UK- Bath & North East Somerset Council's £1.7bn pension fund has added to Merrill Lynch Investment Management’s woes by dropping it from a £500m mandate. A spokesman for the fund stressed that the replacement was result of an ALM study and restructuring and not primarily for underperformance although they admitted that “it could have been better.”

“It’s not for the same reason as Unilever and Co-op that we have replaced Merrill Lynch,” they said, adding that the scheme was not considering legal action. MLIM had completed a five year contract with the fund and was subject to review in the asset liability study.

The news comes days after the Co-operative Group’s £2.1bn scheme fired MLIM for underperformance on a £500m active mandate and said it was considering legal action.

Several other funds including J Sainsbury and AstraZeneca are considering action against the investment manager who has also suffered a recent loss of senior investment managers.

Andreas Utermann, head of the firm's equity funds outside the US, quit at the beginning of May as did Habib Annous, who ran the UK smaller companies and UK value funds.

Anne Richards, managing director of MLIM’s e17bn UK equities Alpha team, was last month named as chief investment officer at Edinburgh fund Managers.