Aberdeen Standard Investments has signed up to an influential cost transparency code for the UK’s Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).

The €575.7bn group runs money for more LGPS funds than any other manager – 44 – according to the latest scheme annual reports.

According to the LGPS Advisory Board’s website, M&G – which worked with at least 24 LGPS funds as of March 2017 – has also signed up to the code. Both companies previously told IPE they were working to meet the LGPS’ standards.

Macquarie Investment Management, Jupiter Asset Management, Royal London Asset Management and Oldfield Partners have also signed in the past week, according to the Advisory Board.

Before these names appeared on the LGPS’ list, the Advisory Board said code signatories accounted for more than £150bn (€171.5bn) of its total assets.

In total, 49 asset managers and other investment service suppliers have officially adopted the transparency code.

LGPS Central opens its doors with £12bn

Meanwhile, one of the eight LGPS pools has officially opened for business with an initial £12bn of assets under management.

LGPS Central aims to run at least £40bn from nine public sector schemes based in the Midlands.

As IPE previously reported, the pool has launched three equity funds and plans to open at least two more later this year. 

LGPS Central has launched a passive global equity (ex-UK) fund, a passive UK equity fund, and a global dividend growth factor equity fund. In a statement, the pool said it would launch a £2.5bn global active equity fund and a £2bn emerging markets equity fund in the autumn.

In addition, LGPS Central has assumed management of eight “advisory and discretionary mandates” on behalf of its nine pension fund clients.

Joanne Segars, chair of LGPS Central, said: “After years of planning, we can now make a reality of asset pooling as we start to deliver cost savings, enhanced risk-adjusted returns after cost and a broader set of investment opportunities to our partner funds.

“We are at the start of an exciting journey. I would like to thank the team at LGPS Central and the officers and members in partner funds for their hard work and support in getting us to this point.”

CEO Andrew Warwick-Thompson added that the pool had appointed several staff members who transferred from the partner funds, bringing its full-time staff up to 32.

“We are all now keen to get cracking on developing new products and services, and we look forward to working together with our nine partner funds to build LGPS Central’s capability and assets,” he said.

LGPS Central aims to deliver cumulative cost savings of more than £250m over the next 16 years.

The LGPS have faced a deadline of this month to finalise their asset-pooling plans. In IPE’s April magazine we provide an overview of the pools.   

Wolverhampton Cathedral

LGPS Central’s office is in Wolverhampton, England

Credit: Paul Cosmin