EUROPE - The UK National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), the government-backed scheme launched as a cornerstone of auto-enrolment reforms, has appointed the Co-operative Asset Management (TCAM) to provide responsible ownership services.

NEST said TCAM would help the scheme engage with the companies in which it invests, and meet its responsibilities as an active and prudent asset owner.

As part of the agreement, TCAM, which will work with Manifest, the proxy-voting agency, will help NEST formulate its views on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, including executive remuneration, boardroom diversity, water and carbon emissions and labour practices.

TCAM will also advise NEST on responsible ownership of assets through a number of activities, including developing processes on vote monitoring and helping NEST understand when it should move to collective action when it comes to engaging with companies.

The firm will finally support NEST in aligning NEST Corporation’s ESG policy with its corporate social responsibility policy, and integrating ESG considerations across its investment approach.

In other news, an institutional investor is looking to invest £175m (€209m) in global equity, using IPE Quest.

According to search QN1226, the investor, based in Scandinavia, is looking to appoint a boutique manager to oversee a passive mandate that will include all countries, including developed and emerging markets, using the MSCI All Country TR net benchmark.

The boutique manager should have at least four years’ experience, but a five-year track record would be preferred.

The investor has called for a fundamental approach, a long-term horizon and an active manager to manage a concentrated portfolio of no more than 70 stocks, preferably. 

Interested parties have until 27 February to apply and should submit performance, gross of fees, until the end of December 2011.

Finally, the Leicestershire County Council Pension Fund has awarded Industry Funds Management (IFM) a £35m infrastructure investment mandate.

The pension fund said IFM’s long-term and sustainable investment approach had been “fully aligned” with its requirements.

In May last year, IPE reported that the UK pension fund was conducting a search for managers with experience in either timberland or infrastructure investments, with the aim of investing as much as £130m in the asset classes.   

The news team is unable to answer any further questions about IPE Quest 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 .