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UK roundup: Carillion DC schemes join Willis Towers Watson’s master trust

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The pension fund trustees of collapsed outsourcing company Carillion have agreed to transfer the group’s defined contribution (DC) funds into Willis Towers Watson’s LifeSight master trust.

Three Carillion DC schemes were transferred in January, Willis Towers Watson announced today, with LifeSight taking on 4,100 new members and £267m (€310m) in assets.

Dianne Day, client director at Independent Trustee Services (ITS), which acted as trustee of the DC schemes, said LifeSight had been flexible to reflect the “particular needs of unfortunate scheme members whose sponsoring employers went into liquidation”.

Fiona Matthews, managing director at LifeSight, added: “Carillion’s pension schemes have a unique set of circumstances, and we were delighted to be able to work with ITS to accommodate their particular requirements and for members to benefit from the member-first LifeSight service.”

Carillion was declared bankrupt in January 2018, with its defined benefit (DB) funds entering the assessment process for acceptance into the Pension Protection Fund.

LifeSight was the first master trust to be approved by the UK’s Pensions Regulator under its new authorisation regime for multi-employer DC schemes. It has 105,000 members and £4.2bn in assets under management.

Capita master trust allocates £320m to sustainable multi-factor fund

The Atlas Master Trust – set up by Capita – has awarded UK-listed asset manager Schroders a £320m mandate to run sustainable equities.

The allocation is to Schroders’ sustainable multi-factor equity fund, launched in October last year. The asset manager has run Atlas’ default investment strategy since 2017.

Paul Trickett, independent chair of Atlas’ investment sub-committee, said: “ESG investing is high on the agenda of many members and employers and, ever since its inception in 2015, the Atlas Master Trust has had a strong ESG philosophy underpinning everything it does.

“Recognising its importance, I’m delighted that Atlas has become one of the first master trusts to more explicitly incorporate ESG into its default lifestyle strategies, via the funds managed by Schroders, demonstrating that the Atlas trustees are pro-actively seeking to continually develop and enhance Atlas for the benefit of its members.”

3i pension fund insures £95m of liabilities with L&G 

Private equity investment house 3i has insured roughly £95m worth of its DB pension scheme’s liabilities with Legal & General (L&G).

The buy-in transaction covered roughly 20% of the 3i Group Pension Plan’s liabilities for pensions currently in payment, according to L&G, and followed a £200m buy-in with Pension Insurance Corporation in 2017.

Carol Woodley, chair of the trustee board of the £975m scheme, said it had been de-risking its investment strategy “for a number of years”, shifting its asset allocation in favour of bonds alongside the insurance transactions.

The deal with L&G was “a positive step towards further improving the long-term financial security of members’ benefits in the plan”, she added.

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