UK – Communications group Marconi has appointed Morley Fund Management to run a £1bn (e1.63bn) bond portfolio on behalf of its UK pension plan.

The bond exposure of the Marconi fund was previously managed in-house.
Kevin O’Boyle, group benefits director at Marconi, comments: “ Our internal manager had done an excellent job with this portfolio but we now look forward to working with Morley’s successful and well-resourced team. I am confident we can make good use of their gilt and credit expertise to the benefit of our plan members.”

The mandate is currently benchmarked 50% gilts and 50% UK index-linked gilts, but the fund says this is likely to be reviewed.

The portfolio will be managed by Kevin Lorkins, head of gilts at Morley, with assistance from the firm’s credit exposure team, headed by Paul Mingay.
Consultant Watson Wyatt is advisor to the plan.

“ I will draw on our significant credit management resources in addition to my own gilt background and relish this opportunity to work with an experienced and informed group of trustees,” says Lorkins.

The fixed income team at Morley has around £37bn of assets under management.