EUROPE - A Norwegian investment consultant is seeking a manager for five equal bond mandates totalling NOK2bn (€250m).

The consultant tendered the mandate, QN1181, via IPE Quest on behalf of five pension funds.

The mandate is for investment-grade global bonds, but could include European bonds.

The consultant is seeking an active manager with a least $10bn (€6.8bn) in assets under management. The closing date for bids is 20 May.

In other news, Cardiff local authority pension scheme has asked CBRE Investors to manage a £25m global real estate fund-of-funds portfolio.

The investment will be the £1.1bn (€1.2bn) pension scheme's first in international property.

Global property will make up 2% of the fund's overall portfolio. The fund also has a 5% allocation to UK property.

Pension fund manager Richard Bettley said: "We've invested in UK property for a long time, and we were looking to diversify away from it.

"There are other opportunities in the US, Europe, and Asia. There's more information about emerging markets now and more of a track record of investing in them."

He added: "It's a small allocation by property standards. We're not looking to invest in individual funds or to invest directly."

Finally, the Kensington and Chelsea local authority pension fund has awarded two absolute return mandates, each worth £65m, to Baring Asset Management and Pyrford International.

Alex Robertson, accountant for the £520m scheme, said the emphasis on absolute return would allow the scheme to move between bonds, equities and cash to keep capital values intact. The scheme currently has no allocation to bonds.

Under the terms of the mandates, the managers will invest primarily in long-only traditional asset classes. The benchmark will be LIBOR +3.

The mandates come out of a review dating back to 2007 and the subsequent decision to diversify the pension fund. The reconstitution of the scheme's investment committee last May revived the trend toward diversification and the search for alpha.

The scheme now comprises 40% actively managed global equities, 20% passive equities, 15% absolute return and 5% each for private equity and property - both via funds of funds.

"The investment committee has a realistic position to see how the strategy works - and give it time to work," said Robertson.