Nottinghamshire County Council in the UK has invited companies to register their interest in managing a bond component of its pension fund. The mandate, worth around £60m, accounts for less than 10% of the council's total pension fund.

Companies had until last month to register their interest. Between five and 12 companies will be shortlisted. A final decision is expected by the end of March, and the manager should be in place by the beginning of April. It is not a fixed-term appointment, and the council reserves the right to terminate the contract at any time.

The fund consists of UK and global bonds. Its return over a rolling three-year period must be at least 1% better than a benchmark based on returns on UK and overseas bonds and UK in-dex-linked gilts established by Leeds-based company Combined Actuarial Performances Service. It also must avoid falling more than 2% below the benchmark over any 12-month period.

There has been substantial interest in the fund, according to consultants Watson Wyatt, which is handling the tender process. The current manager, Gartmore, has been welcomed to register its continued interest.