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Swedish church mixes managers

The Skr4bn (E466m) Kyrkofonden fund for the Church of Sweden has selected a roster of domestic and foreign investment managers to run its assets after becoming autonomous from state control.
Swedish managers Alfred Berg and Trevise Unibank Investment Management both scooped briefs of Skr1.2bn each, to be invested in a mix of domestic equities and bonds. Carlson Investment Managers picked up a Skr300m Swedish equities mandate.
Equity briefs will be benchmarked against the Swedish equity total return index. ABN Amro, Fidelity and Dresdner RCM will manage global equity portfolios of approximately Skr450m each, to be benchmarked against the MSCI World index.
Bjorn Falkeblad, finance manager at the fund, says: “The main reason for the selection of the managers was the ability we felt they had to produce good performance in the future within defined risk levels.”
He says that the tracking error for equities will be between three and five per cent, with bonds having to meet a tracking limit of 1%. He adds: “This is general reserve money for the fund so there are no liabilities to be looking at in terms of the investment.”
The managers will also have to follow an ethical investment criteria, says Falkeblad. “We have two primary rules at the moment, which are that we do not invest in companies where more than 50% of the turnover comes from weapons or tobacco. We are developing this issue,” he says.
Consultants William M Mercer assisted in the manager selection.
n The Swedish kommun of Halmstads has outsourced Skr470m in assets to four investment managers following the sale of holdings in Swedish energy group Sydkraft. Domestic managers Carlson Investment Managers and Handelsbanken have picked up Skr200m each, to be managed in a mixture of Swedish government bonds and equities.
The remaining Skr70m has been evenly split between Fidelity and Lazards and will be invested in two international active bond briefs.
Anders Paulsson, personnel manager at Halmstads, says: “We wanted to have a contrast between the smaller fund manager of Carlson (pre Skandia deal) and Handelsbanken.”
The two managers were selected from a list of 14. For the foreign managers Paulsson says the kommun relied on advice from Wassum, the consultant overseeing the selection process. Hugh Wheelan

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