Mandate roundup: Unilever, ING IM, Hillingdon, Northern Trust

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  • Mandate roundup: Unilever, ING IM, Hillingdon, Northern Trust

EUROPE - Progress, the Dutch pension scheme for consumer goods company Unilever, has appointed ING Investment Management to oversee a €200m liquid euro mandate.

ING's €5.1bn money market fund - which seeks exposure to commercial paper, floating rate notes and government and corporate bonds - was selected for its "sensible approach" to investment, according to the scheme's chief investment officer Martin Saunders.

"Investments are spread across transparent, plain vanilla, products in which risk management plays a central role," he said, adding that, due to the approach, ING had succeeded in overseeing a good relative performance by the vehicle.

Saunders further praised the risk distribution due to the variety of investors with assets in the fund.

André van den Heuvel of ING IM added that there was currently a "clear shift" toward a more conservative, AAA, money market approach.

"After all, Treasury bonds from many euro countries and deposits at previously trusted banks are no longer considered risk free," he said. "We expect this trend to continue for a while."

Meanwhile, the London Borough of Hillingdon's £595m (€676m) local authority is tendering for a new global custodian - a position currently held by Northern Trust.

The scheme, which saw assets under management increase by £33m year on year to the end of March, said the tender was a matter of the previous contract with Northern Trust having run its course.

The authority said it would consider employing a custodian able to provide custody services directly or through a number of sub-custodian arrangements for the five-year contract.

Interested parties should apply to Hillingdon directly by 14 November.

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