Denmark's ATP in $3bn private equity project

DENMARK - ATP, Denmark’s funded supplementary first pillar pension plan is targeting private equity (PE) investment of up to $3bn (e3.3bn), which would make it one of Europe’s largest pension investors in the asset class.

“We aim to be a leading PE management entity,” Jens Bisgaard-Frantzen, managing director, private equity at the fund, told the IMN Northern European Pensions conference, in Copenhagen.
“We expect to invest up to $3bn, ranking us among the largest players,” he added, pointing to the combined operations of Dutch funds ABP and PGGM, operating through their NIB joint venture with e13bn and the largest US fund CalPers, with $7.5bn in commitments.

ATP expects to establish a separate entity to handle this new venture.
“We can’t be precise, as we are analysing the best structure currently,” he said, noting it depended on taxation and other issues.
“In creating a separate operation, we want to put together an arrangement that will attract the right management talent.”

The aim will be to develop a top quality investment process, but Bisgaard-Frantzen emphasised that it would be quality rather than the quantity aspects, which would provide the deciding criteria.
“In the first phase, from this year through to 2003, we will be investing in fund of funds, particularly in Scandinavian PE, as we build up our knowledge.”

The second phase, the fund says, will start in 2003 moving to PE funds globally, firstly in continental Europe and the UK and later the US. In the third phase, the activities could become involved in direct placements and co-investments.

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