LONDON - Peter Dencik, deputy executive director of the 35 billion Danish kroner ($5.8 billion) PKA pension fund for health services workers in Copenhagen, left the fund to become chief executive of newly created Singer & Friedlander International Asset Management Ltd., London.
U.K. merchant bank Singer & Friedlander has spun off the institutional business from its (pounds)1.2 billion ($1.9 billion) money management arm. The new institutional business will start with about (pounds) 200 million ($318 million) in assets under management, mostly for small U.K. pension funds. It will specialize in small- to medium-cap stocks.
Taking over Mr. Dencik's international investment responsibilities at PKA is Nina Movin, head of equities.
Mr. Dencik, who is well-known in European pension circles, devoted the first 15 years of his career as an academic economist in Sweden and Denmark. In 1985, he opted for a switch, joining PKA as senior economist. He become deputy executive director in 1991.
In 1989, he pioneered PKA's expansion into international equities through use of regional managers and a global manager. But fund officials found their own asset allocation bets were better than those made by its global manager, Bankers Trust Co., so they dropped Bankers and took on the responsibility themselves.
Mr. Dencik's experience in global asset allocation will aid him as a member of the new firm's investment committee, which also will include its top four regional portfolio managers and the firm's economist.
Mr. Dencik believes the firm's small size will make it more flexible. By having the portfolio managers directly involved in setting the geographic asset allocation, officials believe their real-world experience will help in deciding whether theoretical strategies will translate into performance in different capital markets.
The firm has been assembling a team of managers, including Richard Killingbeck for North American equities, Gillian Marshall for Far Eastern equities, James Cotton for U.K. small-company stocks, and Nick Williams for continental European stocks. The firm is looking to hire a U.K. large-cap stock manager.
Mr. Dencik said Singer & Friedlander has a strong track record with U.K. small-cap stocks and a solid U.S. midcap product. He said the firm would like to develop that expertise in small-to midcap stocks around the world.
The team's newness and the manager's small size means it is not ready to contend for U.K.-based balanced portfolios. But Mr. Dencik hopes he can leverage his extensive contacts throughout continental Europe, particularly in Scandinavia, the Benelux countries and Switzerland.
Eventually, Mr. Dencik would like to break into the U.S. pension market, but he says the firm probably will seek to acquire a compatible U.S. manager.