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There has been little change in the ranking of the major local authority fund managers in the past year. As the lat...
There has been little change in the ranking of the major local authority fund managers in the past year. As the latest Hymans Robertson league table reveals, the top five pension fund managers once again increased their hold on the council pension fund market, with PDFM and Schroders consolidating their already considerable lead.

However, Morgan Grenfell continued its steady climb up the league table to oust Mercury from its longstanding position as the fourth largest manager.

The biggest mover of the year proved to be Murray Johnstone, which dropped 31 places to rank 45th in the local authority market. Its fall, however, was almost entirely attributable to the loss of the £700 million global equity portfolio it managed for the Strathclyde pension fund. The outcome of Strathclyde's 1995 review was 'disappointing' in that it marked the end of a 10-year relationship, director of pension marketing Bob Burgon conceded. Murray Johnstone, positioning itself as a specialist manager, now manages one smaller companies brief and a number of small venture capital funds for local authorities.

Elsewhere, the big moves in 1995 once again reflected a trend towards specialist management.

Foreign & Colonial, for example, moved up six places with the acquisition of a £22m UK smaller companies mandate for Croydon LBC. Ironically, F&C will soon be repositioning itself as an all-round investment house to compete with the likes of PDFM. This follows its acquisition in May of the investment management teams which manage the UK electricity industry pension funds.

The companies winning specialist mandates appear to be those which can offer their clients a lot of name awareness and comfort, says F&C director of pensions Nigel Morecroft.

The year has seen some familiar names drop from the league table altogether - Lloyds, PanAgora, Ivory and Sime and Abbey Life to name a few. New entrants include AMP on the back of a £50m fixed income mandate from Shropshire CC, the Bank of Ireland with a £20m continental European mandate from Lincolnshire CC, Scuder and Friends Provident.

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