Assets at the end of 2014 accounted for 84% of global GDP, compared with just 54% six years earlier.Global investment director at Towers Watson, Roger Urwin, said the 84% figure still showed poor value for pensioner populations.“While there has been a significant improvement in various pension balance sheets around the world since the financial crisis, many DB pension funds are still in very weak solvency positions,” he said.“The acid test for national pension systems should be to get assets to at least 150% of GDP. If that were combined with an improving recognition of good governance as a return driver and sustainable investing as genuinely value adding, it would put the pensions world in much better shape.”Only the Netherlands (166%) surpassed the 150% figured cited by Urwin, with the US, Switzerland, the UK and Australia joining the Dutch in surpassing the 100% mark.Towers Watson also said the seven largest pensions markets tinkered with asset allocation over the course of 2014, with 42.3% in equities, 30.6% in bonds and 24.8% in alternatives.Allocations to bonds increased over the year, alternatives decreased and equities remained level.Last year’s report highlighted the UK’s overtaking Japan as the second-largest pensions market. Pensions assets across the globe surpassed $36trn (€32trn) in 2014 after a strong surge in Australia, Mexico and Hong Kong offset slower growth in Europe.The average growth rate of pension assets in the 16 largest markets was 8% on an annualised basis between 2004 and 2014, research from Towers Watson showed.Its annual ‘Global Pensions Assets Study’ showed a 6.1% rise in global pension assets, in US dollar terms, with the US, the UK and Japan still accounting for more than 75% of that figure.Rising assets in Mexico (19%), South Africa (13%) and Hong Kong (10%) supported the growth of the overall industry, calculated on an annualised basis in local currency between 2004 and 2014. Source: Towers WatsonPension asset growth over one, five and 10-year periods in local currency terms Australia, the world’s fourth-largest pensions market, had 11.2% growth.The UK saw 9% growth, the Netherlands 8.2% and Germany 7.4%, while pension assets in Switzerland, France and Ireland grew by 3.1%, 2.5% and 5.6%, respectively, over the 10-year period.Towers Watson said the Netherlands led the way over the course of the year, with more than 20% growth in assets, closely followed by France, Germany and Ireland.Switzerland and the UK both saw more than 10% growth in assets, with Brazil the only major pensions country to experience a fall, with close to negative 5%.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*#
At the start of this season the Foxes picked up where they left off in May, a 4-2 opening-day win over Sunderland taking them to the top of the table.They stayed there for two weeks before consecutive draws against Tottenham and Bournemouth saw them slip to third. That was supposed to be the start of their slide down the table, but it never happened.In fact, Leicester did not drop below sixth place all season and, after moving to the top again on 11 January courtesy of a 1-0 win at title rivals Tottenham, they would not relinquish that position for the rest of the season.Their form would enable them to clinch the title with two games to spare. But even if they win their remaining matches, they will have won the title with fewer points than any of the previous five winners.2011-12 Man City, 89 points. 2012-13 Man Utd, 89 points. 2013-14 Man City, 86 points. 2014-15 Chelsea, 87 points. 2015-16 Leicester 77 points.Their success, of course, has owed much to striker Jamie Vardy and PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez, who proved themselves a deadly combination, particularly when it comes to scoring goals.GOALS SCOREDJamie Vardy: 22. Riyad Mahrez: 17. Leonardo Ulloa: 6.TOP ASSISTSRiyad Mahrez: 11. Danny Drinkwater: 7. Jamie Vardy: 6. Marc Albrighton: 6.TOP APPEARANCESMarc Albrighton: 36. Wes Morgan: 36. Kasper Schmeichel: 36. Ngolo Kante: 35. Riyad Mahrez: 35. Jamie Vardy: 34.It also helped that manager Claudio Ranieri – previously nicknamed “the Tinkerman” for his methods during his time at Chelsea – regularly named the same starting XI. In fact, Leicester used fewer players than any other team.Manchester