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Greater Gwent selects Nomura over BlackRock for Japan mandate

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  • Greater Gwent selects Nomura over BlackRock for Japan mandate

UK - The Greater Gwent Pension Fund has dropped BlackRock as manager of its £50m (€58m) Japanese equity portfolio, awarding the mandate to Nomura Asset Management instead.

BlackRock, which manages more than 50% of the local authority fund's £1.6bn in assets, was awarded the mandate on an interim basis after Baring Asset Management was let go by the scheme's committee in June 2009. 

Earlier this year, it put both this and a second, £50m alternative asset mandate out to tender.

The assets, previously managed passively by BlackRock, will instead now be managed actively by Nomura - one of 38 managers to apply for the position - with Gwent expecting a minimum return of 2-4% net of fees outperforming MSCI's Japan index.

However, Barings still retains two mandates worth nearly 10% of assets.

The active alternatives/diversified growth mandate worth £50m has meanwhile been awarded to Standard Life Investments (SLI), which currently manages a £76m UK equity mandate for the local authority fund.

The portfolio, with a targeted return of 3-6% in excess of GDP Libor, was awarded to SLI over 25 other applicants. 

According to its most recent annual report, Gwent returned 8.2% in the year to March, outperforming its benchmark by 0.9%.

In other news, the £3.1bn Essex County Council Fund has appointed Barnett Waddingham as actuarial consultant, replacing Mercer.

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