PensionDanmark took the top prize of European Pension Fund of the Year at Tuesday night’s IPE Awards in Prague.

The €30bn pension provider was praised by the judges for its innovative use of technology in several areas, with one judge remarking that PensionDanmark “effectively operates in the future”.

PensionDanmark’s advanced approach also saw the fund take home the Innovation award.

Alan Rubenstein, outgoing chief executive of the UK’s Pension Protection Fund, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his work at the lifeboat scheme.

Elisabeth Bourqui, head of the pensions management operations at Swiss technology firm ABB, was awarded Pension Fund Achievement of the Year for her team’s implementation of an advanced investment process adaptable across the company’s more than 100 defined benefit and defined contribution schemes.

Elisabeth Bourqui, ABB Group

Elisabeth Bourqui, ABB Group, receives the Pension Fund Achievement of the Year award from Mesirow’s Joseph Hoffman

ABB was also recognised as the top pension fund in Switzerland in the country awards.

Also taking home Gold Awards were Sweden’s AP4 for the best Long-Term Investment Strategy, and the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) for Outstanding Industry Contribution. One judge said there could be “no question” about the influence of the PRI on a global level regarding the application of ESG investing.

The Corporate Pension Fund of the Year award was shared between two UK schemes: HSBC and Trafalgar House. France’s ERAFP was awarded Public Pension Fund of the Year, and Spain’s Unifondo V was named Small Pension Fund of the Year.

Several pension funds won a brace of awards, including the £2bn (€2.2bn) Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund, recognised for expertise in Emerging Markets and Alternatives, and Nordic provider SEB Life & Pension, which took home the Bronze awards for both Fixed Income and Equities.

The full list of award winners is as follows:

Gold Awards

European Pension Fund of the Year: PensionDanmark

Outstanding Industry Contribution: PRI

Alan Rubenstein, PPF

Alan Rubenstein, PPF, receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from IPE Editorial Director Liam Kennedy

Pension Fund Achievement of the Year: Elisabeth Bourqui, ABB Group Pensions

Lifetime Achievement Award: Alan Rubenstein

Long-Term Investment Strategy: AP4

Silver Awards

Corporate Pension Fund: HSBC Bank UK Pension Scheme and Trafalgar House Pension Trust

Multi-Employer/Professional Pension Fund: Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund (MNOPF)

Public Pension Fund: ERAFP

Small Pension Fund: Unifondo V Pension Fund

Sovereign Reserve Fund: ATP

Active Management: Alecta

Passive Management: FRR

Bronze Awards

Alternatives: Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund

Equities: SEB Life & Pension

Fixed Income: SEB Life & Pension

Country Awards

Austria (Pensionskasse): Allianz Pensionskasse AG

Austria (Vorsorgekasse): APK Vorsorgekasse AG

Belgium: Pensio B

Central & Eastern Europe: Swedbank Dinamika

Denmark: ATP

France: FRR

Germany (bAV): Bosch Pensionsfonds AG

Germany (Versorgungswerk): Ärzteversorgung Westfalen-Lippe

Ireland: RetireSmart (ESB Defined Contribution Pension Scheme)

Italy: Fondo Pensione Laborfonds

Netherlands: Pensioenfonds PGB

Portugal: Fundo de Pensões Horizonte Valorização

Small Countries: Frjálsi Pension Fund

Spain (corporate scheme): PensionsCaixa 21

Spain (multi-employer scheme): Geroa Pentsioak EPSV

Sweden: SPK

Switzerland: ABB Group Pensions

United Kingdom: Strathclyde Pension Fund

Themed Awards

Climate Related Risk Management: APG Asset Management

DC & Hybrid Strategies: Bosch Pensionsfonds AG

Diversification: Merchant Navy Officers Pensions Fund (MNOPF)

Emerging Markets: Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund

ESG: Alecta

Factor Investing: HSBC Bank UK Pension Scheme

In-house Investment Team: PGGM

Innovation: PensionDanmark

Portfolio Construction: Sampension

Real Assets & Infrastructure: Ärzteversorgung Westfalen-Lippe

Real Estate: Church Commissioners for England

Risk Management: Trafalgar House Pension Trust

Specialist Investment Managers: PGGM

IPE Editorial Director Liam Kennedy closes the evening's proceedings

Photo credit: Miguel Alonso

IPE Editorial Director Liam Kennedy closes the evening’s proceedings