United: 33. Liverpool: 33. Newcastle United: 30. Everton: 30. Crystal Palace: 29. Aston Villa: 28. Bournemouth: 28. Norwich City: 28. Sunderland: 28. West Ham United: 28. Stoke City: 27. Chelsea: 26. Southampton: 26. Swansea City: 26. West Bromwich Albion: 26. Arsenal: 25. Manchester City: 25. Watford: 25. Tottenham Hotspur: 24. Leicester City: 23.CAN MONEY BUY SUCCESS? NOT ANY MOREIt is 21 years since any team other than Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City or Manchester United won the top-flight title.And in an era of ever-increasing television revenue, where the latest deal is worth £5.136bn, it was considered unthinkable that any team could break the dominance of the traditional elite clubs.Yet Leicester have defied financial logic.COST OF SQUADMan City £415m. Man Utd £395m. Chelsea £280m. Liverpool £260m. Arsenal £231m. Tottenham £159m. Newcastle £145m. Southampton £139m. Everton £112m. Sunderland £112m. West Ham £106m. Aston Villa £93m. Stoke £73m. Crystal Palace £72m. Leicester £63m. West Brom £62m. Swansea £56m. Watford £53m. Norwich £55m. Bournemouth £43m.-Source: CIES Football Observatory and BBC SportGIVE THEM A PAY RISE!The most recent published figures for Premier League wages come from the 2015 Annual Review of Football Finance, published by Deloitte’s Sports Business Group. They relate to the 2013-14 season, when Leicester (as well as Watford and Bournemouth) were Championship clubs, but the figures below give a sense of the huge disparity in budgets between Leicester and the Premier League’s biggest payers.Man Utd £220m. Man City £205m. Chelsea £191m. Arsenal £166m. Liverpool £144m. Tottenham £105m. Newcastle £78m. Sunderland £70m. Aston Villa £69m. Everton £69m. West Brom £65m. West Ham £64m. Swansea £63m. Southampton £63m. Stoke £61m. Norwich £54m. Palace £46m. Leicester £36m. Bournemouth £17m. Watford £12m.Leicester’s wage bill has since risen from £36m to £57m, but that it is still only around a quarter of Manchester United’s from two seasons ago.JOINING EUROPE’S ELITEIf logic dictates that Leicester should have had little chance competing with the Premier League’s biggest clubs, what hope do they have when they face the best Europe has to offer in next season’s Champions League?The Foxes’ statistics are a world away from those of two teams who have already clinched two of Europe’s major titles, Juventus and Paris St-Germain, and another on the brink of securing theirs, Bayern Munich.Leicester – Goals: 64, Passes: 12586, Points: 77, Champions: 1 time, Cost of squad: £82m, Record signing: Andrej Kramric: £9m; Bayern – Goals: 75, Passes: 23671, Points: 82, Champions: 25 times, Cost of squad: £337m, Record signing: Javi Martinez: £32m; PSG – Goals: 93, Passes: 25049, Points: 89, Champions: 6 times, Cost of squad: £525m, Record signing: Edinson Cavani £55m; Juventus – Goals: 69, Passes: 18627, Points: 88, Champions: 32 times, Cost of squad: £301m, Record signing: Gianluigi Buffon: £32.6mMOST RECENT FIRST-TIME LEAGUE WINNERSIn winning the Premier League, Leicester became the first first-time winners of England’s top-flight title since Nottingham Forest achieved the feat under Brian Clough in 1978.Europe’s other major leagues have all had more recent first-time winners, though it is 25 years since a previously title-less team enjoyed success in Italy.France – Montpellier, 2012. Germany – Wolfsburg, 2001. Italy – Sampdoria, 1991. Scotland – Dundee United, 1983. Spain – Deportivo La Coruna, 2000.-Culled from BBC SportsShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram From 5,000-1 outsiders to champions with two matches to spare – the Leicester City story is surely the most remarkable in Premier League history.Here, BBC Sports take a look at how they defied the odds in a transformation that took them from relegation favourites to title winners.WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKESA 4-3 defeat at Tottenham on 21 March 2015 was Leicester’s seventh Premier League game without a victory and left them seven points from safety with nine games remaining.A late Andy King winner in a 2-1 victory over West Ham kickstarted their revival – and they have not looked back since.2014-15: DLDWWLDLLLLDLLLLLLWDWLLLLDLDLWWWWLWWDW / 2015-16: WWDDWDLWDWWWWDWWWLDDWDWWWLWDWWWWWDWDHOW DID THEY DO IT?