UK - The £1bn (€1.5bn) Asda group pension fund has chosen a 130/30 strategy for £165m of its global equity portfolio.

For its first foray into this strategy, which includes short positions in equity portfolios, the fund opted for State Street Global Advisor's (SSGA) Global Alpha Edge Strategy.

"Now we have the ability to have access to greater opportunities within a controlled framework," Steve Jones, pensions manager for Asda told IPE.

"We liked the story that by limiting yourself to long-only positions you are in effect cutting off half of the market to all intents and purposes."

"Level of interest in the strategy has been pretty high particularly in the UK, Scandinavia and in the Netherlands," Kanesh Lakhani, senior managing director for SSGA in the UK, commented.

While SSGA introduced clients to the new product over the last six to nine months, Lakhani confirmed that they are going through an education process, but said that "the level of awareness is quite high".

SSGA said that it is poised to release other products based on 130/30 strategies for institutional investors during the course of this year.