Norfolk County Council Pension Fund, Norwich, England, will lead the search to appoint a group of preapproved global custodians in a framework agreement for other U.K. pension funds, an official for the pension fund confirmed.
The framework updates a national LGPS framework for global custody services to reflect the requirements of the local government pension scheme funds. The number of custodians that will join the framework panel is still being defined.
Mercer is providing specialist technical advice and Squire Patton Boggs is supporting the pension fund with legal advice.
The framework is set for launch in February or March 2021.
The previous framework was created in 2013 and expired in April 2019, having been extended for 18 months, the official said.
The six custodians awarded contracts to provide services under the framework were BNP Paribas Securities Services, BNY Mellon, HSBC Securities Services, J.P. Morgan, Northern Trust and State Street. All providers that express an interest must rebid to join the new framework, regardless of whether they are an incumbent.
A prior information notice published on Norfolk County Council's procurement platform Tuesday said the search will be conducted on behalf of the pension funds of Cambridgeshire, Edinburgh, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire, Suffolk and Wolverhampton councils.
Interested custodians must first register on the procurement website.
The National LGPS frameworks are available to all LGPS funds, pools, administering authorities and the wider public sector, including the £32 billion ($39.5 billion) Pension Protection Fund, London.
Other frameworks include for investment consultants; investment management performance, cost monitoring and reporting services; and passive money managers. The official said that by using the frameworks, pension funds save time and money, with the LGPS already collectively making more than £119 million in cost savings by using various frameworks.