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Danish roundup: Pharmaconomists, JØP, DIP

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The Danish Pension Fund for Pharmaconomists (Pensionskassen for Farmakonomer) has said it made a “modest” return of 2.4% in 2015, after markets tumbled at the end of the year.

However, the DKK10bn (€1.3bn) scheme said members’ pension savings would be credited with a 4.5% return for the year, including the investment return and part of the equity capital belonging to members in the mutual scheme.

The 2.4% investment return compares with the 9.7% generated in 2014.

Peter Bache Vognbjerg, director of the scheme, said: “Low oil prices and political turmoil elsewhere in the world helped determine the return.”

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He said the market had tumbled, particularly at the end of the year, and that this had had an impact on the annual return.

“In general, there were big swings throughout 2015,” Bache Vognbjerg said.

Last December, the pension fund decided to outsource all of its asset management to US manager BlackRock, saying the deal would help it meet increased regulatory reporting demands, as well as generate returns and keep costs down.

In other news, the Danish pension fund for lawyers and economists, JØP, said it produced a return of 3.9% in 2015 in a difficult market.

In 2014, the pension fund made an 8% return. 

“The year’s result came particularly from a good return on Danish shares of 35%,” it said.

Apart from this, European and Japanese equities contributed with a 10% return, and the pension fund’s investments in alternatives – property, infrastructure, private equity and alternative credit – drove the overall return up by almost DKK1bn.

Government and corporate bonds produced a low return, on the other hand, as a result of historically low yields, as well as falling oil prices.

Lastly, DIP, the pension fund for Danish engineers, reported it made a 5% return last year.

DIP and JØP share a joint investment department, having announced plans to merge these operations three years ago.

Last March, they announced they were also pooling their administration activities.

Commenting on 2015 investment returns, in the same vein as JØP, DIP said Danish, European and Japanese shares, as well as alternatives, had done particularly well.

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