LPFA in the News

LPFA as an organisation regularly feature in news articles, whether this is to do with topical issues around the Local Government Pension Scheme, or issues specific to LPFA.

 

June 8 2021- LPFA names new Local Pension Board members

ANNOUNCEMENT

LPFA names new Local Pension Board members

The London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) announced today that it has completed the process of appointing new members to its Local Pension Board effective from 5 June 2021.

The Local Pension Board chaired by William Bourne assist the LPFA in complying with Local Government Pension Scheme and other regulations, supporting the LPFA’s Board in reviewing compliance, administrative and governance matters.

New employer representatives:

  • Jasbir Sandhu (replaced Frank Smith who retired on 4 June 2021)
  • Stephen Boon (replaced Adrian Bloomfield who retired on 24 January 2021)

New member representative:

  • Mike Allen (replaced Peter Scales who retired on 4th June 2021)

William Bourne, Independent Chair of the Local Pension Board said:

“We had an encouragingly strong slate of candidates for these three roles, and I am delighted to welcome Stephen, Jasbir, and Mike to the Board.  I have every confidence they will add value to our discussions and contribute to the future smooth running of the LPFA.”

Robert Branagh, CEO of LPFA commented:

“I’m delighted to welcome Jasbir, Stephen and Mike to the Local Pension Board. Each has a wealth of experience which will be invaluable to the LPFA as we continue to provide the best service for our members, employers and wider stakeholders. I would also like to use this opportunity to sincerely thank Adrian, Frank and Peter for their years of service and commitment to the Local Pension Board and wish them every success with their future endeavours.”

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jasbir Sandhu is a Chartered Accountant (FCPFA) and the Chief Finance Officer at Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, a functional body of the Greater London Authority. Her background is in Local Government, specifically in Finance, Governance, Risk and Assurance. Alongside Jasbir’s senior management experience, she has previously held non-executive positions and is currently a Trustee at Solace Women’s Aid, where she Chairs the Finance and Resources Committee.

 

Stephen Boon is Chief Contracts Officer at London Councils and is the commercial lead for transport and mobility. His responsibilities include negotiation of the c.£350 million per annum Freedom Pass concessionary fares scheme with TfL, the Rail Delivery Group and non-TfL bus operators, as well as leading on the contract management of a number of pan-London services. Stephen has worked at London Councils since 2012 and was Head of Grants and Community Services before becoming Chief Contracts Officer. Prior to working at London Councils, Stephen worked as Managing Consultant for Greater London Enterprise, where he initiated partnerships with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and 25 London boroughs, raising £44m of finance for the implementation of welfare to work strategies to assist over 12,000 into employment. He holds an MBA (distinction) from Cass Business School and specialised in strategy and finance. His interest in pension funds was sparked while studying investment management during the final year of his MBA course.

 

Mike Allen retired as Managing Director of the London Pensions Fund Authority at the end of March 2018 having originally joined the pensions section of the former GLC in 1982. During his 36 years involvement with the Local Government Pension Scheme he was involved in all aspects of fund administration helping to improve the accuracy of data, information flows and communications with members and employers. Scheme Governance, Fund Valuations, Risk Management and Investments were other areas where he played an active and influential role during his career. Mike was also a key player in the setup of the Local Pensions Partnership working closely with Lancashire County Pension Fund, the LPFA Management Team and the Board to achieve this, and in his role as Managing Director helped oversee the successful transition to the new arrangements.

 

For more information about LPFA’s Local Pension Board please visit the ‘Who we are’ section of the LPFA website

To see the full press release, please click here



June 2 2021- LPFA names four new Board members

ANNOUNCEMENT

LPFA appoints four new board members

The Mayor of London has appointed four new Board members to the London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) with effect from 18 May 2021:

  • Rita Bajaj
  • Belinda Howell
  • Deborah Rees
  • Clare Scott

 

John Preston, Chair of LPFA said:

“I am delighted to welcome Rita, Belinda, Debbie and Clare to the LPFA Board. Their expertise and experience will help us continue to deliver excellent service and value for money for our members and employers. I am looking forward to working with all four Board members to continue to strengthen LPFA’s governance and provide strategic steer on all matters including transparency against a challenging background of increased compliance and regulatory requirements.”

Robert Branagh, CEO of LPFA commented:

“I’m very pleased that Rita, Belinda, Debbie and Clare have joined the LPFA Board.  Their diverse professional background and extensive experience within the public sector will be invaluable in helping us continue to deliver our strategic objectives including managing the risks and opportunities posed by climate change and other Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors. I look forward to working with our new and existing Board Members to deliver on our significant obligations to members, employers and wider stakeholders.”

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rita Bajaj is Non-Executive Director, IGC member and a Chartered Financial Analyst with over 30 years’ broad financial markets experience. Previously, she held Senior investment portfolio manager positions at Global and UK Asset Managers, heading investment teams at Royal London & Invesco Perpetual and managed Global and US Equity Hedge fund vehicles for several major US Hedge Fund institutions.  Her most recent Executive role was EMEA Chief Administrative Officer at custodian, State Street. Rita joined State Street from the Financial Conduct Authority where, she managed the supervision of large UK Asset Management and Custodian firms. In addition, she is a Member of Hargreaves Lansdown’s workplace SIPP Independent Governance Committee and a Senior Advisor to Sheffield Haworth.

