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Five managers to run £1bn public pension sustainable equity mandate

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The £16bn (€18.7bn) West Midlands Pension Fund (WMPF) has appointed a panel of investment managers to run a global sustainable equity mandate that is expected to reach £1bn in the first year.

WMPF worked on the “sustainable equity framework” and the manager procurement with the help of three other local government pension schemes (LGPS) in the LGPS Central asset pool.

AGF, Baillie Gifford, Impax Asset Management, RBC Global Asset Management and WHEB Asset Management have been appointed under the framework, which is accessible to all nine schemes in LGPS Central.

According to a statement from WMPF, total awards of £1bn across LGPS Central participating schemes are expected in the first year. WMPF plans to allocate £750m, according to a spokesperson.

The mandate is to invest in companies “who demonstrate a forward-thinking approach to long term sustainable business”.

The selected managers had shown “a blend of approaches to meet the investment requirements of the framework”, according to WMPF.

Ian Brookfield, chair of WMPF, said: “We have a long history of engaging companies to protect and enhance fund assets; now we will actively target those who are alert to the changes on the horizon and align with our requirement for long term sustainable returns.

“It’s great that we’ve been able to share this development across our investment pool, capturing the benefits more widely.”

Michael Marshall, director of responsible investment and engagement at LGPS Central, claimed it was the largest allocation to actively managed sustainable equities in the UK.

“This shows tremendous leadership by our partner funds, who continue to demonstrate that responsible investment is truly integrated into their investment strategies,” he said.

Redington supported WMPF in the manager search along with LGPS Central.

All of the appointed managers have committed to the LGPS cost transparency code.

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