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Oxford drops TAA over poor performance

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UK - Oxfordshire County Council has confirmed its £913m (€1.03bn) pension fund has divested from the Tactical Asset Allocation (TAA) strategy, run by UBS, following poor performance.

The council's pension fund committee last year agreed to formally review the TAA strategy by 31 August 2008 after it claimed the performance had "deteriorated", with the portfolio losing £900,000 in the last quarter of 2007. (See earlier IPE article: Oxford reviews TAA after poor performance)

Oxfordshire Council confirmed following the review in August the pension fund divested from the TAA fund - valued at £28.3m on 30 June 2008 - in September last year.

A spokesman for the pension fund said: "The committee decided to divest because of poor performance. We are considering what to do with our new independent financial adviser, although we are not expecting a decision in the near future."

The poor performance of the TAA fund led the council to request UBS to "respond formally" in relation to the possibility of the fund manager refunding £575,000 in performance fees paid in the first few months of operation.

A representative of UBS told the pension fund committee meeting in December 2007 a rebate on fees was "unlikely", and the pension fund spokesman stated he was "not prepared to discuss fee arrangements with our fund managers".

Oxfordshire council recently appointed Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) to run a 10-year specialist passive equity portfolio, valued at around £100m, after the pension fund committee previously decided to transfer the UK equity portfolio managed by UBS to a passively managed index tracker in December 2007. (See earlier IPE article: Oxford appoints IFA and passive equity manager)

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Nyree Stewart on + 44 (0)20 7261 4618 or email nyree.stewart@ipe.com

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