NPRF switches Japanese equity mandate
IRELAND - JP Morgan has lost a €300m active Japanese mandate with the €20.7bn National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF).
The Irish reserve fund awarded the mandate to Barclays Global Investors (BGI) to add to the investment manager's almost €5bn passive equities portfolio.
This move is part of a restructuring of the funds' equity portfolio started last year which allows a more flexible approach to switching between active and passive mandates.
JPMorgan remains manager for an active currency mandate within the fund's €122m exposure to that asset class.
Earlier this year, the fund managed by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) announced it will tap JPMorgan for the administration of private equity investments.
In its annual report for 2006, released today, the NPRF disclosed it will commit 2% of its portfolio to infrastructure within its private equity programme.
Since 2003, the fund has had €200m earmarked for investing in infrastructure in Ireland. However, the fund stated it has so far "not been successful in investing these funds in the market". While the NPRF remains keen to invest in the infrastructure arena it will "re-examine its approach to investment" this year.
A spokesman also confirmed the fund is actively recruiting a replacement for head of property investment Ian Gleeson who departed for Morley Investments in April of this year.
During 2006, the fund's allocation to property grew to 3% or €559m and the property portfolio returned 27% in 2006 while and the target allocation of 8% is scheduled to be reached in 2009.
Since the inception of the property programme in 2005, the NTMA has been advised by a commission, one of whose members is ABP Investments' real estate chief investment officer Barden Gale.
Given the low yields generated by the bond markets, the fund decided in 2006 not to commit cash to the government and corporate bond mandates. Therefore, the fund currently has €884m in cash on its asset allocation summary.
"As yields increase, it is funding these mandates on a phased basis," the NPRF stated.
The NPRF's assets returned 12.4% in 2006 and achieved a return of 7.5% over the first five months of 2007.