EUROPE - A European pension fund is looking to award a $100m (€71m) emerging market (EM) equity mandate, using IPE Quest.

The scheme, an industry-wide fund located on the Continent, asks that applicants for search QN1210 have at least a year's experience managing such mandates, with preferably a three-year track record.

It places no restrictions on the size of asset managers applying, nor does it set limits on assets under management (AUM) for either the company's EM mandate or total AUM.

The active EM mandate will see the MSCI EM index applied as a benchmark, with no investment style specified by the scheme.

Interested parties should state their performance net of fees to the end of September and apply by 25 October.

Meanwhile, the Norfolk Pension Fund is tendering for a £850m (€970m) currency hedge to cover the £1.9bn local authority scheme's overseas equity exposure.

In its tender - a framework agreement covering several managers - Norfolk said it would allow both non-discretionary quantitative and discretionary approaches for the dynamic hedge, but ruled out any absolute return currency mandates.

Addressing the discrepancy between the mandate's size and the £352m overseas equity exposure reported in its most recent annual report at the end of March 2010, pension fund accountant Alexander Younger noted a global equity mandate awarded to Sarasin & Partners earlier in the year.

"But we will also implement what we call a functional hedge of the pooled overseas equity assets invested with Fidelity, and, broadly speaking, those two additional strands amount to £850m," he said, conceding that the recent market volatility would have impacted the current value.

Younger said the scheme had previously implemented a "conventional", passive currency hedge for its exposure to yen, euros and US dollars, but had since become more comfortable with the more developed concepts available.

He acknowledged that, while the effect of stock market volatility over the past few years has been broadly neutral, quarterly management has proven challenging. 

"Anything assisting us in that is useful," he said. "Of course, the opportunity to obtain outcomes better than the conventional 60% hedge ratio is also a driver."

Parties interested in the rolling contract, the second such hedge tendered by a local authority this week, should apply by 7 November.

In other news, Wiltshire Pension Fund is tendering for a £100m multi-asset portfolio.

The framework agreement, which will run four years, will see managers invest in what the local authority deems "mainstream" assets, with Wiltshire ruling out hedge fund or fund of hedge fund exposure and employing a long-only approach.

It expects managers to beat three-month sterling Libor over a 3-5 year rolling period.

Interested parties have until 7 November to request more information from Hymans Robertson's Glasgow office.

Finally, the UK Mineworkers' Pension Scheme has awarded a further five-year contract for pension administration services to Xafinity Paymaster.

The £11bn legacy scheme covers employees of British Coal - the former state-owned mining company.

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