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Swedish pension fund money goes global

The first slice of up to Skr30bn ($3.9m) worth of new Swedish pension fund mandates will be up for grabs in August, according to Nicklas Fahlström of Stockholm-based consultancy Wassum Investment Network, which is engaged in the search and selection.

We have several new assignments in August when we shall be inviting tenders for pension fund moneys from local municipalities in Sweden, followi ng a government enquiry encouraging the outsourcing of more funds." he says. "I think this business will not be restricted to Swedish external managers. We are expecting some Skr20-30bn worth of investments over the next five years.But the problem for international fund managers in Sweden is that there is a belief here that they do not know the market and are not committed to it because they are not in it. There is a need for more global expertise and I think we shall see more international money managers before long."

In June, Wassum appointed Swedish external fund managers Alfred Berg and Ohman Investment Management to manage', some Skr 200m -100m apiece - for the Bollnas Kummun, investing 40% in equities, of which 10% is going into the international markets, and the remainder in fixed income. Nineteen Swedish fund managers chased the Bollnas business. But "no international firms competed," according to Fahlström.

Whilst there is no shortage of Swedish competition for the new pension fund money coming on stream, there is a lack of international expertise and Fahlström observes that "this is where international money managers may score".

Wassum has surveyed Sweden's 311 local municipality pension funds, almost half of which responded, and about 80% of which said that they will be outsourcing in order to invest globally in the near future.

Two local municipalities - Lomma and Borlänge - have already outsourced global balanced mandates and Fahlström says that there are more in the pipeline, including one that will be inviting tenders for the outsourcing of some Skr400m worth of pensions assets. Bob Crew"

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