UK - Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council has initiated a search for at least two investment managers, while Somerset Council is seeking an active Japanese equity manager.

The Welsh pension fund, which appointed Newton Investment Management as manager for a £221m (€242m) active global equity portfolio in August, is now seeking a passive global/regional equity and bond manager and "one or more complementary active UK equity managers'.

The tender notice revealed the passive manager will take responsibility for a "proportion of the total portfolio", although the exact figure is unclear, while teh active managers will run approximately 8-9% of the Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council pension fund.

This equates to between £96-108m of the pension fund, valued at £1.34bn in March 2008, although the council highlighted "there may be an option to manage overseas equities" as a part of the mandate in the future.

It confirmed the selected manager, or managers, will not be benchmarked against an overseas equity index but said it might be required "at some stage" if a further review of the scheme's investment strategy "recommends a new allocation to overseas equities and if the manager, following a review of their capabilities, has a suitable fund in which to invest".

Meanwhile, Somerset County Council is tendering for an active long-only Japanese equity manager to run a £22.5m segregated portfolio for its £1bn pension fund.

The manager search follows a decision by the pension fund committee in November 2008 to take the Japanese equity part of the existing mandate run by UBS, and tender it as a separate portfolio while leaving UBS with a "revised smaller Pacific ex-Japan equity mandate".

Tender submissions for the Rhondda passive mandate should be received by 14 May 2009 and the active manager role closes on 30 April 2009, with more information available from Hewitt Associates, while the deadline for applications for Somerset's Japanese mandate is 15 May 2009.

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