FRANCE - France's national pension surplus fund, the €32bn Fonds de réserves pour les retraites (FRR), launched an open RFP today for a service provider to assist in reducing transaction costs.

The supplier will analyse the best execution of transactions completed by the fund's asset managers.

The three-year commission is part of the FRR's broader effort to institute a collaborative system with its asset managers, the aim of which is to contain costs and monitor transaction fees, it said in a statement.

The contract entails the ex-post facto analysis of the quality of the execution of transactions by the transition broker or by broker/dealers selected by the asset managers, it added.

"We have chosen to re-tender the process to maintain the efficiency of the analysis," said Philippe Aurain, head of external asset management at the FRR. "The analysis process is also part of the general trend to strengthen the scrutiny of transactions on the financial markets."

The RFP follows the expiration of the previous mandate, which was awarded to UK-based Global Securities Consulting Services (GSCS) in October 2004.

IPE understands that GSCS will be re-tendering.

"In awarding this mandate, the FRR seeks to work in total transparency with its various service providers towards the goal of optimising performances in terms of trading and order execution quality," the FRR said.

The selection process will be an open procedure as set down by the French government procurement code, it added.

Applicants should respond to the FRR by noon French time on 14 May 2007.