UK – The two billion-euro Kvaerner Pension Fund has awarded a 25 million-pound (35.5 million-euro) hedge fund of funds mandate to J P Morgan.

J P Morgan Fleming Asset Management said in a statement that its J P Morgan Alternative Asset Management arm has been appointed by the fund to manage a new hedge fund of funds mandate.

“J P Morgan Alternative Asset Management is the only hedge fund manager who has been selected to manage the mandate, worth 25 million pounds.

“This is the first time Kvaerner has taken the decision to employ a hedge fund strategy in managing its pension fund assets,” it added. It also said the mandate has been invested in a multi-strategy hedge fund of funds.

John Starling, vice president, of group pensions at engineering firm Aker Kvaerner was not immediately available for comment.

He was quoted by J P Morgan as saying: “The Trustee of the Kvaerner Pension Fund was seeking to reduce the risk, or volatility, in the fund.” The fund sought an alternative equity investment with equity-like returns and bond-like volatility.

Scott Stein, vice president of J P Morgan Alternative Asset Management, said: “Kvaerner's allocation demonstrates the growing trend we are seeing among institutions in the UK in the use of hedge fund strategies - where institutions are increasingly looking at alternative investments to enhance the return and reduce the risk in their portfolios."

The division has more than 6.2 billion dollars in assets under management and advisory.

Separately, Aker Kvaerner has announced today that chief financial officer Trond Westlie will resign for personal reasons in the New Year. Executive vice president Finn Berg Jacobsen will take over as acting CFO.