Industriens Pension, the Danish pension fund covering industrial sector workers, said it generated a 12% return on its whole investment portfolio last year, with its active management approach having boosted gains.

The Copenhagen-based pension fund announced it made an overall return of DKK20bn (€2.7bn) for 2019, equating to 12% for the total portfolio which grew to DKK189bn by the end of the year, according to preliminary results.

Industriens Pension said the high return was mainly due to large price increases in the listed stock market, and that unlisted shares and the credit bond market had delivered solid returns.

Peter Lindegaard, Industriens Pension’s chief investment officer, told IPE: “In 2019, listed equities in particular boosted returns. At the same time, we beat the composite benchmark in listed equities last year by 1.7 percentage points.

“We also exceeded benchmark in government and mortgage bonds, and overall, our active management helped drive the entire return,” he said.

Lindegaard, who was promoted to the role of overall CIO in November, said that over the last few years, the pension fund had created  “an even more diversified portfolio with greater risk diversification on both unlisted assets such as infrastructure and properties and on various listed assets”.

Industriens Pension’s diversified portfolio had ensured really good long-term returns in various market situations, he said.

Late last year, Lindegaard restructured the pension fund’s listed investment department after taking the top role, creating separate teams for equities and bonds.

He said in December that this change had been prompted by a desire to bring together skills within the large asset classes in focused teams spanning both external and internal management.