Foundations criticise dropping of proposed statute from EU work agenda

first_imgGerry Salole, chief executive of the European Foundation Centre (EFC), which represents 200 foundations across Europe and has advocated an EFS for several years, warned that foundations would continue to hold the Commission to account in finding solutions to serving the public interest across borders.He said: “This decision sends a signal that goes completely against the concept of building a citizen-led Europe. If EU institutions together cannot uphold a Regulation that facilitates public interest work by and for the citizens, they will have to find other avenues, with the sector, to address the issue.”If enacted, the EFS would remove the requirement for foundations operating in different jurisdictions to set up separate legal entities in each country, if they chose to do so instead via an FE.There would be a single set of rules for FEs, helping to reduce the costs and uncertainty involved in cross-border activities.However, the EFS would not replace existing national laws, but would be optional and complementary.In a statement, the EFC said: “The majority of member states are supportive of the policy objectives of the EFS initiative, even though member states could not see eye-to-eye on the EFS proposal itself.“The EFC believes the decision has more to do with the mechanics of policy negotiations (unanimity requirement) than with the policy proposal itself – its actual objectives and value.”Eight member states reportedly rejected the proposal tabled by the Italian EU presidency in November: Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia and the UK. Some of these wished to see further changes in the EFS text, and three of the 28 member states said they doubted the value of an EFS per se.The EFC said: “Given the somewhat secretive character of the negotiations, it is difficult to assess which aspects of the text specific countries wished to alter, and which concrete proposals they put forward to do so.“Such questions should be addressed by way of negotiations, finding a compromise between the parties to achieve a common objective – i.e. facilitating cross-border philanthropic work in the public interest in Europe.”The EFC outlined several options to move forward.It highlighted the meeting of the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee on 1 December, which discussed the EFS, the first time the newly-elected European Parliament (EP) had addressed the matter.The EFC said: “Overall, EP representatives from the various political groups who took the floor supported the EFS initiative, and wished to ensure its adoption.  “While some MEPs questioned the ‘secrecy’ of the negotiations at the Council and asked for clarification regarding the reasons put forward by a minority of member states to reject the proposal, they also believed there is still room for discussion.”The EFC said the enhanced cooperation procedure – where nine member states can choose to agree a piece of legislation between them – had also been suggested as another possible legal avenue.It said: “The EP has a consultative role in this specific field but cannot ‘co-decide’ with the Council.“However, it can give its opinion, and had already done so in 2013 in favour of the initiative.”Meanwhile, once the EP has voted on the Commission’s new work programme in January, the EFC will – along with the Commission – assess whether other legislative options are possible technically and politically at the EU level. If not, the EFC said it would have to review national regimes and their cross-border-friendly (or unfriendly) character, pushing for changes where needed.Alongside this, the EFC will continue working to facilitate tax-effective cross-border giving, monitoring the implementation of the European Court of Justice rulings on non-discrimination. The European foundation sector has attacked the decision to drop the European Foundation Statute (EFS) from the European Commission’s 2015 Work Programme.The EFS proposal, which establishes a constitution for a pan-European foundation (FE) operating across borders to support general interest causes, is one of 80 proposals that have been withdrawn from the Commission’s legislative agenda, published in mid-December.The withdrawal is permanent unless the Commission wishes to reopen the file.It can publish a new proposal or review the matter if it believes the political context has turned in a more favourable direction.last_img read more

