UK - The £2.2bn (€2.37bn) Essex Pension Fund has appointed Fidelity International as an active global equity manager.

The pension fund, which employed 17 investment managers at the end of March 2009 and had £684.9m invested in overseas equities, initiated a search for an active global equity manager in October 2008. (See earlier IPE article: Essex tenders 10% to global equity)

Essex confirmed Fidelity was awarded the mandate, valued at between £100-300m, with the aim of outperforming the MSCI All-Companies World Index benchmark or other appropriate benchmark by between 2-4% a year over a rolling three- to five-year period.

Hymans Robertson conducted the tender for the mandate, which was funded at the end of August, and the appointment of Fidelity was based on a range of criteria with philosophy, process, team and corporate capability all weighted equally at 22.5%. 

Figures from the council's statement of accounts showed the value of the pension fund dropped from £2.93bn at March 2008 to £2.2bn a year later, although the latest actuarial valuation is still from 2007 when the scheme had assets of £3bn and a funding level of 79.6%. That said the report confirmed the council had commissioned an interim valuation of the Fund as at 31 March 2009.

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Nyree Stewart on + 44 (0)20 7261 4618 or email