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ABP to name new bond managers by third quarter

NETHERLANDS – Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, the €168bn scheme for Dutch civil servants is looking for “a couple” of managers to build up its global alpha fixed income fund, according to a senior official.

Michael Stam, in charge of evaluating equity and bond candidates for external mandates at the fund, told the European Fund Manager Selection conference that the fund was looking for “a couple of managers” get its Global Alpha Fund: Fixed Income going.

The new bond fund is expected to include between 10 and 15 managers, but for the time being ABP was recruiting a couple of managers for global and emerging market bonds and local currency.

Each brief would be worth about €200m, Stam told IPE, although he added it was still too early to define the sizes beyond doubt. The fund is currently vetting five or six managers for currency and between 15 and 20 managers for global bonds, he said.

Stam told the conference that a decision is expected by the third quarter, possibly between July and August. Stam also told IPE that his team has recently been joined by a bond expert to enhance its expertise in the field. Stam reports to Jan Straatman, head of ABP’s capital markets platform.

The new global alpha fund follows a Global Enhanced Index Fund, consisting of 11 enhanced index mandates, a Global Emerging Market fund, which is split into 20 global, regional and country mandates and a Global Alpha Fund: Equities, with 16 global, regional and country mandates.

Stam was at the conference to explain ABP’s approach in selecting external managers. He said the fund evaluates candidates on product, people, structure, performance, investment process, operational process and price.

Investment process and performance each count 25% towards the final decision – although personal impressions, at 15%, were the “wrap-up” element.

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