UK - South Yorkshire Pensions Authority (SYPA) has appointed a corporate bond manager for its local government pension scheme, while Norfolk County Council is seeking a passive UK equity manager for its pension fund.

The £3.82bn (€4.22bn) South Yorkshire LGPS has appointed Henderson Global Investors to run a UK corporate bond mandate valued at around £300m.

South Yorkshire Pension Authority initiated a tender search for a bond manager in March 2009 when it noted it would consider both active and passive approaches to managing the portfolio. (See earlier IPE article: South Yorks seeks bonds as Pioneer delivers GEMs in Somerset)

Latest figures from SYPA showed at the end of December 2009 the asset allocation of the fund included 7.55%, or just over £288m in corporate bonds. The largest allocations were to UK and overseas equities, with 29.25% and 28.21% respectively. Other asset classes invested in by the pension fund include index-linked and conventional gilts and overseas fixed interest, although it also had holdings in private equity, property and alternatives.

Meanwhile, Norfolk County Council has issued a tender for a passive UK equity manager for its £1.48bn LGPS.

The council is offering a portfolio valued at between £125-450m, and it confirmed it would consider market capitalisation and fundamental approaches based on FTSE All-Share constituents.

The tender notice stated, however, that the appointed manager(s) would be expected to vote the mandate's underlying holdings in accordance with Norfolk Council's voting policy, in addition to paying for the set-up and ongoing costs associated with the independent performance measurement of the mandate.

Latest figures from the council's statement of accounts for 2008-09 showed the pension fund had around £277m invested in UK equities, including convertibles, at the end of March 2009, although the highest allocation was to other UK managed funds which accounted for £634.5m.

The tender if for a five-year contract and the closing date for tender submissions is 16 April 2010.

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