The IPE Pensions Scholarship Fund has awarded its second grant to a PhD candidate in economics examining whether funded pension systems are inflating the value of long-term securities.

Bruno Bonizzi, in the second year of his PhD programme under the supervision of Jan Toporowski, professor of Finance and Economics at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, will be awarded the €5,000 grant to cover the costs associated with his research.

In his letter of support of Bonizzi’s application to the IPE Scholarship Fund, Toporowski said the research would proivide important new evidence on pension fund regulation and capital flows.

He added: “The topic of the doctoral thesis is the issue of the extent to which funded pension schemes in Europe and North America have been responsible for inflating the markets for long-term securities, the international portfolio capital flows that such inflation gives rise to and the effects of those flows in emerging markets.”

Bonizzi said his central contention was that the post-crisis environment was pushing pension funds from advanced countries to reallocate a growing part of their portfolios to emerging market assets.

“The goal is to characterise and understand this issue and assess its implications,” he said.

Congratulating Bonizzi on the award, IPE founding editor Fennell Betson said: “We are delighted to support the research being undertaken by Bruno. The fund’s board was unanimous in its decision to make this grant to the full amount we can provide.”

The fund was established by IPE as a not-for-profit activity with the purpose of helping European students undertaking graduate or post-graduate studies relating to pensions matters at universities or research bodies in Europe.

It was endowed with an initial fund of €10,000 to mark the 10th anniversary of the IPE Awards, an amount that has since been increased.

This is the second student award to be made by the fund, following the award to Tilburg University PhD student Zorka Simon.

The fund is overseen by a board comprising Chris Verhaegen, former chair of the Occupational Pensions Stakeholders Group at the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority and former Secretary General of the EFRP in Brussels; Peter Melchior, executive director and actuary of PKA in Denmark; Peter Borgdorff, executive director of healthcare fund PFZW in the Netherlands; and Fennell Betson.

The fund’s academic adviser is Debbie Harrison, visiting professor at Cass Business School’s Pensions Institute in London.

The fund said it was keen to hear from European students involved in or considering undertaking pensions-related studies and research, or from the academic community.

Further details are available from Fennell Betson or on the Fund’s website