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BIG TWO LEAD THE PENSION FUND MANAGERS

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PDFM and Schroders are still leagues ahead of their competitors in the race to manage the most local authority pens...
PDFM and Schroders are still leagues ahead of their competitors in the race to manage the most local authority pension fund money. Between them they manage more than the combined funds of the next three closest contenders.

The latest figures from actuary Hymans Robertson reveal that PDFM is still holding fast to the top slot and has widened its lead over Schroders from almost£2 million at the end of 1995 to more than£3m at the end of last year. Schroders saw its local government funds under management fall slightly while PDFM saw an increase.

Gartmore remains in third place despite its merger with NatWest last year but saw its funds under management drop as it lost 12 mandates. County NatWest featured in number 22 slot last year with six funds under management worth£271m.

Mercury nudged its way back into its long-standing position as fourth largest manager of local authority pension funds, ousting Morgan Grenfell which had moved up from fifth place last year. The gap between the two remains very tight, however, and there could be another switch around next year unless there is any significant change in their funds under management.

New to the league table are Norwich Union and Putnam. Putnam was hired in April 1996 by Staffordshire CC pension fund to run a£70m US equities portfolio previously managed by Ivory & Sime. Norwich Union first won a£10m index-linked and bonds brief from Cumbria CC pension fund in March 1996, then later in the year scooped a£25m specialist bonds mandate from Lincolnshire CC pension fund.

The biggest move of the year came from Murray Johnstone once again, although this time it climbed up instead of down. After toppling 31 places to rank 45th last year, it recovered an impressive 15 places after boosting its funds under management by some£70m.

Less fortunate was Scottish Amicable, which dropped 10 places to number 23 after seeing£500m wiped off its funds under management. It has since been acquired by Prudential.

CU Morley was up seven places to 20, having gained one fund worth£170m, while Edinburgh Fund Managers rose six places to number 24, partly due to a£20m UK small cap mandate awarded to it by Edinburgh City for the Lothian RC pension fund. Kleinwort Benson also did well, rising from slot 32 to slot 26, while Bank of Ireland also rose six places to 37.

Barclays Global Investors was new in the league at number six, with£2,191m funds under management. It replaces BZW passive and BZW active in the table. Invesco becomes Amvescap and GT becomes LGT.

Jardine Fleming, which last year occupied slot 44, was wiped off the table. Boston-based bond specialist Wellington Management, which made its first appearance in the table two years ago, also fell out of the league. However, it is set to make a comeback this year following its appointment in May by Berkshire CC pension fund to run a£42m active US equities mandate.

At the time of going to press no responses had been received from Nomura or Friends Provident. However, according to reports in Public Treasurer last year, Friends Provident won at least two new mandates. In April it gained a£6m ethical brief from Berkshire CC pension fund and a month later it was awarded a£5m ethical brief by Hampshire CC pension fund.

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