BRUSSELS, Belgium -- The European Commission will propose a pension fund directive next year liberalizing investment restrictions and opening access for money managers, said Mario Monti, European commissioner for financial services.
The draft directive would allow pension funds to invest freely within the European Union, and use a prudent-man principle within the context of pension funds' liabilities, Mr. Monti said at a conference this month in Brussels.
The directive also would permit use of approved money managers licensed anywhere in the EU and would create portability of benefits for workers who move cross-border.
Mr. Monti linked the likelihood of adoption of the pension fund directive and related financial services issues with coordination of tax issues within the EU.
England's BOC Pension Fund hires Northern Trust
WINDLESHAM, England -- The BOC Pension Fund has named Northern Trust as its first independent global custodian. Previously the 1.2 billion ($2 billion) fund's money managers handled custodial duties.
Thomas Murray was the consultant.
BBC enhances flexible benefits
LONDON -- The British Broadcasting Corp. has launched an online, flexible benefits package for its 22,000 employees.
The interactive benefits package will enable BBC employees to buy benefits through the company's computer intranet, and to check on the value of their retirement benefits on a monthly basis.
The new Options Plus program enhances benefits already available from a flexible benefits program introduced three years ago.
The plan offers various kinds of insurance, including private medical, holiday travel, personal accidental, dental and catastrophic policies.
Asset Management Consulting's Yves Debongnie dies
BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Yves Debongnie, managing director of Asset Management Consulting, Brussels, and a former IBM Corp. pension executive, died of a heart attack at his home on Oct. 18.
He was one of several IBM pension executives involved in trying to create a global pool for IBM pension funds.
After leaving IBM Brussels to open his own pension fund consultancy, he argued in favor of using pooled vehicles.
Baring opens subsidiary in Germany
FRANKFURT, Germany -- Baring Asset Management has launched a new subsidiary in Frankfurt in response to growing demand for global money management services in Germany and Austria.
The new unit will target institutional investors, financial advisers, private and commercial banks. Ekkehardt von Knebel Doeberitz, former general manager of Paribas Investment Management GmbH, has been named general manager.
European equities up 6.7% in October
ZURICH, Switzerland -- European equities climbed 6.7% in October, according to the Dow Jones STOXX index.
The Euro STOXX index -- which comprises stocks from 10 countries joining the euro -- increased 7%.
The strongest sector was banking, up 14%, while energy was the weakest, with a loss of -2.8%.
For the first 10 months of the year, the broader European index was up 6.7%, while the Euro index was up 14.6%.