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Germany’s MLP taps Alpha for €800m

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GERMANY - Investment consultant Alpha Portfolio Advisors says it has been awarded €800m by independent financial advisory firm MLP.

The assets stem from investment funds that MLP has created for retail clients with long-term savings goals, including retirement.

Under the mandate, which expires at the end of 2007 but can be renewed, Alpha is overseeing the asset manager selection and monitoring and has drawn up a life-cycle model on behalf of MLP.

According to Alpha, the investment strategy has been designed to fit three risk classes. They are in ascending order of risk tolerance: 40% equities and 60% bonds/cash; 60% equities and 40% bonds/cash; and 80% equities and 20% bonds/cash.

Alpha said that to ensure a high degree of diversification, the €800m had been invested in 12 separate asset classes.

Managers for the 12 asset classes have already been selected. One of them is the Cologne-based private bank Sal. Oppenheim, which is handling European aggregate bonds. Oppenheim also has set up a master fund for the portfolio and is providing Depotbank, or clearing and settlement, services.

The other asset managers on the bond side include Pramerica (high yield), Frankfurt Trust (duration management), J P Morgan (US aggregate), Oaktree (convertibles) and Schroder Investment Management (emerging market).

Asset managers on the equity side are Union Panagora (European value), DWS (European small and mid-caps), Merrill Lynch (US value) Mellon Franklin (US small and mid-caps), Goldman Sachs (Japanese value) and Vontobel (emerging markets).

“The portfolio was constructed in this way to ensure its attractiveness to MLP’s clients,” said Jochen Kleeberg, managing partner of Alpha. Kleeberg added that as all the necessary infrastructure was in place, the investment process could officially begin on June 15.

Last February, VZB, a Berlin-based pension fund for dentists, disclosed that it had hired Alpha as its investment consultant for a pensions portfolio worth €700m.

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