GLOBAL – The competition set by a group of leading European and US pension funds to create a prototype long-term mandate has entered the short-list phase.

The original 88 entries have been whittled down to a short-list of eight, said Sally Bridgeland, an associate at consultants Hewitt Bacon & Woodrow who has helped to organised the competition.

She said the entrants know who they are, though the judging panel does not as the entries were assessed anonymously to avoid bias. The shortlist will appear on the USS web site on October 13 and the winner will be announced two days later.

Bridgeland said the final eight is “a healthy mix” of entries from corporates and individuals - such as academics and other interested people.

“There is a lot of interest from pension funds in the outcome,” Bridgeland said. She said the hope is that the competition will form a blueprint for the future.

The ideas thrown up by the competition will be discussed at a seminar in Amsterdam organised by the European Pension Fund Investment Forum on October 28.

The competition was launched in February this year by a group of pension funds led by the UK’s Universities Superannuation Scheme and Canada’s Ontario Teachers Fund. The idea was to create a notional mandate worth up to 30 billion euros that would be operated in a long-term manner.

The competition’s seven-strong judging panel includes PGGM chairman Dick de Beus as well as Hewitt Bacon & Woodrow’s global investment consulting head Nick Fitzpatrick.