Merseyside fund awards major passive mandate to State Street Global Advisors

Strong responsible investment element to huge mandate award

The £5bn (€6.2bn) Merseyside Pension Fund has awarded a £1.4bn five-year passive multi-asset class mandate with a strong responsible investment element to State Street Global Advisors.
The fund received four offers for the mandate tendered in July this year, according to a contact notice released today.
The mandate was tendered by the Wirral Borough Council on behalf of the fund and comprises 28% of the fund’s strategic asset allocation. Merseyside is the fifth largest fund in the UK’s Local Government Pension Scheme and a leading responsible investment advocate.
“The mandate will be multi-asset class, consisting of approximately £400m UK equities, £400m North American equities and £600m UK index-linked gilts,” the notice states.

“The term of the mandate will be for five years, with an option to extend by a further five years.”SSGA will also be expected to assist the fund with transition management and temporary management of assets across a range of asset classes.

The managers will be remunerated by means of an annual charge based on the value of assets under management.

Consulting firm Mercer assisted with the procurement.
Owen Thorne, the scheme’s investment officer, told Responsible Investor in July that the appointed managers would be reviewed to see whether they have signed up to the UN-backed Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI).
For managers in the UK, adherence to the Stewardship Code would be desired, Thorne added.
The fund doesn’t believe in screening but prefers to promote best practice at investee companies.
For proxy voting at shareholder meetings, the fund relies on UK governance consultant PIRC.