Lothian Pension Fund, the Edinburgh-based local government pension scheme provider, has implemented a solution to help strengthen its investment processes and provide capacity for expansion of its third-party services.

The £8.5bn (€10bn) pension fund is unique in Scotland in being regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, which allows it to manage a large share of assets internally and to provide advisory services to third parties.

It has adopted an investment management solution offered by Charles River, a State Street company, that covers portfolio management, trade order and execution capabilities. 

Doug Heron, Lothian’s chief executive officer, said the fund was looking to increase its internal investment capability and to eliminate the gap between the scheme and the quality managers in the market.

“We’re strengthening a number of areas of our team and partnering with Charles River gives us access to core technology which supports our operations and compliance arrangements,” he added. 

According to Charles River, its investment management solution is designed to automate and simplify institutional investment processes across asset classes, “from portfolio management and risk analytics through trading and post-trade settlement, with integrated compliance and managed data throughout”.

13 local authorities seek shared admin, actuarial and consultancy services

Norfolk County Council, the administering authority for the Norfolk Pension Fund, has issued a notice of prior information for a multi-provider framework agreement for the provision of actuarial services, governance and administration support and consultancy services.

The notice is on behalf of the Norfolk Pension Fund and 12 other local authorities and their respective pension funds: West Midlands Pension Fund, Essex Pension Fund, Clwyd Pension Fund, Hackney Pension Fund, Greater Manchester Pension Fund, Lincolnshire Pension Fund, Suffolk Pension Fund, Hampshire County Council Pension Fund, Tyne and Wear Pension Fund, Teesside Pension Fund, Environment Agency Pension Fund and Surrey Pension Fund.

The notice stated that the framework may also be used by the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme and Police Pension Schemes and any of their participating employing authorities, the Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee, and the board of the Pension Protection Fund.

The official tender notice is expected to be published on 19 March. The framework will be for a period of four years. 

To express an interest applicants must first register on Norfolk’s procurement system.

TPR fines financial regulator’s pension plan

The Pensions Regulator has issued the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA’s) Pension Plan with a £2,000 (€2,369) fine because its 2018 defined contribution (DC) governance statement did not include all the information it should have.

Non-compliant DC governance statements, or chair’s statements, are subject to a mandatory fine of between £500 and £2,000, with the amount dependent on the number of the members in the scheme with DC benefits.

According to a FCA spokesperson, TPR reviewed the governance statement when considering the FCA Pension Plan’s application to become an authorised master trust, which has since been approved.

“The FCA Pension Plan Trustee has apologised to members of the Plan, and reviewed systems and processes to ensure all the required information is available to members and the 2019 governance statement (provided in October) was fully compliant,” the spokesperson added. 

The pension plan is a self-administered occupational pension scheme. It has £1.3bn in assets under management as at the end of the third quarter, including £966m in a defined benefit section.