Belinda Howell brings expertise in sustainability and climate change strategy, ESG, responsible investment and assurance to FTSE 100 corporate boards.  She has extensive experience across a wide range of sectors from natural resources, agri-commodities, fisheries and energy through the supply chain to consumer goods, retail and utilities. Belinda founded strategy consultancy Decarbonize Ltd and is currently a NED of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, Marine Management Organisation and a Trustee of the National Biodiversity Network.  She has previous experience as a director of engineering and infrastructure firm URS Corporation, chief executive of a start-up carbon and supply chain information technology provider and a nominee board member of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil and Roundtable for Responsible Soy Associations. 

Deborah (Debbie) Rees had a long City career researching and providing investment advice, primarily on international equities, to professional investors. She worked for Kleinwort Benson, Bank of America, Barclays and Exotix Capital. In parallel with her city career, Deborah has always had a passion for international development and served on the Board and Investment Committee of the Leprosy Mission International for whom she is now a pension fund trustee. She is also a member of the Board and Audit and Risk Committees at The Methodist Insurance Company (where she chairs the Investment Committee), CBF Funds Trustees Ltd, and The Land Trust.

Clare Scott has worked in the pensions industry for 30 years and is currently a non-executive director and independent adviser to a number of public sector pension funds. She specialises in governance and investment oversight and is a qualified actuary. A large part of her career was spent at Lothian Pension Fund, the local government pension fund in Edinburgh, and includes 5 years as its Chief Executive. Her experience there includes expanding the internal investment team, in-sourcing investment management, managing actuarial valuations, and establishing the Pension Board.  Prior to that Clare worked for an investment consultant.

To see the full press-release please click here



June 17 2020 – London Pensions Fund Authority Annual Climate Change Policy Review

London Pensions Fund Authority Annual Climate Change Policy Review

  • Exposure to “Brown” sectors less than 2.5% of the £6.051 billion fund
  • Listed equities on a 1.5˚ decarbonisation pathway
  • 98% of investments within Transition Pathway Initiative coverage ranked Level 3 or above

June 17 2020 – The London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) has launched its 2019 Policy on Climate Change Review documenting the progress made implementing the Fund’s  Policy on Climate Change.

The Review has been undertaken by Local Pensions Partnership Investments Ltd (LPPI), the LPFA’s delegated investment manager, to help the Fund manage its exposure to the risks posed by Climate Change. The report is part of the Fund’s efforts to support responsible investment within the financial services sector and to respond to member concerns on Climate Change.

The LPFA and 200 + other organisations recently signed the Corporate Leaders Group call for the UK Government to deliver a clean, just recovery supporting quality employment and a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient UK economy. The organisation is also working towards The Planet Mark certification to ensure its business operations are more environmentally sustainable. The Climate Change policy is also due to be refreshed later in 2020.

 

Robert Branagh, Chief Executive Office, London Pension Fund Authority, said: “While the world is understandably preoccupied by COVID19, the risks posed by Climate Change to society and the financial systems remain profound. It is essential that the LPFA manage these risks to ensure that we can continue to pay our members pensions. As part of our commitment to be a responsible investor, we believe that we should be transparent about our progress. We are taking good steps forward - including committing to Planet Mark certification for our operations - but there is more that we can, and will, be doing.”

 

Frances Deakin, Head of Responsible Investment, LPPI, , said: “We are reviewing the carbon intensity of the LPFA’s listed equities portfolio annually and seeking to compare the position with decarbonisation trajectories needed to meet the Paris Agreement targets for global temperature increases of well below 2˚C.”

 

The Fund’s core Climate Change policy objectives are to evaluate and monitor exposure to Climate Change investment risk using appropriate investigative and analytical tools; to manage transition risk (and place conditions on investments in extractive fossil fuel companies) and to engage on key issues (individually and in conjunction with other investors).

 

The report, covering the year to 31 December 2019, identified several positive developments within the Fund:

 

Evaluating and monitoring exposure
  • As of 31 December 2019, 98% of investments ranked level three or above2 in Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI) Rankings, demonstrating companies are taking verifiable steps to understand and act against climate change risk.

  • Carbon intensity of the listed equities portfolio reduced by 4% compared to December 2018 with an emissions intensity 44% below the benchmark (MSCI ACWI).

  • Study of best practice within LGPS by Unison and Share Action rated LPFA 10th out of 89 LGPS Funds in England and Wales, noting the Fund as a leader in addressing climate change.

Risk management and portfolio sustainability
  • Exposure to “Brown”3 sectors continued to decline to less than 2.5% of the overall Fund. Exposure through listed equities now equates to 0.43% of the Fund, down from just under 0.6% at the end of 2018.

  • Exposure to “Green” sectors continues to grow. In Q4 2019, further renewable energy assets were incorporated through infrastructure collaboration GLIL’s minority stake in Cubico (122MW of operating renewable energy assets across 18 sites in the UK).

