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Industriens hails role of active management in 2015 results

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Industriens Pension in Denmark has reported a 6.7% overall return for 2015 in preliminary annual results and said its active management produced a good level of outperformance.

In absolute terms, the pension fund’s investments returned DKK8.6bn (€1.1bn).

Back in November, the DKK147bn (€19.7bn) labour-market pension fund reported it had produced a pre-tax return of 3.8% for the first nine months of 2015.

Laila Mortensen, Industriens Pension’s chief executive, said: “Both the active management of equities and bonds and unlisted asset classes delivered good results, which has ensured all members a significant return on their pension savings.”

The pension fund said 2015 had been a very unsettled year with many economic and political factors at play, and that this had increased risk on financial markets.

While equities produced high returns in the first quarter, the picture then changed markedly over the course of April, and the turbulence continued for the rest of the year, it said.

Industriens said it had made good returns in its DKK38.6bn portfolio of equities, with Danish shares producing 33.3% – 2.5 percentage points higher than the market as a whole – and foreign shares generating 6.4%, which beat the market by 3.4 percentage points.

Mortensen said: “We invested in the right shares, and at the same time our external managers did well, which also shows the value creation of our active management for members’ pension savings.”

Unlisted investments ended the year with an overall return of 15.7%, with private equity alone returning 21.9%.

Its portfolio of unlisted investments in Denmark and abroad now totals DKK31.8bn, having been built up to this level over many years.

Mortensen said unlisted investments contributed significantly to the total return, making a decisive difference at a time of low interest rates and instability on the financial markets, and that the assets had added stability to the whole portfolio.

Fixed interest assets, however, produced low or negative returns.

Nominal Gilt-edged bonds returned 0.5% in 2015, index-linked Gilts gave 1%, and corporate bonds – which make up 30.8% of the overall portfolio – made a 1.8% loss.

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