Increasing the global focus of its fixed-income portfolio, including gaining greater access to international credit markets, is behind a decision by GESB to award mandates worth a combined $2.28 billion to three fixed-income managers.

Steve McKenna, GESB’s acting chief investment officer, said that Wellington Management Company was awarded a $706 million mandate to manage part of its global government bond portfolio.

Franklin Templeton Investments Australia also received more than $714 million to manage as part of this same government bond portfolio.

Wellington also took a $432-million slice of the mandates on offer to manager part of the $12.5-billion Western Australian super fund’s global investment grade bond portfolio. Pimco Australia limited was awarded a $427-million mandate to run part of this portfolio.

“The appointments reflect a strategic reorganisation of our approach to managing our members’ fixed-income investments,” McKenna says.

“Segregating the broader fixed-income asset class into two distinct categories allows GESB to shift towards a more global approach to investing and increase access to the more diversified set of opportunities available in the global investment-grade credit markets.”

In December, the 2011 SuperRatings Fund Crediting Rate Survey rated GESB Super’s Global Fixed Interest investment plan as a top-quartile performer over a one and three-year time frame in the diversified fixed-interest category.

GESB has approximately $1.6 billion invested in global government bond investment strategies and nearly $1.8 billion invested in diversified fixed-interest investment strategies.

GESB administers the superannuation for former and current Western Australian public-sector employees.

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