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The Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation Board announced today that it intends to appoint the Frank Russell Company to provide it with second opinion investment advice. The Board's primary investment advisor is Mercer Investment Consulting.

"Because of the importance of the choice of the strategic asset allocation for the Fund, the Board decided that the independent advice it receives should itself be rigorously tested and reviewed." said chairman, David May. "The role of Frank Russell will be to assist the Board and Mercer in examining the merits of all the various options. The two advisor structure will ensure that a considerable depth of New Zealand and international resources and experience are applied to the key issues and that the Board receives a range of independent advice before making its decisions."

Frank Russell will commence work as soon as terms and conditions are agreed. The Board expects to consider the preliminary strategic asset allocation advice for the Fund during the next two months.

The Board also welcomed Paul Costello who took up his role as chief executive on 31 March. He will commence the establishment of the Guardians' office in Auckland after Easter.

The Board confirmed it is on track to begin investing the New Zealand Superannuation Fund by the end of the third quarter of the year.

"Once the strategic asset allocation has been decided we will begin implementing the Fund's investment strategy," said David May. "Having Paul on board is a vital step in putting the necessary administrative infrastructure in place to achieve that."