Wednesday people moves: APG names interim COO

first_imgAon – Tony Pugh has joined the consultancy as head of defined contribution (DC) solutions for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. He joined following a 28-year career with Mercer, during which he worked with some of the largest UK companies and DC schemes, Aon said in a statement.NN Investment Partners – NNIP has brought in three new staff for its recently established responsible investment team. Adrie Heinsbroek joined as head of the team, moving from ING Bank Belgium where he was head of sustainability. Faryda Lindeman has joined from Sustainalytics, taking the role of senior corporate governance specialist. Johan van der Lugt is senior ESG specialist, tasked withcoordinating ESG integration into the firm’s investment process.Bouwinvest REIM – The €7.9bn Dutch property investor Bouwinvest has appointed Joanne Roozenburg, Robert Schellekens and Arina van der Wulp as members of the management team of its Office Fund. Roozenburg has been named as senior asset manager for the Amsterdam and Utrecht area. She joined from CBRE Global Investors where she was responsible for part of its Dutch Office Fund. Schellekens has started as senior technical manager, focusing on sustainability and innovation. He has worked as a project leader at several engineering firms, specialising on sustainable buildings and installations. Van der Wulp is a marketeer for commercial property, supporting the Office Fund from Bouwinvest’s marketing and communication team. She joins from Rabo Vastgoedgroep, where she was sales manager and communication adviser.Nordea – Frank Vang-Jensen has been appointed as head of personal banking and country head of Nordea in Denmark. Vang-Jensen will take over from Peter Lybecker, who retires later in 2017. Vang-Jensen comes to Nordea from Handelsbanken in Stockholm, where he worked for 18 years, most recently as chief executive and head of the group. Torben Laustsen will be Nordea’s head of personal banking in Denmark until Vang-Jensen starts work in the role on 16 May. After retiring from Nordea, Lybecker will be available to Nordea’s Nordic leadership team as an executive adviser, the company said.Vanguard – Sebastian Külps has joined the asset manager as head of business development for Germany, a newly created position. He is responsible building Vanguard’s presence in the country. He was previously head of securities at Oddo Seydler Bank.ARC Pensions Law – The UK specialist law firm is to open an office in Leeds in northern England, to be led by new partners Kate Payne and Vikki Massarano. The pair are to join from DLA Piper’s pensions team. The five-person team will be completed by legal director Max Ballad and senior associates Nigel Jones and Robert Walker.Longial – Michael Hoppstädter has been appointed chief executive at the German pensions consultancy, with responsibility for consulting services and sales. He will lead Longial alongside Mark Walddörfer, who is responsible for the pension administration and actuarial business. Hoppstädter has replaced Paulgerd Kolvenbach, a long-serving occupational pensions expert, who retired from the consultancy with effect from 1 January. APG, JLT Employee Benefits, SSgA, Aon, Mercer, NNIP, Bouwinvest, Nordea, Handelsbanken, Vanguard, ARC Pensions Law, DLA Piper, LongialAPG Group – The €443bn asset manager and pensions provider APG has named Wim Henk Steenpoorte as temporary successor of chief operations officer Mark Boerekamp, who is to leave on 1 March. Steenpoorte will take on Boerekamp’s most important tasks and will report to chief executive Gerard van Olphen. APG said Steenpoorte has ample experience as a trustee in both the financial and the insurance sectors. For the past two years he has been working as an independent management advisor and supervisor.According to APG, Boerekamp is to leave as large projects on communication, pensions administration, and ICT are nearing their completion. APG said that, thanks to his assistance, the foundations had been laid for a costs reduction of pensions provision as well as an agile way of operating.JLT Employee Benefits – The UK consultant has hired Mark McNulty as head of investment solutions, leading the company’s fiduciary management arm. He also has oversight for investment consulting. He joins from State Street Global Advisors where he was head of UK business.last_img read more

IPE 360: Pension funds and managers ‘have to know why they are winning’

