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East Sussex CC has advertised for a single investment manager with an unusual brief of managing a£40 million mixed...
East Sussex CC has advertised for a single investment manager with an unusual brief of managing a £40 million mixed portfolio specialising in both property and index- linked securities. Deputy county treasurer John Howes said the £750m pension fund was currently managed by Gartmore and PDFM on 'the risky side of balanced' - 81% is invested in equities against an average figure of 75%.

The changes had been recommended by investment adviser Hymans Robertson, despite the fact the East Sussex fund is still fully-funded. Mr Howes recognised the combination of asset classes is unusual: 'That will be the challenge for the managers.'

Lincolnshire CC is also looking to make some minor changes to its fund following the actuarial valuation - the most significant being the introduction of a £25m bond portfolio, equivalent to 5% of the fund's value. Adverts for a bond manager will be placed later this year.

The council has also invited tenders for a £26m Japanese equities brief, managed for the past five years by Dicam. Assistant chief financial officer Melvyn Harrison said other changes include slightly increased strategic allocations in newly segregated Far East ex-Japan and emerging market portfolios.

The Edinburgh-managed Lothian fund is also to invite tenders for a £100m European equity brief currently managed by Morgan Grenfell and an £80m balanced mandate held by Baillie Gifford. Adverts have already been placed to manage between £20m-£70m of the total £1.1bn fund on a fixed- interest brief. The council has also decided to manage a £40m passive fixed-interest core in-house.

Keith Shephard, head of treasury and investment, said the three reviews were the last in the normal review cycle. Morgan Grenfell currently holds the fixed-interest brief.

SG Warburg has been appointed custodian of the £430m Somerset CC fund - a position it already held for the £126m of the fund invested in overseas assets. Loans and investment manager Jean Brittain said the council had decided to contract out the UK as well as the overseas assets because of the advent of CREST, the paperless settlement transaction system. SG Warburg's appointment, which was made without a full tendering exercise, will be reviewed in 18 months.

Finally, Midland Bank has been appointed as custodian to Kensington and Chelsea LBC's £150m global portfolio.

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