Saturday, November 20, 2010

XBRL Advisory Council (XAC)

I'm equally proud and humbled to read that my mandate at the XAC on behalf of CFA Institute has been renewed for a second (and last) term. To bring to bear the analyst / investor perspective on the (as yet barely existing) investor usage of XBRL is a tall order indeed, but joining forces with DVFA's Ralf Frank, there is a fighting chance to make sure that that angle's crucial importance remains recognised despite the low adoption for now.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Future of the Occupational Retirement Act

The book Zukunft BVG (The Future of the Swiss Occupational Retirement Act) has just been published. I have contributed an article about the Prudent Investor Standard and its alleged implementation in Switzerland. The article will also appear in an abridged, English version in the forthcoming December issue of IPE, to which we will link as soon as it becomes available. Comments are very welcome!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Hedge accounting does not account for longevity hedges

Tuesday's ARG meeting was extraordinarily interesting, for it held a good and a bad surprise: Meeting the incoming IASB Chairman Hans Hoogervorst was a pleasant surprise, while discovering that the hedge accounting project underway will actually discourage longevity hedging if the standard were to stand as it currently does. This is a consequence of the proposed architecture of pensions accounting. Hence there appears to be no easy way out.

However, this outcome is deeply unsatisfactory and should be addressed. While there are not very many cases to account for at present, it would be unfortunate indeed if effective management techniques for the second most important risk facing pension funds were developed, only to be thwarted by accounting artefacts. Watch this space!