SWITZERLAND - Marco Netzer, president of first-pillar pension fund AHV, has reported a "positive result" for the first half of 2010 and said he was "not too bothered" about the current weakness of the euro and other currencies.
Netzer told IPE: "Mid-year, we saw a positive result, and we are hoping we will close 2010 positively - but I'm not making any prognosis."
The fund has declined to provide performance figures for the year 2010, but it reported an 11.5% return for 2009.
"We can be content with our performance," Netzer said.
At the half-year mark for 2010, the CHF26.5bn (€20.2bn) AHV fund had allocated approximately 20% to Swiss franc-denominated bonds, 8.5% to Swiss franc loans, 37% to foreign currency bonds, 19% to equities, 5% to real estate, 2.2% to commodities and the rest to tactical overlays, as well as cash - "to be on the safe side", according to Netzer.
"Over the medium-term, we are not planning any major changes in the asset allocation," he added.
Eventually, the commodity quota is set to reach 3%, but that is a longer-term project, he said.
The fund announced its intention to boost exposure to the asset class earlier this month by tendering for an active commodities futures mandate.
Meanwhile, Netzer said he was not overly worried about the strong Swiss franc, as 75% of the currency exposure is hedged, which he said helped to manage currency fluctuations, but also allowed the fund to generate higher returns in other currencies.
Last year, the fund introduced active overlays, which it is handling itself, and over the last two years, the assets managed in-house have increased to roughly half the portfolio.
Netzer hinted there had been some negative experiences with some managers, but he said he did not want to "blame the industry".
"In some areas," he said, "we had to reconsider whether it made sense to award an active mandate, and where we decided against it, we then thought about managing it ourselves."
In the run-up to the re-structuring of the fund from next year, hires have been made giving the AHV new in-house resources in risk management and other areas, he added.
In the coming months, AHV will have to decide on separate asset allocations and risk profiles for the three entities that will be combined under its roof from 1 January.
These include the old-age fund (AHV), the disability fund (IV) - which had so far been co-financed by the AHV - and a fund for maternity and military payouts (EO).