FRANCE - ERAFP, the €4.8bn French civil service supplementary pension scheme, is looking for asset managers to take on €1.2bn in international equities and euro-denominated fixed income mandates.

The move means a significant shift of ERAFP's investment strategy away from government bonds but is intended to widen the target strategic allocation, said Isabelle Szendy, deputy chief executive of the fund.

"We are currently considering the need to widen our investment universe, in order to increase this asset diversification beyond 2008," she said in a statement.

The tender invitation is organised in two parts, the first being for three mandates, including a 'standby' mandate - where firms could be called on to provide services instead of the chosen asset manager - to manage a portfolio of financial instruments made up of international equities (excluding emerging countries).

The second bid in the tender invitation is for two mandates (also including a standby mandate), to manage a portfolio of financial instruments made up of investment grade bonds denominated in euros.

The average amount of all investments into the first asset class will be around €150m euros per annum, the amount for the second is around €250m.

The tender invitation follows the appointment of Mercer as its new investment consultant in March for the extended diversification of its investments.

A spokesman for the fund told IPE at the time 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.

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