Searches and Hires

Brunel Pension Partnerships looking for active U.K., low-volatility equity managers

Brunel Pension Partnership, Bristol, England, is searching for active equity managers to run a total £1.8 billion ($2.6 billion) across U.K. equity and global low-volatility equity allocations.

Brunel, which has around £28 billion in pooled assets from 10 local government pension scheme funds, said in an announcement on its website that exact amounts are subject to client demand. However, the U.K. equity search is for around £1.2 billion in assets and the global low-volatility equity search for £600 million.

The search will take place across two stages. Brunel wants managers to submit expressions of interest by May 14. These will be evaluated and a shortlist of managers will be invited to a full procurement exercise. Final managers will be selected based on these responses, with the number of managers and split of allocations "at the discretion of Brunel," the announcement said. However, the announcement added that it is expected that two hires will be made for both searches.

"U.K. equities is still an important allocation for many investors and we look forward to hearing from managers how they manage diversification in this relatively concentrated market, and, importantly, their approach to stewardship," said Mark Mansley, chief investment officer at Brunel, in the announcement.

"Low volatility is one of the most intriguing areas of the smart beta revolution and a good fit for investors seeking to reduce equity risk. We are particularly interested in hearing from managers able to address risk of valuation bubbles in low-volatility strategies, and able to use ESG considerations to help further reduce risk," he said.

Mr. Mansley added that Brunel executives want to hear from managers with a clear, consistent process, openness regarding culture and human capital management, and commitment to transparency. "Clarity and brevity in tender documents will also be a benefit," he said.

A briefing document and submission template can be obtained by emailing key organizational details, with "Brunel U.K. Equity," "Brunel Low Vol" or "Brunel U.K. Equity and Low Vol" in the subject line. Further details will soon be available on Brunel's website.

"We hope to be able to announce the names of the chosen managers in the autumn." added​ Mr. Mansley.

Brunel manages the investment of the local government pension scheme assets for administering councils in Avon, Buckinghamshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Environment Agency, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset and Wiltshire.