IRELAND - The €4bn Bank of Ireland (BOI) Group pension fund is considering, as part of a strategic review, a foray into hedge funds and private equity through fund of funds later this year.
Although not in a position to talk about the size of the potential allocation, Frank Flynn, head of group pensions at BOI, confirmed the fund was looking to add these new asset classes to its portfolio.
Pension funds in Ireland have been said to be slow on the uptake of alternatives, which results in market movements being delayed.
The 19bn National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF), the largest fund in Ireland by any standard, has stopped short of making investments in hedge funds.
Arguably, considering the herd mentality in the pension industry globally, this could have put off smaller players investigating the asset class.
However, with funds like BOI making the move, others could follow suit.
Meanwhile, the NPRF has delayed its decision to invest in Irish venture capital. An allocation was due to be made at the end of 2006, but according to director John Corrigan, resource constraints have lengthened the process.
Corrigan confirmed the fund should make an announcement regarding venture capital within the next two months.
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