UK – Global Investor Services (GIS), the global custody division of HSBC, has won its first contract for its newly-launched transaction cost measurement service (TCMS) from Wolverhampton City Council, the administrator for the £5bn (€8.2bn) West Midlands pension fund.

TCMS is designed to provide trustees and plan sponsors with information to help them keep effective and efficient control of their investment portfolios and asset managers. It does this by measuring execution costs on all UK equity transactions and comparing them to a large universe of similar transactions.

Says Brian Bailey, co-ordinating director for finance and physical resources for the West Midlands pension fund: “We anticipate this service will be a useful addition to the range of monitoring data available to us, assisting in ensuring investment managers undertake investment on terms that fully reflect the fund’s interests.”

The West Midlands pension funds has over 183,000 members and is open to employees of the borough councils and other public sector employers in the county. Some 80% of the fund’s assets are invested in UK equities. Fixed income and property portfolios account for the majority of the remaining 20%.

The pension fund has its own in-house investment division that manages 90% of its assets. The rest is managed in segregated accounts by external managers.