Ircantec, France’s €9.8bn pension scheme for public sector employees and local elected representatives, is looking to appoint a dedicated transition manager for the first time.

The transition manager will be responsible for ensuring the investment or divestment operations necessary to build or modify portfolios managed by outgoing and new asset managers within a short period of time, while maintaining market exposure and currency hedging.

The mandate will cover around 80% of Ircantec’s portfolio, spread across around 10 dedicated funds, over a period of four years.

The alternative to hiring a dedicated transition manager would have been for the pension scheme to make individual fund managers responsible for managing the transition from one portfolio to another.

The need for transition management services has arisen as Ircantec is planning to launch a series of requests for proposals for asset management services in the coming months.

Caroline Le Meaux, head of delegated management at CDC Pensions Division, Ircantec’s fiduciary manager, told IPE that the scheme decided to hire a dedicated transition manager as it felt this would be cheaper and offer more transparency.

She said that it is unusual in France for asset owners to appoint dedicated transition managers because they tend to invest via funds, rather than via segregated mandates.

SP Forbo extends fiduciary contract with MN

The €400m Dutch company scheme of linoleum manufacturer Forbo has extended its contract for fiduciary services with asset manager and pensions provider MN. The new contract is for an indefinite period. MN has been fiduciary manager for Pensioenfonds Forbo since 2007.

Gerald Cartigny, member of the executive board of MN, said the manufacturing sector was an area of focus for MN for the coming years.

The €125bn asset manager is also the provider for the large metal industry schemes PMT and PME, as well as the pension fund for the merchant navy (Koopvaardij). It implements pensions administration, income insurance, and social schemes for almost 2m participants affiliated with more than 36,000 employers.

NEST renews Manifest contract for proxy voting and engagement support

NEST, the £1.6bn (€1.8bn) UK defined contribution pension provider set up to support auto-enrolment, has renewed its contract with the proxy voting and analysis firm Manifest. 

Paul Todd, director of investment development and delivery at NEST, said: ”On behalf of over 4m members, NEST aims to be an active owner of […] shares by voting and engaging with companies to encourage good corporate behaviour and reduce investment risk. The team at Manifest are critical to helping us do that and we’re delighted to be working with them on these important issues.” 

NEST said its 2017 voting and engagement activities would focus on the themes of climate change, employment strategy and reward, banking culture and conduct, tobacco, and diversity.

Manifest, according to a statement, will monitor how NEST’s fund managers intend to vote on a core subset of companies within the pension fund’s portfolio that represent risks related to these themes. It will also identify areas of important divergence from NEST’s voting policy. NEST said it would engage with fund managers and, where necessary, use an override option to vote directly.