UK - The £1bn (€1.1bn) Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund is searching for a global custodian for its assets.

The pension fund, administered by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, has employed HSBC Securities Services as custodian for the last 13 years, but is putting the contract out for tender as the current one expires shortly.

The county is offering a five-year contract, with the option to renew for an additional five years.

Berkshire's local government pension scheme (LGPS) was the first of its kind to complete a £750m longevity hedge with Swiss Re last year.

At the time, councillor John Lenton, chairman of the fund, said they were becoming increasingly concerned by life expectancy rising by one year every five year and how the cost affected would affect the pension fund.

Berkshire managed almost 55% of its funds in-house last year, with only three of its six asset classes partially managed by other organisations, such as JP Morgan Fleming and Wellington Management.

The scheme saw its assets shrink by 27% between 2007-08 and 2008-09, down from almost £1.4bn to £1bn at the end of March last year.

Interested parties in the new tender should contact Mercer Sentinel for further details.

The deadline for submissions is 24 September.