UK - The £3.2bn (€3.6bn) Lothian Pension Fund has announced a £350m Asia Pacific mandate, with successful bidders awarded the portfolio for 10 years.

The local government pension scheme said it expected managers to outperform the MSCI Asia Pacific index by 1.5% over a three-year rolling period, with investments in all of the region's developed countries, including Japan.

Additionally, the scheme said it would allocate as much as 20% of the portfolio to off-benchmark markets, making emerging market investments possible.

Any asset manager would be expected to comply with Lothian's environmental, social and governance guidelines, allowing the scheme to be a responsible, long-term shareholder.

The scheme also would like a large portion of the portfolio to be managed on a segregated basis, allowing it to retain direct ownership of the companies it holds shares in.

According to its most recent annual report from March 2010, Lothian already invests £385m in the Asia Pacific market, with Baillie Gifford managing its equity portfolio and boasting the highest returns of all equity investments during that period. However, its current contract with the asset manager expires at the end of July.

The scheme said in a statement that putting the mandate out to tender was a routine procedure and that Baillie Gifford would be considered alongside any other potential applicants.

Lothian Pension Fund was amoung a number of schemes that last year launched legal action against Henderson Global Investors over disputes of the management of two of the company's PFI funds. It also moved a number of its equity portfolios in-house last year in a bid to save on management fees.

Interested parties in the most recent mandate should contact Edinburgh Council by 7 March.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland Water is tendering pension administration services for its pension scheme.

The third-party administrator would provide end-to-end services and report to the scheme's board of trustees.

The most economically advantageous tender will be awarded the contract, with interested parties asked to submit applications by 21 March.

Further information can be obtained directly from Northern Ireland Water.