Tuesday 20 March 2018

National Pension Fund to hire new managers for portfolio sale

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

The National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF) has advertised for three new "transition managers" to help it manage the sale of share portfolios.

They will replace the current panel that includes State Street, which the agency has accused of a €3m fraud.

The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) is the parent company for the NPRF and is handling the new appointments.

The contract for the obscure work of "transition management" hit the headlines after NTMA chief executive John Corrigan told an Oireachtas Committee that State Street Bank had "defrauded" the NPRF of €3.2m by holding on to a fraction of the proceeds of a €4.7bn asset sale executed under a "transition management" agreement.

State Street, along with Nomura and Citigroup, has been on the panel to do the work for the NPRF since 2007.

That four-year contract is set to end, prompting the current tenders for new providers.


A new panel of three is set to be appointed.

Meanwhile, the allegations against State Street are the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in the UK.

The FSA is investigating because the allegations relate to work done by State Street's London office.

Gardai here have also been alerted to the alleged fraud, but will wait for the results of the FSA investigation before deciding on any action.

The FSA report is expected to be released before the end of the year.

Separate talks between the NTMA and State Street over the case are also understood to be ongoing.

Meanwhile, NTMA said yesterday that it has bought back and cancelled €500m of Government bonds on the markets. The action means a debt repayment due on April 18 next year has been reduced to €5.116bn from €5.616bn.

The move was "part of normal operations" in the secondary bond market, the NTMA said.

The buyback is the latest action by the agency to "smooth" out the schedule of debt repayments next year by reducing or spreading out large bond redemptions.

Irish Independent

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