Pension Funds Insider

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Mandate round-up: Berks wants a new hedge, NEST gets active, Merseyside & Strathclyde frameworks

19 April 2012

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Berkshire is a happy county as well as a royal one this week, with local sporting pride boosted by Reading's promotion to the Premier League. Astute financial management has been a hallmark for the club while they have consistently punched above their weight over the last decade.

 

The county's pension fund is aiming for new ground too, by taking out a longevity hedge on a "fixed cohort" of the fund's members. The contract will run until the last member covered by the contract passes away (approximately 60 years) and will be awarded to the "most economically advantageous tender" that match the specifications.

 

The National Employment Savers Trust, better known as NEST, this week handed an active corporate bond portfolio to Royal London Asset Management.

 

The new government-sponsored saving vehicle are marked by their drive to offer a low cost defined contribution pension, and have a philosophy that passive management generally offers better value for money than active management.

 

A NEST spokesperson told Pension Funds Insider that the group has conducted research showing though that "active corporate bond funds are one area where a significant number of active managers have historically outperformed corporate bond benchmarks".

 

Royal London's win is the third active mandate awarded by NEST after its Sterling Cash mandate (managed by BlackRock) and the equity portion of the NEST Ethical Fund (managed by F&C Global Asset Management).

 

Two framework agreements this week dished out some meaty LGPS business. The Merseyside Pension Fund named Deloitte, JLT, Mercer, Xafinity and bfinance as investment consultants for the next few years.

 

Meanwhile, up in Glasgow, Legal & General Investment Management, BlackRock and Nomura International were appointed as a triumvirate of transition and risk solution managers for the Strathclyde Pension Fund.

 

dbillingham@pensionfunds.co.uk