UK - The £1bn P&O Pension Scheme has appointed Muzinich to manage a £50m global high yield bond portfolio.
The appointment by the worldwide transport and logistics company follows an asset allocation review assisted by actuary Watson Wyatt.
P&O Pension Scheme secretary Rita Powell said: “Like many other schemes we wanted to invest a portion of our funds in a return-seeking asset class that was potentially less volatile than equities and provided diversification.
“High yield bonds and the experience of Muzinich in focusing on this asset class appeared to fit the bill.”
Muzinich head of institutional marketing Francis Paxton commented: “There has been a huge surge of interest in high yield bonds from UK pension funds.
“We anticipate that this movement will gather momentum as investors increasingly recognise that the asset class can potentially generate both strong returns, and can also act as a portfolio risk diversifier relative to equities and other bond classes.
Muzinich manages over £100m for four UK pension schemes, and has over Us$3.6bn (£2.23bn) assets under management in total.
Its client base largely includes European pension funds, insurers, multi-managers and banks.
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has announced it will shrink its board by more than one-third as part of a governance overhaul to make it "agile and more appropriate".
Smaller FTSE 350 defined benefit (DB) schemes were nearly 15 percentage points less well-funded than larger schemes in 2017, according to a Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) analysis.
The advent of collective pension systems could help the UK avoid demographic challenges which will make it "impossible" for society to help savers in retirement, experts say.