IRELAND – The 1.2 billion euro Guinness Ireland group pensions scheme has appointed Morgan Stanley Investment Managers to run an 110 million euro European fixed income mandate.

The mandate will be split 50:50 between government and corporate bonds and will be managed to a benchmark of 50% Merrill Lynch over the 10-year euro government, and 50% Merrill Lynch over the five-year Euro non-sovereign indices.

Previously the money was being managed as part of the Bank of Ireland Asset Management’s portfolio of 80% equities and 10% fixed income. The remaining 10% is invested in property.

Jim McLoughlin, company secretary for Diageo Ireland, which owns Guinness, and secretary to the trustees of the Guinness Ireland group pension scheme, said that the decision to switch to a specialist manager for fixed income investments prompted the appointment.

A further 140 million euros may be switched out of equities and into Morgan Stanley Investment Manager’s (MSIM) portfolio over time.

Three investment managers competed in the final line-up for the new mandate. Referring to the selection of MSIM, said McLoughlin; “We were impressed both by their strong track record in this area, and by the disciplined clear investment process.”

Morgan Stanley Investment Management has over 400 billion dollars in assets under management worldwide.