IRELAND – The €15.4bn National Pensions Reserve Fund says it is updating its tendering process for equity managers to make it more user-friendly.

It says it reviewed its equity manager strategy in 2005 “in the light of experience and international best practice”.

“We are obliged to run competitions for equity mandates under EU public procurement procedures,” the fund said.

“One of the principal findings of the review was that some of the managers who performed strong in the period following the award of the fund mandates had not applied for these mandates due to the perceived complexity and long timeframe of competitions run under the EU procedures.

“We are, accordingly, updating our tender process to make it as user friendly as possible while complying with the EU pubic procurement procedures.”

And it has emerged that the fund is looking to enter the forestry market this year.

“A quarter of the fund’s overall commodity allocation will be to forestry and we expect to finalise details of how we will enter the forestry market in 2006,” the fund said in its 2005 review.

Earlier this month the NPRF awarded an €80m small-cap Europe, Australasia and Far East (EAFE) equity mandate to AXA Rosenberg.