EUROPE – A Swiss institutional investor looking to invest $100m (€75m) into senior loans has launched a manager search using IPE-Quest.

In search QN1272, the Swiss investor said it was looking for exposure to senior loans from across the globe, with a 75% bias towards the US market and the remainder allocated to European fixed income.

It also asked that the manager only allocate one-sixth of the total portfolio to high-yield bonds and placed a 4% cap on the overall exposure to each issuer, unless a higher cap were dictated by the choice of the Credit Suisse Leveraged Loan index or S&P Leveraged Loan indices – either its global or European variant.

The actively managed portfolio will only be awarded to a manager with at least five years' experience and $1bn in assets under management, offering a 1-2% benchmark outperformance, gross of fees.

Managers should submit a request for proposal by the end of January.

In other news, the £1bn (€1.2bn) Shropshire County Council local government pension scheme is looking to appoint at least one new hedge fund manager.

The fund said the initial mandate would be approximately £55m, to be overseen on either a segregated or pooled basis.

According to the most recent annual report from the end of March 2012, the fund has £90m invested in hedge funds – £55m overseen by Man Investments and the remaining £5m by BlackRock.

The council was not immediately available to clarify if the tender meant an additional allocation to hedge funds would occur, or if one of the current managers would lose its mandate.

For the year to March 2012, BlackRock saw a below-benchmark but positive return, while Man's portfolio lost 5%.

Compared with the end of March 2011, Man's portfolio shrank by £2.8m year on year, whereas the size of BlackRock's mandate increased by more than £250,000 over the same 12 months.

Additional information on the tender should be requested by 15 February, with all finalised bids submitted to Aon Hewitt's Bristol office by 23 April.

Meanwhile, the local authority fund for Cornwall has appointed AXA Investment Managers to a £50m liability-driven investment (LDI) mandate.

When first tendered in August last year, the fund said the size of the mandate was likely to increase to 20% of its £1.2bn in assets.

Commenting on the appointment, Cornwall deputy head of pensions and treasury Matthew Trebilcock said: "We decided to incorporate an LDI solution within our overall investment strategy in order to reduce the impact of volatility on council tax payers and on long-term contribution rates."

Tracey Milner, local authority business development manager at AXA IM, added that she hoped to embark on a "long and productive partnership".

In March 2010, when Cornwall's most recent triennial valuation was completed, its deficit stood at £289m, resulting in a funding level of 78.3%.

Despite a steady rise in assets since then, helped by investment returns of 9.8% in 2011 and 0.9% in 2012, the local authority scheme estimated that its funding level had fallen to 69.8% at the end of March.

A £415m increase in liabilities since 2010 has seen its shortfall grow to an estimated £527m.

Lastly, the pension fund for employees of drinks company Britvic in Northern Ireland has appointed Buck Consultants to provide actuarial and investment consulting advice.

Dave Roberts, chairman of the trustee at the £22m Britvic Northern Ireland Pension Plan, said the fund had been transferring a number of its services to Buck in recent months.

The company will provide payroll and administration services in addition to actuarial advice.

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