West Midlands pension commits $150m to Asia

One of the UK’s largest pension funds has awarded Capital Dynamics a discretionary mandate to focus on investments in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Swiss private equity asset manager Capital Dynamics has been awarded a $150 million discretionary mandate by the £7.2 billion (€9 billion; $11.3 billion) West Midlands Pension Fund, one of the UK’s largest retirement funds.

The mandate is focused on investments across all sectors in Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Capital Dynamics will make between six and eight investments on behalf of the fund over the next two years, a spokesman for the firm told PEO.

West Midlands Pension Fund has been investing in private equity for 25 years. In 2007 the fund made commitments of around £179 million to private equity funds, which included Apax Europe VII, Blackstone Capital Partners V and Pantheon Asia V.

The pension has a 25 percent allocation to alternatives. In July it increased its allocation from 5 to 7 percent to more than £500 million in the medium term.

In an interview with Reuters earlier this month, chief investment officer Judith Saunders said that the fund is considering exploiting opportunities in distressed assets. “We are not rushing into anything at all, we are waiting and will see what the opportunities are,” she said. The fund is also considering making a 2 percent allocation to hedge funds.

Capital Dynamics, which is headquartered in Switzerland with offices around the world, has committed more than $700 million to Asian-based private equity investment opportunities to date, according to a statement.