Denmark’s Lønmodtagernes Dyrtidsfond (LD) has praised the asset management sector, saying it found a higher quality of investment work and risk management when it conducted the pension fund’s latest DKK14bn (€1.9bn) round of equities outsourcing.

Bente Anderskouv, head of equities at LD, said: “There are many particularly skilled equities managers throughout the world, and the most capable have even increased the quality of their investment work over the last few years.”

LD, which manages a non-contributory pension scheme for Danes, based on cost-of-living allowances for workers granted in 1980, has recently awarded four equity mandates as part of an exercise to renew the outsourcing of most of its asset management.

Anderskouv has spent more than a year working first on establishing LD’s equity strategy and then on the selection of the equity managers the pension fund would work with in future, LD said.

This is the second time LD has put out its equity mandates to international competitive tender, with a total of DKK14bn of mandates being awarded this time.

LD said today’s portfolio managers actively drew on information from risk managers when making their daily decisions, with risk management having become a strategic discipline.

They are not afraid of risk, it said, but rather do not want to be surprised by unknown risks.

Anderskouw said equity managers had taken serious account of the wishes of LD customers in the tender.

“This is true not only on the risk side but also in areas such as responsible investment practice,” she said.

“And it is particularly good to see that equities managers have revised their own bonuses.”

She added that the managers were now putting the emphasis on sustainable returns.

Earlier this month, MFS Investment Management and Fisher Investments won a global equities mandate and an emerging markets mandate from LD.

In March, Carnegie Asset Management and Impax Asset Management won mandates for Danish equities and environment and climate, respectively.

LD manages assets of around DKK53.3bn.

In other news, Nordic and Baltic banking group Nordea said it reaped a DKK3.5bn gain from selling its stake in Nordic financial payments provider Nets, as ATP’s consortium completed its DKK17bn purchase of the firm.

The consortium – comprising Danish pensions giant ATP and private equity firms Advent International and Bain Capital – announced the completion of the acquisition following approval from Danish, Norwegian, Finnish and EU regulatory authorities.

Nordea said it was selling its 20.7% stake in Nets Holding to the consortium, gaining DKK3.5bn.

Before the completion of the deal, Nets was owned by more than 180 separate banks.

ATP and its joint venture partners announced the all-cash private equity investment deal in March.

John Helmsøe-Zinck, managing partner at Via Venture Partners – the management company for ATP’s IT investments and a board member of Nets – said the company would now have the financial resources and operational expertise to make the big investment necessary to make sure it remained a market leader.

“We are committed to accelerating the company’s growth and enabling the company to strengthen its international position,” he said.