A rich harvest of awards for the CERN Pension Fund

The CERN Pension Fund recently received two prestigious international awards. The governing bodies and the whole Pension Fund team are celebrating this success, and looking forward to a busy and bright new year.


On 29 November, Théodore Economou (left) accepted the Best Risk Management Solutions Prize at the 2012 Investments & Pensions Europe Awards.

“The awards go to the entire CERN Pension Fund team, the Pension Fund Governing Board, and the Investment Committee,” says Théodore Economou, the Fund’s Chief Executive Officer. On 29 November, at a ceremony held in Copenhagen, Théodore accepted the first award received by the Fund for the Best Risk Management Solutions at the 2012 Investments & Pensions Europe (IPE) Awards. A few days later, he was informed that the Fund had also won the “2012 Industry Innovation Award” of the Asset International - Chief Investment Officer (aiCIO) magazine, in the “Public pension plans below $15 billion” category.

Over the last three years, the CERN Pension Fund has been implementing a capital preservation approach to investments. In parallel to this, a new type of governance was introduced allowing more flexibility for investments in exchange for a marked improvement in transparency and risk control. “We have put in place an independent reporting system in which external consultants monitor the risk profile of the Fund,” explains Théodore. “The Governing Board gets a quarterly independent report on the risks and, as of March 2013, data will be available daily.”

In line with the new approach, several external experts – such as professional investors and pension experts – are participating directly in the Fund’s activities in their capacity as members of the Fund’s management bodies. “We seek to have the highest possible efficiency, which means opting for investments that present the lowest possible level of risk consistent with the Fund’s objectives,” says Théodore. “The contribution of specialised consultants and experts is a key element of the success of the CERN Pension Fund.”

Hundreds of nominations were received for both awards, which were judged by international juries. “These prizes are an important recognition for us and a strong encouragement to pursue the path we have taken. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the Governing Board for its leadership, and to warmly thank all its members for their support!” said Théodore.

by Antonella Del Rosso