UK - Tesco, one of the UK's leading supermarket chains, is to launch an in-house asset manager for its £6bn (€7.4bn) pension scheme.

As part of the move away from external managers, Tesco Pension Investment has hired Ian King as head of global equity.

King joins from Legal & General Investment Management, where he was head of international equity.

Steven Daniels, previously group chief investment officer of LV= Asset Management, joined the retailer late last year and has been named chief investment officer of the in-house manager.

Daniels joined the company at the same time as former Schroders real estate multi-manager head Jenny Buck moved to the scheme to manage its property portfolio.

Ruston Smith, group pensions director, will oversee the team alongside Daniels, with the investment strategy still set by Tesco's trustee board.

Lucy Neville-Rolfe, executive director of corporate and legal affairs, said: "We are building a high-calibre in-house team to help manage our growing scheme and reduce dependence on external providers.

"I'm delighted we have now received FSA approval and can start taking some of our investments in-house."

A spokeswoman for Tesco said the new company, approved by the UK's Financial Services Authority (FSA) in late March, would not assume responsibility for the supermarket's other defined benefit schemes in Ireland and South Korea.

Such an approach was employed by Nestlé through the creation of Nestlé Capital Advisers, overseeing asset management for a number of the Swiss company's schemes.

However, the move towards in-house asset management is not an unusual one for a FTSE 100 company, with the team behind the Barclays UK Retirement Fund pursuing a similar course in late 2010 by launching Oak Pensions Asset Management as an FSA-registered independent company.