Edmund Truell was appointed adviser on pensions and investments by Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, to lead an effort to pool public-sector pension funds in the U.K. and invest the proceeds in infrastructure and housing.
In this new position, Mr. Truell work to increase collaboration among some of the U.K.’s Local Government Pension Scheme and other public-sector pension funds, to create a “Citizens’ Wealth Fund.” Mr. Johnson believes this would save billions of pounds in costs through greater efficiency, lower fees and improved returns, said a statement from the mayor’s office. Homes, roads, railways, power stations and airports, as well as the costs associated with the U.K.’s aging population, could benefit from these savings, the statement said.
Pension funds within the U.K.’s LGPS have been the subject of several efforts to pool pension fund assets and collaborate on investments, including work to establish a common investment vehicle for London’s 32 boroughs and the City of London.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Johnson’s office said in an e-mail that the preferred approach is to work in partnership with all LGPS member funds to achieve these targets.
Mr. Truell will also establish an advisory board for the Lancashire and London Pensions Partnership, an asset and liability management partnership between the £4.9 billion ($7.6 billion) London Pensions Fund Authority and the £5.2 billion Lancashire County Pension Fund. The advisory board will comprise investment and risk management professionals. The board will extend its offer of advice to any public-sector pension funds that wish to join with the LLPP.
“This will make available an unprecedented level of asset and liability management sophistication and expertise to a large number of pension funds, helping them to navigate a safe course through turbulent world markets,” Mr. Truell said in the statement.
A spokesman for the LLPP could not be reached for comment and further details by press time.
Mr. Truell is chairman of the LPFA and will resign from that position Sept. 1 to take on his new roles.
“If we now use (the LLPP) as a blueprint for further pooling of pension funds, we could have a war chest worth hundreds of billions of pounds and access to the kind of investment opportunities which have until now been the preserve of foreign sovereign wealth funds,” Mr. Johnson said in the statement.