GLOBAL - Acadian Asset Management, a specialist in active global and international equity strategies, has been awarded a $100m (€72.6m) mandate to apply its managed volatility approach to emerging market equities.

A large defined benefit plan in the US, which has asked not to be identified, awarded the mandate.

Churchill Franklin, Acadian’s chief operating officer, said his company had seen considerable interest from pension plans that believe emerging equities will outperform developed markets over the long term, but are unwilling to tolerate the “volatility of a cap-weighted emerging markets equity portfolio in the interim”.

Last year, Acadian, which manages more than $49bn in assets, was awarded a global mandate of A$97m (€70.6m) by AUSCOAL Super, the A$5.7bn superannuation fund for Australia’s coal industry, as well as a €120m mandate from the pension fund of Dutch industrial conglomerate Stork that was subsequently raised to €190m.

The AUSCOAL Super mandate has also been increased, to A$181m.

In other news, the £1.2bn (€1.4bn) Dyfed local authority pension fund has appointed Northern Trust as its custodian.

The scheme, which is administered by Carmarthenshire County Council, declined an interview, but confirmed that one reason for awarding the tender to Northern Trust was the lack of expertise in investment accounting - a new service for the scheme.

For Northern Trust, Dyfed represents the latest win in a strategy to target local authority pension schemes. 

Last year, it secured as clients local authority schemes with €7.2bn in assets under management. It now accounts for 36% of the local government pension scheme market.

In a separate development, Northern Trust has appointed Ray Bloom to head its UK government institutions division. Bloom is currently division manager for the EMEA institutional investor group.

Meanwhile, the Norfolk Pension Fund has appointed several managers to run a number of active global equity mandates.

The winners included Baillie Gifford, M&G Investments, Marathon Asset Management, Sarasin & Partners and Wellington Management International.

The benchmarks for the mandates will be the FTSE All-World or MSCI All Countries World indices, with a performance target of outperforming by 2-4% per year over rolling three to five-year periods.

The overall size of the mandates is expected to lie within the £100m-400m range.

The University of Reading is tendering a £100,000, four-year mandate for a pension provider to deliver a “bundled” occupational pension plan through the pension scheme’s newly established defined contribution section.

Pension fund officials said its two top criteria for awarding the contract would be the provider’s technical ability to service the contract and value for money.

Interested parties have until 12 April to apply.

Lastly, a European industry-wide pension fund has tendered an $80m (€58m) frontier market government debt mandate using IPE Quest.

According to tender notice QN1168, the pension fund has no requirements regarding investment style or benchmark.

The fund requires a one-year minimum track record, but said it would prefer a three-year track record. Performance gross of fees should be supplied as at 31 December 2010.

Interested parties have until 23 March to apply.

The news team is unable to answer any further questions about IPE Quest tender notices to protect the interests of clients conducting the search. To obtain information direct from IPE Quest, please contact Jayna Vishram on +44 (0) 20 7261 4630 or email