EPFO seeks CVC nod on tender for fund managers' appointment

The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), which manages over Rs 3 lakh crore of retirement fund, will for the first time seek CVC's approval before floating bids for selecting fund managers for three years period beginning April 2011, sources said.

The EPFO, according to sources, is being extra cautious in view of the discrepancies discovered in tendering process of state-owned organisations.

Earlier, the EPFO in 2008 had appointed fund managers through the same process without obtaining any clearance from the CVC. It had appointed ICICI Pru, HSBC, Reliance Capital and SBI in July 2008 and their tenure will end in March this year.

The EPFO has already initiated the process for the appointment of the fund managers. As many as 11 asset management companies, including HSBC, UTI and ICICI Securities, have evinced interest in managing EPFO funds for three years beginning April.

Besides, existing fund managers, seven new firms, including Kotak Securities, Securities Trading Corporation of India, UTI Securities and ICICI Securities, have sent their expression of interest (EOI), a source said.

Once the CVC approves the tender document, the shortlisted asset management companies would be given about 10 days time to submit their bids.

The list of qualified bidders would be placed before the EPFO's apex policy making body Central Board of Trustees for taking the final approval.

The decision of the CBT headed by the Labour Minister on appointment of fund managers would be final.

The EPFO trustees are likely to meet in the second half of the next month when this matter would be placed before them.

Prior to the appointment of fund mangers in 2008, SBI was the sole fund manager for the EPFO.

EPFO has engaged credit rating agency CRISIL for appointment of the fund managers as well as monitoring their performance for the next three fiscals on quarterly basis.

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