UK - The pension fund for the UK's high street bank RBS has appointed an Australian fund management company to oversee its infrastructure exposure.

The £750m (€950m) portfolio will significantly increase Hastings Funds Management's overall asset under management, which at the end of May this year stood at AUD7.1bn (€4.5bn).

The company said the mandate would source and manage core infrastructure investments in the UK and other select OECD countries over the long term on behalf of the £19.5bn RBS Group Pension Fund.

The company said investments could include both equity and debt infrastructure assets, as well as owning the whole capital structure of an asset.

Hastings chief executive Andrew Day said he was "delighted" to be selected by the bank's scheme.

Robert Waugh, chief investment officer for the RBS Group Pension Fund, added: "We are pleased to have found a like-minded manager in Hastings to help us invest in infrastructure assets across the capital structure."

In other news, Merseyside Pension Fund is tendering nearly 30% of its £5.1bn (€5.8bn) portfolio and is looking to appoint one or more passive managers for contracts running as long as a decade.

The local authority fund, among the largest in the UK, said the mandate would consist of several asset classes, covering £400m of domestic and North American equities, respectively, as well as a further £600m in UK index-linked gilts.

The mandate continued: "The successfully appointed managers will also be expected to assist the fund, from time to time, with re-balancing activities including transition management and temporary management of assets across a range of asset classes."

The range of asset classes would cover the scheme's equity and bond portfolios, with transition management potentially required for Europe ex UK, Japanese and Asia Pacific ex Japan equities, stock holdings from the merging markets and domestic fixed income from both sovereign and corporate sources.

Merseyside said the mandate size would vary between £1bn and £1.5bn based on market movements, with the three current asset classes not the only ones it could choose to invest in going forward.

Interested parties have until 29 August to express an interest via the region's local government portal.

The contract will initially be awarded for five years, with a further five-year extension possible.

According to its most recent annual report from March 2011, Merseyside has a dozen external managers, with UBS responsible for a £417m US equity portfolio, while Newton Investment Management, TT International, M&G and BlackRock overseeing domestic equity.

Legal & General Investment Management, meanwhile, was responsible for an £860m mixed UK equity and index-linked fixed income portfolio, as well as an additional standalone fixed income mandate worth nearly £200m.

As reported earlier this week, the fund is being advised on its manager selection by Mercer.

Finally, the £1.5bn Royal County of Berkshire local authority fund has appointed eight managers in what appears to be a framework agreement covering a global equity portfolio.

The local authority said in its tender that it had been seeking to appoint as many as four investment managers to a segregated account looking to achieve an initial dividend yield of at least 130% of net dividend over the MSCI World index.

The scheme received interest from eight managers, with Baillie Gifford, Invesco Perpetual, Kames Capital and Lazard Asset Management, as well as Newton Investment Management, RCM, RWC Partners and UBS Global Asset Management all being selected.

A spokesman for the scheme was unable to clarify the nature of the awards at time of writing.