UK - Suffolk County Council has awarded contracts for actuarial, investment and procurement support services for its £1.1bn (€1.23bn) pension fund. Meanwhile Merseyside Pension Fund is seeking investment advisers for the scheme's investment monitoring working party.

The £1.1bn Suffolk County Council pension fund has reappointed Hymans Robertson for the triple role of actuarial services, investment services and procurement support services.

Suffolk said the pension fund, which had a funding level of 68% at the end of December 2008, currently has a contract with BT for the provision of a range of support services - finance, personnel and IT support - and the provision of pension administration is managed by Customer Services Direct Ltd, a joint venture between BT and the county council. (See earlier IPE article: Leicestershire awards target return mandate)

Suffolk therefore noted that the appointed actuarial adviser would have to work closely with Customer Services Direct in providing actuarial services. Hymans Robertson is to provide advice on the investment strategy, structure and performance of the pension fund, including the conduct of asset liability reviews.

Elsewhere, the £4.1bn Merseyside Pension Fund is seeking "one or more" investment professionals to provide strategic advice to the Investment Monitoring Working Party, which meets six times a year to review the fund's investment performance and asset allocation and report back to the pensions committee.

The main responsibilities of the successful applicants will include providing an overview of the investment performance monitoring activities, the tactical and strategic asset allocation policy, and the potential impact on future investment returns.

Wirral Council revealed it would also require reviews of the quarterly investment manager reports, analysis on developments in the economy and financial markets, and support for the selection and appointment of investment mandates.

The closing date for applications is 20 November 2009 and further information can be obtained from the Merseyside pension website.

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