€20bn French pension to move into class

The French Pensions Reserve Funds has appointed Campbell Lutyens to help formulate a strategy for entrance into private equity.

The Fonds de réserve pour les retraites (FRR), or French Pensions Reserve Fund, a publicly owned, state-funded pensions manager with assets under management approaching €20 billion, is preparing to enter the private equity asset class for the first time.

Set up in 2001, Paris-based FRR has so far concentrated on investing in bonds and public equity instruments. Now the fund has appointed Campbell Lutyens, the London-based private equity advisory specialist, to help it devise a strategy to move a portion of its assets into private equity.

The FRR’s target allocation to private equity has not been disclosed.

According to a press release, Campbell Lutyens was chosen after a formal selection process that the FRR had initiated in March 2005. Under the mandate, Campbell Lutyens will act as a financial consultant and advise FRR on a planned request for proposal process in order to select suitable private equity fund managers.

The FRR plans to launch the first stage of the manager selection process in the third quarter of this year.

Campbell Lutyens could not be reached for comment. The firm, which has a private equity fund placement business and acts as corporate finance advisor to general as well as limited partners in private equity funds, already has a similar relationship with the Royal Mail Pension Fund in the UK, a scheme with approximately £1 billion allocated to the class. First appointed in 2001, the firm continues to advise the Royal Mail’s pension managers on private equity-related issues.

Campbell Lutyens was founded in 1988 and has offices in London and New York.