Issue - meetings

Investment Update Report

Meeting: 30/01/2024 - Warwickshire Local Pension Board (Item 5)

5 Investment Update Report pdf icon PDF 183 KB


The item was introduced by Paul Higginbotham, who reminded members the report summarised the performance of the portfolio to the end of September. There was a return of 1.23 per cent against a target of one per cent. Overall performance had remained consistent despite market volatility.


Greater allocation to private market assets, such as growth assets, private equity and private credit, was taking place. Many of these sat with Border to Coast and Legal and General, who would vote on issues on behalf of the Pension Fund. These related mainly to issues associated with responsible investing. There had been 65 capital movements in the quarter covered in the report, with a significant proportion of these taking place in September. A total of £591million had been committed and there was a further £430million available. Allocation of this would be discussed at the March Pension Fund Investment Sub Committee. Cash balances were just under £40million, which was considered to be a healthy position.


Paul Higginbotham said there had been a review of the long-term strategic asset allocation. This had recommended more money was moved into protection assets, such as corporate bonds or index linked corporate bonds. This had subsequently been approved and the first had moved around £158million from equities into protection assets bonds. Potential moving of investments from equities to protection was being analysed by Hymans Robertson to see when the best opportunity to do this would be. Paul Higginbotham said the Fund would be able to act quickly on this when the analysis had been completed. A first tranche of investments into low carbon transition funds, worth £61.5million, had been made and another was due to go through on schedule within the next two weeks.


Paul Higginbotham said some recommendations relating to investment pooling had been announced by the government in November. It was expected all assets would be pooled by March 2025, which was likely to mean lower costs and make it easier to manage, but further clarification was needed on what overall effect pooling would have on the individual Fund. The Fund was talking to Border to Coast about a UK Opportunities Fund, and how this could be progressed, and levels of any allocation, would be discussed at the next Pension Fund Investment Sub Committee. Within that Fund it had been suggested the Border to Coast Fund would allocate 40 per cent of investments into real estate, 40 per cent into infrastructure renewables, and the rest into a mix of private credit and equity. Paul Higginbotham said Border to Coast had voted against the appointment of the proposed Chair at the National Grid AGM due to investments that did not positively impact on climate change, although the appointment was ultimately approved.


The CMA compliance statement had been signed and submitted.


Responding to a point raised by Jeff Carruthers, Paul Higginbotham said there was careful monitoring of the performance of pooled funds, particularly if there were concerns about performance. Responding to a question from Beverley Farmery, Victoria Moffett said  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5