NETHERLANDS - The pension fund for the printing industry says it will contract out most of its equity portfolio to specialized external managers.

The €3.6bn move of the industry-wide scheme PGB involves 90% of its equity, and will take effect as of January 1.

At present, PGB's €9bn assets are managed by the Grafische Bedrijfsfondsen, or GBF.

With a worldwide network of 12 external managers, covering 16 different mandates, GBF wants to further improve the performance for pension funds, the organisation stated.

"Because equity is being invested in an increasing number of categories, there is a growing need for specialized managers. Involving different managers with their own investment style, the chances of a stable performance increase," GBF explained.

On equity management, GBF focuses on strategic and tactic equity policy, and internal asset management for Europe, excluding the UK, as well as selecting and monitoring external asset managers, it indicated.

On the latter, GBF is being advised by Altis Investment management AG, it said. Earlier, GBF contracted out its asset management administration to Kas Bank.

"PGB aims at structural out-performance of the benchmark on its equity portfolio, which helps us to keep the pension contributions relatively low. Over time, only qualified managers are able to realize extra returns on specific markets," GBF's CIO Dirk Wieman commented.

"The managers are expected to invest within a fixed risk profile, based on a benchmark. They are allowed to deviate from the benchmark within the restrictions of the mandate," he added.