The closing date for applications is 21 October.In other news, France’s Ircantec has made an undisclosed investment in Unigestion’s Risk Managed European Equities strategy following the pension fund’s decision to increase exposure to low-volatility equities.Following a comprehensive market review, it said it selected Unigestion for its risk-management expertise and ability to manage equity strategies.Caroline Le Meaux, who manages administration and financial management at Ircantec, cited in particular Unigestion’s “combination of a structured and systematic portfolio construction process with exhaustive risk analysis.”If you have any questions regarding the IPE-Quest search, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions will not be accepted after 16 October. For full information, please go to http://www.ipe-quest.com/search.htm. An undisclosed industry-wide pension fund based in Europe has tendered a $250m (€197m) European or US all-cap/large-cap equity mandate using IPE-Quest.According to search QN1461, the investor is looking for an asset manager that can replicate the MSCI USA Equal Weight index “as closely as possible”. The investor intends to invest in a segregated mandate, but asset managers that offer only funds may also participate.Interested parties should have at least $1bn in assets under management, stating performance – gross of fees – to the end of June.
Mark Burbach, CIO at Blue Sky Group, the asset manager for the KLM schemes, said listed property returned 21.9%.He said the return had come from “a very low point of the market” two years ago, as well as the continuously diminishing costs of capital. He added that listed property in the US had delivered the best results.Burbach said he was very pleased with the 10.3% return on private property, and attributed the result to “a combination of high-quality assets, active management, low leverage and relatively long underlying rental contracts, which provided stability”.He added that the pension fund wanted to increase the strategic allocation to private real estate gradually from approximately 50% to 60% within a year, “as it is expected to generate a more stable cash flow than listed property”. Currently, the scheme’s property portfolio is almost equally divided between private and listed property.However, with a return of 24.4%, private equity was the pension fund’s best returning asset class. Burbach attributed the result chiefly to the value increase of secondary funds, adding that the rise of the US dollar against the euro had also provided a tailwind.The scheme for cabin staff closed out 2014 with a nominal funding of 115.1% – representing a shortfall of its required financial reserves of 6.6% – and a real coverage ratio of 80.8%.KLM’s €7.3bn pension fund for ground staff (Algemeen Pensioenfonds KLM) reported an annual return of 14%, following a fourth quarterly return of 3.5%.With annual and quarterly results of 15.8% and 6.5%, respectively, listed property was also the best performing asset class.Bonds and equity delivered 12.4% and 10.5% over the full year.The scheme added that its 50% hedge of the interest risk on its liabilities contributed 2.3 percentage points to the annual return.However, it noted that it had been unable to benefit from the rise of the US dollar against the euro, as it had largely hedged currency risk.As of the end of December, the ground staff scheme had a nominal funding of 116.3% – 3.1 percentage points short of the required level.The €7.8bn pension fund for pilots (Vliegend Personeel KLM) reported a 2.5% quarterly return, leading to an annual return of 11%.At the end of 2014, the pension fund had a coverage ratio of 126.3%, exceeding the mandatory funding by 7 percentage points. KLM’s three large pension funds in the Netherlands all reported strong results for 2014, with the €2.5bn scheme for cabin staff returning more than 17%.The fourth quarter contributed 4.5 percentage points to the cabin staff scheme’s annual return, with returns of 1.3% for government bonds, 2.5% for equity and 6.8% for property.For the whole of 2014, bonds, equity and real estate returned 10.4%, 10.7% and 16.2%, respectively, the Pensioenfonds KLM Cabinepersoneel said.The 50% hedge of the interest risk on liabilities contributed 6.4 percentage points to the annual performance.
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