The London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) has swiftly replaced outgoing chairman Edi Truell with deputy chair Merrick Cockell.
Truell is to set up an advisory board to LPFA’s new joint venture with the Lancashire LGPS, the London Lancashire Pensions Partnership (LLPP).
Cockell, who will be acting chairman, has been deputy chair since January 2013 and joined the board almost five years ago.
He is also chairman of the UK’s Municipal Bonds Agency, set up to allow local councils to find a way to raise capital from private markets.
Cockell’s predecessor will stand down in September and will also advise the mayor of London on how collaboration between LGPS could increase pension fund infrastructure investment.
LGPS collaboration has been a shared ambition of Truell, the LPFA and London mayor Boris Johnson, as demonstrated by the scheme’s decision to launch the LLPP and a second, infrastructure-focused joint venture with the Greater Manchester Pension Fund.
Truell, who also co-founded bulk annuity provider Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC), will not be paid for his position advising Johnson.
The idea is to push forward Johnson’s ambition to create a London infrastructure investment fund using assets from the capital’s LGPS, an idea championed by Truell when he first joined the LPFA.
Johnson firmly backs the merging of LGPS schemes in order to save on costs and create a combined fund that could invest in large scale infrastructure projects.
The LPFA/Lancashire partnership, which has combined assets of £10.5bn (€14.3bn), is aiming to commence operation in April 2016.
Cockell said it was an exciting time to be leading the LPFA, as the pooled fund becomes a reality.
“As joint shareholders with Lancashire in the LLPP we have been working closely together on every facet of its development and we expect this to continue going forward,” he added.