UK - The £1.07bn (€1.14bn) Buckinghamshire County Council Pension Fund has appointed Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) to run a fixed income mandate.

A search for a specialist "core plus" bond manager to run a £130m bond mandate was initiated in July 2008, alongside a tender for alternative and global equity managers. (See earlier IPE articles: Buckinghamshire seeks three new managers and Partners Group wins Bucks alternatives mandate)

Buckinghamshire has now confirmed RLAM has been appointed to run a £110m bond mandate for the pension fund, following 11 tender submissions.

Latest figures from the council's pension fund committee meeting showed the value of the fund had increased slightly to £1.07bn by the end of June. Meanwhile, the asset allocation comprised 58.4% in equities, 22.6% in bonds, 5.7% in property, 2.8% in private equity, along with 7% in absolute returns and the remainder in cash.

A report on the pension fund's second quarter investment performance also showed the only bond manager was Legal & General Investment Management, which ran one pure bond portfolio valued at £195m - equivalent to 18% of the fund - alongside a passive global equities and bonds mandate which accounts for 32% of the scheme's assets.

Elsewhere, Devon County Council has issued a tender for actuarial services for its £1.8bn pension fund.

The role is being re-tendered ahead of the expiry of the existing contract, which is currently held by Hewitt Associates. The mandate is for an initial four years with the option of two further extensions, to a maximum of eight years.

Latest figures from the council showed the pension scheme's investments produced a total return in the second quarter of 5.4% to bring the value of the pension fund at the end of June 2009 to £1.87bn.

The worst performance was produced by the overseas bonds portfolio, which returned -11.6%, while overseas equities recorded the best return of 12.6%, just ahead of UK equities with 11.6%.

At the end of June the asset allocation of the fund, including active managers, was 61.5% in equities - including infrastructure and property - and 38.5% in fixed income, against the target allocation of 30% fixed income and 70% equities.

However, the council confirmed in July it had appointed four new investment managers to the fund as it outsourced a large proportion of the assets previously managed by an in-house team. (See earlier IPE article: Devon outsources assets to four new managers)

The closing date for tender submissions for the actuarial mandate is 24 November 2009.

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