AsianInvestor magazine has named China's National Council for Social Security Fund (SSF) its Institutional Investor of the Year. The announcement was made in Hong Kong Friday evening at the magazine's annual awards dinner for money managers.

Jin Yingzi, deputy director-general of the general office in Beijing, accepted the award on behalf of the organisation and its chairman, Xiang Huaicheng.

Jame DiBiasio, AsianInvestor magazine's editor, presented the award, citing the SSF's professional approach to investing the fund's assets. The $26 billion SSF has been established as China's fund of last resort for social security. Although many aspects of its mandate have not been determined - such as at what point the government will allow drawdowns, what measures can be used to finance it, and whether the SSF will assume responsibility for provincial asset pools - it has pursued a prudent, consultant-driven processs to diversifying its assets.

In November, the SSF made its first mandates to global fund managers. Terms were not disclosed but it is believed to have issued 12 mandates for around $1 billion in currency, global fixed income, US equities, global ex-USA equities and Hong Kong equities.

This was the first such set of mandates to emerge from China. The SSF has also pioneered domestic discretionary mandates for local fund houses, as well as private equity, with a stake in Bank of Communications, among others.

AsianInvestor also cited the SSF's work in improving fund governance and in promoting good corporate governance among listed companies in which it holds stakes.

This is the fourth year AsianInvestor named an Institutional Investor of the Year. The Hong Kong Jockey Club won the first award in 2004, followed by South Korea's National Pension Corporation and Taiwan's Shinkong Life Insurance.

Over 300 people attended the awards dinner on Friday, which was held at the Conrad Hotel.