NEW YORK -- Getting its foot in the U.S. market, a Danish bank has begun managing two international equity mutual funds for U.S. investors as a first step in its plan to jump into the huge U.S. pension fund business.
Executives of Unibank Investment Management, Copenhagen, a unit of Unibank A/S, the second largest bank in Denmark, have been meeting with consultants in the U.S. in an effort to gain U.S. pension fund clients.
"We've been in the finals of a few searches recently" for U.S. pension fund business, said Catherine E. Ellsworth, director-marketing in the firm's New York office. "We don't have any clients yet."
Unibank began managing two international mutual funds in December for Undiscovered Managers LLC, Dallas. So far it has $5.8 million in the small-cap international fund and $5 million in an active EAFE fund.
Elsewhere in the world, mainly Europe, it manages $16.4 billion in total, including about $8 billion in global equities. Its European pension fund clients include Unilever NV, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Unibank uses a theme approach in investing, said Stefan Schmidt, senior portfolio manager, based in Copenhagen. It takes a top-down approach designed to exploit broad structural changes it identifies in the economy and society, including trends in demographics, globalization and technology. It invests in companies that would be prime beneficiaries of the themes it develops, such as trends in the growing demand for outsourcing, increased advertising spending, privatization of pension savings, global data growth and telecommunications.