Two major UK pension investors, Brunel Pension Partnership and Universities Superannuation Scheme, have been invited to join a body commissioned by the opposition Labour Party to advise on the development of a sovereign wealth fund.

The establishment of the Taskforce Advisory Council was requested by the shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, who has said a sovereign wealth fund would be “a crucial tool in our armoury” for bringing about economic growth.

Rhian-Mari Thomas, chief executive officer of the Green Finance Institute (GFI), has been appointed as the Taskforce’s chair. The GFI will provide the secretariat while Mark Carney, CEO of Brookfield Asset Management, will act as specialist adviser on funding models and other points.

Chief investment officer David Vickers and group CEO Carol Young are Brunel’s and USS’s representatives on the Taskforce, respectively. Both Brunel and USS have net zero investment goals and highlighted the importance of helping shape the UK’s approach to net zero.

“We have set an ambition for our investments as a whole to be net zero by 2050, if not before, but this ultimately has to be a global effort,” said a USS spokesperson.

“Our involvement with this taskforce reflects our commitment, as a global investor, to engage across the political spectrum to encourage the incentives and conditions that can bring about urgent, real-world change.”

Brunel said it is committed to supporting policymakers, regulators and industry bodies in the development and promotion of policy and guidance, and that the GFI is specifically named in its climate change policy.

“Brunel believes strongly in seeking to influence both the broader industry and policymakers,” said Vickers. “GFI is an important partner for us and we are delighted to help them make independent policy recommendations to improve the UK’s approach to net zero.”

The terms of reference for the Taskforce note that the majority of the capital needed to deliver net zero – £60bn per annum by 2030 – must come from the private sector, “given the UK’s fiscal position”.

“The National Wealth Fund, with its proposed £7.3bn of public capital, presents an opportunity to design a first of its kind public-private partnership, that deploys catalytic capital to crowd-in private investment into priority net zero sectors.

“The NWF could therefore be a key part of the UK’s strategic response to the US IRA and the EU’s Green Deal and would help to restore our competitive position in the global race for green investment, secure sustainable supply chains and ensure energy security.”

The Taskforce Advisory Council is due to meet monthly with the Labour Party shadow team to share progress against set objectives, with a final National Wealth Fund blueprint to be delivered no later than three months after inception of the group, unless otherwise agreed.

Other financial institutions represented on the Taskforce include Barclays and Aviva. 

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