FRANCE - The €4.8bn French public service supplementary pension scheme ERAFP has selected Mercer as its new investment consultant for an extended diversification of its investments.

A spokesman for the fund told IPE ERAFP, which recently lost its chief executive, Jean-Louis Nakamura, to Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch, decided late last year to extend its diversification of the investments to two new asset classes.

Under the changes, ERAFP now intends to begin investing in international equities in developed countries, and in investment grade euro-denominated bonds.

A spokesman for the fund said ERAFP intends to invest 12.5% of inflows in international equities, while it wants to put 15% of inflows in euro-denominated fixed income bonds.

"For this purpose, the fund launched a procedure on January 4 to select an investment consultant, who could assist in selecting asset managers," said the spokesman.

No specific date has been set for the introduction of these new investments yet, but the fund hopes to start investing by the end of this year, the spokesman added.

In an interview in the April edition of IPE Magazine, ERAFP outlined it also would like to see a possibility for diversification into alternatives asset classes and real estate.

"We want to further improve our portfolio's diversification with a review of the regulation that prevents us from investing more than 25% in assets other than bonds and from buying alternatives," said Isabelle Szendy, deputy CEO at the fund.

The spokesman said the fund has presented a package of proposals to change the regulations to enable a broadening of the investment universe.

It is unclear if and when such changes would be implemented though.

More information on developments at ERAFP will be available in the April edition of Investment and Pensions Europe Magazine.

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