Senior investment and pension experts from across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region arrived in Abu Dhabi to discuss effective investment tools for pension funds and social security during a two-day annual seminar known as “The 15th Civil Retirement and Social Insurance Authorities in the GCC”.
Organised by the General Pension and Social Security Authority (GPSSA) at the Rixos Premium Hotel in Saadiyat - Abu Dhabi, the seminar was inaugurated by Faras Al Ramahi, GPSSA’s Director-General, who delivered a welcome speech to experts arriving from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and the UAE. He highlighted the fact that the seminar was organised as part of a joint collaboration between pension and social insurance authorities in the region to highlight the role of investment tools in enhancing financial prosperity in pension funds and delivering sustainable social and economic development in GCC countries.
Al Ramahi explained that investment sectors in the GCC have undergone years of experience and challenge, which requires joint collaboration and exchange of experiences and expertise to support the acceleration of pension and social security while improving the overall performance of authorities to achieve an increase in investment returns and strategic visions.
Muhannad bin Aqel Al Bahli, Research and Studies Specialist from the General Organisation for Social Insurance (GOSI) in Saudi Arabia, highlighted the importance of assessing investment risks in pension funds. This was done by continuously evaluating and monitoring global events and conditions that could affect investment operations and assets, with emphasis on diversification and distribution or transfer of assets to other investments, such as alternative investments in stocks or fixed income bonds, infrastructure and credit markets with an intent to avoid high risks, which should be measured using a reference indicator based on best practices.
Abdulla Al Ghafli, Investment Manager at the GPSSA’s Investment Sector, explained the methodology behind managing assets and receivables as well as the distribution of assets, which can only be accomplished using an investment strategy that balances between risks and returns, and divides investment portfolio assets as per the authority’s ability to bear future risks.
Al Ghafli added that the diversification of investments reduces risk, determining expected investment returns while highlighting differences in investment methodologies and the factors influencing their selection according to systematic experiments adopted by pension funds in the GCC countries.
Babar Khan, Chief Investment Officer at GPSSA’s Investment Sector, discussed the strategy for distributing assets in the pension portfolio. The benefits included in the asset distribution process at the authority emphasise the existence of long-term investment alternatives in light of long-term pension fund obligations. He also talked about the role of governance in preserving liquid and non-liquid assets.
Bader Al Kandari, Chief Investment Officer - Liquid Sector at the Public Institution for Social Security in Kuwait, talked about the design strategy for distributing assets in Kuwait’s pension portfolio, the governance procedures that were followed during the transitional period and the most critical fundamental pillars that supported the investment process, such as selecting a renown international consultancy firm with a proven track record and experience in asset distribution.
Bader Qassem Bualley, Investment Executive at the Social Insurance Organisation in Bahrain, stressed the importance of asset allocation and governance in investment fund risk management, highlighting investment principles and their importance in leading investment performance in an entity.
Mubarak bin Juma Al Habsi, Head of the Settlement and Follow-Up Department at the Public Authority for Social Insurance in Oman, focused on the role of investment funds in managing pension resources and supporting global market investment opportunities.
News Source: Emirates News Agency