Copenhagen-based Nykredit Asset Management is looking to hire a long-only manager of Japanese equities. The Danish firm has total assets under management of Kr95 billion ($18 billion) and has around $250 million dedicated to Japanese equities, says Esben Ørum Tiedemann, head of manager selection.

The firm currently uses a US-based asset management company to provide it with Japanese equities expertise. However, this provider has gone through a restructuring of its equity business. The core strategy is being tilted towards value, with growth being dropped. As a result, the strategy no longer meets the original mandate when it was awarded by Nykredit five years ago.

Tiedemann declined to name the outgoing firm.

Nykredit’s expertise is mainly limited to Danish equities and fixed income, so it has a history of bringing in third-party managers in areas such as US, Japan and emerging-market equities and bonds. Its clients include local high-net-worth individuals as well as institutional investors.

With the change in manager, Nykredit is using this opportunity to reconsider the mandate parameters and optimal investment style. It has relied on core Japan equities, but is willing to consider tilts towards value or growth – anything other than dedicated small caps, which is too narrow, says Tiedemann.

He adds that the firm’s asset-allocation team has changed its weighting to Japan from underweight to neutral. “We are committed to this asset class,” he says.

In addition, Nykredit would use the manager’s name in its marketing. “We are not looking just to white label a product,” he says.

Size is not an issue: a provider could be a local boutique, or the arm of a giant investment bank, or something between. But what does matter is that it has a local investment capability in Japan. A presence in Europe would be a plus, to help service Nykredit and its clients, but is not mandatory.