New mandates and funds: Brunel, ABP, Fonds de réserve pour les retraites

A busy day for ESG money in the market

Brunel Pension Partnership, the £30bn (€34.5bn) UK pooled pensions outfit, has launched a “pre-search” for global high alpha equities managers for a sub-fund worth around £2bn.
The open two-stage process is designed to identify partner managers while the formal search process will begin in March 2019.

Brunel will be assisted by consultants from Inalytics, the firm set up by former British Coal Pension Fund Chief Executive and CIO Rick Di Mascio and Redington, founded by pensions sector entrepreneur Dawid Konotey-Ahulu.

At this stage Brunel is interested in receiving strategic research and thought pieces that contribute to the debate on delivering excellent performance in global equities from fund managers (but not proposals, newsletters or fund/strategy presentations).

Brunel CIO Mark Mansley said: “Put simply, we are seeking the best global equity fund managers in the world. We expect to spread the portfolio between four or five managers with diverse and complementary approaches. The individual mandates will be fairly unconstrained, but will be long only.

“We will generally be looking for a long-term approach, innovation and originality in managers’ processes, and high return expectations of 3% or more over benchmark.”

The sub-fund will be delivered through the ACS platform Brunel has developed in conjunction with FundRock, with the formal launch and transition scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year. It said in a statement that the Global High Alpha portfolio size would be approximately £2bn.Mansley has undertaken a similar exercise before, when CIO at Brunel member the Environmental Agency Pension Fund. In 2013, he used the pages of Responsible Investor to investigate the ‘Mandate of the Future’ to explore industry best practice.

Elsewhere, €399bn Dutch civil service pension fund has started a Dutch Energy Transition FUND (ANET) to meet the need for capital to provide the energy transition in the Netherlands. The fund, with €50m initially, will target relatively small and innovative projects and companies that focus on energy generation, energy distribution and energy use. ABP board member Geraldine Leegwater, a former CEO of ABN AMRO Pensioenfonds, said: “We want to establish ourselves as a social partner for the energy transition in the Netherlands and take our responsibility in combating climate change.”
And, in further news, French state pension fund Fonds de réserve pour les retraites (FRR), which has historically assessed its entire portfolio on the basis of extra-financial criteria, has put out a tender for the active management of up to four mandates, made up of all-cap Japanese equities.
The four-year mandates have an estimated total value of €600m.
The call for proposals, put out on the European tenders portal, calls for asset managers to suggest the best active management approach for the mandates.
The benchmark is to be specified in the mandate, but will have “similar characteristics” to the MSCI Japan Investable Market Index (IMI). The deadline for expressions of interest is March 1.