UK - The £6.8bn (€8.6bn) West Midlands Pension Fund has awarded a private equity mandate to Swiss firm Capital Dynamics.

The local government pension fund, managed by Wolverhampton City Council, revealed in September it intended to increase its allocation to alternatives to 25% of the fund's assets. (See earlier IPE article: West Midlands allocates 25% to alternatives)

West Midlands said the appointment of Capital Dynamics would be part of the fund's 7% allocation to private equity, which forms part of the 25% investment in alternatives.

Judy Saunders, chief investment officer at West Midlands Pension Fund, said the scheme had been investing in the asset class for "nearly 30 years and has in excess of 80 managers".

However, she added: "In order to gain further exposure to Asia, the fund has recently appointed Capital Dynamics in addition to the funds it already has in this area with Pantheon and HarbourVest."

Although the pension fund recently issued a statement confirming it held no assets in any of the failed Icelandic banks and benefits "remianed unaffected", figures from the pension fund show the value of the scheme has been impacted by recent market turbulence as it fell to £6.8bn at the end of September compared with £8bn in assets under management at the end of 2007.