Wednesday 10 January 2018

The Wales Pension Partnership is the first LGPS investment pool to appoint a pool operator

The Wales Pension Partnership (WPP) today announces the appointment of Link Fund Solutions Ltd (Link) to establish and run a collective investment vehicle for the sole use of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) funds in Wales.

The appointment of Link as the FCA authorised operator follows a rigorous procurement process run by the WPP and its advisors, Hymans Robertson and Burges Salmon. This will enable the pooling of circa £15bn of assets across a range of asset classes. The passive mandates of all 8 LGPS funds in Wales are already jointly invested, delivering estimated fee savings of over £2m per annum on assets in excess of £3bn. The appointment of Link represents another key milestone in the pooling process, working towards the Westminster Government’s April 2018 target date.

Link will establish and run an Authorised Contractual Scheme (a tax efficient UK collective investment vehicle) on behalf of the WPP. The ACS will have sub-funds in a range of asset classes that will meet the needs of the investing authorities, enabling them to execute their differing asset allocation strategies. With the support of Russell Investments, and in consultation with the eight individual local authority funds, Link will begin the process of appointing a number of investment manager firms, while the LGPS funds will retain full control over strategic asset allocation decisions. By using fewer investment manager firms with larger mandates, it is expected that the pool will deliver fee savings, one of the primary aims of Government policy.

The WPP’s Joint Governance Committee was established earlier in 2017 and is responsible for oversight of the pool’s operator, Link, and the services it delivers to the LGPS funds in Wales.

Councillor Stephen Churchman, Chairman of the Joint Governance Committee: “After a rigorous selection process, we are delighted to announce the appointment of Link as the operator company for the LGPS investment pool for Wales. The LGPS administering authorities in Wales have a long and successful history of collaboration. We are on track to have the pool operational in early 2018 delivering further investment manager fee savings that will benefit all of the LGPS funds in Wales.”

Carmarthenshire County Council acts as Host Authority, liaising day to day with the operator, Link, on behalf of all of the LGPS funds in Wales.

Chris Moore, Director of Corporate Services at Carmarthenshire County Council (Host Authority for the WPP):

“The appointment of Link is a significant milestone in the establishment of a £15bn investment pool for the LGPS funds in Wales. We look forward to working with Link to deliver the benefits of investment pooling for the LGPS in Wales.”

The Wales Pension Partnership (WPP) comprises of the following LGPS funds: Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan, City and County of Swansea, Clwyd, Dyfed, Greater Gwent (Torfaen), Gwynedd, Powys and Rhondda Cynon Taf.

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Tuesday 05 April 2022

Wales Pension Partnership awards Private Markets investment contracts

The Wales Pension Partnership (WPP) today announces a series of appointments to facilitate implementation of its Pooled Infrastructure and Private Debt investment solutions.

Russell Investments will develop the WPP pooled private debt investment programme, GCM Grosvenor will implement closed-ended infrastructure investments and open-ended infrastructure will be invested through CBRE Global Infrastructure Fund, IFM Global Infrastructure Fund and Octopus Renewables Infrastructure SCSp.

The appointments follow a rigorous procurement process run by the WPP with investment consultancy firm bfinance. The development will enable efficient and effective access to illiquid asset classes that are fast becoming significant holdings for LGPS funds.

The WPP’s Joint Governance Committee was established in 2017 and is responsible for oversight of the pool’s partner organisations and the services they deliver to the LGPS funds in Wales.

Carmarthenshire County Council acts as Host Authority, liaising day to day with the Pool’s external partners, on behalf of all of the LGPS funds in Wales.

Chris Moore, Director of Corporate Services at Carmarthenshire County Council (Host Authority for the WPP):

“Alternative asset classes have historically been challenging to access in a cost-effective manner. Pooling offers the opportunity to address this challenge. The WPP’s constituent funds have increasing strategic demand for these investments, and we look forward to working with our newly appointed partners to meet this demand.”

 

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Monday 04 April 2022

WPP wins the Pool of the Year Award at LAPF Investments Awards 2021

We are thrilled and honoured to announce that we were successful in winning Pool of the Year at the LAPF Investment Awards 2021, which took place in London on 29 March 2022.

We would like to thank all the 8 LGPS funds in Wales and our external providers for their continued support, our stakeholders and all involved in managing and providing an exceptional service to the WPP.

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Thursday 10 March 2022

Signatory to the UK Stewardship Code

We are delighted to announce that the Wales Pension Partnership (WPP) is now a signatory to the UK Stewardship Code.

https://www.frc.org.uk/investors/uk-stewardship-code/uk-stewardship-code-signatories

The 2020 UK Stewardship Code sets a high bar for stewardship, a standard to which the WPP sought to meet through its approach to responsible investment. The WPP is therefore delighted to be recognised as a signatory to the Code. 

Our report for the year ending 31 March 2021 covered the first step on WPP’s journey, a year when we put in place solid foundations through our appointment of Robeco as a stewardship provider, the establishment of our Responsible Investment Sub-Group and began the process of ensuring that our policy commitments were implemented.  We also worked closely with Link Fund Solutions and Russell Investments during the year to develop and implement an innovative decarbonisation strategy for our Global Opportunities Fund, a process that we have since sought to extend to our other Sub-Funds.

We recognise that there is much more to do but we remain committed to building our understanding of responsible investment practices and evolving our approach.  We learned much from the reporting process and have already taken steps to implement some of those learnings, for example, through increasing the scrutiny of our providers and the assets they manage for us.  We do this recognising that the WPP has a responsibility to all eight Constituent Authorities within Wales, and the members of their pension schemes, to be effective stewards of their assets.

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