Investment News

Brunel Pension Partnership (Project Brunel - Investment Pooling)

In 2015 the government announced that they wanted the 89 Local Government Pension Scheme funds to pool their  investments into larger pools in order to achieve savings in investment management costs.

In response to the government agenda, Project Brunel was set up to explore the options for pooling investment assets across  ten Funds. The founding Funds include The Environment Agency Pension Fund, and the Local Government Funds of Avon,  Buckinghamshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset and Wiltshire. The collective assets of the pool  are approximately £23 billion.

The objective of pooling the assets is to achieve savings over the longer term from both lower investment management costs and more effective management of the investment assets. The pool will look to deliver the savings based upon the collective buying power the collaboration initiative will produce. Local accountability will be maintained as each individual fund will remain responsible for strategic decisions including asset allocation. The pooling of assets will only affect the implementation of the investment strategy in terms of manager appointments.

More information and updates about the project can be found on the Project Brunel website at:

www.brunelpensionpartnership.org

 

South West LGPS Funds to launch collaboration initiative

The eight Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) funds within the South West have a long and successful track record of collaborative working across investments and scheme administration which has delivered tangible savings since 2007.  
 
Following the government’s announcement in the July budget that local authority pension funds will be required to pool their assets to reduce investment costs, reiterated by the Chancellor again recently, the South West funds are working together on a proposal to meet the government’s criteria for delivering savings.  
 
The group is currently exploring options to establish a collaborative structure which will enable the funds to share the expertise and best practice that is already within the group, and provide flexibility to evolve as governance or investment requirements change over time and also maintain the public sector ethos of the member funds.  
 
The objective will be to achieve savings over the longer term from both lower investment management costs and more effective management of the investment assets.  Any proposed structure will look to deliver the savings based upon the collective buying power the collaboration initiative will produce whilst local accountability will be maintained as the individual funds will remain responsible for strategic decisions including asset allocation.
 
The group is open to other like-minded funds from within the LGPS community who wish to engage with the government’s agenda on the same principles that already exist within the group, and would like to participate in the process of establishing the framework and governance structure.
 
The funds currently included within this initiative are Avon, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Environment Agency, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire which collectively have assets of £19bn and c. 520,000 members. 

Further details can be found here.
 
Nick Buckland, Head of Treasury and Pensions, has also written an article called LGPS landscape: Collaboration in the South West which can be found on the Room 151 website 
 
 

Best Local Government Pension Scheme

The Dorset County Pension Fund attended the Engaged Investor Trustee Awards 2015 in London on 2 July and were delighted to win the Best Local Government Pension Scheme award.  The Chairman of the Pensions Fund Committee, John Beesley, attended the ceremony and accepted the trophy on behalf of the fund.  Nick Buckland, Head of the Dorset Fund, was also nominated for Pensions Manager of the Year, against nine other non-local government pension funds.   The Dorset County Pension Fund were especially delighted that their hard work was recognised as they were the only LGPS fund to win an award at this event.
 
Full details of the event and the category winners can be found here.
   
     

Third best performing LGPS Fund

The Dorset County Pension Fund has made returns on its investments of 16.8% during the 2012/13 financial year, which made it the third best performing Local Government Pension Fund as measured by State Street Investment Analytics.
 
Over the 3 year period to 31 March 2013 the Fund returned 10.3% per annum, which means that the Fund is ranked 7th from the 100 local authority funds in the State Street analysis.

Finance Chief wins top award

In December 2012 Dorset County Council's Chief Financial Officer, and Pension Fund Administrator, won the top award at the Local Government Chronicle Investment Awards in London. Paul Kent accepted the 'Finance Officer of the Year' award for the outstanding overall performance on the Dorset County Pension Fund.
 
Paul Kent said:
 
“I was very pleased to accept this award on behalf of the Dorset County Pension Fund. Our investment performance over the last three years has been one of the best in the country and returns on our investments have been at around the top 10 per cent of local authority pension funds. This will ultimately help keep costs down for both employers and council tax payers in the future.”
 
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