A national, collaborative procurement system for UK local government funds is to hire a dedicated operations manager to oversee the project.
Norfolk Pension Fund said the new position would be funded from the income generated by the national local government pension scheme (LGPS) framework project, which has the backing of nearly a dozen funds.
The project’s backers have sought to establish a number of framework agreements – which allow local authority funds to appoint any shortlisted providers without the need for further tenders – for services including investment consulting, legal advice and custodians.
Initially launched with the backing of seven local authorities in 2012 and led by the Norfolk Pension Fund, the national LGPS framework has been run from Norfolk council’s procurement department.
According to minutes from an early July meeting of Norfolk’s pension committee, all funds associated with the project – including the Environment Agency Pension Fund, Devon County Pension Fund and the schemes for the London boroughs of Hackney and Croydon – have agreed to hire a dedicated development and operations manager.
They add: “The new role is funded 100% from the income generated by the frameworks project and will enable the project to deliver further benefits across the LGPS.”
The minutes said the project had delivered “significant value”, citing a figure of £16m (€21.8m).
Local authority funds have been under growing pressure to tackle management costs; several have opted for greater collaboration by pooling assets.
The Lancashire County Pension Fund recently confirmed its partnership with the London Pensions Fund Authority, while all of London’s councils have come together to establish a collective investment fund.