The Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) has awarded Principal Global Investors (PGI) a $180 million global currency overlay mandate.

PGI’s overlay, which only needs to be seeded with a nominal amount of cash for investment in synthetics, is a newly created mandate and sees the US manager join five other overlays on the QIC Active Currency Trust. They are run by Deutsche Asset Management, Bridgewater Associates, JPMorgan (all 20 per cent), FDO Partners (15 per cent) and Bank of New York Overlay Associates (15 per cent), with PGI taking the remaining tenth. QIC’s head of external management within its Alternative Investment Strategies team, Aongus O’Gorman, said the PGI style had zero correlation to the other managers. The mandate was transitioned in June, and O’Gorman said PGI made a positive contribution of 0.3 per cent to the Trust’s active return of 1.87 per cent during July. (The overall return was 2.35 per cent against the cash benchmark of 0.48 per cent, however that benchmark has thrashed QIC’s roster since its November 2003 inception, 5.67 per cent to 1.05.) PGI’s currency capability is run from London by Michael Farrington, with a product manager assist from Alex Francoise in Sydney.

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