first_img“This way active managers could be asked to simulate their strategy to convince the pension fund it would actually add value to the portfolio,” the researcher said.Slager pointed out trustee boards were “not ready yet” for a new form of information exchange but he is optimistic for the future: “Talking to trustees who only just started on the boards you see people much more used to new regulations and a two-way dialogue with asset managers.”The €27bn French civil service scheme ERAFP awarded a mandate last month based on data from a “virtual asset management platform” allowing managers to replicate their strategies.Rob Arnott, founder and CEO at Research Affiliates, also emphasised the importance of collecting evidence and using information sensibly, from a fund manager’s perspective.“When someone beats the market there has to be a loser on the other side of the trade,” Arnott said. “If a manager does not have a clear, succinct answer to who that is then they don’t know why they are winning. Indeed they are then the losers.”Knowing why a strategy worked was key to sustainable returns for asset managers, but also for pension funds, he added.“Almost no pension fund committee is willing to record how decisions were made and go back after a few years to see what mistakes they made,” Arnott said. “The same applies to quant managers as they seldom ask whether a strategy enhancement really enhanced the product or just added a performance chaser which weakened the product.”Factor investing ‘not a panacea’Arnott, a vocal advocate of factor-based investing, also warned that relying solely on data was not a good strategy.“It can help as a tool but it tells you nothing about the future – you need to be very aware of the fact that inefficiencies change,” he said.He said he was convinced that “looking at valuations helps”, emphasising this point with the example of quant managers and factor investing: “Inviting 10,000 quants to mine data means they will all come up with the same factors. So we are dealing in a very crowded territory, and the notion that factor investment is some sort of panacea is naïve.”The factors on which most products are based were developed by academia “based on the assumption that markets are efficient” and without allowing for future changes to markets, Arnott said.“Many factors were identified because they were statistical outliers,” he said. “Quants get seduced by data and fail to ask important questions like how can I get hurt, how might inefficiencies change.”Arnott’s research has shown anti-cyclical investment works for factors such as value and momentum. “When valuation is low, value is working fine – when it is high, not so much,” he said. “You have to buy what is out of favour, unloved, and what people want to get rid of.”Arnott has warned of the dangers of overvaluation in factors for some time, through several research papers.In his presentation last week he also reiterated his argument that timing of factor investing was possible, but said it “needs a mindset that is well suited” to one factor, meaning investors should not chase performance when a factor gets cheaper.Alfred Slager also voiced concerns of a point “where the trouble starts” with factor investing. “With pension funds reviewing strategies one of the challenges is to hold a steady and consistent course in factor investing,” he said.Slager added that he had a few concerns regarding pension funds and smart beta: “There were some hasty implementations which only hinged on a few moments of a timeline which the investment committee reported about. It is important to know which part of the performance in these investments is revaluation and which is structural.” Pension funds need to better brief their active managers on which strategies fit into their portfolio, rather than just giving them restrictions, according to speakers at IPE’s 360 conference.Alfred Slager, professor of pension fund management at TIAS School for Business and Society, told delegates: “The future has to be trustees providing design principles and asset managers trying to fit in, rather than pension funds trying to accommodate certain mandates.“This makes a more honest discussion necessary which is more evidence-based.”For this, pension funds needed to “connect the relevant data”. Slager recommended setting up an “open data room” with all a pension fund’s available information available to share with asset managers at an early stage.last_img read more

Italy’s pensions regulator eases path for ‘direct’ fund investments

first_imgItaly’s pensions regulator COVIP has moved to simplify the approval process schemes need to go through in order to invest directly in investment funds, rather than using an intermediary. The regulator last month issued new guidance for fondi negoziali, Italy’s industry-wide schemes based on collective labour agreements. In a letter to the pension funds, sent on 24 January, COVIP said they no longer had to have approval from a full meeting of stakeholders in order to change their rules to allow such investments.The circular told the funds how they had to change a particular section of their scheme rules in order to make such direct investments. After updating scheme rules these statutory changes simply had to be communicated to COVIP and approved by the fund’s board of directors, without the need to submit them to an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting.The legislation 252/2005 – referred to in the letter’s heading – provides for complementary pension schemes to have the option of carrying out forms of direct investment by buying shares in real estate companies, as well as shares in closed investment funds or real estate mutual funds, COVIP explained.These investments are subject to certain limits.A spokesman for COVIP said that even though this type of direct investment had been provided for by the 252/2005 legislation, up to now they had rarely been used by the majority of fondi negoziali.“With this note, the authority intends to simplify the administrative procedures, if any pension fund wants to use this type of investment, and this option has not already been provided for in their articles of association,” he said.COVIP also reiterated the need for pension funds’ boards of directors – if considering using direct investments – to make sure that the fund’s internal organisational structure was “equipped with the professional requirements appropriate to the risks and the characteristics of the financial instruments in which it intends to invest”, the spokesman said.The regulator’s circular followed an announcement from one of Italy’s fondi negoziali that it had made direct investments in the course of 2017. Prevaer, the air transport pension fund, said it made three direct investments last year with no intermediary.These included a €5m investment in Fondo Italiano, which invests in small and medium-sized Italian businesses; €10m in BlackRock’s European fund, and another €10m in a Macquarie fund investing in infrastructure companies.Prevaer said the deals amounted to around 6% of its total assets.last_img read more