Active engagement by LPFA
  • Continued activism through partnerships with climate focused investor initiatives, including as a contributor to C40 Cities Divest Invest; membership of Institutional Investor Group on Climate Change (IIGCC);

  • Signatory to Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change’s Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change;

  • Supported 17 shareholder proposals on climate and environmental themes at 14 AGM’S globally;

  • LPPI voted against Exxon Mobil Board in response to rejection of proposal at their AGM calling on Company to disclose carbon reduction targets. Poor alignment of interests on carbon policy led to full divestment later in 2019.

1 As at 31 March, 2019

2 Transition Pathway Initiative Toolkit Rankings;  0 – unaware; 1 – aware; 2 – building capacity; 3 – integrated into operational decisions; 4 – strategic assessment

3 Brown denotes fossil fuel dependent sectors

 



June 5 2020 – LPFA signs Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change letter to EU leaders calling for a sustainable EU recovery

5 June 2020 – LPFA signs Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change letter to EU leaders calling for a sustainable EU recovery

Today IIGCC has published a letter signed by over 100 investors, including the LPFA, calling for a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter comes from 109 investors, representing €11.9 trillion in assets under management or advice. To put the assets managed by the investors in context, this figure is larger than the combined GDP of Germany, France, Italy and Spain, or three times larger than German GDP alone1. Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), led on development of the letter, in coordination with Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and CDP. Signatories include some of Europe’s largest investors.

Among other points covered in the letter, investors stress the need to ensure “an accelerated transition to a net zero emissions economy in line with the Green Deal and the Paris Agreement.” Conversely that, “recovery plans that overly exacerbate climate change would expose investors and national economies to escalating financial, health and social risks in the coming years.”

Full details of the letter is available here and press release here.

 



April 23 2020 - PRESS ANNOUNCEMENT - LPFA appoints Robert Branagh as CEO

LPFA appoints Robert Branagh as CEO 

London, 23 April 2020

Robert Branagh has been appointed Chief Executive Officer, (CEO) of the London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) where he was Managing Director since joining in April 2018. 

The appointment comes following the recruitment of the LPFA’s management team which now includes Peter Ballard, Director of Funding and Risk, Morenike Ajayi, Commercial and Finance Director and Alistair Peck, Member Engagement and Communications. It also follows the successful conclusion of pooling by LPP and the setting out of the new strategic direction for both the Pool and the Fund over the next 3 – 5 years.

According to John Preston, LPFA Chairman, “Robert’s new role reflects the next stage in the LPFA’s evolution. We have recruited a team of highly motivated colleagues to ensure that our organisation continues to deliver value for money, high quality customer service and meet our and LPP’s obligations to members and employers. While his day-to-day activities will largely continue, Robert will also lead on developing the LPFA’s strategic direction, supporting collaboration across the LGPS sector and raising our profile – particularly relating to our Responsible Investment and Sustainability aspirations – across the industry”.

-Ends-

Note to Editors

For further information, please contact:

Alistair Peck, LPFA: 07958 533092

 

About the LPFA

The London Pensions Fund Authority Fund is a defined-benefit Local Government Pension Scheme. Together with Lancashire County Council, it is also a shareholder of the Local Pensions Partnership, a pensions service provider for LGPS and other public sector pension funds. The LPFA is a Tier 1 signatory to the UK’s Stewardship Code, a signatory of Climate Action 100+, a member of the LAPFF and is a participant in the C40 Cities Divest Invest Forum.

 

The LPFA fund has over 90,000 members, 142 actively contributing employers and, as at the 31 March 2019 accounts, assets of £6 billion. Together with Lancashire County Council, the LPFA is also a shareholder of the Local Pensions Partnership (LPP). LPP manages the assets of, and administers, as at the 31 March 2019 accounts, the LPFA fund within the £17.4bn AUM pool.



LPFA signs Corporate Leaders Group letter to UK Government calling for a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient UK economy

LPFA signs Corporate Leaders Group letter to UK Government calling for a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient UK economy

The LPFA is one of more than 200 businesses and investors to call on the UK government to deliver a recovery from the pandemic which builds a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient UK economy for the future. The signatories come from both multi-national and national businesses, across industry sectors, including energy, finance, consumer goods, retail, construction, water and communication.  The business and investment networks supporting this initiative include The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG), the Aldersgate Group, the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), Business in the Community (BITC), the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) and the Climate Group.

The letter conveys strong support for a plan from the UK Government which includes the following:

  • Driving investment in low carbon innovation, infrastructure and industries, as well as improved resilience to future environmental risks.
  • Focusing support on sectors and activities that can best support sustainable growth, increased job creation and accelerate both the recovery and the decarbonisation of the economy.
  • Including within financial support packages measures to ensure receiving businesses are well managed and their strategies are science based and aligned with national climate goals.

See the letter here for more information: bit.ly/3gBHfPO

 



LPFA IN THE NEWS

The following outlines recent press releases. Don't forget that LPFA also appears in the press on a regular basis