UK - Wirral Borough Council is seeking managers to run up to five unconstrained UK equity portfolios, including 130/30 funds, for the £4.3bn (€5.36bn) Merseyside Pension Fund.

The Merseyside pension fund currently has 31% of its portfolio allocated to UK equities, however it is searching for between two and five managers to run a similar number of specialist portfolios.

Valued at £450m, the mandate requires the successful managers to create a portfolio which generates returns of the FTSE All-Share index +3%, net of all fees, through the use of unconstrained, 130/30 and/or portable alpha strategies.

Wirral Borough Council stated in the tender notice each underlying strategy will have either an absolute return target or a performance target of FTSE All-Share +3%, while any portable alpha strategies must be based on a multi-strategy, non-directional alpha engine demonstrating stable performance".

The £450m mandate will be split between two to five managers on an initial three-year contract, although this will be followed by a review and an option to extend the mandate for a further three years.

Latest figures from the scheme's most recent actuarial valuation, completed on March 31 2007, showed the Merseyside pension fund had a deficit of £1.1bn, which equated to a funding level of 80%.

Elsewhere, Aberdeen City Council is seeking a pension custodian to manage both the £1.8bn Aberdeen City Council Pension Fund and the £54m Transport fund, which are part of the Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).

In its tender notice, Aberdeen said it "wishes to appoint a single global pension custodian, to be responsible for the safekeeping of the assets of the pension funds, and to provide settlement, collection and other related services".

According to the latest annual report from Aberdeen, the scheme's current custody services are being provided by ABN Amro Mellon, while the tender notice revealed between five and eight firms will be invited to participate in the tender for the five-year contract in July.

The Aberdeen City Council pension fund provides pension benefits to employees of 10 "scheduled bodies" including local councils, a number of colleges and Scottish Water.

In addition, the council administers the Transport fund that was created in 1986 for employees of the former Passenger Transport Undertaking who, at the time, transferred to a newly established limited company.

The closing dates for applications for the Merseyside unconstrained UK equity mandate is July 7 2008, while the deadline for submissions to the role of global custodian is June 18 2008.

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