AP7, Church of England defeated at Rio Tinto shareholder meeting

first_imgRio Tinto shareholders have rejected a resolution calling for improved governance over the company’s membership of lobbying organisations in relation to climate change.The company board and main proxy voting advisers had recommended a vote against the resolution.However, there was strong support for the resolution’s co-filers, which included the Church of England Pensions Board (CEPB), Sweden’s AP7, Australia’s Local Government Superannuation Fund, and the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR).The resolution was presented at the annual general meeting of Rio Tinto Limited (RTL), the group’s Australian arm, held in Melbourne. Rio Tinto is listed both on the London Stock Exchange and the Australian Securities Exchange, with headquarters in both London and Melbourne. The resolution called on the board to undertake a review regarding the current use of shareholder funds to support industry associations and lobby groups. The board were asked to publish how much they spend on these trade associations and ensure appropriate governance processes surrounding the issue.The resolution specifically sought to address RTL’s funding of trade associations – such as the Minerals Council of Australia – which lobby in public and in private, contrary to the company’s own stated support for the Paris Agreement and efforts to combat climate change.Over 18% of shareholders voted for the resolution, representing investors with £1.8trn (€2bn) under management. The investors also included CalPERS, CalSTRS, Legal & General Investment Management and Aegon Asset Management.Adam Matthews, head of engagement for the CEPB, said: “This is the largest shareholder revolt against management on the issue of climate change in Australian corporate history.”He added: “This was a very reasonable resolution that justified a better response from Rio Tinto’s board and I would encourage the chairman to now take the opportunity to commit to undertake the called-for review, as well as to publish Rio Tinto’s funding of trade associations.” Matthews also said that the CEPB would continue to engage with Rio Tinto’s board and work together with the funds that had supported the resolution.Last year, Church Commissioners for England – a sister organisation to CEPB that manages post-1998 retirement benefits – was part of a consortium that successfully persuaded oil giant ExxonMobil to implement climate change measures. This was despite losing a shareholder vote on a resolution in 2016.last_img read more

People moves: More changes at State Street; JP Morgan hires ESG leader [updated]

