AUSTRIA – The ATS22bn (e1.6bn) Vienna-based pension fund APK has reviewed its US equity strategy and dropped an undisclosed active manager in favour of a passive brief with US investment manager Vanguard.

The manager has been appointed to a US$30-35m (e34-39m) brief, benchmarked to the S&P500 index.

APK says the selection process was carried out in-house using the IPE-Quest web based manager selection tool as a back up for its research, with Vanguard chosen from an eventual short-list of four managers.

Günther Schiendl, head of asset management at APK, says the fund is now examining how it might make short-term tactical asset allocation decisions.
“ The fund does not have immediate plans for strategic investment changes but it is looking into different possibilities, including exchange-traded funds.
“In the future, I see room for a liquid trading vehicle to make short-term changes in your tactical asset allocation. I see them potentially as an add-on, as a vehicle to speeding up tactical asset allocations, but not really as a structural change,” concludes Schiendl.

Current ETF products are mainly US and Asia/Pacific funds, stresses Schiendl, adding that European ETFs do not include a wide enough selection of stocks.