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France's Ircantec makes first foray into factor investing

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French public sector pension scheme Ircantec is applying a factor investing strategy for the first time, with one of three European smart beta SRI equity mandates it awarded in the autumn taking this approach.

The fund also awarded three credit mandates.

Awarded at the end of October, the mandates are for a minimum of €100m each.

Robeco Institutional Asset Management, BFT Investment Managers and Allianz Global Investors each won an equity mandate.

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BFT is using quantitative asset management company Quoniam in Germany to run its mandate, according to a spokesperson at Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC), fiduciary manager of the Ircantec scheme.

Allianz is running an equities portfolio using a factor investing strategy, which, according to the spokesperson, marks Ircantec’s first foray into this strategy.

Robeco will apply a minimum-volatility approach, and Quoniam a Sharpe-ratio-maximisation strategy.

The French €8.5bn supplementary pay-as-you-go pension scheme was already invested in these latter two strategies via open-ended funds, the CDC spokesperson told IPE.

Ircantec has also awarded three euro investment-grade corporate bond mandates, also under SRI guidelines.

Deutsche Bank, Threadneedle and BFT were awarded these, with BFT delegating management to Insight Investment in London. 

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