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Impact Investing

IPE special report May 2018

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UK roundup: UBS awarded £11bn passive LGPS mandate

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ACCESS, a collaboration between 11 UK local government pension schemes (LGPS), has awarded UBS Asset Management an £11bn (€12.3bn) passive management mandate.

It means the asset manager will be responsible for nearly a third of the ACCESS pool’s £34bn in assets. The move is expected to save roughly £5m a year, the pool said.

The mandate has also been made available for other LGPS funds and pools through its national framework.

The contract between UBS and ACCESS is for an initial 10 years until the end of March 2028, with optional extensions to 2033 and 2036.

Andrew Reid, chairman of the ACCESS Joint Committee, said: “I am delighted we have started the process of pooling early with some tangible, long term savings and look forward to a smooth transition to UBS.”

UBS is expected to take on the assets from March 2018, a month before the government’s target date for schemes to begin pooling assets.

ACCESS’ LGPS members comprise the Cambridgeshire, East Sussex, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Suffolk and West Sussex pension funds.

Wolseley strikes £600m buy-in with PIC

“The bulk annuity market, driven by high levels of demand and competitive pricing, is currently experiencing a period of significant activity”

Mitul Magudia, PIC

The pension scheme for plumbing company Wolseley UK has agreed a buy-in worth roughly £600m with Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC). The deal covers the scheme’s pensioner liabilities.

The Wolseley Group Retirement Benefits Plan had roughly £1.3bn in assets at the end of July 2016, according to IPE’s Top 1000 Pension Funds survey.

David Illingworth, chairman of Wolseley’s trustees, said the move was “the logical next step in our derisking strategy for the plan”.

“Over the past couple of years we have matched an increasing amount of our assets and liabilities and this strategy has now allowed us to take advantage of market conditions and fully insure these liabilities,” Illingworth added.

Mitul Magudia, head of business development at PIC, said low government bond yields meant the majority of derisking transactions had been buy-ins, rather than full buyouts. 

“The bulk annuity market, driven by high levels of demand and competitive pricing, is currently experiencing a period of significant activity,” he said.

Allianz backs LGPS code

Allianz Global Investors has become the latest fund manager to sign up to the LGPS’ cost transparency code. It joins the likes of BlackRock, UBS, Fidelity, and Legal & General Investment Management.

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