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Gloucestershire scheme in €65m property move

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UK – The £640m Gloucestershire County Council Pension Scheme has put its entire £45m (€65m) property exposure into the Hermes Property Unit Trust, or HPUT.

The move was part of a switch towards balanced mandates towards specialist managers.

“HPUT offers Gloucestershire an ideal diversified exposure to the UK commercial property market whilst Hermes track record as investment manager gives us confidence in their ability to deliver strong performance in the future,” said
Bob Potter, Gloucestershire’s director of finance.

“Furthermore we have been attracted by HPUT as the lowest cost solution of all the large balanced property unit trusts and the broader market access it is able to achieve via co-investment with other Hermes clients.”

Hermes said: “As part of the process GCC has looked to consolidate its property investments, previously held through its legacy balanced managers in a series of property unit trusts, with one manager.”

“We are delighted Gloucestershire County Council has selected HPUT for their property exposure,” said the trust’s fund manager Fiona Sweeney.

She said the ability for the trust to co-invest alongside other Hermes clients such as the BT Pension Scheme and Royal Mail Pension Plan “opens up investment opportunities not available to other large balanced property unit trusts”.

Last week IPE reported that the council had appointed Standard Life Investments to manage a segregated specialist £130m UK equity portfolio.

The move meant the dismissal of Henderson Global Investors, Insight Investment and Societe Generale Asset Management.

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