first_imgGlobal CEO Ron O’Hanley said: “An early focus of mine as CEO has been to match our leadership talent against our desire to be a high-performing organisation and the areas that will create the greatest capacity and advantage for us as a firm. These new appointments reflect this focus.”JP Morgan Asset Management – The $1.7trn (€1.5trn) asset manager has hired Jennifer Wu as global head of sustainable investing. She joins from BlackRock where she was a member of the company’s sustainable investing team. As part of her role, Wu will lead JP Morgan’s Sustainable Investing Leadership Team, a group of global senior leaders focused on “sharing best practices for sustainable investing across asset classes”, the company said.Wu joined BlackRock in 2014, and before that worked for the Asian Development Bank, overseeing infrastructure project finance and energy sector reform.Clara-Pensions – The UK defined benefit scheme consolidator has added pension insurance expert Steve Groves to its corporate board. He is currently chair of financial services firm Key Retirement Group, and spent much of his career as group CEO of Partnership, a specialist pension insurer.Lawrence Churchill, chair of Clara’s corporate board, said Groves’ appointment was the final senior hire for the group. “I know I speak on behalf of the entire team at Clara when I say that we are extremely fortunate to be welcoming Steve on board,” Churchill said. “He has devoted much of his career to providing de-risking solutions for DB pension schemes and this experience will greatly benefit Clara as it prepares to welcome its first members.”Clara-Pensions and The Pension SuperFund, the two commercial DB consolidators launched last year, are waiting for final legislation to be signed off by the UK government before bringing on board their first clients.Franklin Templeton – The US investment giant has appointed Rita Pfahls as deputy head of institutional sales for Germany. She will work with head of institutional sales Stefan Bauer to support sales activity across Germany, focusing on maintaining and expanding client relationships with corporates and pension funds.Pfahls most recently worked for Universal Investment where she was department head for servicing companies and pension funds. She previously worked in product management at Allianz Global Investors, and has also worked at DekaBank and Dresdner Bank.Schilders – The €7.2bn Dutch sector pension fund for painters and decorators has appointed Dick Vis as its new independent chairman on behalf of the employers. Vis succeeds Cathrin van der Werf, who has completed her maximum term on the board.Vis is also member of the supervisory board of the staff pension fund of asset manager APG, chair of the €1bn pension fund of construction company Ballast Nedam, and chairman of the €506m Pensioenfonds Urenco Netherlands. Vis has also been a director of the Dutch Securities Institute.Willis Towers Watson/AMX – The Asset Management Exchange (AMX), an institutional platform for investors and asset managers set up by Willis Towers Watson two years ago, has made a trio of hires as it aims to expand its global reach. Nick Horsfall has transferred from Willis Towers Watson’s investment business to become managing director for AMX’s client business development team. He is responsible for building client relationships with some of the largest UK pension schemes, and will also aim to bring liability-driven investment strategies onto the platform..Cassie Waller has joined as global head of intermediaries from Syntax Research, a US-based hedge fund. She previously worked for State Street covering UK asset owners and consultants.Pippa Rudling has been appointed consultant relations director, having previously held a similar role at Aberdeen Standard Investments. In her new role, Rudling will cover UK consultants as well as identifying “strategic intermediary partnerships” across Europe, AMX said.AMX provides legal and operational frameworks for asset managers in an effort to boost scale and reduce costs. It currently has roughly $7bn in assets under administration.Cambridge Associates – The US-headquartered investment and advice firm has promoted Noel O’Neill to president and head of global investing. He was previously head of global investment research, and has worked for Cambridge since 1995. In his new role he will oversee research functions the group’s four business lines: endowments and foundations, pensions, private clients, and fiduciary management.Ashby Hatch has been promoted to replace O’Neill as head of global investment research. She was previously head of public investments research and has worked for Cambridge since 1993.Robeco – The €162bn Dutch asset manager has appointed Alexander Preininger as head of EMEA institutional. In this newly created position, he is to facilitate clients who want to enter broader partnerships and work across regions, and to also enable local Robeco teams to increase cross-border sharing of knowledge and best practices.Preininger joins from DWS Group (formerly Deutsche Asset Management), where has was head of institutional coverage for EMEA. At DWS, he has also worked as head of asset and wealth management in Japan and global co-head of client solutions in Frankfurt.NIBC – Dutch investment bank NIBC has named Dick Sluimers as chairman of its supervisory board (RvC) as of 27 April. He has been an RvC member since 2016 and is to succeed Wim van den Goorbergh.Sluimers was executive chair of the €463bn asset manager and pensions provider APG between 2008 and 2016. Prior to this, he was chief investment officer at the €407bn civil service scheme ABP, the owner of APG.Jupiter – Charlotte Jones, chief financial officer at the UK listed asset manager, has resigned and will join FTSE 100 insurer RSA Insurance Group later this year. She is currently a non-executive director at RSA.Subject to regulatory approval, Jones will leave Jupiter in August. She joined the asset manager in 2016 and has previously worked at Credit Suisse, where she was chief accounting officer, and Deutsche Bank, where she was deputy CFO.Maarten Slendebroek, Jupiter’s chief executive, said: “Charlotte has been a valued colleague since joining Jupiter in 2016 and I would like to take this opportunity to thank her, on behalf of the board, for her commitment and contribution during this time. It is always disappointing to lose someone of Charlotte’s calibre, but I understand that a move to a FTSE 100 CFO role is a great opportunity and I wish her all the best.”Slendebroek is to step down from his role next month, and will be succeeded by former Janus Henderson co-CEO Andrew Formica.K3 Advisory – K3, a newly launched consultancy service for UK pension schemes specialising in bulk annuities and consolidation, has appointed Nicola Duncan as an actuarial consultant. She joins from Mercer where she worked for seven years. She has previously held similar actuarial roles at Willis Towers Watson and Royal London.Adam Davis, managing director at K3, said Duncan would work on project delivery and technical work on aspects such as solvency.XPS Pensions Group – The UK pensions service provider has hired Susan Middleton and Julia Falk from JLT Employee Benefits to lead its transition management team. Middleton will lead the team as head of investment transitions, XPS said, while Falk will be a senior consultant.Patrick McCoy, head of investment, said XPS had recruited “the leading investment transitions team in the market”.Mediolanum Asset Management – The investment arm of Italian bank Mediolanum has named Charles Diebel as its new head of fixed income strategy. He joins from Aviva Investors where he was global head of rates, and has previously worked at Lloyds Bank as head of market strategy. He has also held senior roles at Nomura, RBS and Societe Generale.The Ireland-based asset manager has made a number of hires in recent months, including Brian O’Reilly as head of market strategy, David Holohan as head of equity strategy, and Astrid Schilo as multi-asset strategist. State Street, JP Morgan Asset Management, Clara-Pensions, Franklin Templeton, Willis Towers Watson, AMX, Cambridge Associates, Robeco, NIBC, Jupiter, K3 Advisory, XPS, MediolanumState Street Corporation – Jeff Conway, head of global delivery and a former European CEO for State Street, is to leave the company after more than 30 years. His responsibilities will pass temporarily to Liz Nolan, State Street’s CEO for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), until a permanent successor is found, the company said. In addition, Karen Keenan, chief administrative officer, has expanded her role to include oversight of State Street’s investment management business. Keenan takes over from Lou Maiuri, who has been appointed State Street’s new chief operating officer.The changes follow State Street’s management restructure in 2017, which saw several changes to its leadership in EMEA and globally. State Street said it had also combined all “client-facing activities including service, relationship management and sales under the leadership of… Andrew Erickson to enable a more seamless client experience and consistent touch points across the globe”.last_img read more

