United Nations pension fund commits to IFC frontier fund

$35bn UNJSPF makes first ever alternative assets investment

The United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund has made its first ever investment in alternative assets with a $150m (€117m) commitment to the International Finance Corp.’s recently launched ALAC Fund for frontier markets.
The UNJSPF is backing the IFC African, Latin American and Caribbean Fund, which was launched in April this year with anchor investors PGGM, the Korea Investment Corp. and Azerbaijan’s State Oil Fund.
The IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank, has strong sustainability credentials: it has applied policy and performance standards on social and environmental sustainability to all investment projects since 2006.The ALAC Fund made its first investment in June, putting up to £35m into the West Africa operations of HeidelbergCement.

The UN fund said the move followed “a lengthy and rigorous” due diligence process and fulfilled its fiduciary duty to diversify its investments. The UNJSPF has been considering investing in alternatives since the asset class was approved for the fund in 2008.
The UNJSPF, which has 180,000 beneficiaries, has established a Working Group which is reviewing the fund’s design.
Meanwhile, the UNJSPF is seeking expressions of interest for an asset-liability management (ALM) consultant. Link