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IPE special report May 2018

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Austrian fund looks to the future

The Vienna-based Ats4bn (e327m) pension fund of the Victoria Volksbanken has appointed Volksbanken Kag, CapitalInvest – the fund management arm of Creditanstalt, Austria and French asset manager Indocam to run three Eurozone high grade bond briefs worth e45m apiece.
The fund, a multi-employer scheme and joint venture between Volksbanken, OVAG and the Victoria insurance group, provides retirement solutions for Austrian companies and multinationals with operations in Austria.
Thomas Biedermann, member of the board at the Volksbanken fund, explains: “We generally invest assets in global mandates and international managers and not through the Austrian Kag structure, due to the nature of our multinational clients base.”
Biedermann says the managers were selected after an extensive trawl through the universe of euro bond fund managers, from which a shortlist of nine managers was drawn up. He adds: “We wanted the managers to show us what they could do, such as how they managed their funds, and asked them style questions and qualitative questions. The managers selected were those providing the best overall solutions in terms of style differentiation.”
Volksbanken, he says, will manage the assets on a quant investment basis, CapitalInvest via a fundamental approach, with Indocam using a mixture of the two on a more liberal basis to add value .
The briefs will be benchmarked against the JP Morgan euro index.
Dietmar Bahr, manging director at Indocam Asset Management in Frankfurt, notes the significance of the mandate: “Normally Austrian assets are invested through the Spezialfond/Kag structure, but in this case we will be managing the money via a French Fond Commun de Placement (FCP). The mandate has the future in mind. Increasingly, domestic investment structures are being replaced by cross-border investment vehicles.” Hugh Wheelan

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