A newly-formed US pension scheme body – Global Peer Financing Association (GPFA) – set up to increase and encourage peer-to-peer trading activity in the securities lending and repo markets, is looking for international members.

The group – formed by California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP), Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS), and State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) – is looking to create a “more efficient and actionable way to increase and encourage peer-to-peer trading activity in the securities lending and repo markets for the benefit of asset owners,” it said.

Although the initial GPFA founding members are all US pension funds, the group is interested in expanding membership to include other global pension schemes, large asset managers, insurance companies and “other beneficial owners who share a common interest in the business of peer-to-peer securities lending or repo”, it added.

“We are excited to increase participation in GPFA,” said Rob Goobie, assistant vice president of collateral management, derivatives & fixed income at HOOPP.

GPFA’s members also include independently owned third-party securities lending agent eSecLending, law firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP and financial data analytics company Credit Benchmark.

“We believe it is important to promote the interest of members in making the financing market more efficient and effective. We see GPFA as a central connection point to foster collaboration and information sharing within the buy-side community,” he added.

Dan Kiefer, investment manager at CalPERS, said the current members came together as a group of “like-minded peers” and recognised that there was a need for more information and support related to securities lending and repo activities.

“By transacting with our peers, we have been able to increase revenue generated from our securities lending and repo activities while also expanding sources of liquidity for our plan,” he said.

“GPFA is focused on educating beneficial owners about credit approval solutions for non-rated counterparties and ways to navigate challenges through central connection points that allow peers to trade with each other efficiently,” said Jerry May, senior portfolio manager at OPERS.

He added: “We recognise each beneficial owner has different factors to consider when evaluating alternative counterparties. GPFA has developed a framework of resources to help other peers understand and navigate the approval process as well as the ongoing administration of trades for those that do not have internal resources to support securities lending or repo activity directly.”

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