ILIM has been at the forefront of Liability Driven Investments (LDI) development and innovation in the Irish market. 

In 2006 ILIM leveraged its existing expertise to formally establish an experienced Financial Engineering team providing client specific LDI and bespoke asset/liability modelled solutions for the bond mandates of a significant number of Ireland’s large pension schemes. 

Our team has built a suite of unit-linked funds spanning both the real and nominal curves and is available to investors of all sizes and our offering continues to evolve to meet the needs of our clients.

Download our LDI flyer here

What is LDI?

LDI is an investment strategy based on ensuring the cash flows of the DB Scheme will fund all future liabilities. In other words, seeking to manage the solvency or  funding level volatility of a pension scheme on a proactive basis. For many pension funds, this is how likely the assets of the scheme are to meet the scheme liabilities.

LDI will bring many benefits to investors, including increasing the ability to diversify investments, introduce greater efficiency to the matching portfolio and potentially enhance return at a portfolio level due to flexibility to invest across asset classes.

LDI specifically focuses on the different actuarial valuations of liability cash flows and how the asset investment strategy can be positioned to minimise and/or control the impacts of changes in these actuarial valuations. This approach allows greater confidence in the scheme’s ability to meet its pension promise without compromising return or increasing long-term funding costs.


Our Approach

Pinpointing the optimal LDI execution strategy is an interdependent and evolving process. We engage in collaborative interaction, leveraging our vast experience and knowledge of the pension sector in Ireland to help our clients evaluate the broader investment challenges, solvency risks and ultimately structure a solution that seeks to meet their needs. The following schematic illustrates our consultative approach.



Phase 1 – Discovery

Understand asset & liability behaviour, identify solvency impacts, actuarial consultation, agree LDI goals

Phase 2 – Design

Align to investment strategy, measure and quantify LDI risks, develop execution strategy

Phase 3 – Execution

Efficient delivery, transparency, simple, aligned to de-risking glide path

Phase 4 – Monitor

Measure hedge effectiveness, assess ongoing changes within the investment portfolio, continue alignment with de-risking glide path, ongoing trigger-point monitoring

Reasons to partner with ILIM

Our clients benefit from our extensive LDI experience, working with best-in-class execution, our long-term continued commitment to the Irish market and, most importantly, our extensive knowledge of the challenges facing Irish pension trustees. We offer the following benefits to our clients.

  • A market leader: LDI is only a single part of the ongoing investment strategy, but is often one of the first steps in a holistic Asset Liability Management (ALM) Strategy for a scheme on a journey to fully funded status. Future long-term investment strategies we offer include cashflow-driven investments, longevity risk management, annuity products, among others.
  • Flexibility: Not only will we design and monitor our solution and the specific risks hedged, we do this in detailed cooperation with our clients. As your LDI manager, we will work within the investment strategy you have developed and cooperate with your current managers to ensure we provide the best-in-class execution and monitoring, while clients retain their investment flexibility and decision making. We believe this is a key benefit of our solution. It ensures our business goals do not impact the solution design, the goals of the scheme, and the investment outcome for the members.
  • Efficiency: Our LDI solution will maximise the efficient use of the assets to hedge financial risk. This efficiency will release assets for re-allocation to potentially higher-yielding investments, thereby increasing investment returns at a portfolio level.
  • Our pooled solution: Working with a leading execution partner, we can efficiently deliver the oversight and transparency required to manage the most complex LDI solutions, while also delivering a simple and understandable outcome for trustees. Our pooled solution will leverage ILIM’s investment expertise, risk management capability, ethos of transparency, client focus and deliver a partnership that will help our clients to achieve their future lifecycle plans.


Our team

The LDI team comprises a broad group of seasoned professionals with specific expertise, including investment management, risk management, quantitative analysis, actuarial oversight, derivatives experience, trustee impacts, governance, and market research. Our team can draw on the intellectual capital necessary to develop and implement an effective LDI solution for each of our clients.

Key Contacts


  • Colin Cunningham

    Director - Global Institutional Distribution +353-1-704-1200 Email

    Colin joined ILIM in 2017 to build on Irish Life’s de-risking solutions for investors and also joined our executive management team with responsibility for our institutional distribution business.

    Colin has unique experience as an investor and former Chairman of Danske Bank DB pension scheme that pursued an aggressive de-risking strategy which culminated in the largest buy-in transaction in Ireland in 2017. He also introduces an alternative view of potential investment opportunities for Irish pension funds and institutional investors to manage their long-term liability profiles.  

    Prior to joining ILIM, in his role as Treasurer and Head of Danske Bank Markets in Ireland, Colin was a member of both the Executive Board of Danske Bank in Ireland and the Executive of Danske Bank Markets global business. Colin has over 25 years’ management and execution experience in treasury, capital markets, investment management and investment banking transactions. Colin has a MBA from Smurfit Business School, is a Certified Investment Fund Director, Banking Director and completed the Stanford LEAD program.  Colin is a fellow of the Institute of Banking in Ireland and a member of the Certified Investment Fund Director Institute.

