The NZ Superannuation Fund (NZS) has split implementation and factor index construction under its mandate announced last year with Dutch investment powerhouse, Robeco.
As reported last February, the NZS hired Robeco to run a multi-factor global equity portfolio following a revamp of its strategy.
But in an unusual arrangement, the NZS appointed the Rotterdam-headquartered to build the multi-factor overlay, which the now $55 billion plus fund executes elsewhere.
“Under the terms of our mandate, Robeco applies its intellectual property to construct a developed markets equity multi-factor index on our behalf,” a NZS spokesperson said. “We are afforded flexibility in the implementation of the index, allowing us manage via a mix of in-house and external implementation-agents.”
The mixed approach provides “significant liquidity advantages” to the sovereign wealth fund, the spokesperson said.
Robeco has some local clients – including fixed income mandates with Mercer and the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) fund – but the NZS gig was its first equity factor win in NZ.
Founded in Rotterdam in 1929, the Robeco opened a Sydney office in 2012 to expand its reach into the Australasian market.
Known for its quant-based investment style, the firm – now owned by Japanese Orix Corporation – also has a strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) bent. As at the end of last December, Robeco had about NZ$300 billion under management including $135 in quant strategies and $270 billion plus in ESG-integrated funds.
Last week the NZS also confirmed it had allocated up to US$100 million to a US private equity fund specialising in 5G wireless infrastructure.
The fund, operated by Grain Management, took part in the recent auction of 5G wireless spectrum licences in the US, the spokesperson said.
Grain “acquired 10 highly valued licenses for more than US$1.2 billion”.
Bidding under the ‘New Level II’ name, Grain was the fifth-largest spender in the US 5G space-race, which raised over US$81 billion in a highly competitive auction that concluded on February 24 this year.
The so-called ‘Auction 107’ saw 21 bidders secure “all of the available 5,684 licenses”, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said in a release.
Cellco Partnership and AT&T secured the lion’s share of the 5G licences with respective bids of about US$45 billion and US$23 billion.
FCC acting chair, Jessica Rosenworcel, said in the statement:
“It is essential to America’s economic recovery that we deliver on the promise of next generation wireless services for everyone, everywhere.
“This auction reflects a shift in our nation’s approach to 5G toward mid-band spectrum that can support fast, reliable, and ubiquitous service that is competitive with our global peers. Now we have to work fast to put this spectrum to use in service of the American people.”