Issue - meetings

Governance Update Report

Meeting: 04/03/2024 - Pension Fund Investment Sub-Committee (Item 3)

3 Pension Fund Governance Update Report pdf icon PDF 119 KB

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Martin Griffiths (Technical Specialist – Pension Fund Policy and Governance) introduced this report which provided updated governance information including details of Warwickshire Pension Fund’s Forward Plan, risk monitoring, policies, and training. He drew members’ attention to the Net Risk Chart on page 3 of the report and highlighted that, following a review of the Risk Register by officers, it had been resolved to upgrade ‘Governance Failure’ to a red risk. This change had not been made due to any significant financial issues but had come about to ensure compliance with new legislation introduced by the Pensions Regulator. He thanked members for completing the Knowledge and Skills Assessment. The findings of the Assessment had been received from Hymans Robertson and would be used to develop the training programme.


The Chair noted that Climate Change was listed as the most severe risk for both impact and likelihood within the Net Risk Chart. He highlighted the seriousness of climate change which was treated as a priority by the Fund with a focus on risks and mitigations.


Paul Higginbotham (Investment Analyst – Pensions and Investment) stated that continued progress had been made to transition to low-carbon with guidance from advisors on approaches to achieve this objective. Work was also underway with Border to Coast Pensions Partnership (BCPP) to reduce carbon impacts. The Fund was moving quickly, and the pace of the transition would continue to be an area of focus.


Councillor Millar highlighted that recent analysis by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and others had shown that acceleration of green growth would lead to increased economic activity, delivering both environmental and economic benefits.


In response to Councillor Hammersley, Martin Griffiths advised that Cyber Security would remain as a red risk for the foreseeable future. New threats in this area were constantly emerging.


In response to the Chair, Paul Higginbotham advised that ‘Long term asset values do not meet expectations’ had been included as a red risk on the Net Risk Chart in recognition of the risks presented by factors outside of the Fund’s control, such as war, oil price shocks, and geopolitical considerations.


James Glasgow (Hymans Robertson) stated that it was not possible to insure against all potential shocks to markets. However, the Fund was in a good position.


Rob Powell (Executive Director for Resources) stated that there were external factors outside of the Fund’s control. The Fund was operating in a volatile environment, and current economic conditions meant that there was a need to remain vigilant. 




That the Pension Fund Investment Sub-Committee notes the contents of the report.