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Brunel LGPS pool awards State Street $38bn custody mandate

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The Brunel Pension Partnership (BPP) has awarded a multi-service mandate to State Street worth $38bn (€32bn) as it presses ahead with its asset pooling project.

The partnership, between 10 local government pension schemes (LGPS) in the south and west of England, has also appointed three senior staff from its founder funds.

State Street is to provide a range of services to the BPP, including custody, accounting, performance measurement and foreign exchange, as well as analysis of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.

It will also become the custodian and administrator for each of Brunel’s 10 LGPS clients from November this year. The funds are due to begin transitioning assets to the BPP from April next year, with the partnership aiming to manage the majority of their £23bn of combined assets.

Dawn Turner, CEO at the BPP, said the partnership had already identified with State Street “areas where we can work strategically together to increase our value add to our clients including client reporting, risk management and transparency”.

“The partnership we will have on integrating ESG reporting into State Street systems is very exciting,” she added. Turner was previously chief pensions officer at the Environment Agency Pension Fund (EAPF), one of the BPP’s founders and a vocal advocate of ESG investing.

Andy Todd, head of UK pensions and banks, asset owner solutions at State Street, said: “We look forward to combining Brunel’s market-leading ESG expertise with our own suite of data innovation technologies to embed ESG in the investment decision-making process.”

The BPP has also made nine appointments to its Bristol-based internal team as it prepares to take on assets.

Matthew Trebilcock, currently head of pensions at the £1.7bn Cornwall Pension Fund, will transfer to the BPP next month to become a client relationship director. Faith Ward will join as chief responsible investment officer in November, transferring from the EAPF where she currently holds the same role. David Anthony will join in December as head of finance and corporate services. He is currently head of pensions at the £2bn Wiltshire Pension Fund.

Another six staff from the Environment Agency, Cornwall, Wiltshire and Avon LGPS funds will also transfer to roles at the BPP in the next few months along with a number of external hires, the partnership said.

In a statement, the BPP said its compliance and risk department was “fully populated” following the appointments, but it was still hiring for its investment, client relationships and operations teams, with the priority being a head of private markets.

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