EUROPE – The Norwegian State Oil Fund was Europe’s fastest growing pension fund among the continent’s top 20 schemes in the year from September 2000 to September 2001, according to figures compiled by Investment & Pensions Europe Magazine (IPE) in its annual 'Top 1,000' survey of European pension funds.

Assets under management for the Norwegian fund more than doubled from € 21,883m to €48,953m last year, hoisting it from 10th to fourth position in Europe’s Top 20 pension fund hierarchy (see table below).

The three leading funds in 2000 retain their positions in 2001, with all reporting increases in assets.
Europe’s leading pension fund continues to be Dutch giant, ABP, which had €150bn under management as of September 2001.
Combined figures for Sweden’s six AP social buffer funds, which again claimed the number two slot in the top 20, showed an increase of over €20bn in assets.
PGGM, the Dutch healthcare sector fund, came in third with assets of just over e52bn.

Switzerland’s Pensionskasse des Bundes recorded a notable increase in assets over the year, up almost 58% to €22,378m and moving it from 20th spot last year to number 11 in 2001.

Though several funds, all from the UK, moved down a place or two in the top 20, being leapfrogged by Swiss and Norwegian funds, only two funds actually recorded a decrease in assets, namely the Post Office and Scottish Public Pensions Agency funds.

In total, UK funds accounted for 13 of the Top 20 European pension funds, according to the IPE research.

IPE’s Top 1,000 survey is published with the September issue of Investment & Pension Europe Magazine and compiled using data gathered by Aspire, a joint venture between IPE International Publishers and AP Information Services.