NETHERLANDS - The €1.8bn occupational pension funds for physiotherapists, SPF, is looking to nearly double its investments in hedge fund investments to 15%, IPE has learnt.

Peter van de Ven, a member of the investment committee at Stichting Pensioenfonds voor Fysiotherapeuten (SPF), told IPE the fund currently invests around 8% in the asset class, but has been discussing an increased exposure.

He added that a further move into hedge funds, possible via a fund of funds structure, is seen by the fund as a good way of further diversifying the investment portfolio.

According to the fund's last actuarial valuation, SPF has 10% of its assets invested in alternative investments, while the tactical asset allocation for fixed income is 50%, 20% for equity, and 20% for real estate.

Late last year, the fund announced it will grant its participants an indexation of 9.08% this year, made possible by the scheme's cover ratio of almost 235%.

The fund aims to grant a yearly increase of pension promises of at least 3.75%. It paid its participants an indexation of 4.55% in 2007.

The news comes as the Swiss alternative manager Partners Group predicts further increases in trading opportunities in hedge funds investments for the first half of this year.

"As a result of the market turmoil, we are already observing a reallocation trend of assets between strategies in Q3 which we expect to continue," said the company in its alternative assets navigator for the first half of 2008.

Partners added: "Assets in the hedge fund universe should move from directional equity strategies towards arbitrage strategies and strategies with more dynamic exposure management."

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