Thoroughly 'modern' funds reaps rewards for the second time

What the judges said: “They are a serious player and are developing their strategy. In particular they have developed their reporting system in co-operation with an outside specialist and it is very modern by Finnish standards, for example providing for analysis of performance attribution. Their risk management system is also modern and capable.”
While Finland’s Okobank Group Pension Fund (OGPF) hasn’t implemented any significant changes to its investment strategy this past year, it believes it received its second consecutive IPE investment strategy award because it continues to achieve good results in declining markets. “We have a very modern risk management process in operation and our reporting system is also very up-to-date by Finnish standards. Though nothing major has changed in the last year, we believe these are key factors in our success again in the IPE awards,” says OGPF’s chief investment officer, Matti Kuhakoski.
Kuhakoski says that he believes the fund made some good strategic asset allocation decisions last year and that its approach to alternatives was most probably also a factor in the award. “Our extensive use of alternatives has certainly maintained encouraging profitability. Furthermore, our unusually high exposure to real estate has also been very beneficial, in that it is something of a safe haven here in Finland and the property market consistently yields high returns,” he comments.
Kuhakoski says the fact OGPF has no clients outside the Okobank Group doesn’t mean the award is any less significant a marketing tool for for OGPF than for other funds. “It provides a perfect forum for communication with other pension funds and asset management groups across Europe and for networking,” he adds.
Internally, the benefits are equally good, says Kuhakoski, who confirms that everyone involved in the pension fund, not just the asset management side, was happy and proud to have won the award for the second year running.
“Last year the award provided the perfect marketing tool in our client relationships within the group. As well as added motivation, it was the perfect acknowledgement of all the hard work the pension fund team puts in each day. That applies equally this year and it allows us to build on that foundation.”

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