ASIA-PACIFIC/SWEDEN - AP4 has hired three managers to handle its first foray into Asia Pacific and Japan, totalling around US$554m.
Sweden’s SEK122bn fourth national pension fund has selected Edinburgh-based Martin Currie Investment Management to a JPY48bn (US$394m) Japanese equities mandate.
US-headquartered Capital International and Singapore firm APS Asset Management will both oversee Pacific equities (ex-Japan), with initial investments of US$80m each.
AP4 outlined its main selection criteria as investment process, ability to generate performance, experience, organisation and resources and fees.
“Fjärde AP-Fonden believes that there is a good potential to outperform in Asia through active investment management,” said Björn Linder, chief investment officer.
“The selected managers are expected to create a high risk-adjusted return and will also allow a stronger focus to the internal organisation. The announced mandates are the first active mandates outsourced to external investment managers and are a part of the overall portfolio optimisation.”
For APS, the win marks the firm’s largest single institutional contract. The firm said that the award highlighted a recent trend towards specialist management as well as signalling recognition for Singapore’s growing fund management industry.
The mandate follows several institutional wins this year for APS, including appointments to Frank Russell’s multi-manager fund programme and to the UK’s Essex County Council pension fund - bringing total assets under management to S$1.25bn (US$700m)
APS, led by CIO and CEO Wong Kok Hoi, attributes its success to a strong investment process founded on a bottom-up approach.
“This [win] augurs well for the firm especially at a time when the size of funds managed by local asset management companies is generally shrinking.
“Despite the dismal state of asset management business in Asia, APS is a beacon and an encouragement for others in an atmosphere of economic gloom,” said Wong Kok Hoi.
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