Insurance Asset Risk Awards 2021 - UK & Europe

Private debt manager of the Year - NN Investment Partners

There is no doubt that private debt has come to the fore for insurers in the last decade and asset managers have been vying to offer their services in what is becoming a crowded market.

NN IP is one of the more experienced asset managers in the field, having made its first private debt foray in 1992. The NNIP Alternative Credit team manages €46bn in private debt assets with 36 investment professionals and 22 in support functions looking across geographies and sub-investment classes.

A few specific areas stand out. Starting in 2009, the company built a significant experience in export finance loans and particularly in short-dated trade receivables where it has been active since 2016.

The focus is on investing in loans and other assets that facilitate the purchase, movement, storage and sale of products, goods, and commodities.To date it has financed over €1bn in the strategy.

The objective is—obviously— to generate an attractive risk-adjusted income but, given the low spread durations targeted by the strategy, it is also expected to be highly efficient from a solvency capital perspective.

Concurrent to this, the company has made responsible investing its goal.

In addition to aligning with international sustainability standards, NNIP has developed proprietary policies with a focus on financing sustainable goods with positive social impact and restricting and limiting the financing of goods with significant negative impact.

Within this remit, the team looks at the originated countries of the commodity. For each transaction, a responsible investment assessment is made in conjunction with the portfolio manager. It is a positive approach keeping an eye on returns both current and future that wins the asset manager the private debt award this year.