The Brunel Pension Partnership is said to have become the first of the eight asset-pooling collaborations among UK local government pension schemes (LGPS) to commission a formal independent review of its pooling strategy, with bfinance landing the job.

The Brunel partnership is the asset-pooling project of 10* local authority pension funds in the south-west of England, with some £13bn (€15.5bn) in collective assets.

In a recent submission to the UK government, it said the participating funds would initially pool assets in 22 portfolios, and that it envisaged this generating net savings of £13m per year by 2021.

The group is the first of the asset-pooling collaborations to request a formal review of its pooling plans, according to Sam Gervaise-Jones, head of client consulting for the UK and Ireland at bfinance.

He expects others to follow suit, however.

Bfinance said it would be involved in “key areas” of the pooling plans.

Its job will include providing independent advice on the 22 proposed portfolios and review their specifications, including structure, fee levels and projected savings.

Additional investment advice, according to bfinance, “will include a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis for the funds in relation to the use of internal investment resources versus the appointment of external managers, review of the potential transition costs of the selected investment strategy and other potential costs that could be incurred”.

Matthew Trebilcock of the Brunel Pension Partnership said: “We welcome our partnership with bfinance and are confident 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 the Brunel Pension Partnership have designed for the 10 funds that are part of the project to ensure it is the most appropriate approach.”

* The Environment Agency Pension Fund and the local government pension funds of Avon, Buckinghamshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset and Wiltshire