  • Donal Keating

    Head of DB +353-1-704-1200 Email

    Donal joined ILIM in 2020 and leads on our Defined Benefit and ALM (Asset Liability Modelling) offering within the Distribution Team. He is a qualified actuary with over 20 years’ experience.

    He works with clients to ensure the asset strategies for their pension arrangements are fit for purpose and aligned with their objectives. This includes all elements of journey plans for DB, including how de-risking interacts with future funding, developing dashboard reporting for Trustees and considering the potential impacts of any settlement options such as buy-ins or buy-outs etc. He also ensures his clients’ wider strategic considerations are being met when they look at their investments.

    Prior to joining ILIM, Donal was a Director in the Pensions Group in PwC where his clients included many of the largest employers in Ireland. He previously worked in Willis Towers Watson as an actuarial consultant where he acted as a Scheme Actuary for many years, delivering the full range of statutory services to Trustee clients.

    He is a regular contributor on pension matters both on national radio and at industry events.

  • Niall O'Leary

    Head of Indexation, Fixed Income & Credit Solutions Email

    Niall joined ILIM in March 2019 as Head of Fixed Income and has over 30 years’ experience in the financial industry.  He was appointed to Head of Indexation, Fixed Income and Credit Solutions in October 2020.  He is responsible for our active and passive fixed income capabilities and is a member of the asset allocation committee.

    Prior to joining ILIM, Niall was Global Head of Fixed Income Portfolio Strategy at State Street Global Advisors.  He was responsible for leading a team of experienced investment professionals with operations in Dublin, London, Boston, Bangalore and Singapore.  The team represented investment capabilities to clients, spanning indexed and active fixed income, LDI, cash and currency. Prior to taking on this role he was Head of Fixed Income and Cash at State Street Global Advisors Ireland (formerly Bank of Ireland Asset Management), as well as managing the institutional real estate investment team.  Niall holds a Commerce Degree and a Master’s in Business Studies (first class) from University College Dublin.

  • John Thornton

    Head of LDI and Indexed Fixed Income Email

    John joined ILIM in 2011 as a Senior Active Fixed Income Fund Manager and is a member of the Asset Allocation Committee. 

    John manages discretionary active fixed income strategies for institutional, retail and defined benefit pension scheme clients.  John is also responsible for managing ILIM’s LDI product, advising defined benefit pension schemes on their liability matching strategies. He has been at the heart of developing our ALM modelling capabilities.  Prior to joining ILIM, John worked as an executive director within the UBS London credit trading department, having previously worked with RBS and JP Morgan.

    John is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries in Ireland having qualified while working for Canada Life in Dublin. John graduated from University College Dublin in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in Actuarial and Financial studies.

  • Darragh O’Dowd

    Head of Multi-Asset Solutions Email

    Darragh is Head of ILIM’s Multi-Asset Solutions Team. He is responsible for the overall design and management of Irish Life’s MAPS, Ireland’s fastest growing retail multi-asset solution. Darragh and his team are also responsible for helping our clients, across all distribution platforms, design portfolios congruent with their specific objectives and constraints.

    Darragh joined ILIM in 2007 as a Quantitative Analyst within the Quantitative Strategies Group and in 2016 was made Head of Portfolio Solutions. Darragh has lectured at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School on the MSc Finance, MSc Quantitative Finance and MSc Aviation Finance curricula and prior to joining ILIM, worked as a research assistant and lectured various courses at UCD School of Business including Corporate Finance, Econometrics, and Financial Modelling.

    Darragh earned a Bachelor of Commerce (BComm) from University College Dublin in 2000, a master’s degree in Quantitative Finance from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School in 2002, and a master’s degree in Statistics (MSc) from UCD in 2013 and he holds both the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designations.

  • Elaine O'Shea

    Senior Portfolio Manager +353-1-704-1200 Email

    Elaine is part of the Defined Benefit Client Relationship team in ILIM.

    Prior to joining ILIM, she spent 14 years with Danske Bank, initially as money market manager of the then National Irish Bank balance sheet, taking responsibility for the bank’s funding and liquidity requirements whilst managing the bank’s interest rate risk. More recently Elaine developed and managed the Fixed Income & derivative sales desk at Danske, dealing mostly with institutional and large multinational corporate clients. In this role, Elaine gained experience working with Irish pension funds offering risk modelling, LDI and sovereign annuity portfolio construction services. Elaine served as a trustee of Danske Bank Hybrid pension scheme. Previously, Elaine also worked for Pfizer corporate treasury, MeesPierson Investor Services and AIB Security Services. Elane earned a master’s in Real Estate from DIT and also studied the MSc. Investment & Treasury at DCU.

How can we help?

Irish Life Investment Managers (ILIM) is the appointed asset manager to Irish Life Group Limited. ILIM is committed to innovating and leading the market with best in class investment solutions designed to meet the specific investment needs of our clients. Call us at: +353-1-704 1200 or email [email protected]

Contact us