The Swedish Fund Selection Agency (Fondtorgsnämnden, FTN) has been forced to delay the deadline for bids in its inaugural tender process because of the sheer volume of questions it is having had to answer.
The new authority established to procure investment funds to offer Swedes within the first-pillar premium pension system announced on Friday afternoon that the last day for submission of tenders is now 28 September – a fortnight after the original deadline of Thursday this week.
This initial tender is for actively-managed European equity funds with a primary focus on investments in large- and/or mid-cap stocks, and was launched on 30 June.
The FTN said: “Due to the fact that a number of questions have been received, answered and/or that certain clarifications have been made at a late stage of the tender period, the tender period is extended […].”
The opportunity to ask questions about the procurement – which had been set to end on 4 September at the time the process was launched – was being reopened, the agency said.
The new last day to ask questions has now been re-set as 17 September, 11 days before the end of the tender period, and the new final day for the FTN to publish answers to questions has been delayed to 22 September – six days before the end of the tender period.
“The questions already asked that have not yet been answered will be answered as soon as possible,” said the agency, which is based in Botkyka, south west of central Stockholm.
According to the details on the e-avrop tendering website, the agency has made public replies to 253 questions by Monday lunchtime, since 7 July.
This morning alone, the FTN has published 12 answers to questions submitted by would-be bidders for the category of active European equity funds. Some SEK11bn (€926m) of premium-pension savings are currently invested in this asset category via the existing all-comers funds marketplace platform, which is being phased out in favour of the FTN’s new procured platform.
The questions cover a wide range of issues asset managers are encountering when trying to submit bids. There have been queries, for example, about which part of an asset manager’s business the assets under management lower limit applies to, on whether alternatives to MSCI’s indices can be used, as well as relating to technical issues such as box-filling.
Sweden’s premium pension system – the defined contribution element of the state pension – holds around SEK2trn of assets, around half of which are managed on the funds marketplace platform with the rest managed by AP7, the state pension fund running the default option.