ANALYSIS

Is the Great Rotation passing pension funds by?

The prospect of a seismic shift from bond to equity investments looks set to pass most of the world’s pension funds by, argue experts. The concept of a ‘Great Rotation’ rose to prominence following its use by Bank of America Merrill Lynch in October. It argued in a note that “the era of bond outperformance... Read more »
Investor Profile

CERN fund: the collision of investment ideas?

Its core business involves expanding the realm of science by beaming particles close to the speed of light and it invented the web – as we know it – as a nice little side project. You would perhaps then expect the CHF 3.6-billion ($3.9-billion) pension fund of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, CERN, to... Read more »
Investor Profile

Autumnal Danish fund shows spring growth

Innovation is associated more with bold new businesses than gently declining ones, but Denmark’s Lønmodtagernes Dyrtidsfond (LD) is embracing change as it enters its final years. The pension fund’s inevitable disappearance has nothing to do with any lack of competitiveness or poor investment returns – the 9.9-per-cent net return it generated in 2012 is testament... Read more »
Investor Profile

KLM funds ride out de-risking turbulence

Pension funds can face a lot of turbulence in the course of their investing journey and many funds thrown into shortfalls have found the need to de-risk their portfolios. There might be a few investment officers at those funds casting an enviable eye upwards to the pension fund of Dutch flag-carrying airline KLM. Toine van... Read more »
ANALYSIS

Learning from Danish funds’ stable alternative

Despite upturns in equity and bond prices sending 2012 returns into double digits at many large Danish funds, it appears that successfully implementing infrastructure initiatives remains the holy grail of Danish institutional investing. Instead of merely basking in 12.9-per-cent annual returns, Industriens Pension, for instance, used its 2012 results announcement to make a commitment to... Read more »
Investor Profile

Belgium’s KBC fund
thrives on LDI

Edwin Meysmans, chief executive of the KBC Pension Fund, sounds extremely relaxed for a man who rises early to avoid Brussels’ clogged roads on the way to the office. Then again, that Meysmans shies away from the madness of commuting crowds should perhaps be no real surprise given that his fund focuses on avoiding being... Read more »
Investor Profile

PKA seeks to satisfy its infrastructure hunger

The DKK200-billion ($35-billion) Danish medical professionals pension fund grouping, PKA, wants its government to help satisfy its appetite for investing in major infrastructure projects. Frank Jensen, an analyst on its asset strategy team, says PKA “is eager to get started” on sealing public-private partnerships with the Danish government, but its plans “have not come as... Read more »
ANALYSIS

Tackling sustainability in emerging markets

Emerging market investing and sustainable investing easily rank as two of the most substantiated of the many investment trends of the past decade. However, the two styles of investing are far from natural bedfellows. Christian Ragnartz, as chief investment officer of the $17-billion-plus Swedish pension fund AP7 – which has 13 per cent of its... Read more »
Investor Profile

Outward bound from the Finnish

Finnish pension investor Ilmarinen is exploring whether to send a representative to South America as it intensifies its emerging market operations. Timo Ritakallio, who heads investment at the €29-billion ($39-billion) fund, says it is looking to access “more and more emerging market opportunities”. In January Ilmarinen sent a senior portfolio manager to run a “one-man... Read more »
Investor Profile

Danica maneuvers towards infrastructure

Danish pension provider Danica is upping the alternatives portion in its roughly $57-billion portfolio as it looks to boost returns within the country’s strict solvency framework. Alternatives already make up over 4 per cent of the $33-billion Traditional Fund, Danica’s largest and most conventional pension pool, double the proportion the asset class took at the... Read more »
Investor Profile

Dutch fund bolsters bonds, chills on bricks

Things are suddenly looking cheerful again in the world of Dutch pensions. The country’s famous tulip fields might not be set to bloom until April, but investors already have a harvest to delight at from a good year of investing. For instance, Hans de Ruiter, chief investment officer of the €2.5-billion ($3.36-billion) TNO pension fund... Read more »
Investor Profile

Vita Sammelstiftung puts bond holdings under microscope

Samuel Lisse, chief executive of Switzerland’s Vita Sammelstiftung (Vita), is currently in the process of hiring a new head of investment. The new appointee will have plenty resting in the in-tray, it appears, as she starts to assist the investment committee that governs the strategy of the 8.5-billion-Swiss-franc ($9.1-billion) joint foundation. That is not because... Read more »