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JP Morgan replaced by State Street at AMEC

UK – JP Morgan Investor Services is among the losing custodians as State Street Corp. has won two mandates to service the £950m (€1.31bn) AMEC Staff and Executive pension schemes.

The £900m staff fund and £50m directors scheme have consolidated custody, which was previously with a group of custodians including JP Morgan, said Garry Lloyd, pensions manager at the infrastructure group.

A JP Morgan spokesperson said: "We are always disappointed to lose a piece of business but understand that sometimes, for commercial reasons, a client may wish to consolidate to a single provider where previously it looked to its manager and a number of providers for custody - as in this case."

Lloyd said trustees started looking for a single custodian in the autumn. The decision was taken in January and State Street took over the portfolio in April.

No change to the asset management team has taken place, Lloyd said. Mercer Investment Consulting assisted the funds in the selection.

Under the terms of the staff scheme’s mandate, State Street is also due to assist with investment accounting, which is dealt with by internal auditors. “They are making the job a little easier,” Lloyd said.

The deal for the staff fund also includes cash management, which had been carried out by individual custodians, and foreign exchange, which is settled by the asset managers.

Lloyd said managers can still can perform their own foreign exchange transactions “but we have negotiated special terms with State Street”.

State Street will also provide the e plan with custody and fund accounting services.

Lloyd said: “We were also impressed by their understanding of client needs, and their flexible approach in meeting these needs suited us very well.”

“As the role of the global custodian continues to expand, it becomes increasingly crucial to continually offer your customers more, both in terms of product offerings and creative customer service,” said Alasdair Reid, head of State Street’s asset owner group in Northern Europe.

State said that as of March 31, 2005 it had $9.5trn in assets under custody and $1.4trn in assets under management.

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