The ACCESS local authority pension asset pool has grown to £31bn (€35.3bn) after the operator of the collective investment scheme launched seven new sub-funds that drew £5.5bn from participating pension funds.

The operator, Link Fund Solutions Limited (LFS), launched the funds in November and December. They invest in a range of global equities and bonds and include the LF ACCESS Global Alpha Equity Fund and LF ACCESS Sterling Aggregate Bond Fund managed by Bailie Gifford, and the LF ACCESS UK Equity Fund managed by Majedie Investments.

Councillor Mark Kemp-Gee, chair of the ACCESS joint committee, said the committee had worked closely with LFS to select the fund managers “so they can deliver the cost savings and investment performance required as part of our successful track record since the launch of the pool”.

He added: “This is another significant step in ACCESS’s journey in the pooling process, as we collaboratively build our offering and give each authority the ability to invest to meet their members’ needs.

“These funds enable the local authorities to allocate towards pooled vehicles that benefit from the increased economies of scale, reduced costs and greater access to investment strategies they may not have the resources to reach outside of a pool.”

ACCESS is a collaboration of 11 local government pension schemes (LGPS). With the new funds, it provides each local authority with the opportunity to join any of 22 actively managed sub-fund strategies via the Authorised Contractual Scheme (ACS) platform operated by LFS. LFS was appointed operator to the platform in 2018.

There are £20.4bn managed actively within the ACS and a further £10.7bn in passive funds.

Karl Midl, manager director of LFS, said: “The progress we have all made to date is a testament to the great collaboration with all 11 constituent authorities, including officers, members, and their advisers.”

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