GERMANY – Aventis Pensionstreuhand, the €1.9bn pension fund for pharmaceuticals giant Sanofi-Aventis, has awarded State Street Global Advisors an €800m currency overlay mandate.

The main purpose of the mandate, State Street’s third from the pension fund, is to shield the €800m in assets from currency-related risks.

“Owing to the expertise of its global currency team and its focus on risk control, State Street was a natural choice for us,” commented Wolfgang Weber, chairman of Aventis Pensionstreuhand’s investment committee.

SSGA won the mandate following a standard beauty contest between asset managers for the asset class. Its currency team, made up of 30 specialists, manages $65bn (€53.8bn) in assets worldwide.

Klaus Esswein, managing director at SSGA, said that beyond the central task of shielding the €800 portfolio from currency-related risks, the asset manager would aim to generate additional return.

The new mandate follows Aventis Pensionstreuhand’s hiring of SSGA for a €700m passive investment mandate in global equities. State Street’s German custodial arm also provides back-office services for the pension fund’s €1.9bn in total assets.

Aventis Pensionstreuhand, which has moved to Paris following last year’s takeover of Aventis by France’s Sanofi, provides a corporate pension to 10,000 employees in Germany.