Financial watchdog gives Lancs-London pension partnership green light

11 Apr 16

Lancashire County Pension Fund and the London Pensions Fund Authority have confirmed discussions with other local government pension schemes to join their asset pool as it was approved by financial regulators.

The Lancashire and London Pensions Partnership, which was formed on 1 April to pool £10bn of assets and cut costs, was today rubber-stamped by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The group also announced the partnership would operate under the name the Local Pensions Partnership to reflect the fact that other funds were likely to join the scheme

Last year, chancellor George Osborne announced plans to pool the assets of the 89 local government pension funds in England and Wales into six new British Wealth Funds as parts of efforts to boost infrastructure financing.

When outline plans to create the pools were submitted to government in February, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, and West Yorkshire funds were included in the Lancs-London proposal. More details are expected by July.

Confirming the regulatory go-ahead, LPP chair Michael O’Higgins said the new name reflects the LPP’s readiness to partner with other funds, with a number of discussions ongoing.

“We are delighted we can now move forward as an accredited entity and take the lead in creating the first pool within an asset and liability management partnership,” he said.

“FCA approval is the cornerstone of our drive for good governance in LGPS reform and an essential part of our formation. And our new name underlines the fact that we are open for business, and ready and able to work with other LGPS funds in developing this exciting proposition.”

The LPP also appointed several non-executive directors today, including Sir Peter Rogers, former chief executive of Westminster City Council, Robert Vandersluis, director of GlaxoSmithKline’s Global Pension Investments, and Sally Bridgeland, a non-executive director of Royal London and a trustee at NEST and Lloyds Bank Pension schemes.

Senior management posts have also been confirmed. Susan Martin, who had been chief executive at LPFA, will lead LPP, while George Graham, director of the Lancashire fund, has been named managing director (administration) and chief finance officer.

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