GLOBAL - The £2.3bn (€2.6bn) local authority scheme for Leicestershire County Council has launched a search for a managed futures or commodity trading adviser, overseeing as much as £70m in assets.

The search, conduced by Hymans Robertson on behalf of the fund, is expected to be completed within the next few months.

The consultancy said Leicestershire's request that managers have at least five years of experience and preferably an even longer track record would help to narrow the shortlist.

Colin Pratt, fund investment manager at Leicestershire, said the tender came as part of its expansion into more diversified assets, with 3.5% of assets earmarked for investment.

"A CTA manager will form part of our targeted return assets, which seek to make acceptable and relatively consistent returns in all market conditions," he said. 

"The use of a CTA will give exposure to a range of market return strategies from a wide variety of asset classes and categories, as well as the introduction of a specific exposure to 'momentum' into the fund structure."

John Hastings, partner at Hymans Robertson, added that only pooled solutions would be considered, with assets under management of at least £1bn expected in addition to the five-year track record.

Interested parties are asked to contact Hymans Robertson's London-based manager research team for more information.

In other news, the European Patent Organisation Reserve Funds for Pensions and Social Security is reviewing its strategic asset allocation, with the fund tendering for a consultancy to advise on the review.

The short-term contract would see an interim report completed by the beginning of September, with a final report completed by January next year and presented to the scheme in mid-February.

Bidders have until 15 June to submit all relevant documents, with a presentation of shortlisted managers scheduled to take place at the organisation's Munich office in July.   

Meanwhile, the trustee for the Gartmore Pension Scheme has agreed a buy-in with Pension Insurance Corporation, covering £160m of liabilities.

The transaction comes after Henderson Group acquired Gartmore in April last year, with Henderson chief executive Andrew Formica saying it removed the risk posed by the pension fund for shareholders.

Mark Ashworth, chairman of the scheme's trustee board, added that the buy-in had been under consideration since before the company's sale finalised.

Once pricing improved towards the end of 2011, all parties moved swiftly to complete the transaction while these persisted, he said.

"The success of this transaction is testament to what can be achieved through effective decision-making when trustees and sponsors and their respective advisers work closely together," Ashworth added.

Charlie Finch, partner at LCP, advised the trustee and praised PIC for making it possible for the contract to be agreed in a "very short" space of time.

"With the pent-up demand for de-risking and current favourable buy-in pricing, I expect the record levels of transactions in 2011 to continue into 2012," he said.

Finally, the £2.5bn Teesside Pension Fund, administered by Middlesbrough Borough Council, is tendering a five-year global custodian contract.

The position, currently held by Northern Trust, is being tendered following the end of the custodian's previous contract, awarded at the end of 2007.

Interested parties have until the beginning of June to submit bids for the contract that can be extended once, bringing total length to six years.