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AXA wins €600m mandate from Cosun schemes

NETHERLANDS - Three pension funds of food producer Royal Cosun have awarded AXA Investment Managers with a €600m fiduciary mandate.

AXA has been tasked to strategically advise Cosun's board on asset liability studies, to propose an efficient investment portfolio, to select asset managers, to monitor risk and return and to provide reporting to the regulators, AXA said.

Part of the mandate is also to monitor the Cosun schemes' risk-return profile, to allow for indexation, the investment manager added.

According to Ab Matser, group treasurer of Royal Cosun, next to performance objectives, Cosun's explicit demands on risks management and execution of the mandate are a consequence of the new financial assessment framework nFTK.

Cosun has chosen AXA for its integrated management approach and its continuous risk-measuring of the portfolio, as well as for its investment models and AXA's independency in selecting the best funds, Matser indicated.

So far, assets of Cosun's schemes have been managed by a small number of managers, passively on specific mandates, and actively on equity and fixed income, he added.

Matser declined to comment on its target return benefits, instead stating "the main focus will be on risk management, rather than on returns".

Besides the introduction of interest rate hedging, Cosun's strategic asset allocation will basically remain unchanged, Erwan Boscher, head of AXA's pension group, made clear. Over time, the traditional asset allocation will be changed into an ALM-based setup.

Royal Cosun's pension funds are Stichting Pensioenfonds Koninklijke Cosun, Stichting Pensioenfonds Aviko and Stichting Pensioenfonds Suiker 2007, with assets of  €440m, €100m and €80m respectively.

AXA IM is part of AXA Group and is one of the largest European asset managers with €566bn of assets under management.

According Hanneke Ketellapper-Veringa, AXA IM's head of Dutch institutional business development, its AXA IM's Investment Solutions division with its 47 ‘financial engineers', guarantees a seamless integration of all fiduciary management aspects.

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