FINLAND – The €17.1bn Finnish Local Government Pensions Institution, Keva, has invested in Hermes’ European Focus Fund.

“Joining the fund as investors in recent months have been the Local Government Pensions Institution of Finland and France’s Credit Agricole Asset Management, along with two Japanese corporate pension funds organised by Nissay Asset Management,” Hermes said.

It added that some existing investors in the Netherlands and the UK also increased allocations. “New commitments in the last few months were in excess of €200m.”

Other investors in the fund include CalPERS, PGGM, Varma and UK schemes such as Devon, Essex and Nottingham, the Royal Mail Pension Plan and the British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme, a spokesman said.

Hermes said the fund, which was launched in 2002, is now up to more than €1.3bn with 18 institutional clients worldwide.

It returned 34% in 2005, beating its benchmark by 6.3%.

“Our performance is no co-incidence but a result of our focused, constructive, well-informed and persistent style of addressing performance challenges at public companies,” said Stephan Howaldt, chief executive of Hermes Focus Asset Management Europe.

Keva, which has a long-term real return target of 4%, has an investment strategy under which it holds 39-51% listed equities, 52% in fixed income, six-11% in real estate and three to six percent in alternatives.

At the end of the June 2005, it had around 46% in equities, 7% in real estate, about 3% in alternatives and 44% in fixed income.