Steve MerlicekThe $9 billion Telstra Super has shaken up its global equities portfolio, including with the award of a $115 million mandate free of country or sector constraints.

The mandate from Australia’s biggest corporate super fund is the fourth for Edinburgh-based Martin Currie Investment Management since it opened its Melbourne office under Kimon Kouryialas less than a year ago (the others are UBS’ multimanager platform, Asset Super and Mercer Retirement Trust).

The mandate is for the process behind the Martin Currie Global Alpha Fund, run by the firm’s CIO James Fairweather, which is self-described as having a bottom-up GARP style, although Lonsec thought it leant closer to ‘growth’ in a May 2009 report.

Martin Currie is understood to be replacing another of Telstra Super’s international shares managers, although CIO Steve Merlicek was unavailable at presstime to say which one. As at April, the fund’s line-up included AllianceBernstein and Wellington International Mangement, both of which have lost more than their fair share of mandates since global markets came off.

Telstra Super is also thought to be the last Australian client of growth manager Clay Finlay, which has shut down its Melbourne beach-head, although again it’s unclear whether or how that mandate has been replaced.

In a statement, Merlicek said of Martin Currie: “During these volatile times we are more aware than ever of managing risk and have been impressed with Martin Currie’s rigorous investment management process, ability to add alpha, investment conviction, the quality of the business management and their keen attention to our needs.”


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