UK - Warwickshire County Council pension scheme has made its first investment in private equity via a fund-of-funds mandate with HarbourVest Partners.

Group manager for treasury and pensions Phil Triggs said the £820m (€931m) scheme had made the decision to invest in alternatives as part of a diversification strategy aimed at lowering the overall risk of the portfolio.

The current mandate, worth between £40m and £50m, will make up 5% of the scheme.
Within alternatives, a fund-of-hedge funds portfolio already makes up another 5%. Property - which the scheme buckets within the alternatives portfolio - accounts for 10%.

The pension fund originally announced the private equity tender in March last year.

Although no decisions have yet been made on further allocations to alternatives, Triggs said he would meet consultants this month to discuss possible virgin investments in alternatives sub-asset classes, with a view to appointing managers later this year.

Asked about the fund manager appointment announced this week, Triggs said the investment committee would have been happy with any of four shortlisted candidates.

"The final presentation was the critical exercise," he said. "The criteria for shortlisting are strict, so the final beauty parade was impressive."