SWEDEN - The SEK245bn (€26bn) Swedish fund AMF Pension has awarded a European small-cap mandate to Scottish Widows Investment Partnership worth approximately SEK150m.

"This is one of the first times that AMF has outsourced management to an external provider", SWIP said in a statement confirming the mandate. Nobody at AMF was available for confirmation.

AMF Pension is to invest in SWIP's Pan European Smaller Companies OEIC which has returned 32.1% over the past year against an index return of 21.0%

The decision was reported first by Intervalor, a company representing asset managers BankInvest, Griffin, Lee Overlay, Ermitage, New Star and Scottish Widows in Scandinavia.

"AMF manages literally everything in house and it is only when there is a very specialised asset class and they feel that they could benefit from outsourcing it that they would consider it," Intervalor CEO Anders Bladh told IPE.

"This is one of those cases where they felt that they needed additional exposure to European small caps and as it is very research intensive so they chose to outsource. They also do some of it internally it is not a total outsourcing."

Intervalor quoted AMF Pension equity manager Mats Guldbrand as saying: "We have invested in European small caps for an extended period of time and have now chosen to increase our exposure in this market through transferring a part of AMFs capital to SWIP.

"We have followed SWIP during many years and noted that it has achieved impressing results within several asset classes, including European Small Caps. Their thorough company analysis and their investment process fits in with AMF's investment strategy."