Swiss pension fund trust IST has mandated Geneva-based asset manager Unigestion to run a new Swiss equities fund using a volatility-minimising approach, as part of an investor shift towards defensive equities investment and away from bonds.

The institutional boutique said it had been appointed by IST (IST Fondation d’investissement pour la prévoyance en faveur du personnel) to manage the new Swiss equities fund, IST2 Aktien Schweiz Minimum Varianz.

The parties did not disclose the size of the mandate.

IST director Markus Anliker said: “Our investors have signalled their desire to put in place a defensive equities strategy.”

The fund’s investors were now tending to overweight equities in their strategies because the bond market was unappealing in the current economic environment, he said.

He said the new investment strategy would help to reduce the equities investment risk.

IST manages around CHF5.9bn (€4.8bn) for 519 private and public Swiss pension funds.

Unigestion said IST had chosen it because of the firm’s equities management approach, which suited the trust’s investment objectives particularly well.

“This approach enables institutional investors to benefit from the returns on equities while minimising volatility,” it said.

The approach is based entirely on comprehensive risk management, adapting to market trends as they occur, Unigestion said.