UK - Somerset County Council has appointed Standard Life Investments to officially manage a £200m fixed income mandate on behalf of the pension fund, having sacked F&C from the role.

Officials details of a tender document issued today confirm SLI will look after approximately one-fifth of the local authority pension fund's £1bn (€1.25bn) in assets.

SLI was asked to temporarily managed the assets at the beginning of this year, according to minutes of the council's pensions committee minutes, but now been signed to look after them following a brief period of good returns compared with the mandate benchmark.

The exact asset allocation of the fund is unclear, as officials were unavailable for comment at the publication, however a breakdown of the fund's performance to 30 June 2008 indicates the dominant asset class is equities and worth approximately 70% of the fund, while fixed income accounts for approximately 20%, property funds account for 8% while the remainder is in cash.

That said, the pension fund is looking to allocate assets to private equity and alter the framework of the asset allocation slightly as a decision on emerging markets equity and private equity will be sought later in the year.

The Somerset fund was funded at 82% to 30 June 2008, according to its actuary Barnett Waddingham, compared with a 95% funding level at 31 March 20007.

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