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Teesside seeks Northern custody support

UK - Middlesbrough Borough Council has reappointed Northern Trust as custodian for the £2.2bn (€3bn) Teesside pension fund.

Fred Green, head of investment and treasury management at the regional council office, confirmed to IPE Northern Trust had been asked to manage the pension fund's custody arrangements again for a four-year contract, following an official tender process.

He added it is possible further changes could be made to the pension fund next year as the scheme's triennial review - completed in March 2007 - has now been approved the scheme actuary, although no decisions are likely to be made about the fund's asset allocation until at least the end of the first quarter 2008.

Green noted scheme officials are happy with the status of the pension fund at it was 99% funded to March 2007, but continue to "evaluate different opportunities" in asset and liability management.

Asset allocation is currently split to place approximately 45% in UK equities, 30% in overseas equities, 9% in fixed income, with the remainder in property, alternatives - such as ‘soft' commodities - and cash.

The fund was one of the earliest in the UK to invest in infrastructure, having ventured into the space over three years ago.

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Julie Henderson on + 44 (0)20 7261 4602 or email julie.henderson@ipe.com


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