Perth’s $8 billion GESB public sector fund has awarded three big new mandates to active international equities managers.

GESB (or Government Employees Super Board) has appointed Fidelity, Edinburgh Partners and Sarasin & Partners to its $2 billion international equities portfolio, at the expense of AllianceBernstein, to ensure the fund had access to a range of investment styles.

“We were looking at different style factors that we wanted exposure to in the portfolio. Each manager brings style characteristics, which brings diversity and also the flexibility to dial up or dial down allocations to them at different stages,” Sharon Hicks, chief investment officer at GESB, said.

Known as a stock-picker, Fidelity joins thematic investor Sarasin and concentrated value manager Edinburg Partners at GESB.

Finalisation of the mandates was overseen by Bill Dwyer, the former head of Australian equities manager research at Mercer who worked briefly at NGS Super before joining GESB in August as an investment strategist covering domestic and international equities.

During his time at Mercer, Dwyer worked closely with GESB, which remains a client of the consultant.

Hicks would not reveal the size of the mandates, but offered: “If we are going to introduce a manager into a portfolio, they’re coming in for material changes.”

The three new managers joined GMO, Lazard, Genesis Investment Management, Newton Investment Management and State Street Global Advisors in the international equities portfolio.

In GESB’s 2008 annual report, AllianceBernstein was included in the international roster but has since been struck off.

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