Ogeo Fund – a Belgian multi-employer, first-pillar pension fund – grew to €1.125bn in assets under management in 2015 and posted a return above the average for all Belgian occupational pension funds.
The fund posted a return of 5.08% for 2015, compared with an average return of 4.48% for all Belgian workplace pension funds.
It attributed its positive performance in 2015 to its real estate investment strategy.
In a statement, it said: “The success of Ogeo Fund’s management model lies in its prudent approach, which prioritises ‘bricks and mortar’ rather than paper-based property investments, supported by a reinforced monitoring system and transparent governance.”
Ogeo’s assets under management grew by 3.7% last year, to hit €1.125bn.
It has grown year on year since it was founded, having had some €600m in assets in 2009 and last year passing the €1bn mark.
As at the end of 2015, it had €620m in “overfunding”, up 8.2% on the amount of reserve capital it held in 2014.
Ogeo is the fifth-largest Belgian “Organisme de Financement de Pensions” (OFP), the Belgian vehicle for occupational pension funds.
This is based on 2014 rankings compiled by PensioPlus, the national pension association.
Ogeo also has a second-pillar product, Ogeo Pension 2, giving its affiliated organisations the option of setting up workplace pension schemes for contractual staff and salaried employees in the private sector.
Ogeo Fund has a large allocation to unlisted real estate, capped at 25% of total assets.
Its property portfolio generated an average return of 5% in 2015.
Stéphane Moreau, managing director at Ogeo Fund, said: “Following a turbulent year on the stock market, Ogeo Fund is pleased to have opted for the diversification of our investments and a property portfolio in ‘bricks and mortar’, which provides us with better protection against market fluctuations compared with most other Belgian pension funds.”
In April 2014, the pension fund set up a SICAV, an open-ended investment company, “Ogesip Invest”, to group the listed assets of the various companies in the Ogeo scheme.
Last year, it achieved a return of 3.88%, below the average for the Belgian pension fund industry.
Ogeo noted that the vehicle did not invest in listed real estate and that the pension fund’s investments in private equity and direct property were housed outside the SICAV, which also has an above-average exposure to bonds.
Emmanuel Lejeune, a member of the executive committee of Ogeo Fund, said the 3.88% return was in line with the risk profile assigned to the company when it was established.
He added: “Ogesip Invest has shown that, by grouping together all the listed assets of the various affiliated companies of Ogeo Fund, these companies can benefit from reduced management costs, while having access to better performing and very diversified financial assets.”
Some 65% of Ogeo’s total assets are invested via Ogesip Invest.