Blog October 5, 2018

How technology can improve pension fund management

By Chris Vroman

People are living longer now than ever before, and while that should be celebrated, the real estate side of pensions funds recognizes that this creates a unique challenge for their pension fund management. These pension funds need to determine the optimal point to get the maximum output from the fund. Across all of that, they also need to be continually managing risk and keeping track of market fluctuations considering they have a commitment to payout at any given time.

Pension fund managers have to strategically plan for the future by taking that lump sum of money that’s been invested in the real estate portion of the pension/insurance fund and deciding how to allocate that sum to drive performance.

How can technology help?

The real estate aspect of pension funds needs long-term sustained growth to satisfy the retirement needs of clients. Like all good businesses, they need to manage debt to maximize returns, and ensure they have enough cash on hand to pay out at any time.

Strategic forecasting
Pensions funds have to think very strategically, and putting an emphasis on forecasting is critical to this particular market segment. Technology can help pension funds efficiently assess the impact of speculative pipeline deployment to compete for funds against other equity types. The ability to make quick strategic decisions about how to deploy several million dollars is critical in addressing needs.

Analyze market fluctuations
The right software solution can also help pension funds prepare for the future. These funds need access to technology that can easily analyze volatility and sensitivity to market fluctuations. When thinking about the future of pension funds, questions such as, “what if interest rates increase?” must be addressed proactively. Being able to assess these questions easily and with the help of technological solutions can help funds ensure that they’re properly set up with diversification and less risk exposure. That way, their clients’ retirement funds are can be properly secured.

Global capabilities
Pension funds are much more global today than ever before, and fund managers need software systems to provide comprehensive global, cross-border capabilities to address multicurrency requirements and regional standards. Even if funds are centered around a much more local group of investors, the assets in which they invest are highly globalized and highly diversified to hedge their bets across multiple regions and asset classes in markets. The ability to address multicurrency translation and multicurrency consolidation, as well as the ability to conform to regional standards of reporting, is critical. To manage risk without a globally applicable system requires an overwhelming amount of internal effort, knowledge, and processes, all of which are costly and time-consuming.

Drive performance
Pension funds also benefit from technology that can ensure maximum output by testing different exit strategies. This can be done by identifying low performing assets quickly so that they can be discarded at the discretion of the fund and the capital recycled in a proper way.

Finally, software that can quickly produce attribution reports can aid pension funds in optimizing performance across asset classes, regions, and strategies. As a pension fund, you need to be able to generate reports that can drill down into all the information and divide everything into proper groupings such as asset type, sub asset type, region, sub region, and so on. This ability is critical to identify the strongest and weakest parts of a pension fund’s portfolio, so the fund can plan even more strategically for the future.

What’s the solution?

The challenges facing pension funds can feel daunting at times due to the nature of the business, but adapting these types of technological solutions can make any organization more prepared for what may lie ahead. For these challenges and many more, MRI Investment Suite provides pension fund software to help funds compete on a more even level with other private equity firms and organizations.

Watch the on-demand webinar here to learn more about MRI’s investment solutions and how they can help overcome the challenges facing your fund.

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