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NILGOSC appoints new fund manager

05 September 2016

NILGOSC, the administrator of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) for Northern Ireland, has appointed Unigestion (UK) Ltd to manage a £300m low-volatility global equity mandate.

NILGOSC maintains a £6.3bn fund invested in equities, fixed income, property, infrastructure, and private equity utilising ten fund managers. Geneva based Unigestion is the latest fund manager to be appointed as part of a diversification strategy to reduce downside risk.

As David Murphy, Chief Executive of NILGOSC explained "like most investors we are seeking steady returns in difficult times but we also need to reduce the risk of losses. Unigestion's Minimum Variance approach will be a key part of our strategy".

However for NILGOSC the bottom-line return is not the only consideration. NILGOSC will only appoint fund managers that can take environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into account when making stock selections. David added that "we are a long-term investor and believe that good governance affects long-term returns. We are confident that Unigestion's own ESG screening will provide positive results".

Commenting on their appointment, Tom Leavitt, Managing Director and Unigestion's Head of Institutional Clients, said that "in the current era of volatile markets we think our strategy meets the needs of pension funds such as Northern Ireland's local government scheme and we look forward to supporting NILGOSC achieve its investment objectives".