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PPM gives go-ahead for hedge funds

4/5/2009 - Financial Times Europe, Editor: Steve Johnson

Sweden’s Premium Pension Authority has authorised what appears to be the first hedge fund-style vehicles on its 770-strong fund platform.

The Authority, known as the PPM, has approved multi-manager Event Driven, Managed Futures and Equity Hedged vehicles managed by Salus Alpha, based in Austria and Liechtenstein.

All three track investable hedge fund indices issued by an arm of the Salus Alpha Group and listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange.

“These are the first hedge funds in the Swedish pension system,” said Oliver Prock, chief investment officer of Salus Alpha. “All our hedge funds are available to be selected by either an IFA [independent financial adviser] or the customer themselves.”

The Salus Alpha vehicles are regulated Ucits III funds, and their acceptance on to the pension platform may open the floodgates given the rapid expansion of hedge fund strategies into the onshore funds arena. The PPM said its key criteria for inclusion were that funds were Ucits III compliant and produced daily net asset value figures.

The PPM is the third tranche of the Swedish pension system, building on a guaranteed national retirement pension and an income pension funded by employee contributions.

It currently manages SKr200bn (£16.9bn, €18.5bn, $24.9bn) of assets on behalf of 5.8m members, who can choose to have their premiums invested in up to five funds.