Highlights bfinance’s expertise in providing bespoke investment advice to local government pension schemes
September 08, 2016: bfinance, the leading independent investment consultancy, has been appointed by the Brunel Pension Partnership, an investment pooling project, to undertake an independent review of the plans to pool the investment assets of ten local government pension funds. bfinance secured the mandate following a competitive tender involving leading investment consultants.
Announced in 2015, the Brunel Pension Partnership is an investment pooling project, which was set up to explore the options for pooling the investment assets across ten funds in the South-West, including The Environment Agency Pension Fund, and the Local Government Pension Funds of Avon, Buckinghamshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset and Wiltshire.
With collective pool assets of £23 billion, the project aims to achieve savings over the longer term from both lower investment management costs and more effective management of the investment assets. Funds that are part of the Brunel Pension Partnership envisage that the pooling of assets will result in net savings of c. £16 million annually, and a potential to increase savings to £70 million per annum over time.
bfinance has been engaged to provide independent investment advice to the Brunel Pension Partnership, which is to establish the Brunel Company, an FCA-authorised business. This will be responsible for managing the assets of the pool. bfinance will be involved in key areas of the pooling plans, including providing independent advice on the 22 proposed portfolios that will be made available to the funds, as well as reviewing the specifications for the portfolios, including structure, fee levels, and projected savings.
Sam Gervaise-Jones, Head of Client Consulting, UK & Ireland at bfinance, said: “We are very pleased to have been appointed by the Brunel Pension Partnership to conduct this review. Brunel is the first pool to request a formal review of its pooling plans and we are confident that there will be more pooling projects turning to investment consultants for expert investment advice on how best to execute their plans.
While the landscape for consultants has changed significantly since UK public pensions started pooling their assets, we believe there are significant opportunities for investment consultants to be involved. There remain a lot of niche areas that will require the investment expertise of consultants depending on the implementation route that is chosen.”
Matthew Trebilcock, Brunel Pension Partnership, said: “We welcome our partnership with bfinance and are confident that their specialist expertise and experience in the competitive landscape of pooling funds will provide us with a thorough and tailored cost benefit analysis of the proposed investment portfolios that the Brunel Pension Partnership have designed for the ten funds that are part of the project to ensure that it is the most appropriate approach for the Partnership.”