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Warwickshire makes foray into alternatives

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UK - Warwickshire County Council pension fund has awarded three mandates which  allow the £1bn (€1.4bn) fund to invest in the alternatives market.

Schroders and Threadneedle have been appointed to manage two property mandates while New York-based Blackstone Alternative Asset Management will manage its fund of hedge funds allocation.

Officials at the pension fund were unavailable for comment but it is thought the three mandates together allow the fund to diversify up to £100m, or 10%, of the fund in real estate and fund of hedge funds.

This latest move follows a recent shift by the pension fund, which was 82% funded at March 2004, towards specialist managers.

Elsewhere, the £1.4bn (€95m) Dorset County Council Pension Fund has appointed European Credit Management (ECM) and Royal London Asset Management to manage £140m fixed interest mandate each.

"It is anticipated that the new managers will be in place from July 1," the fund said in a statement. 

These investment managers were appointed after a review of the fund's fixed interest management arrangements.

"The review process was driven by the fund's desire to add to overall performance by changing to an unconstrained approach for the fixed interest element of the portfolio," said consultancy firm Bfinance, which aided the fund in the review.

The changes follow last year's review of management arrangements when a number of active managers for UK and US equities were added.

Bfinance commented Pictet Asset Management, ING Real Estate and the in-house team at Dorset, along with the managers selected last year, will continue to manage the remaining assets.

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