Staff Shake-up at UN Pension as Assets Hit Record High

Risk parity and private equity are on the menu at the UN as assets surge.

(January 30, 2013) — The United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF) is seeking senior investment staff, as its assets hit record levels following a strategy overhaul and significant outperformance.

The fund announced it is searching for a Deputy CEO. The previous holder of the role, Sergio Arvizu, was promoted when the former CEO, Bernard Cochemé, retired at the end of last year.

The UNJSPF is also recruiting an investment officer for its alternatives portfolio after boosting its allocation to the sector over the past couple of years.

“The Investment Management Division undertook a substantial modernization of its IT infrastructure, established a Risk and Compliance Team, strengthened the Investment Team, diversified the Fund into new asset classes including private equity and risk parity, and implemented risk analytics systems,” the fund noted on its website this month.

Its investments earned 12.6% in 2012, outperforming its policy benchmark by 72 basis points, the note said.

“In addition, as of 15 January 2013, the fund reached a new all-time high of $45.6 billion. The fund had closed the calendar year ending 31 December 2012 at $44.6 billion, based on reports from the independent Master Record Keeper.”

Over the past 50 years, the fund has achieved a real rate of return of 3.8% outperforming its target of 3.5% by 0.3 percentage points, the website said.

In the 12 months to the end of December, the fund’s allocation to alternatives more than doubled from 0.4% of its portfolio to 1%, the website showed. Its 4.6% holding in cash was halved, fixed-income allocation was reduced and the fund displayed a 1.4% allocation to “risk control” strategies.

In August, the fund announced it had allocated $500 million to a low volatility strategy.

It retains around 60% of its assets in equities and 30% in fixed-income securities.

For more information on the available positions, click here.

Financial News initially reported the recruitment activity.