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£42bn LGPS asset pool readies double global equity launch

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A £42bn (€46.7bn) consortium of UK local authority pension funds has appointed M&G and Longview to run global equities mandates, IPE has learned.

The managers were appointed by ACCESS, one of eight asset pools set up to pool the assets of UK Local Government Pension Schemes (LGPS).

M&G is to manage a global dividend fund, while Longview will run a global equities portfolio, with the LGPS funds for Essex, Kent and East Sussex county councils all set to transfer existing mandates in the coming weeks.

The Essex Pension Fund has agreed to transfer nearly £1bn of its assets to the two mandates, according to council documents. Both Longview and M&G were responsible for roughly 7% of Essex’s total £6.5bn investment portfolio each, the documents showed.

A spokeswoman for Essex said the transfers were set to take place “within the next six weeks”.

The scheme’s most recent annual report showed Essex had £471.4m invested in M&G’s Global Dividend fund at the end of March 2018, and £502.8m with Longview, although the latter had subsequently been reduced as part of a rebalancing of the portfolio. The exact amounts to be transferred would be confirmed shortly before the move, the spokeswoman said.

In addition, Longview had a £236m mandate with the East Sussex Pension Fund as of 31 March, while M&G ran £315m for the Kent Pension Fund in its global dividend strategy.

A spokeswoman for East Sussex told IPE its pension committee had agreed to transfer the Longview mandate to ACCESS. A spokesman for Kent said its M&G mandate would transfer to ACCESS in February.

The new ACCESS sub-funds follow the launch late last year of a £1.6bn “long term global growth” investment fund, run by Baillie Gifford. Essex also supported this launch, transferring more than £600m.

The ACCESS pool aims to combine the assets of the LGPS funds for Essex, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hertfordshire, Hampshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Northamptonshire and the Isle of Wight.

The pool is hosted by Link Fund Solutions, which provides the infrastructure, while Russell Investments is in charge of manager selection.

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