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Alternative Market Briefing

Swiss pension funds shy about hedge funds, but not CERN

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

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Gregoire Haenni
Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva:

Swiss allocators and fund managers at the recent Opalesque Geneva Roundtable agreed that non-U.S. pension funds are generally twice shy about investing in the hedge fund world; although single hedge funds have more a chance of finding institutional money than funds of hedge funds, some say other alternative products now seem to be their main way of diversifying away from bonds and equities.

In this article we cite two exceptions to this trend: CERN Pension Fund, which has been investing in hedge funds for about two years and recently increased its allocation, and Argos Investment Managers, a new Geneva-based fund manager with two new products that got seeded by Swiss pension funds.

The CERN exception At the end of 2010, the governing board of the Geneva-based CERN Pension Fund decided to invest directly in alternative investments, and started with a portfolio of CHF100m ($108.9m); according to Grégoire Haenni, CIO of the CERN Pension Fund, the investment committee liked the slightly positive performance of that year and decided, along with the fund’s risk consultant, to increase the allocation. CERN is a rare case among European pension funds.

"On a global scale we see a lot of inflows into alternative investment funds, but it mainly comes from U.S. institutional investors," Haenni continued. "Some flows ......................

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