France’s ERAFP awards emerging markets mandate to Aberdeen Standard

Amundi and Investec also stand to gain from announcement

ERAFP, the €30bn pension scheme for French civil servants, has awarded an actively managed emerging markets corporate bond mandate to Aberdeen Standard Investments (Aberdeen Asset Management) with an initial commitment of c.€160m.
In a release, ERAFP, the 100% SRI pension fund, indicated its intention to “increase its exposure to this asset class through the implementation of dedicated mandates” having held EM corporate bonds through mutual funds since 2016.

ERAFP, which named former airport executive turned government official Laurent Galzy to succeed Philippe Desfossés late last year, also announced that it has awarded “standby” mandates for the same briefs to Amundi, the Paris-based fund manager, and BFT Investment Managers, a subsidiary of South African asset manager Investec.These give ERAFP the option of activating a mandate at a later date for the purposes of diversifying risk.

The tender, launched last April, called for a non-benchmarked, conviction-based management approach; and targeted a value of €300m in three years.

According to the document, a segregated mandate allows “specific investment guidelines to be applied, in particular with regard to socially responsible investment (SRI)”.

As part of this, emphasis is given to “continuous dialogue” and all issuers in the portfolio will be rated in accordance with ESG criteria.

The pension scheme is known as an RI leader and integrates a socially responsible investment (SRI) approach across its investments.