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Mandate roundup: Wiltshire, West Midlands, SSgA, Pareto, Berenberg, Newton, Baring, Pyrford, PIRC

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  • Mandate roundup: Wiltshire, West Midlands, SSgA, Pareto, Berenberg, Newton, Baring, Pyrford, PIRC

UK - The Wiltshire Pension Fund has announced the details of two framework agreements covering nearly half of its £1.3bn (€1.6bn) in assets.

A dynamic currency hedge, looking to cover its estimated £500m overseas equity exposure, was first put out to tender in October last year was meant to minimise the outflows associated with the hedge, the mandate said.

The council added that it would consider both non-discretionary quantitative and discretionary approaches, but ruled out any use of absolute return mandates.

A framework agreement has now been signed with State Street Global Advisors, as well as Pareto and Berenberg Bank, with Catherine Dix, fund investment and accounting manager at Wiltshire saying the eventual appointee would take the place of a passive hedge currently administered by Record Currency Management.

Meanwhile, a second, £100m multi-asset portfolio framework agreement tendered by Wiltshire at the same time has seen Newton Investment Management, Baring Asset Management and Pyrford International shortlisted.

The three companies, currently not employed by the fund, were successful among 11 applications for the mandate, which the council said should look to outperform Libor by at least 3% on a rolling 3-5 year period.

Dix said no decision had been made regarding the final selection, but that one was expected within the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, the West Midlands Pension Fund has appointed a proxy voting manager.

The position, first put out to tender in November last year, will see the voting company responsible for nearly half of all scheme assets - with the local authority fund in the 12 months to March last year voting in more than 1,200 company meetings.

The contract has again been awarded to PIRC, which previously held the position.

Since its latest annual report from March last year, West Midlands has signed up to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment, with the scheme insisting corporate governance was “integral” to its investment strategy.

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