NETHERLANDS - Stichting Alcatel-Lucent Pensioenfonds has invested €25m ($36m) in an anti-benchmark world equity strategy run by French asset manager TOBAM, reducing BlackRock's global equity mandate by half.
The anti-benchmark strategy re-weights securities within an existing index in a way that achieves the most diversified portfolio possible and is meant to reduce volatility while adding marginal returns.
Pension fund director Cor Zeeman said officials at the fund were looking for ways to lower the risk within their global equity portfolio and decided to split the €50m run by BlackRock in half.
"This is our first anti-benchmark strategy implementation. The reason for this investment is to achieve a lower risk profile in the world equity portfolio. It is not due to dissatisfaction of the existing manager," Zeeman told Global Pensions.
"We had invested 10% of our assets within an enhanced indexing world equity mandate with BlackRock. We changed it into 5% in TOBAM and 5% as is. The expected return is slightly higher with a lower risk profile. Both funds have different ways of implementing an investment strategy, so (we get) more diversification within this investment segment," he added
This is the first publicized hire for TOBAM since the firm announced the California Public Employees Retirement System had taken a minority stake in the firm.
CalPERS took a stake in TOBAM as part of its manager development programme and also hired the firm to run a $150m portfolio. (Global Pensions; 28 April 2011)
TOBAM's assets under management have increased by 30% since the start of the year and now total $2bn.
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