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AHV picks two new passive managers

The Sfr20bn (e13.1bn) Geneva-based Swiss Social Security fund AHV-Fonds (Ausgleichsfonds der Alters und Hinterlassenenversicherung/Fonds de compensation de l’assurance-vieillesse et survivants) has appointed two new asset managers for passive global equity mandates totalling Sfr1.5bn.
The appointments are the first step in the implementation of a new investment policy, says the fund, and follow on from changes made to Swiss law on February 1, allowing the fund to invest in global equities. Prior to the law change the fund was restricted to Swiss equity.
State Street Global Advisors has picked up an Sfr500m passive brief, to be benchmarked against the Dow Jones Sustainable Index. UBS Asset Management wins the other passive mandate for Sfr1bn, benchmarked against the FTSE World Index.
Dominique Salamin, executive director of AHV-Fonds, says the reasons for selection of the managers included their tracking skill and fee structures.
The appointments come at the expense of a number of active Swiss equity mandates with incumbents Independent Asset Management losing Sfr109m, Pictet Sfr279m, Banque Sarasin Sfr172m and UBP losing Sfr191m in assets from the fund.
A raft of global bond mandates were also dropped from the fund with ABN Amro losing Sfr123m, Credit Suisse Sfr122m and Zurich Scudder being dropped from its Sfr120m brief.
Salamin adds that the incumbents were dropped both for reasons of performance as well as the new allocation decision in favour of global equity.
He adds that the introduction of Switzerland’s new stamp duty on July 1, of 15 basis points per transaction, also contributed to the decision. The fund was advised by consultant ECOFIN.

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