France’s €36.3bn national reserve fund, the Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites (FRR), has taken a further step in the implementation of a new allocation to illiquid assets, having put out to tender up to €400m in mandates for domestic private equity investment.

The reserve fund has already launched a €600m private debt tender and recently secured a rule change to allow it to invest more in investment funds, which it will use to meet its targeted allocations to infrastructure and property.

Last week, it launched a procurement process for indirect capital investment in unlisted French companies.

It is looking to award up to four mandates for investment managers to establish and manage funds for FRR that are to invest exclusively in investment funds whose objective must be to invest at least 80% of their assets in unlisted French companies’ equity capital.

In the event of any underlying fund’s being invested outside France, the manager of an FRR fund will, for example, have to negotiate a clause with the underlying fund to excuse the FRR fund, according to the tender documents.

The underlying investee funds could be regional or national funds investing in very small to medium-sized companies seeking capital investment for different development purposes (risk capital, development capital and transfer capital).

However, FRR has ruled out participation in turnaround and “hostile” financing operations.

Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) will be the depositary of the FRR funds.

The deadline for applications is noon (CET) on 29 July.

Elsewhere, Norfolk County Council, which has been overseeing the National LGPS Frameworks, has put out to tender a multi-provider framework agreement for stewardship advisory services.

It is seeking bids for five types of services: voting, engagement, voting and engagement, stewardship research and data services, and “stewardship-related project services”.

The latter includes advising on “issues such as fossil fuel investment, human capital management, etc.” and providing advice on “preparing stewardship due-diligence tools for specific asset classes, e.g. real estate, forestry, etc.”.

The voting and engagement services being sought include supporting clients in relation to meeting stewardship best practice, such as that set out in the UN Principles for Responsible Investment and the UK Stewardship Code.

Providers can bid for any or all of the mandates, which the council has valued at between £4m (€5m) and £10m, depending on the take-up of the framework.

As a National Framework, it can be used by any of the local government pension schemes (LGPS), the asset pools they are in the process of forming to meet government demands, and other public pension funds such as the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).  

The framework agreement is for four years, with “call-offs” up to seven years.

In other news, a Benelux institutional investor has tendered a global high-yield bond mandate via IPE Quest.

The size of the mandate has not yet been decided.

According to search QN-2201, the procurement process is not for an immediate investment need, and the client is undecided whether it will fund the mandate.

The mandate is for a core investment style, using “enhanced and active” processes.

While the maximum level of tracking error will be 5%, the benchmark has yet to be decided.

Interested parties should have at least €2bn in high-yield bonds under management, and €3bn of total assets under management.

Investment managers should have a track record of at least five years, although 10 is preferred.

They should submit performance, gross of fees, to the end of May 2016 by the close of business on 6 July. 

The IPE 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 directly from IPE Quest, please contact Jayna Vishram on +44 (0) 20 3465 9330 or email