CERN Pension Chief Pushes Global Macro Model

May 31 2013 | 10:17am ET

One pension fund manager has a message for his peers: Start acting like a global macro hedge fund, or pay someone to do it for you.

Theodore Economou, who leads the European Center for Nuclear Research's 4 billion Swiss franc pension fund, urged other pension to act as his does, employing sophisticated risk-management systems to cut volatility and improve returns, much as the best global macro hedge funds do. And if that's not possible, Economou says, pension should hand their entire portfolio to a hedge fund manager.

"We manage towards an absolute return target," he told Professional Pensions. "We believe our model can and should be replicated by pension funds with the same goals as CERN because we think the model represents an answer to the industry's challenges."

Economou adds that the hedge fund industry can "come to the rescue of the pension fund industry."

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