AUSTRIA - Exclusive: The Vienna-based OEPAG Pensionskassen are to tender for a real estate manager by the end of the year in move that could also spark an additional search for a specialist property consultant.
The multi-employer scheme also revealed new additions to its manager roster.
Walter Schmoiger, head of investments at the e1.6bn scheme, said that OEPAG currently has zero exposure to real estate and would be looking to allocate between 5-7% to indirect vehicles. Exposure would be confined to Western European markets.
“At the moment the interest rate is too high so we are trying to smooth this out,” said Schmoiger.
He hinted that the scheme may put out a search for a specialist property consultant to advise on the move.
OEPAG has also sealed its first foray into hedge funds with a e40m allocation to Swiss-based hedge fund manager RMF Investment Management. The mandate will be sourced from existing global equities exposure managed by Austria’s own Raiffeisen Capital.
Schmoiger added that some 10 international managers are being shortlisted for a circa e150m investment grade corporate bonds brief, with an appointment expected at the end of August. The mandate will be again sourced from existing exposure to European government bonds, managed between Raiffeisen and Kepler Fonds.
Sarasin Investment Management also joins OEPAG’s manager line-up. The scheme has hired the Swiss firm to e20m in emerging market equities.
Bernard Moody, fund manager at Sarasin, said: “We believe that the tide is turning in favour of emerging markets and that good quality companies operating in relatively stable environment will reward investors will.
“It is likely that we are on the verge of entering a multi-year period of sustained outperformance.”
Moody pointed to strong GDP forecast, lower inflation, liberal currency regimes and good corporate governance as principle factors for growth.
The brief will complement an existing portfolio in eastern European equities, managed by Raiffeisen. In addition, OEPAG has exposure to high yield bonds as part of its higher risk strategies, supervised by Invesco Asset Management.
OEPAG also utilises Capital Invest and Erste Sparinvest. Its current strategic allocation stands at global equity (30%); emerging equity (3%); corporate and high yield bonds (7%) and Eurozone bonds (60%).
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