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ESG: The metrics jigsaw


Chart of the Week: European pension assets exceed €7.7trn

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Total assets under management across Europe’s pension markets grew to €7.72trn this year, up from €7.22trn in 2018, according to IPE’s annual Top 1000 Pension Funds report.

Despite a market crash in the fourth quarter of 2018 and ongoing turbulence caused by geopolitical conflicts and uncertainties, assets under management increased by 6.9%.

The Top 1000 Pension Funds survey is conducted by IPE editorial staff every year and is designed to provide a snapshot of Europe’s biggest pension investors and markets

The year-on-year increase in assets was aided by several factors. There were a number of pension entities included for the first time, including €42.1bn UK pension insurer Rothesay Life and €16.8bn Turkish military pension fund Oyak.

In addition, a number of pension entities reported their latest assets under management at or after 31 March 2019, after a significant equity market rally.

Despite the additions and a volatile year for investments, there was little change at the top of the Top 1000 list. Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) retained its top spot with €944.7bn of assets – which has since climbed to €975bn as of this morning, according to the fund’s website. 

The Norwegian giant was followed by Dutch pension funds ABP and PFZW, with €442bn and €225bn respectively. Denmark’s ATP kept fourth spot with €137.2bn.

Sweden’s Alecta leapfrogged BVK of Germany into fifth place, while the growth of AP7 – the defined contribution element of Sweden’s state system – saw it enter the top 10 for the first time with €80.1bn of assets.

The UK and the Netherlands are the biggest pension markets in Europe. The GPFG helps Norway into the €1trn-plus market, with Germany, Switzerland and Denmark all registering more than €500bn.

Top 1000 Pension Funds 2019 – the top 10

Top 1000 Pension Funds
Pension fund/entity AUM (€bn) AUM dateCountry 
Government Pension Fund Global944.730/06/19Norway
PFA Pension77.131/12/18Denmark

ipe top 1000 pension funds 2019

Further reading

Asset growth in challenging times

Endeavouring to measure retirement assets across a wide range of different countries and regulatory systems means taking a fairly agnostic, and open, approach to inclusion within our universe, explains IPE editor Liam Kennedy

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