France’s Ircantec tenders for €800m in quant equity strategies

Tenders to be received by November 14.

Ircantec, the €10bn French public pension scheme, which has responsible investment principles as a significant part of its manager selection criteria, has gone to market for external managers to run €800m via two separate quant equity strategies in OECD countries ex Europe, with one mandate based purely on factor investing.
Ircantec – or to give it its full name in French: L’institution de Retraite Complémentaire des Agents Non Titulaires de l‘État et des Collectivités Publiques – is a pay-as-you-go second pillar pension structure created in 1970. It covers state employees, and regional authority workers, including local politicians, and staff at companies such as EdF and GdF, the big French utilities, and the Banque de France. Its €9.8bn treasury is its contributions buffer for future pension payments. The two new quant mandates, one for factor investing and the other open to proposal are worth an estimated €400m each.Ircantec says it will select managers based on the following criteria: experience, investment capacity and ESG integration in the strategy (50%), organisational capacity (30%) and operational capacity (20%). The mandate durations are five years and may be subject to renewal. Tenders, which must be in French, have to reach the fund by November 14.
Ircantec is housed within France’s €300bn Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) sovereign wealth fund, and carries out its own manager selection.
It has been one of the most active European pension funds on sustainability, notably within its fixed income allocation until now. In February this year it went to market for an external manager to run a mammoth €1.2bn sovereign debt mandate with dynamic risk management optimisation for issuances in OECD countries: Link to RI story