world's fastest-growing (countries) are in Africa."

Mr. Geldof also highlighted other areas of potential investment for pension funds. "As an asset class, there must be an intense interest in renewables," he said.

He highlighted the "uselessness of junk bonds" and the way "banks are once again slicing and dicing derivatives. We are rebuilding the stuff that brought us to ruin a mere four years ago. It is like we have learned nothing."

Rather, he said, pension funds are being "forced into infrastructure and social housing. But isn't that what you need? We do need social housing and we can only do it through your funds."

"You will be looking at asset classes that you never considered in your wildest dreams," he added.