ABP faces €1bn bill for unpaid labour disability benefits

first_imgABP’s headquarters in Heerlen, the Netherlands Dutch civil service scheme ABP could have to pay up to €1bn after discovering 16,000 participants and pensioners who were entitled to, but not receiving, additional labour disability benefits.The pension fund said it would pay the benefits in arrears, and also compensate disabled scheme members who had continued to pay contributions despite being exempt from doing so.Jos van Dijk, spokeswoman for the €431bn pension fund, said the discrepancy was found after comparing figures from social security insurer UWV with ABP’s own data.“The observation by the UWV that the number of disabled people was rising was not reflected by our figures,” she said. Although participants needed to apply for their pension themselves, ABP said everybody should receive the benefits to which they they are entitled.“That’s why we have sent all our participants a letter explaining how they still can sort out the matter correctly,” said Van Dijk.According to the spokeswoman, affected members missed out on €200 a month on average.As the right to the additional labour disability benefits has existed since 2007, the total amount involved could be significant, she indicated.“Although we need to have a second look at almost 5,000 cases, we have factored in a total amount of approximately €1bn,” Van Dijk said.ABP said that processing the applications could take up to six months, but people who needed money sooner could receive a deposit.The civil service scheme, which has approximately 3m participants and pensioners, said it would adjust its IT systems to improve its treatment of disability benefits.The case is the second time this year that ABP has had to address incorrect payments to members. In March it emerged that the pension scheme had incorrectly overpaid 700 pensioners by €3m due to a data error. last_img read more

​Denmark’s Norli wins contract to run NOK600m Norway fund

first_imgNorli Pension, the Danish firm specialising in traditional guaranteed pension schemes, announced it has won a contract to take over the entire portfolio of a Norwegian pension scheme, as it eyes more expansion in the neighbouring Nordic market.The Copenhagen-based pensions firm did not disclose the name of the pension scheme, but said it would take over the management of 550 of its individual policies with total pension assets of around NOK600m (€56.5m) – subject to approval from the Norwegian and Danish financial supervisory authorities.Mads Jakobsen, chair of Norli Pension’s board of directors, said: “We see this as a strategically important step in our ambitions for growth in the Norwegian market.”The firm, which is owned by Nordic Insurance Consolidation Group, specialises in the acquisition and management of traditional, guaranteed average-rate pension schemes in run-off. Its business began with the takeover of a pension portfolio from Skandia in 2015. Last year the Norli Pension’s then chief executive officer Mads Smith Hansen told IPE the case for pooling traditional pension liabilities at firms such as his own was improving, as it was now more complex for pension funds to manage average-rate pensions than the market-rate products they were increasing offering.At the time, he said he believed Norli Pension was the only operator in Denmark actively pursuing this strategy, with the entry barrier to the business being quite high.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.last_img read more

