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UK roundup: Lloyds of London, Pension Insurance Corporation, Barnett Waddingham, PPF

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The Lloyds Superannuation Fund (LSF) has completed a £40m (€46m) buyout with Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC), fixing the bulk annuity’s price over the four weeks leading up to the premium’s payment.

The multi-employer fund providing benefits to workers of Lloyds of London saw its second-largest employer depart, resulting in four weeks of uncertainty as the related Section 75 (S75) debt – the share of the deficit tied to the departed employer – was calculated and settled.

Danny Wilding, a partner at Barnett Waddingham, said the firm was pleased to help the fund “avoid a real financial cost in volatile market conditions” by agreeing the fixed price.

He added: “We obtained a variety of approaches from different insurers and were able to recommend the flexible mechanism used by Pension Insurance Corporation.”

LSF trustee chairman Eric Stobart said his board had a “clear objective” for the buyout, focused around minimising risk. He expressed surprise that no fund had employed the fixed rate before them.

“As a ’last man standing’ scheme, any shortfall between the S75 premium and the buyout price would have to be met from the remaining scheme assets,” he said.

“Once the exiting employer agreed to work with the trustee on this, we were pleased the hard work and innovative approaches of Barnett Waddingham and Pension Insurance Corporation meant we were able to agree a type of fixed premium mechanism within the short timescale available.”

Matt Barnes, a senior actuary at PIC, said the company was pleased to have worked with the fund and Barnett Waddingham to tailor a solution to meet the requirements of the “unusual” transaction.

In other news, the £15bn Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has appointed nine new managers to its global tactical asset allocation (GTAA) framework agreement following a tender earlier this year.

The GTAA panel – previously only comprising Aspect, Bluecrest, Cantab and Winton Capital, as well as Neuberger Berman and QS Investors – was strengthened, as the GTAA investments needed to be spread more widely, according to executive director of financial risk Martin Clarke.

Clarke noted that, when the panel was first appointed three years ago, the PPF was only managing £4.6bn in assets.

“This enlarged panel will form part of our alternatives portfolio and provide a flexible approach to the growing needs of the business,” he said.

He was also positive about the benefits of GTAA portfolios.

“As an asset class, it tends to have enhanced diversification properties, which helps control the level of risk we face, and this fits in with our overall low-risk investment philosophy,” he said.

The new panel will now also include AQR Capital Management, Arrowcrest Capital Partners, Bevan Howard, Caxton Associates, Fortress Capital, GMO, Harmonic Capital Parners, Man Investments and Two Sigma Investments

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