UK/GERMANY – The pension fund of German energy company E.ON has appointed Merrill Lynch Investment Managers to run a European small-cap equity mandate.

MLIM will be managing a 50 million-euro European small-cap equity mandate for the scheme. The mandate will be run by fund manager Edoardo Mercadante.

Last month E.ON also appointed Gartmore Investment Management to run a 125 million-pound (180 million-euro) European large cap equity mandate for its pension fund.

After a difficult 2002, MLIM announced in the spring that it had started to win mandates again. A spokesman for the troubled fund manager said it had won around half of all the pitches for mandates it made in the first quarter.

MLIM’s UK equity department took a blow earlier this month, however, with the loss of three of its team. UK equity manager Steve Thompson, who had been with the company for more than 15 years, Richard Milliken and Mark Wharrier all left the firm.

Merrill Lynch Investment Managers manages around 1.1 trillion dollars (960 billion euros) worldwide.