IRELAND - The National Pensions Reserve Fund has shifted its e400m European equity mandate with Bank of Ireland Asset Management to a passively managed mandate through the BIAM/SSgA alliance.
BIAM/SSgA already manages a e1.7bn passive European equity mandate for the NPRF, benchmarked to the FTSE Eurobloc.
Adrian O'Donovan, senior manager (Commission secretary), NPRF, said that the active European equity mandate was not up for “competition”, and declined to comment on the reason for the move.
BIAM had been on the NPRF’s watch list since early this year over concerns about personnel, process and indeed performance.
Speaking to Global Pensions in January, Ronan O’Connor, head of risk management, portfolio construction and asset allocation, NPRF said: “Clearly the people have changed, the performance is below par because they are deep value managers, and one of our concerns would be that the process would change, by virtue of the fact that the people who were administering the old process have changed.”
Since October 2004 BIAM has lost some e8bn in client outflows, primarily from US and Australian pension funds with EAFE mandates.
To date, BIAM’s Irish client base has been sound, although there have been concerns over who is to succeed Chris Reilly when he retires in 2007.
Recently, however, BIAM has been looked upon favourably by its Irish client base, as it is one of the few local managers not to hold Elan stock. Elan’s share price plummeted 80% in the first quarter of this year and has wiped e400m from pension plans’ returns, according to Mercer Investment Consulting.
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