Norfolk County Council has finalised a multi-provider framework agreement for passive investment management services primarily for use by funds in the UK local government pension scheme (LGPS).

UBS, BlackRock, Legal & General, and Deutsche Asset Management have been appointed to the framework.

Seven LGPS administering authorities, including Norfolk, have expressed an intention to procure services under the framework, according to a procurement notice.

The other local authorities are the county councils for Essex, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, Kent, Northamptonshire, and Suffolk.

They are all members of the Access LGPS pool but acted individually in this instance – the pool has other LGPS members that were not involved in establishing the framework agreement.

Nigel Keogh, national LGPS frameworks manager at Norfolk County Council, told IPE that the idea for the passive investment management framework predated pooling. The funds involved decided to continue working on it as the framework agreement was open for use by other local authorities not involved in pooling, such as the Scottish or Northern Irish LGPS funds.

He also noted that a number of pools have already started to consolidate or renegotiate their arrangements with passive providers, but that this “doesn’t necessarily stop them from having a look at what we’ve put together and potentially seeking to secure a better deal if they think that’s possible”.

National LGPS frameworks are joint procurement agreements intended to allow local authority pension funds to obtain services without having to run lengthy full tendering exercises. Funds interested in the services offered under the agreement can run a mini-competition between the providers appointed to the framework agreements.

Norfolk County Council is currently working on a framework agreement for transition management and implementation services that is also being backed by the LGPS-administering authorities of Camarthenshire, Derby and Bedford Borough Council, the Environment Agency Pension Fund, and the London CIV. It is also open for use by other LGPS and the emerging asset pools. 

Separately, Ortec Finance today announced it has been selected as a supplier to the LGPS framework for investment performance evaluation services. 

Preliminary hedge fund search

A Swiss pension fund is carrying out a preliminary search for a fund-of-hedge-funds manager using IPE Quest’s Discovery service.

According to DS-2329, the pension fund is looking to invest $5m (€4.4m) to begin with, rising to $50m and more within two years.

The investor is only interested in funds-of-hedge-funds, not single funds. The stipulated asset region is global developed markets.

The pension fund is open to an active or passive process, but is seeking to invest in a pooled fund.

Managers should have a track record of at least five years.

According to another IPE Quest Discovery search (RE-2332), an Irish pension fund is looking to invest in European core real estate via an open-ended fund. 

IPE Quest Discovery is a pre-RFP service allowing institutional asset owners to carry out a preliminary search for managers.

The IPE news team is unable to answer any further questions about IPE Quest, Discovery, or Innovation 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