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Earlier this year the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation were announced winners of the APAC Institutional Manager of the Year at the EQ Derivatives Volatility & Risk Premia Awards.

The awards were conducted via qualitative study, which involved interviewing the participating nominees. Nominees were selected through a process that involved canvassing sell-side and hedge fund participants on their allocators and counterparties via the editorial board's own reporting throughout the year.

According to the board, NZ Super Fund stood out this year ahead of the other nominees thanks to our sophisticated understanding of alternative risk premia (factor) allocations and conservative and sensible approach to allocations. They state:

"Out of all the nominees EQ Derivatives interviewed, [NZ Super] had the most highly developed grasp on ARP (alternative risk premia) allocations, evidenced by the active method of portfolio construction and how it has developed from a traditional bonds and equity mix to accommodate ARP. NZ Super might not be the largest or most complex of the funds nominated for this year's award, but it has used the simplicity of its fund's makeup as an advantage, taking a simple approach to ARP allocations.

The Fund has gone through an evolution to a very consultant driven model, to a much lower cost portfolio, taking on some allocation management internally. To its credit, NZ Super looked at the risk premia-like returns from some of its traditional active manager hedge funds and decided on a lower cost method of gaining exposure to those returns. In its allocations, the Fund has also proven to be a conservative leader, being somewhat picky with its ARP allocations and choosing only those it sees that are sustainable and with a plausible explanation to the existing premia."

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