UK - The UK's National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) has named the managers of its final two investment mandates, choosing F&C and HSBC to oversee its ethical and religious-compliant fund options.

The two appointments mean the companies join State Street, BlackRock and UBS Global Asset Management in providing the building blocks for the new scheme launching this year, as UK firms prepare for auto-enrolment.

F&C Asset Management was selected for the global equity socially responsible investment mandate, which will be offered to members alongside its default options.

Chief executive Mark Fawcett had previously said NEST would look to focus on human rights, labour practices, positive environmental records and avoiding armaments for the socially responsible investment (SRI) fund.

Additionally, HSBC Global Asset Management was chosen to manage the scheme's sharia-compliant fund, with assets invested in HSBC Life Amanah Pension Fund.

The asset manager's operations are overseen by both regional sharia committees and the Global Sharia Board, which guarantee that investment complies with sharia law.

Meanwhile, NEST's SRI mandate will invest both in UK government bonds and the stock market, with all equity exposure gained through F&C's Stewardship International Fund.

Fawcett said of the awards: "There was strong competition for these mandates, and we're grateful for the enthusiasm and engagement of fund managers from around the world.

"Both of the appointed fund managers are global experts in these key areas of fund management for NEST and have excellent track records."

Cristobal Mendez de Vigo, F&C's group head of institutional and distribution business development, praised the auto-enrolment scheme as a "landmark initiative" that would transform the pensions landscape, while HSBC's institutional director Stuart White praised its commitment to providing a "diverse range" of investment options.

In other news, the £950m (€1.1bn) Shropshire County Pension Fund has appointed Northern Trust to provide securities lending services.

The firm, which has worked with the local government pension scheme (LGPS) for the last years, said it was seeing an "increasing appetite" for securities lending solutions.

Under its previous agreement, as much as 20% of the LGPS's value could be given to certain third parties according to its most recent annual report.

Justin Bridges, treasury manager at Shropshire Council, said: "We were looking for a lending solution that would enable us to optimise returns within the context of thoughtful risk management."