UK - Rhondda Cynon Taff County Council has awarded Newton Investment Management a £221m (€278m) active global equity mandate.

The £1.34bn Welsh pension fund currently employs four external investment managers and the equity portfolio is split between Baillie Gifford and F&C as 44.4% and 35.2% of the assets respectively, while the bonds portfolio is also run by F&C.

However, as the pension fund has a mix of UK and overseas equities, including £218m in a high alpha equity strategy run by Baillie Gifford, officials were unavilable to explain whether the mandate awarded to Newton for a "high performance global equity manager to manage a proportion of the total portfolio" is new money or a reallocation of other resources.

The remaining investments are allocated to a property portfolio run by ING, equivalent to 3.8% of the fund, while Record Currency Management is responsible for a 4.1% allocation to currency.

Figures from Rhondda's latest annual report showed at the last valuation in March 2007, the scheme was 70% funded, an improvement from 62% in 2004, although the scheme deficit had increased from £532.4m to £581.3m.

Newton also confirmed it has been awarded a £130m mandate for global equities by Cambridgeshire County Council, which follows the local authority's announcement that it had appointed RCM to run a global equity mandate valued at £140m. (See earlier IPE article: Cambridgeshire awards global equity mandate)

Elsewhere, Deloitte has appointed Mercer to provide full administration services for the 17,000 members of both its UK defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) pension schemes.

The two schemes have combined assets of around £750m, however figures from Deloitte's annual report for 2007 showed the DB scheme reported a deficit of £74m as it had assets of £445m but liabilities reaching £519m at the end of May 2007.

The report confirmed Deloitte is expected to contribute around £20m to the scheme in the financial year as a result, to cover both future accrual and special contributions to reduce the deficit.

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