SWEDEN: Första AP-fonden (AP1), the First Swedish National Pension Fund, has approved a list 12 investment managers to manage passive and active US small cap equity accounts.

The pension buffer fund initiated a search for several managers in September 2008 to run a portfolio then valued at around $500m (€344.1m). This followed confirmation that it intended to increase its equity allocation despite an 8% loss in the first half of 2008. (See earlier IPE article: AP1 pursues US small caps managers)

AP1 has now confirmed it approved 12 firms for the management of US small cap equities in October 2009. These are:

Barclays Global Investors Champlain Investment Partners Dimensional Fund Advisors Fisher Asset Management Ironbridge Capital Management Martingale Asset Management Morgan Stanley Investment Management Pzena Investment Management Snyder Capital Management Thompson, Siegel and Walmsley TCW UBS Global Asset Management

A decision has yet to be made on how much of the funding the managers would be responsible for, although some managers could potentially remain unfunded for an "unspecified period of time", according to officials.

AP1 added: "The selected managers will give the fund good flexibility and portfolio diversification together with a high expected risk-adjusted excess return net of costs. The managers complement each other well in terms of investment styles and risk profiles and will thereby contribute to the diversification of the portfolio."

The latest figures from AP1's first half report showed the value of the scheme increased by almost SEK10bn (€950m) to SEK181.4bn, thanks to a six-month return of 6.7%. The improvement in its investment return compared with that achieved in 2008 follows AP1's change in asset management model from a focus on active management to strategic allocation.  (See earlier IPE articles: AP1 changes yield 6.7% return and Jobs go as AP1 alters asset management model)

See the January 2010 issue of IPE for our feature Investing In US Small and Mid-Caps

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Nyree Stewart on + 44 (0)20 7261 4618 or email nyree.stewart@ipe.com