EUROPE – A Swiss pension fund is looking to appoint a manager to a $150m (€116m) global corproate bond mandate, using IPE-Quest

According to Quest search QN1264, the fund will consider “opportunisitic investments in non-universe names”, such as emerging market companies, as long as these do not exceed 20% of the portfolio. 

The investment grade corporate bond mandate will be benchmarked to the Barclays Global Aggregate Corporate Bond index but actively managed.

Managers should have at least $3bn in assets in similar mandates and oversee a total of $30bn in total assets, with a track record of at least three yeabut preferably 5 years.

Interested parties should have a top quartile track record and can apply, stating performance gross of fees to the end of September, by 5 December.

Meanwhile, Cumbria County Council is searching for an investment manager for a high conviction global equity mandate for its £1.4bn (€1.6bn) local authority pension scheme. 

According to tender notice, the scheme needs a manager for a portfolio containing around 10% of the total assets.

The exact size of the mandate will be affected by market movements, the council said, but is expected to be between £150 and £200m based on current market values, and could rise to £300m over time – or 20% of the scheme’s assets.

High conviction portfolios contain securities a manager believes have the highest expected return, and typically comprise large holdings of a relatively small number of shares.

The council said it expects to appoint just one manager for the mandate.

This appointment will be made alongside the appointment of a lower-volatility manager. This portfolio is to be managed with an objective of outperforming the return from global equities by at least 3% a year, net of fees, over a market cycle.

Applications from managers following an unconstrained or benchmark-unaware approach were welcome, it said.

Derivatives should be only be used in a limited way for efficient portfolio management, the council said, and added that the portfolio may or may not include an exposure to emerging markets.

It could be managed on a segregated or pooled basis, it added.

Firms can apply for both mandates, but the council said that a different firm would be appointed for each.

The deadline for receipt of tenders or requests to participate is 19 December and Mercer has been hired to help with the procurement process.

In other news, East Sussex County Council
 is looking to appoint a manager for a passive fundamental equity mandate.

The council specified that it wants a firm to manage a mandate tracking a non-market cap weighted, rules-based global equity index.

The index should be as broad as possible in terms of size, industry and geography – similar in breadth and depth to the MSCI All Countries World index, the UK local authority said.

Constituents in the index to be tracked should be weighted wholly or substantially according to fundamental measures of valuation, it said.

The size of the mandate is expected to be between £100m and £200m, the council said, but added that it reserves the right to change the value and coverage of the mandate at the start and over the life of the investment. It added that it may also appoint more than one manager for the mandate. 

The deadline for receipt of requests for documents or for accessing documents is 3 January 2013 and managers can get more information about the contract from Hymans Robertson’s office in Glasgow.

Finally, JP Morgan has completed an asset restructuring for the BAA Pension Scheme.

The work involved integrated transition management for the UK airport operator’s £2.7bn scheme, helping restructure its sterling credit and Gilt fixed income portfolio, the firm said.

According to the company, the transition covered all phases of the strategy development to execution and performance review.

The work was praised by Alastair Knowles, secretary to the trustees, who described it as “flawlessly executed and well within the schemes cost and timeframe expectations”.

Michael Gardner, JP Morgan’s global head of transition management, said: “The search for additional yield has resulted in growth in fixed income transitions.”

As a result of this, the firm had taken on more strategic staff in the UK and Australia to meet this demand, he said.

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