UK - Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) has launched two absolute return funds, making its first foray into the UK fund-of-funds (FoFs) market.

The SWIP multimanager diversity fund and the SWIP multimanager select boutiques fund will be run by the firm's multimanager team, led by Mark Harries and Simon Wood.

"The funds will provide investors with access to a range of specialist investment funds and will be managed with an absolute return bias," SWIP said in a news release.

According to Bernard Henshall, head of multimanager distribution, the firm set up the offering as it "is seeing high levels of interest from investors who face the difficulty of monitoring and analysing large numbers of funds".

He added: "We have chosen to launch into the fund-of-funds market to meet demand for increased diversification and for funds which aim to deliver real returns in any market condition."

A number of pension funds have started to make their first moves towards alternative routes for managing asset classes, among them fund-of-funds investments.

In June, PKDW, a €1.1bn pension fund traditionally known for investing heavily in fixed-income, for instance, cited "the need for further diversification", while investing in private equity for the first time, allocating €7.5m to two fund-of-funds.

Similarly, the €5.4bn pension fund for the German energy company E.ON is understood to have made its first foray into hedge funds in September, using both single and fund-of-fund vehicles.

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Carolyn Bandel on +44 (0)20 7261 4622 or email