Midland Securities Services has gained major custody contracts in Yorkshire, England.
The unit of Midland Bank PLC has been hired by South Yorkshire County to serve as global custodian for the 1.39 billion ($2.1 billion) South Yorkshire Pensions Authority and the 18 million ($27 million) South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority pension funds, based in Barnsley. Midland replaces the Royal Bank of Scotland. John Hattersley, the pension authority's fund manager, explained the contract had been put up for review and it was decided that Midland offered the best services. Midland will take over as custodian in March.
Also, the West Yorkshire Superannuation Fund, Bradford, has picked Midland to serve as custodian for 1 billion ($1.5 billion) in fixed-income and global securities for the 2.9 billion fund. Custody of U.K. equities is handled internally. Midland will take charge of the assets from April 1, replacing Barclays Global Securities Services.
Stuart Imeson, head of superannuation and investments at the West Yorkshire fund, said European Community law requires the fund to tender its appointments periodically. Midland won because it made the cheapest bid, he said.
The $350 million Middlesex County Retirement System, East Cambridge, Mass., invested $2 million in a commingled real estate fund with Phoenix Home Life Mutual Insurance, said Nancy O'Neill, investment coordinator. The money came from liquidating another real estate fund with Shurgard Realty Advisors.
Ms. O'Neill said the move was made after one large investor decided to exit the Shurgard fund.
The $20.5 million Abilene (Texas) Firemen's Relief and Retirement Fund hired Byrd Capital Market Advisers to manage a $5.12 million balanced portfolio.
A fund spokesman cited owner John Byrd's relationship and favorable track record with the fund while a consultant at Rauscher Pierce Refsnes. The search was done internally; no managers were terminated