UK - The London Borough of Waltham Forest is seeking an investment adviser to help develop a strategy for its £444.1m (€528.2m) pension fund.

The pension fund has previously appointed investment advisers on an "ad hoc basis" for advice on investment strategy, but it also appointed Mercer, their actuarial adviser, take on the role of investment adviser in 2008 until a full tender could be carried out.

Waltham Forest has now started the procurement process and is seeking a provider to advise on the setting of investment strategy, the construction of benchmarks, appropriate asset classes and asset allocation and rebalancing of the portfolios.

The successful candidate will also be required to provide advice and training to members of the council and the pension members panel, provide full asset/liability analysis where required, and monitor and analyse fund manager performance and processes.

Other duties will include selecting managers, and advising on developments, including those relating to Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) regulations which impact the investment strategy and the pension fund.

Waltham Forest's search for an investment adviser comes follows the re-tendering of the pension fund's administration contract in October, which is currently held by Capita Hartshead. (See earlier IPE article: Waltham Forest seeks pensions admin)

The new contract, valued at around £400,000, is for an initial period of three years with the option of a further two-year contract "subject to satisfactory performance".

Closing date for submissions is 22 December 2008, and it is expected the contract will be re-tendered in mid-2011 or 2013, depending on whether the extension is used, as only one renewal is allowed. Further details can be obtained from Waltham forest Council.

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