General overview of asset management

A - General overview

What is Asset Management?

Asset management is the professional management of a group of assets (e.g. cash, securities, etc.) by specialized companies, called asset management companies, on behalf of investors.

What is an asset management company? What is a Fund?

An asset management company (or “asset manager”) is an independent company that manages investment vehicles, called Funds.
For savings purposes, individuals (=investors) can buy unit shares in a Fund. The asset management company manages the Fund by placing the money of all the investors into a pool of assets (including cash, shares, bonds, etc.). The asset management company renders a service to the Fund and its investors.
The pool of assets of the Fund is the property of the investors in the Fund. It is not the property of the management company. The asset management company has to manage the Fund’s assets in compliance with the Fund’s beforehand declared investment objective and guidelines (i.e. the fund rules), as well as with the rules defined in the Law and Regulation.

What is a Funded pension system?

The Funded pension system has an objective of investing the social contributions of the participants (and relevant state contribution) into Pension Funds so that, at retirement age, the Participants can benefit from these savings.

What is a Pension fund management company?

A Pension fund management company is an asset management company which manages Pension Funds (see below).

What is a Pension fund?

A Pension fund is a Fund –as described above – dedicated to the participants of pension systems. From one side the Pension Fund pools money (contributions) from participants and, from the other, invests this cash in a pool of various assets, such as equities, bonds, deposits, and others assets. The participants get shares of the Pension fund up to the value of their contribution, the relevant state contribution and the return generated by the Fund.

What is the legal and regulatory framework?

In addition to the general laws, applicable to any company in Armenia, two laws and several regulations define the legal framework of the Pension fund management company’s organization and operations:

  • Law of RA on Funded Pensions (defines the structure of the Funded pension system and the main actors, the rights and obligations of Participants, the rules for managing Pension Funds, the types of Funded pensions, etc.). The law is available at www.arlis.am.
  • Law of RA on Investment funds (defines the types of the investment funds and their legal status, organization, operation, management and termination of activities of investment funds, investment fund management company, etc.). The law is available at www.arlis.am.
  • The legal framework of mandatory Pension funds in Armenia is also defined by the regulations from Central Bank of Armenia. The regulations are available on the website of Central Bank of Armenia at www.cba.am.

Detailed information about the Pension funds and their management is reflected in the documentation of the fund, called prospectus or Fund rules. Fund rules are public and available on the website of the Pension fund management company (www.amundi-acba.am).

B. Actors of the Funded pension system

Who are the Participants?

Participants are individuals that among other things:

  • contribute to the mandatory Pension system,
  • can choose the Pension fund management company, and the Pension fund in which to invest the contributions,
  • will receive Pension upon retirement age.

What do Employers do for Funded pension system?

Employers collect the contributions from the Participants (employees); therefore they act as contribution agent.

What do accounts operators do for Funded pension system?

The accounts operators are a few Armenian commercial banks1 and Haypost. They:

  • accept the applications from Participants, e.g. applications for choosing the Pension fund management company and the Pension fund,
  • provide to the Participants the information about their pension accounts,
  • transmitting the information about the Participants to the Registrar.

What does the Registrar do?

The Registrar2 (Central Depository of Armenia):

  • randomly selects the Pension fund for those individuals that have not made their choice,
  • maintains the individual pension accounts for each Participant,
  • organizes the issuance of Pension fund unit shares and their allocation among the individual pension accounts of the Participants,
  • centralizes and transfers the contributions to the account of the relevant Pension fund and informs the Pension Fund management company of the amounts subscribed .

What does the Custodian do?

The Custodian (Central Depository of Armenia):

  • conducts surveillance of the management of Pension fund assets made by the Pension fund management company and
  • monitors the restrictions on investments of the Pension Fund.
  • Implements safe-keeping of the assets of the Pension Fund on a segregated account and accounts for the transactions made by the Pension fund management company.

What does the Pension fund management company do?

The Pension fund management company:

  •  makes investment decisions for investing the contributions into different asset classes,
  •  executes these decisions by buying or selling various financial instruments in the market on behalf of the Fund.

What does the Central Bank of Armenia do?

With regards to the Funded pension system, Central Bank:

  • regulates, licenses, monitors and supervises the activities of financial institutions of the pension system, such as Pension fund management companies, commercial banks, Registrar of fund Participants, Custodian, etc.

 

C - Amundi-ACBA Asset Management CJSC

What is Amundi-ACBA?

Amundi-ACBA is an Armenian Pension fund management company, established and licensed by the Central Bank of Armenia in November 2013. Its 2 shareholders are Amundi, the European leader in the asset management industry, and ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank.

What is the core activity of Amundi-ACBA?

The core activity of Amundi-ACBA is based on the 3 pillars of investment process:

  • The Fund manager makes and implements the investment decisions by buying and/or selling securities on behalf of the Pension funds.
  • The Middle officer controls the Fund management operations, in relation with the Registrar, the Custodian and the fund administration agent.
  • The Risk and compliance officer controls risks on the Pension funds and ensures the compliance with the laws, regulations, fund rules and internal acts.

What are the Pension funds managed by Amundi-ACBA?

Amundi-ACBA manages 3 Armenian mandatory Pension funds with different profiles with regards to the equity exposure:

  • Amundi-ACBA asset management CJSC Fixed Income Fund or AMFIX (no equity investments are allowed)
  • Amundi-ACBA asset management CJSC Conservative Fund or AMCON (up to 25% equity investments are allowed)
  • Amundi-ACBA asset management CJSC Balanced Fund or AMBAL (up to 50% equity investments are allowed)

The performance and the net asset value (total and per unit share) of the 3 Pension Funds calculated by the fund administration agent are available at www.amundi-acba.am and on the Registrar’s web site (www.nasdaqomx.am).
Amundi-ACBA publishes also the monthly factsheets for the Funds, as well as quarterly and annual reports, that are available at www.amundi-acba.am.

What does the fund administration agent do?

Amundi-ACBA has outsourced to the fund administration agent:

  • the valuation of the Funds and the calculation of the daily net asset value of the Pension funds
  • the fund accounting, including the publication of the quarterly and annual financial reports for the Pension funds.

Note: the Pension funds annual accounts are audited by an independent audit firm.
It is Amundi-ACBA’s responsibility to check the valuation and accounting of the Pension funds performed by the fund administration agent.

1. The list of commercial banks that act as account operators is available at www.epension.am, the website of “Pension System Awareness Center” Fund.

2.  www.nasdaqomx.am

Updated 15.07.2016   17:20