GLOBAL – The $1bn (€764m) Aruban pension fund for public sector workers – the Stichting Algemeen Pensioen Fonds Aruba (APFA) – has selected State Street to provide custody, fund accounting, risk analysis and performance and analytics.

It said it selected State Street because of its experience in servicing pension funds in a fiduciary management structure.

Mark Bakker, CIO at the APFA, added: "It is likely we will adopt the Dutch regulatory framework for pension funds, so it's in our best interests, as well as our clients', to work with a Dutch client service team that understands our challenges."

Roel van de Wiel, business development executive at State Street's global services business, said: "In a recent research study we undertook, we found pension funds in the Netherlands rated risk management, regulation and compliance and market volatility among the most important challenges they face.

"With the likelihood of Aruban pension funds moving towards the Dutch pension fund framework, we expect these will be key challenges for them as well."

In other news, a European pension fund has tendered a $50m mandate to invest in European or US private equity, using IPE-Quest.

According to QN1265, interested parties should have at least $250m in assets under management (AUM) for the mandate itself and $5bn in AUM for the firm.
The tender has set no tracking error guidelines or set out minimum track records, although applications must state performance, net of fees, to the end of September.

The closing date for applications is 20 December.

Meanwhile, the Essex County Council Pension Fund is seeking to set up a framework of active, long-only global equity managers.

The maximum number of participants in the agreement will be 10, while the indicative size of the mandates will be £200m-£300m (€246m-369m).

Guidance on the performance target is 2.5-4% in excess of the benchmark MSCI All Countries World index on a rolling 3-5 year basis.

Both segregated and pooled fund solutions will be considered.

Single or multiple mandates may be awarded concurrently or consecutively within the expected framework life of four years.

Further information can be obtained from Hymans Robertson.

Lastly, the Lothian Pension Fund has tendered a mandate for an "independent professional observer", to enhance the "experience, continuity, knowledge, impartiality and performance" of its committees.

The observer will assist the pension committee in questioning and challenging advice – "hence providing comfort that advice is proportionate".

The role will extend across all matters relevant to pension funds generally and local government pension schemes in particular.

The observer will be required to attend meetings of the pensions committee in Edinburgh – usually four a year – as well as possibly attend meetings of the audit sub-committee.

It must also provide ad-hoc consultation with and training for committee members.

The observer will not have voting rights.

The contract will commence in 2013 for a period of five years, plus an optional extension of three years at the council's discretion.

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