UK - Buckinghamshire County Council is searching for three new investment managers for its pension scheme, with the mandates valued up to £325m (€408m).

The £1.2bn pension scheme wants a specialist "core plus" bond manager to run a portfolio valued at £130m, as well as a manager for a £130m global equity portfolio, and a specialist alternative asset manager to take responsibility for between £40-65m of assets.

As of March 31 2008 the scheme had around 19.5%, or £235m, in bonds, managed primarily by Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), while 33.5%, or £404m, of global equities was split between LGIM, Capital International and Alliance Bernstein.

The scheme's current asset allocation has 30% in UK equities, 8.2% in property, 0.4% in private equity, 5% in absolute return funds and 3.4% in cash.

The pension scheme declined to comment on whether the tenders are a means of replacing managers, or simply part of a restructuring process.

However, the fund performance in the first quarter of 2008 showed the market value of the scheme fell from £1.3bn to £1.2bn, underperforming it's benchmark by 0.2% with a return of -6.8%.

Alliance Bernstein, with a portfolio of "less constrained global equities", posted the worst result with a return of -13.9% compared to a benchmark of -8.8%, while Blackstone's hedge fund of funds returned -2.5% compared to a benchmark of 1.3%.

BlackRock's portfolio of cash/inflation plus, and Mirabaud's UK equity portfolio also underperformed their respective benchmarks, while Capital International and LGIM's passive portfolio met their targets.

Morley, Pantheon and Standard Life all outperformed during the quarter. Pantheon Europe's private equity fund of fund posted the best result with a return of 8.6% compared to a benchmark of -8.5%.

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