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Border to Coast Pensions Partnership – a £46bn (€51bn) collaboration between 12 UK local government pension schemes (LGPS) – has hired oil giant Saudi Aramco’s head of portfolio management as its first permanent chief investment officer.

Daniel Booth started his new role today, according to a statement from Border to Coast published this morning. He will work with interim CIO John Harrison to ensure a smooth leadership transition over the next few months, the company said.

During an eight-year spell at Saudi Aramco, Booth built up the oil company’s investment programme, which incorporated corporate pension, endowment and insurance portfolios.

According to Border to Coast, Booth oversaw the Saudi Aramco investment team as it became “the top performing multi-asset Saudi investment entity”.

Booth previously worked at Frankfurt-based Prime Capital, an alternatives asset manager, where he was head of alternative asset research. He has also worked as an investment director at German research firm FERI.

Rachel Elwell, CEO of the asset pool, said Booth brought a “strong understanding of the investment world, and in particular in private markets”.

Daniel Booth said: “The UK pension pooling agenda will allow our partner funds to compete with the most sophisticated global investors and maximise their future risk-adjusted investment returns.

“It is an honour to accept this role and I will endeavour to protect and serve the needs of the many pension scheme members and taxpayers of the different underlying local government pension funds to the best of my abilities.”

Chris Hitchen, chair of Border to Coast, added: “Our ability to attract a CIO of Daniel’s calibre and experience is testimony to both the importance of our voice as a pensions pool and Daniel’s vision for how that can develop in the future.”

Border to Coast opened for business in July, pooling £7bn worth of UK and global equities previously run in-house by three of the pool’s LGPS clients. It is also considering tenders for external managers for UK equities.

Last month IPE reported that Border to Coast was seeking to appoint a permanent head of external investment capabilities, to take over from former Aviva CIO Graham Long, who joined the company in March on an interim basis. In addition, Jane Firth joined from South Yorkshire Pensions Authority as head of responsible investment.

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