London funds commit to forming collective investment vehicle
At least two London council pension funds have confirmed their commitment to the formation of a collective investment vehicle (CIV), in order to reduce investment fees and increase performance.
In recent meetings, both the London Borough of Waltham Forest and Wandsworth Borough Council pension funds agreed to finance the creation of the collective vehicle.
The pension funds will oversee the creation, and become shareholders in, a private limited company, which is to be an authorised contractual scheme (ACS), otherwise known as a tax transparent fund.
Waltham Forest fund will also contribute £25,000 (€30,000) for initial expenditure, with both funds committing £1 as initial capital in the ACS.
The pension funds said the rationale behind the CIV was due to the business case showing potential savings of over £20m in costs for only £5bn of assets under management.
This is based on analysis of existing investments held by London local authority funds and also takes into account that, initially, the majority of investment mandates are likely to be passive mandates.
“Over time, it is expected that actively managed mandates and investments into alternatives such as property and infrastructure assets may be added to the range of investments offered by the ACS,” the funds said.
The formation of the fund was first touted in 2013, when Wandsworth director of finance, Chris Buss, promoted the idea to the pension board for the council to take an active approach in creating a CIV.
Buss is also expected to become the interim director of the ACS, as he continues his push to make Wandsworth the host of the CIV.
He had previously suggestes the fund should absorn the £50,000 set up costs required, in order to play host.
The creation of the London CIV comes as local government pension schemes (LGPS) await a report from the government on the future structure of the funds.
This report is expected to narrow down, and consult on, one of three options, including the mergeing into a single or multiple large funds, or creation of collective investment vehicles, in order to increase efficiency.
Waltham Forest said it did not expect the government report to significantly impact the plans for the creation of the CIV.
“Informal indications are that, while undoubtedly our position will need to be considered in the light of whatever is published, it seems unlikely that the benefit of CIVs will be fundamentally challenged,” it said.