NETHERLANDS - The €81bn Dutch pension fund PGGM has helped to more than triple the assets of Albright Capital Management, an investment firm chaired by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

The pension fund, which yesterday showed total assets in excess of €80bn during the presentation of its year-end returns, announced today that it committed $329m (€250m) for the firm to invest in emerging global markets.

Albright Capital, was established in 2005 and which according to reports was shown to manage $150m on January 3, will invest with an absolute return objective, the fund said.

PGGM, an industry wide fund for Dutch health care and social workers, argued that the "strategic relationship" with Albright Capital reflects its "commitment to innovation and fits squarely within our Portfolio of Strategies".

Else Bos, chief investment officer at the Dutch fund, said in a statement: "Albright Capital offers a unique way to integrate expertise in international affairs with investment professionalism. This will be particularly powerful in emerging markets, but we do expect the strategic relationship to be of value for other investments of PGGM as well."

PGGM chose the firm as it specialises in emerging markets - the fund wanted to increase its investments further in the asset class, as spokesman told IPE.

The fund is not worried about  investing in a relatively small and unknown investment manager: "We tend to do our homework very well," the spokesman added.

Also, it was learned today that PGGM's senior investment strategist Kirsten Rauwerda has left the fund to join F&C Asset Management in the Netherlands.

According to a spokeswoman, Rauwerda left on January 1 this year and her portfolio has been reorganised and subdivided among the team.