NETHERANDS - Sweden’s AP3 and the UK’s Boots were named the best European pension funds for their investment strategy at the second annual IPE European pensions industry awards last night in Amsterdam.

The two funds were chosen by the judges from six country leaders, a group which also included Austria’s APK, Ireland’s Bank of Ireland, Belgium’s Belgacom and Spain’s Fonditel.

The judges commended the 13.8 billion euro AP3 fund’s “flexible, robust and very interesting asset-liability model”. Boots – with a value of 3.75 billion euros - was praised for its “outstanding courage and leadership” in moving its entire portfolio into bonds.

The awards were presented by TV personality Chantal Cuer at a gala dinner at the Beurs Van Berlage, Amsterdam’s former commodities trading centre.

There were three winners in the fund structure and administration category: Diageo, Belgacom and PGGM. The judges noted the 2.9 billion euro Diageo fund’s “evident passion for excellence”. Belgacom, Belgium’s largest fund at 3.1 billion euros, was seen as an excellent example of a governance structure in action. The 47 billion euro PGGM fund in the Netherlands caught the judges’ attention with its innovative individual contribution model.

Other leaders in the fund structure and administration category were Sweden’s AP7 and Switzerland’s PFS/Swissair.

Full details of all winners are published in the IPE Pensions Awards 2002.