UK - The Environment Agency says it has appointed Morley Fund Management and Robeco to manage specialist three-year mandates worth £60m (€87.2m) each, or 5% of the total portfolio.

The managers join a team of six firms who were taken on when the agency revamped investment strategy at its more than £1bn Active Pension Fund in May.

That decision saw a move away from three balanced managers - Legal & General, Henderson, and Merrill Lynch - to eight specialist fund managers. The move followed what was termed “a period of disappointing investment returns” as well as advice from consultants.

Morley will invest in around 12 UK property funds (including the Igloo Regeneration Fund that invests in disused brownfield sites) to give the scheme “a broad exposure to the UK property market”.

And Robeco will invest in private equity funds in Europe and the United States. Around 30% will be allocated to 'green' technology funds.

The Environment Agency said: “The aim of the new investment strategy is to increase returns by diversifying its investments, spreading risk, and increasing the Active Pension Fund's activism, in line with best practice.

“These two new appointments will complete the new line up of eight specialist managers following the six appointed in May 2005.”

Bfinance assisted with the search and selection of managers and Morgan Stanley carried out the transition management.

"After evaluating tenders from nearly 40 property and private equity managers, we are delighted to have appointed Morley and Robeco respectively,” said Howard Pearce, head of environmental finance and pension fund management at the agency.