National Grid UK Pension Scheme (NGUKPS) and Russell Investments have today jointly confirmed the latter’s appointment to an outsourced investment mandate for the £13bn (€15.6bn) scheme, as reported by IPE.

According to today’s official announcement, Russell Investments will provide NGUKPS with portfolio management capabilities, strategic advice and in-depth risk monitoring and reporting, including delivering on the scheme’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) obligations and preferences.

“In the best interests of our pension scheme members, we continuously review and evolve our operating model and governance practices,” said Chris Hogg, CEO of TEL, the executive to the trustee.

“We are outsourcing oversight and implementation elements of our investment activities, leveraging Russell Investments’ expertise and scale. We look forward to a successful partnership with Russell Investments to deliver trustee strategy and to further strengthen our funding position.”

According to the announcement, the NGUKPS trustee chose Russell Investments principally because of its ability to “deliver a tailored investment solution that can meet NGUKPS’s unique requirements and risk-focused objectives both now and in the future”.

The pension scheme said the outsourced structure would allow it to assess and manage its assets efficiently and adjust risk and portfolio exposure over time across both traditional and alternative asset classes, including private markets.

Jim Leggate, head of UK Institutional, Middle East & Africa at Russell Investments, said: “With the complexity of investment markets, regulation and sustainability considerations posing substantial challenges, asset owners are increasingly reviewing their existing provisions and assessing the extent to which they might benefit from external support to meet their long-term goals.

“We expect this trend to continue in the UK, particularly as more and more defined benefit pension schemes move closer to their end game.”

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