The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed NEST Invest, the investment subsidiary created by the UK’s workplace pension scheme NEST, has been authorised as an Occupational Pension Scheme (OPS) firm.

NEST Invest submitted its application for FCA authorisation in September, a decision the pension scheme announced alongside its move into private credit.

Mark Fawcett, NEST’s CIO, said: “The FCA has reviewed our application and authorised NEST Invest, further recognition that we have the right people and structures in place.”

He added that the scheme will be responsible for more than £400m (€470m) new contributions every month. “We’re becoming one of the largest players in the UK pensions’ market and our investment strategy is evolving to reflect that,” he said.

“While setting up NEST Invest is an exciting development, it’s the natural next step for a scheme of our size. We already have the internal expertise in NEST’s investment team to manage the additional responsibilities,” he added.

Having an FCA regulated subsidiary will help NEST implement more sophisticated ways of investing on behalf of its members. These additional investment activities include:

  • Providing regulated advice to NEST’s board on new investment opportunities;
  • Enabling NEST to make active decisions on co-investment opportunities in private markets in due course;
  • Directing fund managers to use derivatives in order to help invest NEST’s cashflows and manage risk efficiently.

Brunel PP reaches halfway mark on transitioned client funds

Brunel Pension Partnership, one of the UK’s eight national Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) pools, with assets worth around £30bn (€35.3bn), has announced it reached the 50% mark on transitioning client funds.

That is equivalent to £15bn, the pool stated, of transitioned investment funds on behalf of its 10 member pension funds, which include Avon, Buckinghamshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Environment Agency, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, and Wiltshire.

CIO Mark Mansley said: “The last year has seen substantial progress in the development of our investment business. We have worked closely with our clients to deliver new portfolios.”

He expects that by Q4 2020 Brunel PP will have launched “the majority of our portfolios and the transition of client assets to Brunel should be nearly complete”.

Mansley said the investment pool will increasingly focus on management and how it can continue to improve its portfolios and the service it provides its member pension schemes.