Belgian pension fund taps 2 for TAA, emerging markets debt

Pensioenfonds UZ Gent, Gent, Belgium, hired Candriam Investors Group to manage a tactical asset allocation portfolio, and Goldman Sachs Asset Management to run an emerging markets debt strategy.

The pension fund for Ghent University Hospital launched a search in August for a manager to run an initial €82 million ($88.4 million) in TAA, and an initial €16 million in active emerging markets bonds, said a notice filed with European procurement website Tenders Electronic Daily.

The TAA allocation may invest across liquid asset classes, vs. a benchmark of 50% equities and 50% bonds. Derivatives may be used to hedge certain exposures, or for efficient portfolio management.

The €550 million pension fund will allocate an initial about 15% weighting to TAA. This allocation will be built up over time based on new inflows into the pension fund or reallocations. When the search was launched in August, Chris Desmet, a consulting actuary at Willis Towers Watson, which assisted with the search, said it was a new allocation, made up by reallocation and new assets.

The emerging markets bonds allocation represents about 3% of the portfolio, with the size set to significantly increase due to expected monthly net inflows to the pension fund, search documents said.

Mr. Desmet could not be reached for comment by press time.