PensionDanmark merges alternatives and private debt teams

The merged department will take responsibility for all alternatives investment at a time when the pension fund plans to grow its exposure.

PensionDanmark has merged its private debt and alternatives departments to give it greater investment flexibility.

The move sees its current head of private debt, Kim Nielsen, take over as head of alternatives following the departure of Claus Lyngdal, who has left to become head of alternatives at Danske Bank after almost 11 years at the pension fund.

Nielsen has been head of private debt at the Copenhagen-based pension fund since 2016 and will take responsibility for the new merged department. The department’s responsibilities will include overseeing investments in infrastructure, direct lending and other alternative asset classes.

PensionDanmark said that its combined team would enable it to harvest synergies in its asset management and compliance. It will also enable the investor to take a more flexible approach to choosing where in the capital structure it wishes to invest when taking on new projects.

The pension fund recently announced it will seek to put more capital into alternatives, particularly real estate and infrastructure, as it expects listed assets to produce lower returns in the future.

PensionDanmark is one of the largest pension funds in Europe, with €31.5 billion of assets under management and 732,000 members. Last year, the fund made a 1.6 percent overall loss, though this was limited by double-digit returns from infrastructure and real estate investment.