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East Sussex allocates 3% to private equity

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UK – The £1.2bn (€1.9bn) East Sussex County Pension Fund is allocating 3% of its assets to private equity, tendering the mandates currently managed by Gartmore, including a passive portfolio, and replacing them with a single global active mandate. The move follows its three-yearly actuarial valuation undertaken by Hymans Robertson.

A spokesman for the fund refused to comment on the size of the mandates but stressed that the RFP was not a reflection of Gartmore’s performance. “We are encouraging Gartmore to re-apply. The change is purely based on moving from passive to active management for the relevant mandates. It is in no way a reflection of Gartmore’s performance,” he says.

“We were encouraged in our decision to invest in private equity by the Myners Review, which says pension funds could be a little bit more adventurous with regard to alternatives. But this is fresh ground for us. We will probably start by investing in funds-of-funds as these offer diversification and reduced risk.”

East Sussex recently appointed Northern Trust as global custodian to its pension fund and hopes to have the new investment strategy in place and operating by October.

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