Pension Protection Fund was named European Pension Fund of the Year at tonight’s IPE Awards 2021 dinner in Madrid.
The UK-based lifeboat fund – which has also bagged the Bronze Fixed Income and the Gold Long-Term Investment Strategy awards – has seen its reserves reach £9bn (€10.7bn) this year, up from the £5.1bn recorded last year.
The PPF, which protects the financial futures of nearly 10 million people from more than 5,300 eligible UK defined benefit (DB) pension schemes, has also this year reported its assets under management grew from £36bn in 2020 to £38bn in 2021 and its growth assets returned 17.6% (£3.7bn), its largest return on this investment portfolio to date.
“I’m extremely honoured and privileged to accept this award on behalf of the PPF, and our members,” said Barry Kenneth, CIO of the PPF, in a video message to those gathered in Madrid.
“There’s a lot of thought and analysis that goes into setting a business strategy and how we implement it.”
He expressed his particular thanks of the PPF board “who’ve been so supportive of me and what we’ve tried to build at the PPF over the last eight years”.
“I’m so excited and happy to receive this award on behalf of the PPF, so thank you all again.”
Denmark’s ATP was also a multiple winner, taking home awards for emerging markets, factor investing, pensions governance and administration, alternatives, credit & alternatives, equities, Silver Public Pension Fund and Gold Pension Fund Leader/Team of the Year.
Just last month ATP announced strong investment returns and record results over the past three years, meaning that Denmark’s biggest pension fund, was able to increase the pensions of all its members by DKK30bn (€4bn). The increase is the largest in ATP’s history and provides all its members – which stand at more than 5 million – a lifelong and noticeably larger pension.
In Spain, GM Pensiones was the country’s winner, as it also scooped the award for DC & Hybrid Strategies.
Heribert Karch received the Outstanding Industry Contribution award. Karch is MetallRente’s current managing director and will retire at the end of the year after 20 years with the company. A veteran of the German and European pension fund industry, he has also chaired the occupational pensions association Aba.
And the Lifetime Achievement Award went to Bjarne Graven Larsen. The pioneering former CIO of ATP and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is the founder and CEO of Qblue Balanced, a Copenhagen-based asset manager, and he has also served as chair of NIO (Nordic Investment Opportunities) and as a board member for Topdanmark.
|European Pension Fund of the Year||Pension Protection Fund|
|Outstanding Industry Contribution||Heribert Karch|
|Pension Fund Leader/Team of the Year||ATP|
|Lifetime Achievement Award||Bjarne Graven Larsen|
|Long-Term Investment Strategy||Pension Protection Fund|
|Commitment to Diversity||Fjärde AP-fonden (AP4)|
|Active Management||DuPont Pension Plan and Fjärde AP-fonden (AP4)|
|Corporate Pension Fund||Bosch Pensionsfonds AG|
|Multi-Employer/Professional Pension Fund||PFZW|
|Public Pension Fund||ATP|
|Small Pension Fund||MAP Fund|
|Fixed Income||Pension Protection Fund|
|Climate Related Risk Management||Brunel Pension Partnership|
|Credit & Alternatives||ATP|
|DC & Hybrid Strategies||GM Pensiones|
|Impact Investing||Church Commissioners for England|
|Innovation||Brunel Pension Partnership|
|Pensions Governance & Administration||ATP|
|Portfolio Construction & Diversification||Brunel Pension Partnership|
|Real Assets & Infrastructure||APG Asset Management|
|Real Estate||Ärzteversorgung Westfalen-Lippe|
|Risk Management||Amonis OFP|
|Central & Eastern Europe||Swedbank Pension Plan|
|Germany||Bosch Pensionsfonds AG|
|Ireland||Accenture Defined Contribution Pension Plan|
|Italy||Fondo Pensione Nazionale BCC/CRA|
|Portugal||Ageas Pensões and Fundo Pensões Banco Santander Totta|
|Small Countries||Almenni Pension Fund|
|Sweden||Fjärde AP-fonden (AP4)|
|Switzerland||Pensionskasse Bosch Schweiz|
The 2021 IPE Awards attracted more than 330 entries across 44 categories representing 23 countries, with participating investors managing €2.3trn in assets. More than 80 judges were involved in assessing entries, each bringing specialist expertise or knowledge in a particular category.
More than 300 senior pension fund executives attended the IPE Conference and Awards 2021 from across Europe. Video recording of the event can be viewed here.
Find out about all the winners in our dedicated Awards Supplement.