Demand from pension funds and other asset owners for knowledge about asset management fees has intensified during the COVID-19 crisis, according to leaders of two data firms.Participants at the IPE Summer Pensions Congress 2020 heard from Chris Sier, chair of UK platform ClearGlass and Eric Veldpaus, founding partner of Institutional Benchmarking Institute in the Netherlands, that both firms had seen work volumes increase in the last four months.Sier said in the investment transparency forum session this morning: “In the pandemic where people have felt themselves almost helpless to deal with external factors that have governed the valuations that you have, you focus on the things you can manage.”One of those things that could be managed – because there was a number that could be arrived at – was costs, he told the online event. “So you may not be able to get to grips with the performance part, because it has an extraneous component, but cost is something you can monitor,” Sier said.“Although it may be because there is this burgeoning surge in demand for transparency in the UK, what we have noticed is our workload has gone up and we have been busier in taking on new clients throughout the past four months,” he said, adding that he could only attribute this extra activity to the pandemic.Veldpaus said the same dynamic had been seen in the Netherlands.However, Sier said that among the investor community, ESG work had seen even more of a fillip during the COVID-19 crisis than had activity around investment costs.“In the hierarchy of interests for pension funds, the other thing people have wanted to get to grips with over the past four months is the degree to which their fund is ESG compliant. So performance and costs, and ESG at the top,” he said.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.
BARBADOS Senior Women’s cricket team put an end to their regional tournaments with all the verve that was expected of them at the start, brushing Guyana aside by eight wickets and more than three overs to spare in the final match of the Cricket West Indies Women’s T20 Blaze tournament last evening at the National Stadium, Providence.Winning the T20 tournament also meant Barbados finished the season undefeated and had made a clean sweep of regional women’s cricket titles this year after capturing the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup earlier.The Barbadians were clinical with the ball right from the word go, as they kept pegging the home team back with wickets at regular intervals. The Guyanese could only muster up 85-7 in their allotted overs.Star all-round Deandra Dottin and Kycia Knight then made their presence felt, stroking unbeaten knocks of 43 and 24 respectively which led the visitors to 86-2 in 16.1 overs.Dottin, the West Indies all-rounder clobbered six fours and two maximums while Knight faced 27 balls in her knock with two boundaries.Off-spinner Hayley Matthews (not in picture), bowled Akaze Thomspon. (Adrian Narine photos)At the start of the game the Guyanese run rate was heavily restricted after they won the toss and decided to take first knock.Captain Shemaine Campbelle spearheaded the fight to restore credibility to their innings with a top score of 18 off 28 balls, with two boundaries and receiving some support from Cherry Ann Fraser (15), Shabika Gajnabi (12), and Melanie Henry (10).The home team was quickly in trouble when they lost Tremayne Smartt, run out for two and Sheneta Grimmond was bowled by medium pacer Shanika Bruce (1-18), without scoring, at 6-2 after the first two overs.Campbelle and Henry then added 36 runs for the third wicket but the hosts were once again found wanting with the bat, losing wickets in a flurry.They stuttered to 48-5 with Shakera Selman (2-16), claiming the wicket of Henry while the off-spinner Hayley Matthews (2-13), removed the in-form Campbelle and Akaze Thomspon (0), off consecutive deliveries in her third over.The Guyanese other substantial partnership was between Gajnabi and Fraser as they put together 23 for the sixth wicket before both were dismissed to Selman and Shanika Connell (1-16) respectively.Barbados’ innings was somewhat sluggish up front, resulting in their Powerplay overs yielding just 22 runs for the loss of opener Danielle Small, who was trapped leg before wicket to Erva Giddings for one.Matthews made a 30-ball 15 before she departed off spinner Grimmond. However, Knight and Dottin then joined forces to seal the win.Meanwhile, Windward Islands beat the Leeward Islands by a margin of 11 runs to earn a consolation victory in game two of the final round.Scores: Windward Islands 115-8 – Afy Fletcher and Swayline Williams made 24 runs apiece; Malisa Howard and Amanda Edwards claimed two wickets apiece. In reply the Leeward Islands were restricted to 104-9.Saneldo Willett top-scored with 25. Pearl Etienne took 3-14.After the final game, Captain Matthews praised her team for the commitment, hard work and discipline throughout the tournament.