AP7 eyes diversification with EM, small cap equities

first_imgSweden’s default premium pension fund AP7 plans to add emerging markets and small cap investments into its giant equities portfolio to increase diversification.In an interview with IPE, Ingrid Albinsson, CIO of the SEK370bn (€39.2bn) pension fund, said: “What will try to do going forward is to get some more diversification into the equities portfolio. “We haven’t decided exactly how and when, but we will try to get more emerging markets and we will try to get bit more small cap exposure into the portfolio.”Unlike the other large AP national pension funds in the Swedish system, AP7 is not a buffer fund to back up the state pension. It instead runs the default option within the Premium Pension System (PPM). The PPM is the part of the state pension that allows individuals freedom to choose their own investment providers and funds.  “Because we have a lot of large caps and medium-sized stocks in the portfolio, we think we would be able to get some diversification by adding small caps as well, but at the end of the day, you always have to look to see whether the practice is as the same as the theory,” Albinsson said.The pension fund’s inhouse investment team will look into the reality of implementing this diversification strategy.AP7 is also to consider the use of risk factors, Albinsson said: “It is something that could diversify the portfolio more [but] we haven’t decided exactly when and how we will do this.”The CIO added: “The aim of the diversification exercise is to create a more efficient portfolio, which will create more value for the risk we take.“When the pension product was first created, there was a lot of simplification, but in the meantime, markets have changed, techniques have changed — and we have changed. It is possible now to develop our product by diversifying our portfolio and getting more efficiency.”The organisation’s overall investments have remained largely unchanged over the past few years in terms of their asset allocation.AP7 runs two funds which act as building blocks for its Såfa default premium pension product — an SEK257bn equities fund and an SEK112bn bond fund.Proposals to reform the PPM currently under consideration in Sweden could result in AP7’s assets under management more than doubling in a few years’ time.Under the new plan, the consultation for which closed this month, individual PPM savers would be required to re-evaluate their fund choice every seven years, with their savings being transferred to AP7 if they fail to express a choice.If the ideas become law, the resulting extra business will serve to make AP7 more efficient, Albinsson said: “Economies of scale really do matter in the financial sector. It’s a clear advantage if you really have size.”At the moment AP7 has a staff of 25, based in the Swedish capital, Stockholm. Albinsson said the company would “probably” look to hire more staff if its asset base was to double in size.However, the balance of in-house and outsourced asset management was unlikely to change, she said. Some 30% of AP7’s assets are managed in-house, and 70% outside.“We think it’s appropriate for us to have that, because we have a lot of beta in the portfolio, so that is best outsourced in order to get the economies of scale,” Albinsson said.AP7 was an early institutional mover in sustainable investment, and has used the twin tools of engagement as well as stock exclusions for longer than most of its investor peers. It was working on bringing in ‘green mandates’, Albinsson said, as the pension fund continued with its plan to move into the clean tech area which it started a few years ago.“At the same time, we’re not in a hurry to do this, because to get value out of this kind of investment, it takes time. We have been having a very active discussion, with targets of increasing our exposure especially in climate investments, but for us its more of a gradual increase,” Albinsson said.last_img read more

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Syracuse’s NCAA tournament hopes hang in balance after being crushed by North Carolina

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ On March 14, 1998, Syracuse played Maryland in the first Division I women’s lacrosse game for SU. The Orange allowed 21 goals, the most it has ever given up. In the 397 ensuing games for Syracuse since, that’s happened on just one more occasion: Boston College’s win to knock Syracuse out of last year’s NCAA tournament. That was until Thursday.No. 19 Syracuse (9-9, 1-6 Atlantic Coast) fell to No. 5 North Carolina (13-3, 6-1), 21-12, in the first round of the ACC tournament in Durham, N.C. UNC’s eight-goal margin at the end of the first half was simply too much for the Orange to overcome. A bubble team heading into the conference tournament, SU will have to wait more than a week to find out its NCAA tournament fate.“They’re a very good team, they rode hard,” SU head coach Gary Gait said. “They hustled their butts off and made some plays.”UNC had frequent opportunities. The Tar Heels had tallied 29 shots, including 23 on goal, where Syracuse starting goalie Asa Goldstock lasted just more than six minutes, allowing seven goals, before being pulled. If not for stellar play from SU freshman Hannah Van Middelem in goal, including multiple saves that came off of point-blank shots and nine total first-half saves, the Orange could have trailed by an even wider margin at halftime. “We know (Van Middelem’s) a great young goalie,” Gait said. “Asa (Goldstock’s) been playing well, though, so she hasn’t been able to play much.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFive players scored for the Tar Heels in the first half, all with at least two goals. Ela Hazar put up a hat trick and three assists, and Jamie Ortega added her own hat trick. UNC dominated the first half draw, 13-8. The Tar Heels caused nine first-half turnovers by SU, compared to zero caused by the Orange. The rout was on from the opening whistle.“They got after it early,” Gait said. “And again, we couldn’t clear the ball. Made a lot of mistakes, lot of turnovers. And you give a team like that to play offense, they’re going to score goals, and they did.”UNC scored the game’s first three goals before Syracuse could notch one. Then, the next four went to North Carolina as well, before SU added its second. Four more to the Tar Heels, and the game was 10-2 in favor of UNC less than 16 minutes in. Even with the Orange scoring four of the next five goals, that deficit was insurmountable. In the second half, the Tar Heels kept on coming. Ortega finished with six goals. UNC’s goalies combined to save eight of SU’s 20 shots on goal, plenty to back up a powerful offensive showing. SU’s only form of life on offense came from Emily Hawryschuk, who finished with five goals to push her to 54 for the season. The sophomore scored the first goal of the second half to try to give the Orange life. But what was still a seven-goal deficit then never got closer.“We scored on a decent number of our opportunities,” Gait said. “… We just didn’t get many shots.”After Syracuse’s last regular season game — a win over Louisville on Sunday — SU head coach Gary Gait thought back to the Orange’s regular-season matchup with North Carolina a few weeks ago. Syracuse lost by nine goals in the Carrier Dome with what, Gait said, was “flat” play right from the outset. The Orange had scored the final 11 goals of its Senior Day game. But Gait warned that on Thursday against UNC, it would be a new game and that he hoped SU would avoid coming out flat. Unfortunately for the Orange, the result wouldn’t be any different.Now, all Syracuse can do is wait. The NCAA tournament selection show was on May 7 last year, more than a week away, although the NCAA hasn’t updated the date for this year’s selection. Regardless, SU can’t make any more statements on the field. “We wait a week, get ready, and see what happens,” Gait said. “… Try and make sure we’re ready and if we get a chance to play in the tournament, we’re ready and we get a better result than we did here today.” Comments Published on April 26, 2018 at 8:16 pm Contact Billy: wmheyen@syr.edu | @Wheyen3last_img read more

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