GERMANY - The €6.85bn Westfalen-Lippe doctors' pension fund has put €25m into the Hermes European Focus Fund.

Hermes, the asset manager owned by the BT Pension Scheme, said Ärzteversorgung Westfalen-Lippe has joined other international pension funds as a limited partner in the Hermes European Focus Fund I LP.

They include PGGM, BTPS and Pension Danmark.

"Many of our most successful investments to date as well as an important part of our current portfolio are based in Germany," said Stephan Howaldt, chief executive of Hermes Focus Asset Management Europe.

ÄVWL's chief investment officer Andreas Kretschmer said ÄVWL's diversification philosophy places great importance on the experience and the involvement of fellow investors. 

"Furthermore, an investment in the Hermes fund provides an opportunity to support a proven investment manager in its efforts to exercise corporate governance in the long term interests of shareholders."

Hermes said that other recent contributors to the fund include Crédit Agricole Asset Management and Finland's Local Government Pension Institution, as well as an unnamed "large Finnish pension fund".

Kretschmer told IPE in an interview in March that the fund plans to gradually raise its exposure to alternative asset classes like commodities and emerging market equities in 2006 to further boost returns.