SWEDEN - Exclusive: Första AP-fonden, the First Swedish National Pension Fund, is to search for at least three managers for an initial foray into active European small-caps at the start of next year.
The move is part of a broader remit to activate parts of the fund where it will add value and holds the portion of overseas equities (Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific) to 40%, inline with the new strategic benchmark for 2003.
European equities, which make up 11.3% of total assets, are currently benchmarked against the MSCI Europe (ex-Sweden) and returned 0.3% last year.
Patrik Nyman, deputy head of equities at the SEK117.1bn fund, said that AP1 will allocate an initial e200m to the asset class from an existing passive European large-cap portfolio, held between Barclays Global Investors and an inhouse team.
He added that new, individual strategies will be determined on the basis of applications.
“Portfolios will depend on the sort of managers and their different styles. That will be the main driver going forward, although we will be style neutral to begin with,” added Nyman.
Furthermore, AP1 is looking for one of more managers for some US$200m-300m in US small caps, as revealed by IPN in June. The mandates will be benchmarked against the the Russell 2000 (ex-REITs) in move advised by Mercer Investment Consulting.
Expressions of interest are deadlined for August 8 with an appointment expected in December.
AP1 will also embarking on a search for a global custodian during Q4 for its international fixed income and global equity assets. This mandate will be issued once a strategic consultant is in place - a position for which rfps are now invited. The initial assignment will be connected to the procurement of a global custodian.
The deadline for rfps is July 21. Tenders will be dispatched by August 15. Between 3 and 8 candidates will be shortlisted for the mandate which will begin on September 30.
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