ESTONIA - Nordea, the Nordic finance group, is to enter the Estonian pension fund market with the planned launch of its Nordea Pensions Estonia pension fund.

The Estonian Financial Supervision Authority, Finantsinspektioon, yesterday gave its regulatory approval for the new operation, to be launched in the autumn.

The new pension group will manage second and third pillar pension funds in the country.

Competing with  established players such as Hansa Investment Funds, SEB Asset Management and Danske Capital, Nordea aims to rise to the top three.

Elswhere, Hansa Investment Funds, the asset manager that also runs Estonia's largest private pension fund, said it has completed the first closing of its Eastern Europe orientated private equity fund of funds earlier this month, having raised assets of €30m.

According to Hansa, this was the first  private equity vehicle to be launched from Eastern Europe that invests into the region.

Robert Kitt, chief executive of the company, told IPE today: "This was the first closing, with subsequent ones coming in next 12 months."

He added: "We offer to our Baltic and other institutional clients, such as pension funds, insurance companies and private banks, an unique opportunity to gain exposure to the fast growing Eastern European private equity market via a diversified portfolio."

The company announced in Ferbuary this year it was to set up thevehicle, planning to take either 10% of its overall portfolio to invest in the fund of funds, or 20% from its equity allocation. [See earlier story ‘Hansa sets up own private equity vehicle']

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