Launched in 2001 by Investment & Pensions Europe magazine, the annual IPE awards set industry benchmarks for excellence in the management of Europe's pension funds. The awards recognise and reward the hard work and creative thinking of the best pension funds and their executives.
IPE's 8th European pension funds awards ceremony was held in November 2008 in Barcelona. Swiss Life Network Partner for Finland Ilmarinen received two prestigious awards:

Best Pension Fund in Finland

Ilmarinen manages a EURO 24bn multi-employer scheme. It won the accolade as Finland’s best pension fund thanks to the robust activity of its in-house hedge fund manager, which helps maintain its lead against its competitors. The internal hedge fund performed close to 15% in the year to the end of August 2008, as against a negative performance of -1.5% from the externally-managed hedge fund portfolio. In terms of annualized returns for the past three years, the internal hedge fund investments produced 19.6% versus 10.2% by the external managers.

Best Commodities Investment
As part of its overall pension fund investment approach, Ilmarinen has been following an innovative and successful strategy of investing in commodities to achieve increased diversification and returns. The use of a highly sophisticated customised benchmark to guide its commodity investments contributed in large measure to its positive results in this area.

“Our success in the IPE awards shows that we have managed to constantly develop our investment strategies and policies. This award is a true team effort and for that I congratulate the whole Ilmarinen team!” said Timo Ritakallio, Deputy CEO of Ilmarinen.

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