Philippine state pension fund Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has named Citibank as the global custodian of the $1 billion it has allotted for overseas investments under its global investment program.

Citibank will also be responsible for income collection, transactions settlement, fund valuation and accounting, compliance monitoring, transition management, and securities lending related to the program.

GSIS says Citibank was chosen for its extensive proprietary network, spanning 47 of the 86 markets covered by its global custody infrastructure.

ôCiti will minimize sub-custodian risk and will provide the GSIS with local market knowledge, resulting in timely communication of market changes, better control over operations and client service quality and fast inquiry or problem resolution,ö says GSIS president and general manager Winston Garcia.

Citibank has had a presence in the Philippines since 1902.

ôIts local presence will greatly facilitate communication and consultation which will be an advantage especially during the first initiative of the GSIS to invest globally,ö Garcia says.

Citibank won the mandate over State Street Bank and JPMorgan Chase.

Meanwhile, GSIS says ING Investment Management and Credit Agricole Asset Management (Singapore) will initially be managing $300 million each for the pension fund.

ING and Credit Agricole beat seven other global fund managers for the mandate, which marks GSISÆ first foray into international capital markets, but the pension fund didnÆt immediately announce how the $1 billion mandate would be shared by the two.

Other fund managers who made it to the GSISÆ shortlist included BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse Asset Management Ltd., Deutsche Asset Management, Northern Trust Global Investment, Pacific Investment Management Company, Goldman Sachs, and Societe Generale.

These fund managers are still other consideration for future allocations to international investments, a GSIS spokesperson says.

The GSISÆ $1-billion budget for overseas investments makes up around 12% of the pension fundÆs total loans and investment portfolio.