EUROPE - The UK government has committed £80m (€98m) to two specialist fund managers to run investments in the small-scale waste infrastructure sector.

All investments made by the fund managers will be match-funded, the government said, leveraging in at least £80m more to the projects.

The government is investing directly “on fully commercial terms” ahead of obtaining state aid approval for the UK Green Investment Bank.

Foresight Group will manage an initial fund of £50m, while Greensphere Capital will run an initial fund of £30m.

The fund managers will be responsible for managing investments in areas such as waste recycling and reprocessing facilities, pre-treatment projects and energy-from-waste projects.

The maximum amount of individual investments is unlikely to exceed £15m, the government said.

The government will also make a further £100m available for investment in the non-domestic energy-efficiency sector. The outcome of this tender will be announced in the summer.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced details of the tender earlier in the year.

In other news, BNY Mellon has been appointed to provide custody and investment administration solutions for NOW: Pensions’ new UK defined contribution workplace pension.

NOW: Pensions is the UK-based multi-employer trust established last autumn. The investments are managed by NOW: Pensions Investments, a subsidiary of ATP, Denmark’s largest pension fund.

Morten Nilsson, chief executive at NOW: Pensions, cited BNY Mellon’s efficiency, adding that the company had supported ATP’s offering in Denmark since 2007.

In other news, Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) has completed a £35m buyout of Mercers’ Company Staff Pension Scheme, a defined benefit scheme sponsored by one of the more than 100 livery companies associated with the City of London.

Alexander Graham, chair of the trustee, praised PIC for allowing the scheme to complete the deal in a “shortened timescale”, while Mark Paxton, senior bulk annuity consultant at Barnett Waddingham highlighted the advantages for both the scheme - for which the consultancy acted as advisers - and the sponsor.

“This transaction enables the company to eliminate pension risk completely and for members’ benefits to be totally secured with an FSA regulated insurer,” Paxton said. “We helped the Scheme’s Trustees find the right balance between price, flexibility, policyholder care and service standards.”

Meanwhile, Sweden’s AP7 has awarded two three-year contracts for administration services.

ISS Europe has won a SEK900,000 (€101,000) contract to provide financial markets administration services, while Ethix SRI Advisors and GES Investment Services will advise on ethical issues.

Lastly, the Oxfordshire County Council Pension Fund has selected Wellington Management for a £150m global equity mandate.

The appointment was the result of a public tender launched last October in cooperation with investment consultancy bfinance.
Sean Collins, service manager for Oxfordshire County Council’s pensions, insurance and money management, said: “Following in-depth due diligence interviews, the three most suitable providers were invited to present to the pension fund committee. 

“The final decision was difficult due to the quality on offer, but the committee felt that Wellington’s global value team was the best fit for the pension fund’s needs.”