UK - Northamptonshire, Essex and North Yorkshire County Councils have put out requests for tenders for equity, bond and real estate portfolios worth a total of more than £500m (€715.5m).

The £824m North Yorkshire County Council Pension Fund is looking for up to two specialist asset managers to run a £150m global bond portfolio.

Neil Sellstrom, technical accountant with the scheme, told IPE the money will come from balanced mandates, managed by Baillie Gifford &Co, Barclays Global Investors, Henderson Global Investors and Standard Life Investment Ltd.

He explained the decision to allocated fixed income assets to one or two specialist followed an investment strategy review.

“On the fixed income side performance was not as good as other areas,” Sellstrom said.

The fund could chose up to two managers for the portfolio, whose performance will be benchmarked against the Lehman Global Aggregate ex US collateralised index.

“We have not excluded anyone,” Sellstrom said, asked whether existing managers could respond to the tender.

So far, the fund has received about 30 expressions of interest. The new managers are expected to start their mandate in June. The fund has employed independent consultant Philip Williams.

Essex County Council’s £2bn scheme is tendering a specialist active bond brief worth a minimum £100m, five percent of the fund’s capital value. The mandate could entail up to £200m.

Group manager for investments, Martin Quinn, told IPE the existing bond portfolio, managed by Henderson Global Investors, has been re-tendered after a review.

“We are looking to be a little more adventurous in the way we have our bonds managed,” Quinn explained – adding the incumbent manager had been invited to respond to the tender.

“We are inviting a wide range of applicants,” he also said. The deadline has been set for January 28. The fund, assisted by Hymans Robertson, is going to short-list four to five managers and make the appointment by June.

Meanwhile, the pension scheme of Northamptonshire County Council, worth about £745m, is tendering a total £265m in equity and real estate.

The sum breaks up into £140m in UK, which the fund could split in two mandates and a further £100m specialist overseas equity brief. The remaining appointment consists of a £15m portfolio to be managed in a specialist property fund of funds.

Appointments are due to be made within the first months of the year. The fund is advised by Mercer Investment Consulting.