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Danish roundup: LD, PensionDanmark, NREP, PKA, Topdanmark

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Danish pension fund Lønmodtagernes Dyrtidsfond (LD) has picked two US investment managers to run equity mandates worth DKK8bn (€1.1bn) in total, after months of stiff competition.

Boston-based MFS Investment Management won a contract to manage DKK6bn in global equities for the fund, which manages cost-of-living allowances given in the past to public and private sector workers, while Fisher Investments of San Mateo, California, picked up a DKK2bn emerging market equities mandate.

Lars Wallberg, finance director of the DKK53.3bn pension fund, said: “There was no single factor that determined who got the job in the end, but rather many different aspects of the various managers’ offers.”

The two mandates were put out to tender at the end of last year.

“For the global equities mandate, we placed importance on, among other things, how managers coped in the financial crisis because it’s important for us to protect members’ savings should stock markets fall dramatically again,” Wallberg said.

MFS has a strong and experienced staff team that had proved themselves over the course of several years, he said.

Commenting on Fisher Investments, Wallberg told IPE: “We were looking for a manager with a strong top-down investment approach with the objective of managing and mitigating the specific risks associated with investing in these markets.”

LD said there had been massive interest in the tender for the global equities and emerging markets mandates, which had prompted more than 180 responses.

The list of candidates was then narrowed down to 10-15 equities managers that prequalified and were invited to answer a long list of questions and take part in closer discussions.

LD said the two winning managers would be given five-year contracts, although the pension fund will have the right to end the contracts without notice.

It has put the management of its entire investment portfolio out to global tender this year.

Carnegie Asset Management and Impax Asset Management won mandates in March, and two Danish bond mandates have yet to be awarded.

Meanwhile, PensionDanmark is investing in medium-sized businesses in the Nordic region via the Nordic private equity fund Altor IV.

The DKK152bn labour-market pension fund did not reveal how much its individual investment was, but Altor IV – the latest private equity fund from Nordic investment manager Altor – raised €2bn at its close.

PensionDanmark’s managing director Torben Möger Pedersen said: “Members can look forward to a good return from this investment, which is with a very competent manager that works actively to develop and create value in the businesses.”

The fund’s primary focus will be in investments in unquoted companies with turnover of €50m-500m.

Altor said the fund had a flexible investment mandate, which also allowed it to make minority investments in publicly traded companies as well as investing in distressed debt.

It said the fund’s investor base consisted mainly of US university endowments, charitable foundations and pension funds, with Nordic investors representing 20% of total commitments.

The new fund will have a 15-year term – the same as the previous Altor fund.

In other news, pensions administrator PKA and life insurer Topdanmark sold a German residential property portfolio to German real estate company Immeo for DKK1.8bn, having achieved 30% growth on part of the portfolio since the two investors took ownership.

Nikolaj Stampe, head of property at PKA, said: “We are particularly pleased with the development of this portfolio, and we have now decided, along with Topdanmark, that this is the right time to sell.”

PKA said it and Topdanmark each bought half of the portfolio in 2007, and the properties within it were located in Berlin and Dresden.

PKA – which manages five labour-market pension funds and has around DKK200bn in assets – said at the time of purchase that property in the two cities had been considered cheap, and this had proved to be the case.

The first properties bought increased in value by more than 30% during the ownership period.

PKA has around DKK16bn in real estate, with investments mainly located in Denmark.

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