Agenda item

Asset Allocation and Investment Performance Quarter Four 2015 - West Midlands Pensions Fund

[To note the contents of the report]


GeikDrever, Strategic Director of Pensions summarised the key elements of the quarterly asset allocation and investment monitoring report for the Fund.  In doing so she also responded to the Sub-Committee’s questions on performance during the quarter of the equities portfolio, real assets and infrastructure and private equity; and opportunities for investments.


Councillor Peter Bilson commented that on performance, the issue was how the Fund performed against the benchmark and in that respect he was reasonable confident about the performance. In terms of investment opportunities, he reported that there would be significant opportunities for investment around the West Midlands region; the Fund would have to take a view on the opportunities the regions provides. 


The Strategic Director added that the Sub Committee should take a longer term view of performance of the illiquid assets eg private equity because the Fund was committed to these investments for twelve years.


Cllr David Sparks recalled from his previous experience on the Sub Committee the level of detailed information it had previously received on equity and property investments and that the Sub Committee regularly looked at its properties and received presentations from its property advisors. He asked whether the Sub Committee still received this information and if not, he suggested that it should be available for meetings of the Sub-Committee.


The Strategic Director reported that there was a property list/ list of the Fund’s other investment portfolio, however, it was a bulky document and it had previously been agreed by the Committee to no longer print it for each meeting, but instead to make it available to Trustees at the Fund offices.  She suggested that any member of the Sub Committee could view the investment portfolio document by visiting the Pension Fund office.  She also confirmed that the Sub Committee had recently received a presentation from its property advisors, Messrs Clifford-Brown, Daggett and Roult (CBRE) and had also received presentations from its other advisors such as Pensions Infrastructure Platform (PIP)  Royal London Asset Management.  A Property tour was also arranged for the members in the last two years. The next Trustee training sessions on 21 – 23 March feature a number of our global and emerging markets managers and RI lawyers, as well as a property manager on the programme


Cllr Sparks added that he did not feel that looking at property once a year was satisfactory and he expressed his concern that the Sub Committee could not now say it was discharging its responsibilities when it was receiving less information on shares, property and regular reports from the its investment managers than it had in the recent past.  He asked that the Chair of the Sub Committee find a satisfactory way to say that the Sub Committee had looked at the Fund’s property investments.  In terms of the Fund’s shareholdings, he also asked for a broad indication of the companies the Fund invested in.


On this latter point the Strategic Director reported that the information was on the Fund’s website. She asked the Head of Governance to provide members with the link to the information. The Strategic Director also informed the Sub Committee that every year the Fund published a list of all investments it held.  She could arranged to print the transaction list if members so wished.  She also advised the Sub Committee that property was 7% of the Fund’s business and the Sub Committee needed to cover all the spectrum of its asset classes.


Cllr Peter Bilson acknowledged that the Sub Committee had received more information in the past and confirmed that the Sub Committee had received presentations from its advisors CBRE amongst others. He suggested that in future the Sub Committee received a presentation on property twice a year and that the information in the investment portfolio be made available to those members who want it.


Cllr Sparks suggested that a link be included on the website so that members of the Sub Committee who want to see the detail without burdening other members.  



1.     That the contents of the asset allocation and investment monitoring report for the quarter ended 30 December 2015 be noted.


2.     The Fund’s Property Manager be invited to update the Sub Committee on property investments every six months.


3.     Members of the Sub Committee contact the Head of Governance if they wish to view the Fund’s investment portfolio /property list.