GLOBAL - Unilever's pension funds in 42 countries will soon be able to invest into funds of hedge funds via a vehicle created by Unilever Investments (Univest).

Six boutique-size fund-of-hedge-funds managers will make up the new Univest 4 fund to be launched in January initially with $400m (€304.4m) in assets.

"We wouldn't really want to comment on the types of managers we use, except to say that, typically, they are more boutique-type managers," Angela Docherty, senior corporate investment consultant at the consumer goods giant, told IPE.

The investment vehicle is launched to help diversify some of the €18.5bn worldwide pension fund assets to diversify into hedge funds without research and monitoring costs. Similar vehicles for other asset classes might be launched in the future, Rotterdam-based Unilever said.

Just like the global equity pooled vehicle launched last December, the new fund will be Luxembourg-based as well.