Kingston awards JP Morgan custody contract
UK - The Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames has reappointed JP Morgan as the global custodian to its £323m (€365m) local authority pension fund.
Kingston re-tendered its global custody contract, which was run by JP Morgan, in July 2008 along with tenders for four investment managers, including one bond mandate and three active global equity contracts, and a transition manager following a review of its investment strategy. (See earlier IPE article: Kingston adds custodian to search list)
The council had decided to re-tender the contract as it had "not been subject to market testing for several years", and the local authority wanted the custodian arrangements to be finalised ahead of the new manager appointments.
Kingston has now confirmed it has reappointed JP Morgan Chase Bank to provide custody, accounting and asset administration services for the pension fund - which had assets of £323m at March 2008.
The contract is for an initial period of five years with the option of a further five-year extension, subject to the council's discretion, after JP Morgan won the mandate over four other providers.
Meanwhile the council's review of its investment strategy is ongoing, as it decided to tender for a number of new fund managers as part of a more active and diversified investment strategy, as all of the pension fund's assets have been passively managed by UBS Global Asset Management since June 2007. (See earlier IPE article: Kingston restructures 'inefficient' portfolio)
In addition Kingston is also in the process of hiring a transition manager to ensure a smooth switch between the existing allocation and the new mandates. (See earlier IPE article: Kingston seeks transition manager for portfolio restructure)
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