Finnish State Pension Fund VER (Valtion Eläkerahasto) has awarded a €100m mandate to private equity firm Pantheon.

The mandate is a customised private equity mandate, covering emerging markets, and is VER’s first emerging market private equity investment mandate. 

The strategy will be managed by Pantheon, with commitments being made over the next 3-4 years to a diversified portfolio of primary private equity buyout and growth funds across Asia and the emerging markets.

Maarit Säynevirta, responsible for alternative investments at VER, said: “We launched a broad global public tender for this mandate in 2013, and this is the first time we elected to choose a manager for a separate account.”

The pension fund was pleased with Pantheon because of its “investment expertise and reach, long-standing presence in Asia and the emerging markets, and its dedication to responsible investment”, she said.

In other news, Danske Capital has picked Chicago-based investment bank and asset manager William Blair to manage an emerging market equities mandate.

William Blair said it would manage the mandate under its emerging leaders growth strategy, which uses a fundamental, bottom-up approach.

The strategy invests in equities from high-quality large and medium-sized capitalised emerging market companies with above-average growth potential and profitability, it said.

It is managed by Todd McClone and Jeff Urbina.

Neither party would disclose the size of the mandate.

Tom Ross, head of European distribution at the Chicago-based company, said the win reflected the “significant interest” William Blair had received from European institutional investors because of its long record on managing unconstrained equities strategies.