The UK’s Pension Protection Fund was the standout winner at the 2013 IPE Awards in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, taking home the Gold Award for the Best European Pension Fund, the Silver Award for the Best Public Pension Fund and the Country Award for the UK.
Accepting the Gold Award for the Best European Pension Fund, the PPF’s executive director of financial risk Martin Clarke said the win was a “fantastic and tremendous” endorsement of the UK lifeboat fund’s work.
“It’s great to recognise the asset owners of this industry, the ones who make the decisions, place the money and provide that link between the markets and the beneficiaries,” he added.
Peter Borgdorff, director at PFZW and a veteran of the Dutch pensions industry, won the Gold Award for Pension Fund Personality of the Year, while Richard Balfe, chairman of the MEP Pension Fund for European parliamentarians, won the Outstanding Industry Contribution Award.
Borgdorff said he was collecting his award on behalf of PFZW’s members – workers within the health and welfare sector – and stressed the importance of working on behalf of the beneficiaries.
Balfe, meanwhile, said he was “very surprised and deeply honoured” to be collecting his Outstanding Industry Contribution Award.
“My principle in all the things I’ve done in pensions over the years has been to remember that the basic duty of pension funds is to pay pensions to pensioners,” he told attendees at the dinner.
“We must never forget that, were it not for the pensioners, we would have no job left at all.”
British Steel Pension Fund landed the final Gold Award for Best Long-Term Investment Strategy.
Other big winners on the night included the Belgacom Pension Fund, which won the Silver Award for Best Corporate Pension Fund and the Country Award for Belgium.
The SEB Pension won the Bronze Award for Fixed Income and the Country Award for Denmark, while the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund in the UK won the Bronze Award for Alternatives and the Themed Award for Specialist Managers.
Finland’s Etera Mutual Pension Insurance Company won Themed Awards for Emerging Markets and In-House Investment Team.
The remaining Silver Awards went to Denmark’s Industriens Pension, which won Best Industry-wide Pension Fund, and Italy’s Fondo Pensione per gli Agenti Professionisti di Assicurazione, which won Best Small Pension Fund.
NEST Corporation landed both the DC/Hybrid Strategy Award and the Risk Management Award.
The final Bronze Award, for Equities Investment, went to Switzerland’s CERN Pension Fund.
The full winners list for the 2013 IPE Awards
Best Long-Term Investment Strategy: British Steel Pension Fund
Pension Fund Personality of the Year: Peter Borgdorff
Outstanding Industry Contribution: Richard Balfe
Best European Pension Fund: Pension Protection Fund
Best Corporate Fund: Belgacom Pension Fund
Best Industry-wide Fund: Industriens Pension
Best Public Fund: Pension Protection Fund
Best Small Fund: Fondo Pensione per gli Agenti Professionisti di Assicurazione
Alternatives: Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund
Equities: CERN Pension Fund
Fixed Income: SEB Pension
Active Management: Bosch Pensionsfonds AG
Commodities: Empleados de Telefónica de España
DC/Hybrid Strategy: NEST Corporation
Emerging Markets: Etera Mutual Pension Insurance Company
In-house Team: Etera Mutual Pension Insurance Company
Innovation: Danica Pension
Portfolio Construction: Fonditel Alfa
Real Estate: PensionDanmark
Risk Management: NEST Corporation
Smart Beta: Environment Agency Pension Fund
Specialist Managers: Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund
Austria: fair-finance Vorsorgekasse AG
Belgium: Belgacom Pension Fund
CEE: Swedbank Pension Investment Plan Dinamika
Denmark: SEB Pension
Finland: The State Pension Fund (VER)
Germany: Bosch Pensionsfonds AG and Ärzteversorgung Westfalen-Lippe
Ireland: Accenture Defined Contribution Pension Plan
Norway: Oslo Pensjonsforsikring
Portugal: BPI Vida e Pensões
Small Countries: Frjálsi Pension Fund (Iceland)
Spain: Caixa 30, FP
Sweden: SPK – Sparinstitutens Pensionskassa
Switzerland: Lombard Odier Pension Fund
UK: Pension Protection Fund