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£40bn UK public pension pool gets regulatory OK for first sub-fund

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The first pooled investments by members of a £40bn (€44bn) group of UK local authority pension funds are set to be made from October.

Following regulatory approval, the ACCESS asset pool will launch a global equity sub-fund in October, it was announced today.

Three of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) pension funds behind the ACCESS pool are to invest £1.6bn in the sub-fund.

Information about who would manage the fund was not provided by the time of publication.

Achieving cost savings is one of the drivers of the government’s pooling policy for the LGPS funds. According to ACCESS and Link Fund Solutions, the operator of the pool, the investment in the sub-fund would result in anticipated savings of £1.5m a year, with savings eventually expected to rise to £1.9m a year.

More sub-funds are expected to be launched early next year.

ACCESS described the receipt of regulatory approval for its first pooled fund as “a major milestone in the project to provide the ACCESS pool with a range of pooled investment funds, enabling authorities to execute their local investment strategy whilst benefiting from economies of being one of the largest investment pools in the UK”.

The ACCESS pool, which is made up of 11 LGPS funds, appointed Link to run its pooled assets in March. Last year it awarded an £11bn passive management mandate to UBS Asset Management, which is expected to generate annual savings of £5m.

Councillor Andrew Reid, chairman of the ACCESS Joint Committee, said: “This has been a significant first year with the appointment of the passive manager, the appointment of Link as the operator and now the launch of… the first sub-fund.”

Yesterday the ACCESS pool announced that Essex County Council had been selected as the host for the ACCESS Support Unit (ASU), which would shortly be advertising for the position of programme director and contract manager.

The ASU would be led by the programme director and consist of a small number of permanent staff, it said.

ACCESS is made up of the LGPS pension funds for Cambridgeshire, East Sussex, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Suffolk and West Sussex.

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