NETHERLANDS - The €2bn Dutch hotel and catering scheme, Pensioenfonds Horeca en Catering, has awarded two €50m private equity mandates to Goldman Sachs Private Equity Group and HarbourVest Partners.

This move is part of an increasing diversification strategy, which saw the Zoetermeer-based fund award its first private equity mandate to AlpInvest worth €100m at the start of 2004.

This is in a bid to further improve the scheme’s risk-return profile and to optimise their multi-manager structure, said a Horeca spokesperson.

She stated that no adviser was used in the selection process.

IPE reported in September that the fund was looking at expanding its private equity coverage.

“We talked with parties we already considered last year when we finally selected AlpInvest Partners,” the spokesperson explained.

London-based Goldman Sachs and Boston-based HarbourVest have not replaced any private equity group, and are regarded as additions to AlpInvest Partners.

The spokesperson also stated that the new appointments resulted in no shift from equities and fixed income into private equity.

“We want to achieve the intended strategic weight for private equity faster. As AlpInvest doesn’t offer any extra opportunities/funds this meant we had to contract extra parties.

“The mandate will be built up by using the net cash inflow out of our premiums.”

The scheme told IPE that it has decided not to invest in hedge funds.

“But a diversification into commodities – at the expense of the allocation to equities – is currently under investigation,” said the spokesperson.

“We’re in the final stage of selecting a manager for a commodities mandate.”

According to a Horeca press statement, Goldman Sachs Private Equity Group impressed the pension fund during the selection process with their “rigorous research and clear investment philosophy”.

Meanwhile, HarbourVest Partners is regarded by the scheme as one of the most experienced private equity managers in the world.

“They impressed the pension fund during the selection process with their thorough investment process and excellent performance track record,” according to the statement.