UK - KAS Associatie has landed its first UK custody mandate win, having been appointed as custodian to the £145m Norwest Holst Group Staff Pension Scheme.
KAS, which set up shop in the UK earlier this year, will provide custody services to the pension fund’s UK equities portfolio. Stephen Ellis, group pensions manager at the construction and civil engineering firm, said that the portfolio - currently run by GMO Woolley - is worth 20% of the funds total assets.
KAS launched its custody services in the UK back in June, initially focussing on the smaller and medium sized pension fund market, an area that it believes is under serviced in the UK.
Ian Ratoff, KAS’ head of relationship management, UK institutional investors, said: “This mandate win supports our views that there is a real demand for custodians to service smaller and medium-sized pension schemes which some players may ignore.”
In June, the fund announced that it had dropped Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM) as its sole asset manager on performance grounds. MLIM and the then custodian, Bank of New York, were replaced by asset managers Legal & General Investment Management, GMO Woolley and KAS.
Presently, Deutsche Asset Management (DeAM) has a discretionary management brief over 50% of the fund, while L&G runs the remaining 30% on a similar basis. Ellis said that the custodians to DeAM’s and L&G Investment Management’s mandates are Deutsche Bank and L&G, respectively.
The Norwest Holst fund is advised by William M Mercer.
By Geoffrey Ho
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