The £11.6bn (€15.7bn) West Midlands Pension Fund outperformed its benchmark by 1.7 percentage points last year, citing strong performance from its private equity and other alternatives holdings.The UK local government pension scheme (LGPS), however, reported losses across nearly all equity holdings, the notable exception being its North American portfolio, reflecting an overall decline in stock markets during the 2015-16 financial year.The fund’s equity portfolio overall underperformed its benchmark by 2 basis points, losing 2.67% in value over the course of the year, with particularly steep losses of 7.5% from emerging market holdings.The scheme’s global equity portfolio, which grew by £500m last year after it decided to actively manage a portfolio internally, lost 2.2% compared with a benchmark loss of just 0.49%. West Midlands hailed the in-house move as part of an attempt to be more cost-effective.In the forward of the scheme’s draft annual report, Geik Drever, head of the pension fund, said: “[The] restructuring of our portfolio has continued during the last year, including the introduction of an in-house, actively managed global equities portfolio.“This, along with other changes to the portfolio over the last few years, has yielded ongoing savings of almost £25m per year.”The remaining developed-market equity holdings were largely passively managed.The best performing asset class was private equity, which returned 15.8%, followed by an 11.3% return on property and a 9.9% return on real assets and equity holdings.The fund’s 2.4% return was significantly down from the 2014-15 return of 15.5% and also below its 10-year annualised return of 5.6%.Because inflation stood at 1.5% last financial year, however, the fund still managed an absolute return of 0.90%.
Seamus Coleman has been named in Martin O’Neil’s starting XI to face Scotland at Celtic Park tonight.Coleman missed Ireland’s double-header against Gibraltar and Germany last month through injury, but the talented Killybegs right-back has been brought straight back into the team.He’ll face his Everton teammate Steven Naismith who earlier this week described Coleman as the best right-back in Europe. Aiden McGeady who will run a gauntlet of hate tonight has also been named to start.McGeady qualifies to represent Ireland through his Donegal heritage, his grandfather hails from Gweedore.However, McGeady’s decision to choose Ireland ahead of Scotland prompted him to become a hate figure during his time at Celtic FC.The big surprise was O’Neil’s decision to drop talisman Robbie Keane from the starting line-up. EURO 2016 QUALIFIER: COLEMAN, AND MCGEADY START BUT ROBBIE KEANE LEFT OUT was last modified: November 14th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:celtic parkEuro 2016Home-page SportIrelandnewsScotland