DENMARK - Industriens Pensionsforsikring has awarded Investec Asset Management a £216m (€270m) currency management mandate.

The Danish pension fund, which is valued at €6.3bn according to pensionfundsonline, said the award followed the announcement in May 2007 that it intended to diversify its portfolio into "non-core asset classes".

Investec said the £216m would be placed in its currency high alpha fund, which invests in both long and short positions in liquid currencies in developed and emerging markets, in an attempt to provide absolute returns.

Richard Garland, managing director of international distribution for Investec, pointed out institutional interest in currency products has recently increased as the "low correlation of currency markets to other asset classes provides an opportunity for well informed investors to both add a separate source of alpha to their portfolio and diversify part of their risk".

Jan Østergaard, chief investment officer for Industriens Pensionforsikring, said: "We believe that active management of the fund pays off for our members. We announced in May 2007 that we intended to diversity our portfolio into non-core asset classes, and this mandate is a result of that decision.

"Having reviewed managers in the marketplace we believe Investec offers us the sort of highly experienced and motivated team that we want to work with on the highly technical issue of the currency management of our portfolio," added Østergaard.

Industriens Pensionsforsikring, a compulsory defined contribution scheme, is now one of Denmark's sixth-largest pension funds following its establishment by the federation of Danish industries and a number of labour market unions in 1993.

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