Coast homes in high demand and being snapped up quickly

first_imgCheck out that view! Buyers are also snapping up properties before they get a chance to go to auction with several that were scheduled to go under the hammer this weekend selling days before.A Reedy Creek property, known as The Hill House, that was meant to go under the hammer on Sunday sold for $2.5 million last weekend.Ray White Prestige agent Jackson Paradise, who marketed the property with Carita Lanham, said it received multiple offers prior to auction. A Southport property that was due to go under the hammer on Saturday also sold prior for $720,000. Its hillside position is responsible for those epic views.“It is one of the largest single residential allotments in Banora Point perched high on the hill and commanding views that would rival most properties on the southern Gold Coast,” he said. “It’s a cool property – it’s enormous and you just don’t find any other properties like it around here.”The house has four bedrooms, five bathrooms, a study, gym and home cinema. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa15 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoThere is also a tennis court, pool and mango, avocado and citrus trees scattered around the property.The previous suburb record for Banora Point was $2.618 million, which was paid for a mansion at 14-16 Old Ferry Rd.At Reedy Creek, a New Zealand family snapped up a five-bedroom property for $832,000 before its first open inspection.REMAX Regency Gold Coast agent Belinda Walker said the sale of 14 Skyburnett St settled last Friday but she was still fielding calls before it went unconditional. The property at 8-10 Peter St, Banora Point has sold for $2.65 million in a secret sale.HOUSE hunters are out in force and willing to do whatever it takes to snap up their dream home.One buyer wanted a Banora Point property so much they were willing to splash $2.65 million on it, even though it wasn’t on the market.The Peter St house with spectacular views of the river has changed hands in an off-market sale that has smashed the northern NSW suburb’s record by $32,000.Ray White Prestige Gold Coast agent Robert Graham handled the sale of the 6228sq m hillside residence.center_img The sale of 14 Skyburnett St, Reedy Creek settled last week.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:57Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:57 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenAndrew Winter: How to sell in a changing market 00:58She said the couple, who were moving to the Gold Coast with their family, didn’t waste any time, making an offer on day four of her campaign.“He actually had come over for work and she joined him just for a holiday to have a look,” she said.“Even before the first open home it was under contract.”She said they loved the house’s location backing onto bushland. “It’s really nice and private, that’s what they were looking for,” she said. LUXURY BEACHFRONT DISPLAY SET TO IMPRESS NOW, THAT WAS AN EXPENSIVE LUNCHlast_img read more

Swimming pool windows add a unique touch to outdoor lifestyle

first_imgPool Windows constructed this beauty at Bribie Island. Photographer: Phill Jackson Photography Check out this pool at Castaways Beach, constructed by . Photo: Paul Smith PhotographyA range of pool windows is available including free top-edge windows and infinity-edge windows, corner windows and portholes.Mr Fogarty said pool windows were popular in highrise builds on the Gold Coast and throughout Brisbane.He said modern minimalistic-style homes or apartments often included pool windows as well as older style homes. “Swimmers can wave hello as they swim past and the calming blue water becomes more visible as it’s brilliantly exposed through the opening,” he said.“Some people have chosen to add them to bring light into lower levels of homes where the pool wall forms part of this area. We’ve also received feedback from some home owners who have found it can provide an extra level of safety for supervising children, as they can now ‘see through’ to lower areas of the pool to make sure kids are behaving and all is well.” More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus14 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market14 hours ago Pictured is a pool at Virginia which Pool Windows created. Photo: Peter Taylor Shotglass Photographycenter_img Pool Windows is an organisation comprising of professional acrylic pool panel fabricators and installers. Pool Windows (or underwater window) are a dynamic way to add both a functional and aesthetic feature to a pool. Pictured is a pool at Sunshine Beach. Photo: Peter Taylor Shotglass PhotographyUnderwater swimming pool windows are gaining popularity across the state, adding a unique feature to outdoor areas.Pool windows in rooftop swimming pools, new and old builds, as well as those in apartments and hotels are becoming more common.Queensland company Pool Windows Pty Ltd director Bevan Fogarty said the trend had taken off and in some cases helped add value to properties.“We believe it can (add value) but perhaps the most important thing to remember is that it should form part of an overall intelligent design, where the pool is both functional and aesthetically pleasing,” Mr Fogarty said.“Particularly we find that in homes with small or unusual shaped pool areas to work with, a pool that incorporates a pool window helps to soften the area and really create that connection between the pool and living areas.”last_img read more